When we think of a traditional classroom, we often think of a teacher stood in front of a blackboard giving a lecture to students; this structure was an essential part of the education system in the UK during the 20th century. However it limits student interactivity, as students only learn by being talked at and answering questions.

Modern touch technology has had a dramatic impact on the learning experience in the last ten years – to the point where it is now allowing students to learn and engage with the curriculum in new ways, facilitating the transmission of knowledge from teacher to pupil.

Approach

Interactive Flat Panels (IFPs) offer the latest advancements in education technology, enabling students to connect with teaching materials in new ways. Designed for easy, intuitive use by students of all ages and abilities, the tablet-like interface encourages pupils to begin creating content and collaborating with their peers.

As a result, teachers are able to turn lectures into group activities. Research has shown that student retention of key information improves when exposed to it in group scenarios. The multi-touch capability offered by IFP displays (whereby up to 20 students can edit, draw and annotate content simultaneously) allows teachers to implement activities that increase student engagement while encouraging collaboration, teamwork and class participation.

Before the lesson

Teachers can prepare lessons more efficiently – lesson plans created on a laptop or PC can be replicated with the same interface on an IFP. HDMI, USB and VGA connections make it easy for teachers to connect a wide variety of computing and multimedia devices. This creates dynamic lessons, varying the content students are exposed to. With each student learning differently, a varied approach incorporating videos, photos, writing and web content gives pupils a better chance of succeeding academically.

A new classroom experience

Thanks to the effective touch capabilities of modern IFPs, students can write, capture and save important notes and insights directly onto their devices. Wireless mirroring allows both pupils and teachers to duplicate content from mobile devices onto the main IFP, encouraging interactivity from the entire classroom.

After class, students can easily revisit and review previous lessons. Recorded lectures and class materials are made available via the IFPs in-built Google Drive and are accessible to students outside the classroom environment. This approach helps pupils review materials and catch up on missed lessons when they are sick, travelling or even remotely learning on their laptops or PC.

The skills of tomorrow

The traditional classroom no longer exists. For many UK schools and colleges, the flipped classroom model – whereby interactivity and collaboration are at the heart of the learning process – is now much more relevant. By investing in open-source IFP technology that enables this increased engagement between teachers and students, educational institutions will aid in improving student performance and development.