There has been much talk in the educational community in recent weeks about interactive classrooms, but there has also been a lot of confusion out there as regards what the truly ‘interactive classroom’ is. As it happens, it is quite easy to understand the concept. An interactive classroom brings a higher degree of interactivity to the learning experience than is usually encountered. So you would experience digital pens, tablets and other devices that basically seeped up the learning process and allow the teacher to step back from the class, so they can discover the topics themselves.
A recent event in a US school has shown just how far technology has come since even a few months ago. The event has already caused quite a stir in education circles, not to mention technology circles. A company called Intermedia Touch has created a fully interactive video wall for a classroom in the Archbishop Edward A McCarthy high school in the United States. This has proven that true interactivity takes away the focus from the teacher. The company created the fully interactive the wall to create what they call ‘the classroom of the future’. The idea of the video wall was to provide a situation where teachers could display lessons on a large scale. It is a fully touchscreen enabled wall, which allows for pure interactivity within the learning environment.
Yet another example
This is yet another example of how interactive learning is really blooming in schools around the world. While it is true that some schools could not afford such technology yet, it does show that there are many ways now for schools to take advantage of the possibilities and the potential behind interactive learning. From digital pens and tablets to touchscreen learning walls, there is surely a kind of tipping point occurring in interactive learning.
The learning wall in the school has 12 46” monitors and is designed to allow students to step away from the teacher and become more interactive with their learning. Guest speakers can get involved in live chats on screen, and it also allows students to stand up and walk towards the wall and physically engage with the learning that is taking place. The principle of the school, Richard Jean, speaking to Digital Signage Connection, said: “We are moving to an age where kids are visual. When you have something that captures their imagination and engages them in such a way, it actually brings the student to life along with the presentation”.
It is interesting to see just how far this kind of interactive learning has gone in just a couple of years. Two years ago it would have been unthinkable to install such a wall in any classroom. Now it seems like it is just another step towards truly interactive learning in a fully interactive classroom. Technology is helping students make that leap forward.