One of the ways we learned in our preschool years was by having many hands in the sandbox.
One classmate would give you his sandcastle mold while another offered his shovel, and a third whispered her castle-building strategies in your ear.
College students still play and learn like this, except with technology.
Among apps, wearables and data storage, interactivity was one of the biggest trends at EDUCAUSE 2015.
From software to popup huddle spaces, EDUCAUSE showcased products and learning strategies that rely on interactivity to drive student success.
Some solutions, like Kaltura’s Capture Space, give students access to a personal capture tool through their own devices. Sonic Foundry’s Mediasite Join enables instructors to create lecture capture in searchable, on-demand video, and track student engagement based on the most-viewed segments.
Other solutions, like the interactive wall by NEC Display, enable users to display multiple videos simultaneously, and use a digital pen or fingers to move content around on the display. Epson’s BrightLink software allows instructors to offer whiteboard sharing capabilities and access to in-class content on students’ personal devices.
Nicole Nesrsta, Lead Vertical Marketing Manager for Citrix, says one of the reasons why companies create products that cater to interactivity is to support all kinds of learners, especially nontraditional students.
Creating interactive technologies enables these students to make the most of their college experience, even if they cannot physically attend or afford a certain class.
“What if you have an MBA student that’s in a part-time program because he works a fulltime job, and he wants to be able to work and study at home at night and on the weekends?” Nesrsta says. “We can deliver that remote access to his home or to his device. Then, think about the student who’s always dreamed about being an engineer, but he realizes that he has to buy an expensive laptop, expensive software, and he thinks, “I don’t think I can be an engineer anymore, I have to go for something else.” Using Citrix, schools can deliver graphic-heavy applications to his own device. Maybe he has a $100 Chromebook; now he can be an engineer, and he doesn’t have to worry about the expenses that typically surround those things.”
Nesrsta also says interactive technologies give companies the opportunity to empower their customers, and make their jobs easier.
“That’s why we were at the show [EDUCAUSE],” she says. “We’re trying to empower students and the end user, and make IT something in the background that makes everything work.”