BETT 2014: The Classroom of the future

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IT Security & Support Specialist for Small and Medium Businesses


Last week saw the return of the annual BETT Show in London, showcasing the best and newest technology for the education sector. This year was teeming with touch screens in every size, from pocket-sized tablets that encourage independent learning to large touch-tables, multiple pupils can use at once.

No matter the size of the screen, this visual technology is providing teachers with numerous ways to better engage with their students, with ever increasing interactive capabilities. To compliment this many businesses were exhibiting software that allows teachers to have remote control over student applications, devices and web access. This can enable real-time monitoring and response to tests and work.

Gus Schmedlen, Vice President of Education at HP, said that, ‘the last thing that anybody wants is a generation of internet drones, that’s why collaboration and communication are incredibly important’.

Another ingenious invention is i-desk’s i-rise, also removing the unwanted distractions in the classroom, enabling the ability to transform flat workspace into state-of-the-art IT suites, saving space while creating multipurpose rooms.

Intel exhibited how the use of 3D cameras can be used for teachers and pupils to interect with technology, with their ability to recognise arm and hand gestures, enabling touch-free navigation of 3D models. They additionally showed how speech recognition can revolutionise subjects such as foreign languages.

Eric Cooper, Senior Research Engineer at Intel, said that,

‘We have technology that can recognise fingertips so, without touching the screen at all, you can manipulate a 3D object and move it around to different positions, so you could see planets orbiting the sun and move it around to get a closer look a Jupiter, and it’s almost like you’re holding the whole solar system in you hands’.

To further this Intel also explained how they are exploring ‘affective computing’ which could be used to distinguish specific expressions of, for example, excitement, boredom and frustration, in order to aid teachers in discovering patterns in the motivation of their pupils.

The BETT Show has displayed how the use of technology has spread outside of ICT classes and is rapidly growing in each subject area, such as data logging devices that can provide a complete laboratory in every pupil’s hand.

Schmedlen commented, explaining that there is even a place for wearable technology in education, which can be used as scheduled planners and lunch cards. HP even created their own version of a ‘future classroom’ at a school in Taiwan, showing how technology results in the increase of student engagement, watch the official video here.

Source: The Telegraph


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