Interactive touchscreen displays are a great addition to every school’s equipment wish list. They are an excellent upgrade to school projectors and video players—both in terms of utility and ease of use. Touchscreens provide both students and instructors with better learning and teaching experiences.
This is the main reason why amid the Covid-19 pandemic, the global market for interactive touchscreens continues to flourish. Analysts project the market to grow from $60.3 billion in 2020 to $100 billion by the year 2027 at a CAGR of 7.5%. Along with the growing market for interactive touchscreens, is a growing need for reliable device management solutions. After all, they represent a sizable investment for school authorities.
Why every school should have interactive touchscreens in the classroom
Interactive touchscreens represent the next evolutionary step in learning. Regular whiteboards and static projector displays won’t cut it anymore. Today’s generation of students grew up surrounded by smart devices, so they will expect a digital and interactive mode of learning as well.
The effectiveness of an educational technology device lies in improving the experience for all stakeholders. This means that in order to provide maximum utility, educational devices should provide benefits not just to students but to instructors as well.
Benefits of interactive touchscreens to schools and instructors
Upgrading teaching equipment from static devices to digital devices can help schools and instructors streamline their learning systems. At the very least, teachers won’t need to lug around heavy equipment or set it up before every class. Now, all they need to do is boot up the device to start the day.
Additionally, the benefits of using touchscreens include the following:
Diversifying teaching opportunities using a single device
With interactive touchscreens, teachers are no longer limited in their methods of instruction. In a single lesson, they can combine multiple modes of learning, such as multimedia presentations and interactive sessions on the device. This means that teachers won’t need to switch between devices when playing videos, sharing documents, giving out exams, and facilitating group activities.
Streamlining the teaching method
With a computer-based medium, teachers will only need to load their modules and planned activities into the software before starting the class—a very convenient way of getting teaching materials ready for use.
In addition, integrating the school’s learning management system (LMS) into the touchscreen software means an easier way to transfer modules and documents. Integrating LMS and other school systems will require the use of device management software that can serve as a go-between among various school software.
Moreover, panels have the option of recording or capturing the entire learning session. This allows the teacher to review the day’s activities and share notes with students immediately after class.
Benefits of interactive touchscreens to students
Multiple studies confirm that instantaneous feedback reinforces learning faster. Immediate responses improve the flow of learning, giving students a more autonomous way of processing ideas. When schools design modules that take advantage of interactive touchscreens, students will get a more engaging experience learning and retaining information.
Compared to simply listening to a teacher’s lecture, reading a block of text, or watching a video, participating in a touchscreen learning session is a more dynamic way to learn. Apart from having a central device to show multimedia modules, touchscreen panels allow students to directly engage as they learn. By writing or drawing onscreen, pressing a button, or dragging objects, students get to interact with their lessons directly. The excitement multiplies when more students are allowed to take part in a single activity.
Encouraging inclusivity and collaboration
Touchscreens, especially the multi-touch kind, allow for simultaneous input from more than one user. This feature encourages students to participate in group activities that depend on collaboration and cooperation to achieve a singular goal. In addition, collaborative class activities promote inclusiveness and improve a student’s social skills.
Protecting your touchscreen investment by utilising an effective device management solution
Admittedly, touchscreen panels are a substantial investment for school authorities. As such, they require proper management in order to provide maximum returns. Unlike older school equipment, digital devices such as touchscreens will require effort to ensure that firmware, operating systems and applications stay updated and running optimally.
Using default device management software can only provide limited services. In order to quickly and easily keep your school’s interactive devices functioning at peak performance levels, it’s highly recommended to invest in software that can handle not just management and maintenance, but also provide reliable security services as well.
Original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) of interactive touchscreens and vendors can provide this value-added solution as part of their product offering. The minimal addition to a school authority’s outlay (which can be part of government-sponsored Covid funding for learning systems) means expanding on their equipment’s utility and reliability.
Key features of device management solutions
Keeping track of a school’s inventory of digital devices is no easy feat. Accounting for each piece of equipment not only means tracking its whereabouts but also checking if its performance is up to standards. The ideal school device management software should have no problems managing, maintaining and securing all devices under its ownership.
Managing devices means ensuring that each device runs according to its specific purposes while allowing only authorised users. Depending on the assigned access level, each user can only work on specific areas of the device. School executives can gather user data and generate insights to help them assess the effectiveness of devices. IT teams can probe devices to help apply fixes, upgrades or rollbacks. Instructors can upload modules and authorise sharing of documents.
Managing devices also means limiting the use of each touchscreen to authorised apps and activities. For example, surfing the internet using the device’s browser can be limited to educational sites. It also automatically blocks the installation of social media platforms and games.
Maintaining each school touchscreen means ensuring that the firmware, operating systems and applications run on the latest versions. Using cloud access, IT teams can perform maintenance services unobtrusively during device downtimes. They can perform fixes and upgrades remotely without the need for user intervention. In addition, advanced features mean that IT administrators can perform individual updates or upgrade all devices simultaneously. The ideal management software should have no problem operating in an environment that can accommodate devices with different operating systems.
The right device management software can easily secure each school device to prevent unauthorised use or unwanted access to sensitive data. The software can activate various security measures to protect devices from any malicious action.
For example, when unauthorised users try to access sensitive data, IT teams can instantly lock devices or perform an immediate data wipe remotely. System administrators can also geolocate devices to pinpoint a device’s location. In case a touchscreen panel is identified as being in the wrong place due to theft or misuse, security teams can activate a geo-lock that automatically disables the unit once it’s located outside the allowed area of operation.
Final thoughts on choosing the best device management platform for interactive touchscreens
Interactive touchscreens represent a substantial investment for schools. When utilised properly, touchscreens benefit, not just students, but the entire educational establishment as well. As such, it makes sense to protect these assets through reliable device management software.
OEMs and vendors may include versions of this solution as part of their product offerings. This can help provide both the teachers and the students with the best learning experiences possible.