Millennials and the new generation of students on college campuses today can teach us a thing or two about navigating a smart device. After all, 90 percent of Millennials make checking their smart phones part of their morning routines, according to the Cisco Connected World Technology Report.
However, their modern collaborative methods of learning don’t always align with the lectures and PowerPoint presentations that some professors are still making in higher education teaching environments.
The medieval university invented lecturing to cope with a scar- city of books – but, today’s generation of learners have access to a world of knowledge through the web. Students want to make connections and they want to be engaged to the subject matter that they are exploring.
So how can college professors use existing installation projector technology to up their games in lecture halls, study groups and science labs?
Team Up with a Projector Near You
One way is through collaboration and annotation tools that work with existing projectors.
These tools, such as DisplayNote Software, let educators and students present and share content, and collaborate across any device. They allow presenters the ability to mirror what they are annotating or teaching on their device onto their students’ devices. That way, students are able to still absorb information but do so by viewing an individual screen. Plus, these tools enable an instructor to move about the room while still focusing on the delivery of and collaboration with the content, which increases participation and interactivity among students.
Professors can highlight key information on the projector screens in large lecture halls, but can also collaborate with students who see the same information on their smart devices. In addition, students can annotate their own notes about what they’re seeing during the lecture. White-boarding, interactivity and collaboration now become the key tools for advanced learning.
Learning on the Edge with Edge-Blending
Sometimes the screen real estate can be limited in a large lecture hall. The antidote is a technique called edge-blending.
The edge-blending process utilizes two or more projectors that slightly overlap to create a larger image. This creates a larger working space for professors to construct a much more dynamic lecture to engage their students.
Edge-blending also enables the segmentation of the screen real estate – meaning parts of the screen can be devoted to the professor’s class outline, presentation and notes while another section might include web access or other relevant information to the field of study. Students then can annotate on the screen from their smart devices, or pull up relevant web sites or access multiple apps concurrently for another line of reference.
Edge-blending can also be applied to smaller venues, like a science lab. Interactive white-boarding with widgets (compasses, rulers, etc.) can take place on certain sections of the “learning canvas,” or screen, while formulas and other scientific tools are accessible elsewhere on the screen. With the introduction of touch modules used in conjunction with ultra-short throw projectors, the edge-blended image is interactive through multiple finger touches. This also works in parallel with digital pen systems and DisplayNote Software for a completely new engaging experience.
Projecting Final Thoughts
The trend toward content sharing and collaboration with projectors is not confined to a single device or a single locale in which all participants are present. It will involve multiple types of peripherals, from tablets, smart phones, and others. Content from these devices will be sent directly to a projector or other display device. It can be shared on screens and modified in the room among participants, or remotely by other students – all supporting a collaborative environment without barriers.
The goal of proactive, interactive teaching methods, then, is to engage students with projector tactics and by learning the way they consume information. They’re immersed in electronics each day. So meeting them on their terms – while not sacrificing educational standards – is a great way to increase engagement, impart knowledge, strike up critical conversations and thinking on the discipline at hand, and bring college curricula into the 21st century learning environment.
This article was originally published in 2015