Benefits of Classroom Collaboration
In both K–12 and higher education, educators are using technology to enrich lessons and facilitate deeper conversations among students. Classroom collaboration technology, such as content-sharing tools, allows students to share their work or ideas, which helps facilitate and enrich engagement with their peers. Likewise, these tools provide teachers with the ability to deliver vibrant and dynamic learning experiences that feature multimedia content.
As schools and universities embrace the hybrid learning model—where both in-person and remote students are taught simultaneously—they’re also relying on remote collaboration technologies to help bridge the physical distance and deliver a consistent experience. Here, tools such as unified communications (UC) platforms provide voice and video services that enable real-time collaboration between students and teachers.
These technologies also help facilitate new approaches to course design, such as the HyFlex model—which gives students options for in-person learning, synchronous online learning (i.e., joining a digital classroom at the same time as other learners and the teacher), and asynchronous learning that they participate in independently.
Connectivity in the Classroom: New Challenges
While collaborative learning technology enhances experiences and opens possibilities for students, it also presents new challenges for teachers and IT staff, such as:
- Data security and privacy: With more devices in the classroom and more sensitive data in transit, IT departments need to ensure that collaboration traffic is kept private and secure. Solutions that employ cloud resources introduce even greater privacy concerns.
- Content moderation: Educators need to retain tight control over what content is shared and who has the capability to do so, especially in K–12.
- Tech issues and reliability: When too many connectivity or performance problems arise, the educational experience suffers and frustration increases.
- Ease of use: If students or teachers find the collaboration solution too difficult or confusing to use, lessons can slow to a crawl or be completely derailed.
- Management: To save time and costs, both K–12 and higher education IT departments need to be able to manage classroom collaboration devices quickly and easily from a central location.
Additionally, the advent of hybrid learning and the HyFlex course model creates a new challenge for educators: experience equity. Students deserve the same exceptional learning experience, no matter if they’re in person or remote. When using in-room resources like a document camera or interactive flat panel display, educators must be able to share that resource’s content with remote participants.
Classroom Collaboration with the Intel Unite® Solution
To help enable collaborative learning, Intel offers the Intel Unite® solution: a streamlined, wireless collaboration tool for classroom content sharing. It powers easy, security-enabled sharing from anywhere in the classroom—or beyond.
Using the Intel Unite® solution, teachers can stream content and control the exchange of information without the need to manage multiple cable connection options. Students can use the Intel Unite® app to share content to classroom displays and other students’ devices from their device, no cables required. Teachers are never tethered to a single location, so they can easily move around the room and engage with students while maintaining control over what’s being shared.
The Intel Unite® solution helps K–12 schools and universities achieve experience equity in hybrid classrooms by seamlessly integrating in-room resources such as interactive flat panel displays, document cameras, and whiteboarding apps into the UC platform used by remote learners. As physically present students or teachers share and manipulate content on interactive displays or other equipment, distance learners see everything as if they were in the room.
Apps from the Intel Unite® app showcase allow educators to easily add existing tools and functionality as needed. The only in-room infrastructure required for the Intel Unite® solution is a compatible hub computer that can be remotely managed by IT staff.
Because the Intel Unite® solution is a device-agnostic collaboration platform, students and teachers simply use the devices they’re already familiar with to share content. This is especially critical in a collegiate environment, where the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) model is more prevalent, and a wider variety of devices must be supported.
The Intel Unite® solution can also be used in spaces such as meeting rooms in university libraries to enable flexible, wireless collaboration and content sharing.
Solving Today’s Classroom Collaboration Challenges
To illustrate what makes the Intel Unite® solution ideal for hybrid classroom collaboration, let’s examine how it solves the critical challenges faced by today’s universities and K–12 school districts.
- Controlled dataflow: Data shared via the Intel Unite® solution stays within the local network, which significantly limits exposure.
- Easy real-time moderation: The Intel Unite® solution gives educators complete control over presenting privileges. They can quickly revoke sharing capabilities as needed and preview content before it’s shared with the class.
- Wi-Fi connectivity: Many educators have had negative content-sharing experiences with wireless technologies such as Wi-Fi Direct. The Intel Unite® solution runs via a standard Wi-Fi connection, providing the reliable access and performance that educators need.
- Simplified processes: No matter what device students use to view and share content, they follow the same easy process. This streamlines the experience and helps the classroom operate more smoothly.
- Centralized management: IT staff can remotely manage, maintain, and troubleshoot the hub computers required by the Intel Unite® solution.