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How to Revolutionize a Hybrid Learning Environment

How to Revolutionize a Hybrid Learning Environment


How do you provide an impactful education when your students are scattered throughout various locations? Undeniably, one of the most drastic challenges stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic has been the way students learn. This is especially critical at the university level, where the classroom structure has traditionally been more hands on. As schools closed their doors last year, many students became worried that the quality of education would diminish and that it would be a struggle to stay engaged in class. However, with the right technology anything is possible! 

We recently had the opportunity to work with Denmark Technical College (DTC), located in South Carolina, to provide technology solutions that created the perfect hybrid learning environment. With Sharp’s technological upgrades, the school’s faculty and students were able to continue their work without major disruptions or complications. Consider some of the following tech upgrades as you look to enhance your college’s hybrid classroom experience.

The problem: 
When social distancing guidelines required a maximum of 50 percent occupancy in classrooms, the college’s director of IT services needed to find hybrid classroom solutions without sacrificing the learning experience. He also needed technology that would remain relevant beyond the pandemic, since the classroom model is likely to change permanently.

The solution:
Sharp outfitted thirty DTC classrooms with a full technology makeover in order to transform them into a dream hybrid learning environment right before the fall semester. Talk about perfect timing!

The technology upgrades included an AQUOS BOARD® interactive display equipped with a Shuttle PC at the front of each room and an all-in-one, high-fidelity Yamaha soundbar with video and voice optimization in the back. Once this was set up, the college was able to leverage its existing Microsoft subscription to seamlessly utilize Microsoft Teams for web-based classroom sessions.

The new collaborative and virtual learning experience aided learning inside and outside the classroom. Through an audio-visual combination, remote students can now clearly see professors on screen and hear their voices up to 30 feet away from the board. The Shuttle PCs have also added extra convenience as it transforms the AQUOS BOARD interactive display into a life-sized PC. With this new state-of-the-art set up, professors no longer need to bring laptops to class. Instead, they can simply tap on the AQUOS BOARD display to access class lessons from the school portal and launch a Microsoft Teams right from the display. Other features include  SHARP Pen Software, which allows users to draw on the whiteboard, and the overlay feature, which lets you make annotations on the screen.

The impact:
The college faculty quickly adapted to the new technology and received ongoing training to help them skillfully conduct lessons like never before. The classroom set up was so successful, that the college president had one replicated in the main boardroom for administrative meetings.

This hybrid technology is revolutionizing the way colleges approach education and workforce development. We anticipate that even post pandemic universities will be able to better serve their communities by facilitating the classroom experience for students to engage more with faculty, no matter where they are located.

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