Technology in education: a moving target

Developments in audiovisual technology are happening at a rapid rate – and education professionals are challenged to stay ahead of them. There are many opportunities for them to do so, by mirroring the collaborative workplace in educational institutions. Here we look at how...

Back in the day, the teacher was the centre of the classroom experience. It was facts that were important – not thinking.

We’re now in an era of student/pupil-centric learning. Today, young people are encouraged to work together and to arrive at solutions for themselves. And the transformation has been made possible, in large part, thanks to educational technology – whether in primary, secondary or higher education. Screens, projectors and interactive whiteboards are no longer luxuries but essentials – essentials that reflect the world in which students and pupils live.

“Today, the appropriate AV system increases opportunities for interactive teaching activities and enhances the overall student learning experience,” says Nic Milani, executive director, commercial product marketing at Crestron. “The possibilities are endless: progressive teaching through computer-based learning; instant feedback; remote learning; visualisation, interaction; data analysis – and so much more.”

Student-led transformation

“The new technologies being employed in higher education are student-led,” believes Jon Garaway, education account manager at NEC Display Solutions. “And it’s not just about the technology; it’s the whole offering which is being redefined to fit today’s student lifestyle. They arrive at university with three or even four digital devices and expect instant online access to resources.

“And,” he continues, “informal collaborative learning is becoming standard in many universities because it meets the way students want to learn.”

It’s not just about universities and colleges, however. Younger learners are no less tech-savvy and not much less tech-equipped – and they, too, expect their learning experience to reflect that. The challenge for educators, though, is to keep up with the ever-changing technology landscape. Where the useful lifetime of epidiascopes was measured in decades and of overhead projectors in years, today’s lifecycles are often measured in little more than months.

“New technologies continue to emerge,” says Luis Afonso, who is business development manager at BenQ. “Those new technologies offer more benefits such as longer lifetime, lower cost of ownership, better interactivity, cloud connectivity and improved ease of use. Lamp-based ultra-short throw projectors are progressively being replaced by interactive flat panels. In projection, laser illumination is changing the game.”

And neither is it just about classrooms and lecture theatres – a point made by Milani.

“In education, we’re also seeing the use of AV technology expand into other areas such as meeting spaces, offices and huddle rooms,” he notes. Others remark on the growing use of digital signage for wayfinding and for communicating key information throughout a campus.

Staying ahead of the curve

It’s clear that technology is changing the landscape of education environments. But as options available to those in charge of specifying, installing and maintaining technology grows, how can professionals stay ahead of the curve?

As the largest AV and systems integration event in the world, Integrated Systems Europe (ISE) is well positioned to provide education professionals with a comprehensive overview of the technology available for the industry.

Playing host to over 1,300 exhibitors and more than 80,000 visitors, the event takes place at the RAI Convention Centre in Amsterdam from 11–14 February 2020. Recognising the importance of the education market, the show features a dedicated Education Technology Zone (located in Hall 13) where attendees can get hands-on with interactive displays and software, collaboration tables and wireless presentation systems. Elsewhere on the show floor, attendees can expect to find the latest projector and display technologies.

Whether it’s collaborative learning, classroom interactivity, immersive learning with VR/AR, gamification, cybersecurity – or minimising downtime by eliminating maintenance or lowering cost of ownership – ISE promises to be a must-attend event. Those looking for blackboard and chalk, however, will likely want to look elsewhere. 


To find out why you should attend ISE 2020 and to book your place, visit: www.iseurope.org/who-should-come-to-ise/education/

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