The Benefits of Touch-Enabled Technology for Education
Touch displays and mobile devices, the next generation of technology available in the classroom, are driving group learning to a new level of relevance and engagement. Use of this technology has seen a fivefold increase1 among children under age 8, and is becoming the norm for these students of tomorrow. The state-of-the-art touch displays and projectors allow all students – including those with disabilities – to become more engaged with the curriculum being taught. These interactive solutions are another major step in education for intuitive technologies that allow students to experience imagery, touch, and gestures, and engage with the content, the learning, and each other.
Below are some of the key benefits offered by touch-enabled displays:
1. Collaboration is brought to a new level, with the ability to have multiple different students or student/teacher combinations working together in real time on the display.
2. Students with disabilities can enjoy real advantages.
- They are helped to feel more connected.
- Students who are typically reserved tend to become more involved.
- This technology can often help students to tune out distracting stimuli, and focus more on the task at hand.
3. Increased involvement, self-confidence, and expression skills, through opportunities for students to use the most current technology to create dynamic presentations for class, and to participate in truly collaborative learning.
- Kinesthetic learners are students who need to move – who have trouble sitting still at their desks. They appreciate the ability to get up and interact physically with this technology.
- Kinesthetic learners learn by doing. This technology provides real opportunities to be “doing things” at the front-of-the-classroom display, versus just taking in a lecture from their desk.
A view to the future
The rapid acceleration of “intuitive technology” is providing a learning experience in which students interact with devices entirely through natural movements and gestures, according to the authors of the 2014 NMC Horizon report. According to the research of the NMC team, intuitive technology is a long-range trend that will be commonplace in schools within five or more years. The authors state that “motion-based technology through smartphones, tablets, and even game systems allows learners to engage freely.”2 Examples given in the report refer to children using multi-touch walls and interactive displays at museums, and teachers in Virginia using games with motion-based technology to improve the social and verbal communication skills of students with autism spectrum disorders. Interactive flat panel touch displays provide some of the first steps in this new method of engaging students through gestures and touch, helping to seed the intuitive technologies of the future.
Mimio believes touch is one of the key technologies of the future
“We are bringing this student-centric technology to our products wherever we can, because we believe it is key to increasing students’ learning and maximizing their educational experience," Says Stevan Vigneaux, director of product management for Mimio. Mimio recently released a touch version of the MimioProjector™ device, adding to their other touch-enabled product offerings: the MimioDisplay™ touch display and MimioBoard™ touch board.
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