Interactive touchscreen technology can improve student engagement

interactive touchscreen
© Mike Van Schoonderwalt

Nadav Avni, Chief Marketing Officer at Radix Technologies, discusses the benefits of interactive touchscreens for students including improving learning results and encouraging inclusivity

Today’s students are squarely from the digital generation. These digital natives recited their ABCs and pointed at shapes and colours using interactive touchscreens on their parent’s tablets and phones. As they transition to learning in the classroom, these modern students expect the same highly engaging and interactive environment in the classroom. Meanwhile, schools that have yet to transition into a modern classroom risk missing out on the opportunity to deeply engage students further and improve learning outcomes.

The modern classroom

Today’s modern classroom utilises digital technology and audio-visual tools. Combined, they help transform the classroom into a fully interactive environment where students are actively engaged in learning. This is the reason behind the proliferation of interactive touchscreens, digital whiteboards, kiosks, and digital audio-video devices in classrooms. In addition, many students bring their personal laptops or tablets to use as their modern-day notebook.

Why do some schools prefer touchscreens and other digital devices? There are many reasons why schools tend to choose interactive display devices.

Active learning among students

Foremost among the reasons to modernise the classroom is the chance to provide students with opportunities for active learning. By definition, this means challenging students to get them involved in the learning process. This entails using various methods to engage students in heavy participation.

Before touchscreens in the classroom, interactivity was very limited. But, things have changed with the advent of the modern classroom. When partnered with highly engaging content, an interactive touchscreen can provide a captivating storyline that can spur students into going into active learning.

Take, for example, the opportunity for active learning presented by the classroom mainstay: storytime. Instead of a linear presentation that presents facts in a straightforward manner, an instructor can provide an interactive story that students can engage with. At certain parts of the presentation, students are asked to choose which direction the protagonist will take. Maybe the teacher will take an instant poll to get a consensus. Each decision creates a ripple effect that affects the outcome of the story’s ending. This type of storytelling (and the ensuing debate) can elicit more responses from students than any PowerPoint presentation can accomplish. Interactive touchscreens are the perfect medium to execute this type of learning.

Benefits of using interactive touchscreens in schools

Outside of active learning, there are many other benefits of utilising interactive touchscreens in classrooms. Here are some additional reasons:

Share an experience

Addressing a classroom and assigning a task usually leads students to huddle up to the laptop or notebook, without showing any regard for others. An interactive touchscreen works the opposite way. Rather than drive students to their separate areas, an interactive touchscreen attracts students to participate in a common activity. Similarly, a multi-touch digital whiteboard promotes the same community feel. When creating the often dreaded group project, members can collaborate on a single screen. This removes the need for having just one person work on the entire presentation.

Encourage inclusivity

Interactive touchscreens are much more than tactile devices. The screen aspect provides appeal to students interested in the visual medium. The system also highly encourages collaboration during group activities, promoting further conversation and interaction with group members. At the same time, teachers can also participate in onscreen activities at any time, whether to enhance, evaluate, or intervene.

Improve learning results

Due to its highly engaging nature, students often forget the intended effects of interactive touchscreens, which is to learn. Many students can lose themselves to the myriad of activities in the name of fun without realising they’ve been learning the whole time. An earlier French study showed that students are one and a half times more likely to fail a class when the instructors teach via lectures compared to those lessons given in interactive classrooms.

Endorsed by IT support teams

Information Technology (IT) teams in charge of preserving and maintaining school-issued units find interactive touchscreens straightforward hardware to deploy. Because they offer an all-in-one solution (compared to deploying projectors, whiteboards, and video players separately), teams can get a classroom up and running in no time at all.

Fun and easy to use

Above everything else, using interactive touchscreens is a highly fun activity. Both teachers and students alike will find using this device for classes more engaging compared to running classes using static whiteboards, projectors, or video players. Having fun doesn’t just mean a more relaxing demeanour. It also puts the mind into a more conducive state to learn new things.

Managing interactive touchscreen devices

As the popularity of digital devices increases, how can districts protect their investment? How can they ensure that each device is taken care of? Finally, what do schools need in terms of tools to keep interactive touchscreens secure, working well, and in peak operating condition?

The IT department will be charged with the massive task of keeping track of all school touchscreens and knowing each one’s location. This entails using highly reliable interactive touchscreen management software. This can take care of the monitoring, maintaining, and securing of all of the school’s touchscreens.

To perform complete touchscreen management, the software must have the ability to connect remotely to and assume control of each school device. Only then can it take over maintenance operations that ensure consistent and reliable performance in every classroom. Among the tasks conducted are the following:

  • Over-The-Air (OTA) firmware management
  • Batch scheduling of updates and patches release
  • Interacting with SDKs or APIs from vendors.
  • Policy setting and enforcing
  • Remote locking, disabling, or erasing units to prevent unauthorized use

Securing interactive touchscreen software at the OEM level

In most cases, bundling the interactive touchscreen software with the OEM device creates an advantage for clients. It ensures that as soon as delivery for school devices is complete, there is available software to begin the process of device management. This includes registering each unit, assigning security clearance, and downloading and installing needed applications. The initial process will also need to work on activating permission and policy guidelines, and securing and tagging each unit for identification.


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