Collaboration is a valuable part of students’ learning experiences. When students have the opportunity to collaborate, they are able to learn from another, build on ideas and learn how to work together to solve problems and develop solutions.
In the recent years, innovative technology has provided students with greater access to interactive activities that not only aim to improve learning, but also enable students to collaborate and work simultaneously with both the technology and each other to complete tasks and assignments.
Due to the many advantages collaborative technology brings to students’ learning experiences, K-12 school districts across the globe have taken steps to integrate these various devices and tools into their classrooms.
One such district is Peters Township School District in McMuray, PA. A district of 4,400 students and 285 faculty, Peters Township was in need of a technology upgrade that would support collaborative learning and increase activity in the classroom.
“Despite having smartboards and projectors scattered throughout the district, these technologies didn’t support collaborative learning between teachers and students, or even between students and students,” says Adam Swinchock, director of educational and informational technology, Peters Township School District, in a Sharp press release.
“We needed a solution that would move away from passive learning and make the students more engaged. The technology was a predominant element in creating this change.”
The district aimed to integrate a standard solution across all classrooms that would allow teachers more flexible teaching, offer more interactive learning opportunities for students and provide both teachers and students equal accessibility to educational technology.
With the help of The Wilson Group, a local dealer, Peters Township chose to install 70″ Class (69.5″ Diagonal) Sharp AQUOS BOARD interactive displays in each classroom for grades four, five and six, along with high-speed wireless internet connectivity, rear-mounted DVD players, soundboards, wireless keyboards and wireless mouse technology.
This initial installation took place in August 2015, but the district plans to install the solution in the rest of its classrooms in the near future, according to the needs of each school and grade level.
During the installation, the AQUOS BOARD displays were mounted to rolling mobile carts to allow for easy movement of the device within classrooms and between classrooms if necessary.
The AQUOS BOARDs enable collaboration in the classroom through its interactive features, along with its ability to support BYOD learning and teaching environments.
Teachers are able to directly connect to and control the AQUOS BOARD displays via their preferred device and students can connect to the displays via multiple input ports.
“Not only was the initial installation fast and easy, the reception from the teachers was very positive,” says Swinchock in the press release. “Combined with high-speed wireless connectivity, the AQUOS BOARD interactive displays have allowed for much greater use of internet resources and tools in the classroom. And, the ability to connect multiple devices at once has created a universally collaborative learning environment that we are very happy with.”
Since the installation, students in Peters Township have benefited from participating in creative, engaging and real-world learning activities with the AQUOS BOARDs such as viewing a live space shuttle launch or interacting with field experts via video conferencing.
Up to four students can connect and interact with an AQUOS BOARD, enabling them to work on activities such as math problems and educational games together and in a group setting.
Since the completion of the Sharp installation, students in each of the 46 classrooms have benefited from equitable collaborative and interactive learning scenarios that were not previously available to them. Furthermore, the AQUOS BOARDs have proved to be a flexible solution for teachers to leverage to improve instruction and enhance learning.
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