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Smart Classroom

Ricoh's classroom technology solutions help you deliver a 21st century classroom experience with interactive technology, space utilization capabilities, easy equipment ordering and a paperless approach that helps you reduce costs and maximize learning.

Bernardo Rafael Caraveo Posadas - Manager Development Vertical Market Education

In today's world of constant connectivity and instant gratification just a click away, today's students have shorter attention spans than ever before. That means the days of teachers standing in front of the classroom may be over. Not only do lectures fail to engage students and encourage student participation, they can also detract from their education.

While theories and trends of the best way to learn often differ and change over time, one increasingly popular teaching method is proving to be more effective among today's students: active learning.

Taking responsibility for education

Active learning, as defined by study guides and strategies, is experiential, attentive, and engaging. Through it, teachers can explore a more effective and interesting set of learning experiences, allowing them to take greater responsibility for their students' education versus traditional or predetermined teaching methods.

The PNAS research1 analyzed 225 studies that reported test scores or student achievement failure rates in undergraduate science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEAM) courses in traditional lectures versus active learning. Results indicate that average test scores improved by approximately 6% in the active learning sections, and that students with traditional lectures were 1.5 times more likely to fail than students in active learning lectures.

How to explore collective learning?

Active listening: intentionally focus on what is being said in a conversation, lecture, or group. The goal is to have students repeat what they just heard in their head.

Visual: Matching the use of images (graphs, maps, charts, diagrams and more) with verbal cues, such as titles and authors, to help retain information.

View and listen: Share information through engaging formats such as PowerPoint presentations, multimedia and movies. These media have the advantage of illustrating readings and sounds that make them inherently more engaging.

Making the most of technology

Interactive whiteboards are currently gaining popularity among universities because of their ability to help teachers display images, text and videos on touchscreen panels with high resolutions, turning the classroom into an interactive space.

Remote students can go from observers to active participants, as they can connect to the face-to-face classroom and view the presentation or teacher's marks in real time. Many students can view and participate with standard viewing options, and teachers can activate a video conference and use picture-in-picture to view student participants remotely.

Interactive whiteboards can also help promote group work and peer-to-peer learning. In a recent study involving higher education engineering students, it was found that interactive whiteboards played a key role in the students' learning process, helping to promote various teaching styles, including: exploratory, explanatory, explanatory, enlightening and insertional. The results also show that these whiteboards can facilitate a "co-working space," a social setting with student dialogue and interactivity.

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