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The uncertainty of change: Why classroom displays are the constant for hybrid learning

Jim Wallis, head of UK and Ireland markets at Promethean, explains why, against the backdrop of uncertainty and change, flat panels are key to maintaining education continuity

Classroom based teaching has been central to education for centuries, but in the wake of the global pandemic, schools had to rapidly adapt to remote, and now hybrid, lesson delivery – which remain in place even after the temporary closures ended. Aside from the need to facilitate social distancing, the unpredictability continues as control measures are reviewed in line with local circumstances, students’ bubbles burst, and staff need to self-isolate.

Distance learning was only ever a short-term solution in response to an acute situation. As social learners, students progress most effectively in a classroom environment, where they have access to direct teacher instruction and can collaborate with their peers. While the government, school leaders, teachers and parents all believe that students need to be in school, the reality is that this just isn’t possible all of the time right now. This has the potential to increase teacher workload as there is the risk of lessons having to be delivered twice, or duplicate resources needing to be created to support students learning at home. This is where classroom technology – more specifically interactive flat panel displays (IFPDs) – is proving a practical and flexible solution.

Pivoted support
While schools need to be prepared to pivot to support students learning at home, the majority of students, for the majority of time, will be learning in the classroom. By understanding how schools can adopt a digital-first approach to lesson delivery, AV partners will be well placed to guide the investment decision making process. 

IFPD lesson materials prepared for delivery in class can be easily converted into resources for completion at home. For example, Promethean’s ActivInspire software incorporates a Screen Recorder feature that allows a teacher to capture a video of lesson content as it’s being delivered in class. This can then be shared with any students unable to attend in person – without creating additional teacher workload.

Stepping up for schools
Conversely, if the teacher is unable
to attend school because they are
self-isolating, IFPDs like the Promethean ActivPanel can help to bring the teacher
into the classroom. Using the Promethean Screen Share App which is pre-installed
on the ActivPanel as standard, the teacher can deliver a lesson remotely to the students.

There was a sharp spike in the purchasing of distance learning platforms when schools had to temporarily close with little notice. The benefit of time and experience has now shown that most students will spend more time in the classroom learning, than they
will at home.

As such, future investments in edtech to support hybrid learning should focus on classroom-first pedagogy and understanding how technology can be used in this environment to deliver lesson equality – wherever students are learning. The one constant in a hybrid environment will therefore be the IFPD in the classroom.

The Promethean State of Technology in Education Report 2020/21 found that 95% of respondents saw investment in edtech spend as a priority this year. With this in mind, AV companies must partner with schools to help make budget decisions based on long-term value instead of
short-term fixes. The report also noted
an increased level of pragmatism, with schools moving away from AR/VR and reprioritising fundamentals such as IFPDs.

Having plotted edtech trends for the
past five years, the Promethean State of Technology in Education Report provides valuable insight into the changing buying patterns in UKI schools. You can access
a copy of the report at the following  link:

Promethean works with a UKI wide network of channel partners. To learn more about the benefits of joining the Promethean Partner Accreditation Programme and the support we can provide with selling to schools, please visit: