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The future for hybrid learning

Hybrid learning…it’s something that came about as a result of the pandemic, right? Wrong! Hybrid learning was already establishing itself as a new way of working for education well before 2020. The lockdowns due to Covid 19 simply accelerated its take up.

Hybrid learning, blended learning, distance learning are all different aspects of the same theme, allowing stakeholders within an education environment – be they teachers, students, or others contributing to lessons – to remain engaged in learning, wherever they are.

Hybrid learning offers students the option to learn in person in the classroom or to join that classroom online from elsewhere. Blended learning combines education styles, mixing eLearning with traditional methods – and that can be in the classroom or elsewhere. And distance (or remote) learning does what it says on the tin – learning takes place away from the education setting, via resources that could be online, or traditional printed, video and audio.

And all of these types of learning are not just trends, they are themes that are set to stay. So, what is the future for hybrid learning – allowing students to join their class either in person or online?

Why is hybrid learning important?

Just as there is a range of teaching styles, there are many different learning styles and many different learning needs, as well. Accessibility is key – both in terms of the resources available, and the ways and places in which learning is consumed.

Whether for the student who has been taken elsewhere to complete sporting or other commitments, the student who is struggling with the traditional classroom environment, or for the student who takes in media at a different speed or in different ways to their classmates, hybrid learning offers the flexibility to remain a part of the system, and a part of that important social network. And it helps to ensure that less students fall through the cracks.


Preparing for real world experiences

Any form of digital learning and allowing individuals the flexibility to discover their best ways of working independently, can also help students to prepare for the wider post-education world. Statistics suggest that 92% of jobs require digital skills, and that the hybrid work model is preferred by 83% of employees worldwide. With these high numbers, ensuring students leave education with experience of using digital resources to communicate, to be productive, and to increase efficiency, is essential.

Setting up a hybrid learning classroom

Despite the ‘practice’ we all had during the lockdowns, running a hybrid learning environment is not easy. The educator, who already has many to keep watch over in the classroom itself, also needs to keep an eye on the needs of those online. And the content itself needs to be carefully considered to ensure it is accessible and relevant to all.

Luckily, technology is already at hand to help. Interactive classroom displays, such as the Philips Collaboration 4152 Series, are designed with digital learning in mind, pairing digital whiteboards with processing power and digital display capabilities. Combined with videoconferencing software and hardware – the likes of which would traditionally have been found in the boardroom – and the display becomes a meeting space in its own right, enabling students working from elsewhere to be more immersed, and more engaged, in classroom discussions.

Meanwhile, intelligent teaching and learning software, like Philips Genius, bring digital teaching tools and assets together with intuitive functionality and the ability to deliver lessons more accessibly, both in the classroom and online.

The ideal classroom display ecosystems bring all the students together, whatever their learning style, with the ability to contribute to the lesson in the way that best suits them – be that annotating on the display at the front of the class, shared directly from their own device on their desk in the classroom, or from the laptop or connected device of those elsewhere – even on the other side of the world.


What to consider when investing in classroom technologies for hybrid education

When investing in new technologies for delivering hybrid education from the classroom, there are many aspects to consider:

On the display…

  • Size of display – does it cater for those wishing to engage with the big screen?
  • Interactivity – does it offer easy interactivity?
  • Android OS does it support a current Android version to ensure that the latest Android features are supported and security patches are available?
  • Touch experience – how many touch points are available?
  • Brightness – is it bright enough to be used in all lighting conditions?
  • Wireless screen sharing – does it have wireless screen sharing capability, does it support all key communication standards, and how many devices can share with it?
  • Solutions – is it easy to integrate other technologies, such as audio and videoconferencing hardware?
  • Software – can a teacher’s preferred software be used on the display?
  • Security – is NFC technology available for secure log in?
  • Blue light filter – does it have a blue light filter to protect users’ eyes?
  • Sustainability – is the display EnergyStar compliant and does it come with an ambient light sensor to reduce power consumption?
  • Google certified and Google Play store – is the display Google certified and does it support Google Play store and Google Mobile Services (GMS) to give access to thousands of education applications?

On the software…

  • Platforms – does it cater for all platforms, ie. Android, iOS, Windows and web browser?
  • Usability – are you restricted on the location in which you can use it, and with how many devices?
  • Open technology – are you restricted to using the software with the display it came with or are you able to use it across other manufacturers’ products?
  • Intuitiveness – is it easy to understand and use?
  • Google classroom – does it support Google classroom?
  • Hybrid learning is the software suitable for hybrid learning and lesson sharing between teachers and students?
  • Tools are all the tools you need for your lessons included?
  • Content – does it come with pre-installed learning content and does it offer access to online content?
  • AI (artificial intelligence) – is the software suitable for AI-supported teaching to support teachers in designing vivid lessons and learning tasks?

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