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Exclusive: Implementing interactive classroom displays

Dr Micah Shippee, director of education technology consulting and solutions at Samsung, on the main considerations when specifying interactive displays in education

Interactive displays have become popular in classrooms due to their ability to captivate students’ attention by embracing active learning, incorporating interactivity and centralising learning resources and tools. Some school systems are on their second and third generation of interactive classroom displays.

For schools that are looking for a change in their instructional technologies or want to introduce an improved classroom experience, there are some key considerations to support teaching practice and student outcomes. Interactive displays should offer the teacher ease of use, personalise learning for each student and promote school safety and data security.

With previous generations of interactive displays, educators would cast learning materials from their devices onto the board for their students. This has evolved into interactive displays broadcasting from the big screen onto the students’ devices. Now, educators and students can also bi-directionally cast from their own devices onto the board for the whole classroom to collaborate during the learning process. The evolution of interactive displays has amplified an instructional shift to a more immersive learning environment for students to work with their peers jointly using technology instead of learning from one device in front of the classroom.

When introducing a new Interactive display, schools should look for solutions that are device agnostic, enabling students to bring any laptop, phone or tablet they have and are comfortable using – regardless of the operating system or manufacturer – and connect to the display in front of the classroom. Interactive displays should also work seamlessly within the ecosystem of products used throughout the school. Recently, with HDMI out and USB-C becoming the norm, it has become easier than ever to scale content from the displays to confidence monitors and school signage.

A teacher’s physical presence in the classroom is important for the various learning moments both planned and unplanned in a lesson. When a teacher stands at the front of the classroom, they are in a leading position to guide their learners through outlining lesson objectives, providing summaries, and soliciting class engagement. However, a teacher must also be free to move about the room and engage with the students, as an instructional coach providing individual feedback to support content and skill retention.

Due to interactive displays’ casting and broadcasting capabilities, teachers are no longer tethered to teaching from the front of the classroom. They can move around the room to answer questions, build upon students’ ideas and give students more one-to-one attention, adapting and humanising the learning experience for each individual. There is power in storytelling at the front of the room and it is just as important as individualised attention from the teacher throughout the room. Instructional technologies like interactive display can be leveraged to allow teachers to can become mentors for their students on their learning journey.

Interactive displays are important for creating a collaborative environment in the classroom but they should also be equipped with critical functions such as safety and security. While interactive displays can be informative by showcasing learning materials, they can also be used to showcase emergency alerts if a situation arises. Using an integrated content management or emergency alert system, school leaders can send alerts or important information across every device to communicate with the staff and student body. With personal data on the line, the displays should also offer teachers and students the option to not store their data and allow them an option to log in and log out of a device to mitigate the impacts of a cybersecurity incident. 

Interactive Displays have many benefits when it comes to enhancing student learning in ways a traditional chalkboard, whiteboard, or projector simply cannot. Teachers and students should be able to connect to the display from any device to create a collaborative classroom environment where a teacher can move about the room for individualised learning. The displays should also have security measures in place to protect students’ physical safety and data security. When school leaders consider these capabilities when implementing interactive displays, they are on the right track to enhancing the learning experience for their students.