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The Anatomy of a Great Active Learning Classroom

Clear audio, plug-and-play connectivity, sharp video and simplified control are all important elements of any classroom.  But what makes a great active learning classroom (ALC)? There are a lot of considerations in creating an ALC. Read on for a comprehensive list for designing and building a great ALC.

  1. Technology Friendly Furniture

Small tables encourage group discussion and collaboration. The ideal table has inputs in the top with the technology and cable pathways secured and hidden underneath. Some tables have “brains” with switching built in while others are nodes connected to a larger switching system.

Some examples:

 Spectrum InVision Active Learning Pod System Table  HuddleVu
Spectrum InVision Active Learning Pod System Table

The furniture is ready for electronics, the technology is not built-in so you can match to your campus standards.

FSR Huddle Vu Table System

This table is a turnkey solution that arrives with the equipment built into the table.

  1. Display & Projection For Small Group & Whole Classroom Viewing

Think of each table as a separate meeting space with independent sharing and simple plug-and-play control. If displays are attached to the table it simplifies the wire path. Alternately, if displays are on rolling carts, you can zone them so that multiple tables can work as a group on one display. Then for whole class discussions, the individual groups can share content to all displays or a larger projection system.

  1. Share Content Easily

For students to collaborate easily, they need to connect their personal device to share content to the display and be able to switch between users. Some systems are programmed for the display to turn on automatically when a computer is plugged in. Others, have “show me” buttons for students to push to share their content to the display. The key to success is making the interface plug-and-play simple.

Check our round-up of wireless presentation systems to learn more about sharing options.

  1. Amplify Student Voices

Voice amplification is essential for students to be heard during whole class discussions. Proper audio design and programming ensures smooth operation and eliminates audio feedback. Programming best practices include;

  • Placing student microphones in a muted state until unmuted by an instructor or a push-to-talk button is pressed.
  • Creating audio zones so they don’t talk back to their own side of the room.
  1. Intuitive and Simplified Control

When control of the technology is intuitive and easy, instructors can focus more on teaching and less on operating technology. This is accomplished by understanding how the room will be used and creating presets for each scenario. AV control presets may include:

  • Break out button – all displays operate independently
  • Mute all student microphones
  • Show all – instructor can select one student and share their content to all displays

When the time comes to plan for your next ALC, give us a call. We would appreciate the opportunity to help you build an engaging classroom!

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