Digital learning has come on leaps and bounds in recent years, and the pandemic has further accelerated its growth, with education providers looking at the online learning methods they applied in lockdown and using it in future plans. In a recent EU report polling educators on this topic, more than 96% plan to use distance online learning after the pandemic.
The cost and flexibility benefits are clear – with teachers being able to teach classes in different places, and even students forced to stay at home. This is probably why the topic of using technology to enhance learning, and more importantly, access to learning is being encouraged around Europe.
Follow the teacher
But what about engagement? There have been a number of studies finding that ‘educator’ presence is crucial in online lessons in order to engage students. They need to be seen, react to questions and, in general, evoke the feeling that they are actively part of the learning process.
Traditional methods of distance learning fall down a bit here. Most platforms tend to have a static view – even if you can see the teacher, they feel disconnected. They can also be restrictive in what teachers can do.
The use of smart cameras can really make a difference here. A camera trained on the teacher as they move around the classroom can really help to make students, especially children, to feel part of the experience. For example, following them as they approach the whiteboard and seeing them explain something makes a student feel more like they are in the room too.
This can be cleverly managed to be more dynamic, with close-ups of presentations, split screens and ‘live’ diagrams to provide interactive, and more interesting, viewing. Interactive screens can also play a part – with their ability to ‘stream’ whiteboard activity live, and store it for future use.
In fact, a teacher can have a wide range of resources to build an engaging, memorable and effective lesson – from videos and images to traditional whiteboard explanations and diagrams. They can also respond to questions from students in real time – just as they would in a traditional classroom lesson.
Include remote students
Another important part of engagement is accessibility. You could have the best, most engaging lesson on the planet, but if students cannot see it, it’s not going to help them!
A smart distance learning solution using cameras can give educators flexibility. They can be teaching a class face-to-face, a remote classroom and students online – all at the same time. Students who cannot get to the main classroom, for example because they are in a partner school in another city, or they are at home nursing a broken leg, do not need to miss out on education. In fact, they can be in exactly the same class. Some could even be accessing the lesson through a mobile, or tablet, further extending the reach of education. Today’s web cameras like the ones from Hikvision also improve learning experience with vivid and high quality images.
Make materials available
There are other benefits too of a centralized digital distance learning solution. The classes, including explanations and questions, can be saved to be accessible to students in the future, for recap or clarification. The resources used by the teachers – like videos, diagrams, and articles can also be stored for future reference.
Hikvision’s Distance Learning Solution can provide all these benefits, tailored to the needs of the education provider.
A Teacher PTZ camera follows the teacher (if they have given consent) as they move around the classroom. The teacher camera is 4K, for HD images and provides a close-up view of the teacher. In fact, this alone can really improve engagement, and has been a popular option for educators through the pandemic.
Smart interactive screens can also be used to enhance the interactivity of the lesson, and provide the teacher with another way to explain and demonstrate.
An Education Sharing Server brings all of these devices together, helping to manage lessons, and synchronizing the multimedia assets used. The server can also store the lessons and assets for students to access at a later date, through whichever sharing method they want.
The solution is also fully-compatible with a wide range of 3rd Party software enhancements, further supporting the flexibility of the bespoke solution built to cater for the needs of the education provider. A specially-designed education version of Hikvision’s HikCentral software will also soon be available to help coordinate and disseminate lessons and assets.
With so many aspects of our lives becoming digitized and more disparate, it is important to retain the engagement element in education. With the help of smart cameras, screens and management tools, engagement can advance hand-in-hand with accessibility to create a new benchmark for learning.
Contact us to find out more about Hikvision’s Distance Learning Solution
 “Practically all those respondents already using distance online learning before the crisis plan to continue doing so after the crisis (96.2% in the sample ‘All countries’ and 100% in the sample ‘Without RO’).” EU Digital Education Action Plan 2021-2027