The e in e-learning


Unicol Huddle at Teaching Technology

 

The e in e-learning - Unicol Huddle solutions for school and business collaboration

For over 50 years Unicol has been designing and manufacturing mounting systems for TVs and projectors. The company started by providing schools with slide projector stands and now, with the proliferation of technology, provides the whole AV industry with mounting systems across all markets. It is therefore no wonder that the OECD PISA (Programme on International Student Assessment) report on the use of technology in schools stirs Unicol’s imagination. The report states that “Schools have yet to take advantage of the potential of technology in the classroom to tackle the digital divide and give all students the skills they need in today’s connected world”.



BYOD

BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) has been with us for a number of years and Unicol was quick to provide the mounts for screens and projectors on which the device output was displayed, enabling products such as Barco’s Click Share to rapidly deploy a complete solution onto the market. For schools, BYOD is less about the devices and more about the personalised content that users have loaded onto them. Rarely do two devices share the same content or settings, and BYOD enables students and educators to leverage the tools that make them most efficient and productive. There is a growing host of mobile apps including such educational categories as screen-casting, content-sharing, electronic note-taking, expression, presentations, and more.

Collaborative learning

Collaborative learning, which refers to students and teachers working together in peer-to-peer or group activities, is based on the perspective that learning is a social construct. The approach involves activities that are generally focused around four principles: placing the learner at the centre, emphasizing interaction and doing, working in groups, and developing solutions to real-world problems. To enable group work, Unicol have produced the Rhobus Huddle single or multi-screen unit pictured top left. This has BYOD connectivity, bespoke templates for peripherals and comes in 2 different shapes with a choice of table top finish and branding.

Collaborative learning models are proving successful in improving student engagement and achievement, especially for disadvantaged students. Teachers also benefit through peer groups as they engage in professional development and interdisciplinary teaching opportunities.

An added dimension to this trend is an increasing focus on online global collaboration where contemporary digital tools are used to engage with others around the world to support curricular objectives and inter-cultural understanding. This is made easier by using cloud services and servers. Schools around the globe are engaging in collaborative learning projects that leverage technology to connect teachers and students. Unicol’s Rhobus Huddle can be expanded for video conferencing allowing world wide collaboration.

Even the most fundamental collaborative devices, the humble dry-erase board and flip chart have been replaced by an electronic equivalent in the Smart kapp™ board, which comes in 2 sizes, 42inch or 84inch. This is a digital capture board that enables users to capture, save and share ideas. It offers a 21st century alternative to the conventional dry-erase board allowing users anywhere in the world to actively participate, improving collaboration and productivity.

Article and pictures courtesy of Unicol

Link of trust

 Another link of trust, built up over 50 years, is Unicol’s ability to supply customised mounting solutions to its customers. As technology asks questions of future teaching methods the classroom of the future may not be a classroom at all, just an open space that provides a focal point for students and teachers who are already connected via their phones. This space may be used for discussion, planning or collaboration, while the day to day learning is via laptop or phone. It is probable that these spaces will require more TV displays and video walls / LED panel arrays. Such AV installations need to be flexible so the space can be populated with devices when the need arises and when numbers of students dictate it.

Unicol mount solutions
Unicol range of mounts for education and business  

Repeat Signage digital signage software
Repeat Signage digital signage software for stunning presentations on your display screens and touchscreens

 

University of Essex

University of Essex Head of AV, Tessa Roogowski commented, “The design answers a lot of functional requirements without compromise. The list was a long one:

  • "A portable classroom when building works are running over and the time to install fixed AV is too short
  • Portable video conferencing
  • A flexible learning resource on wheels. Turns an open space into individual group work pods
  • Group learning, students working in groups present to the whole class on every POW (room must be wired for this)
  • High density stacking for storage
  • Aesthetically more pleasing than a standard TV trolley.”

However technology changes the face of education, Unicol say they will continue to adapt their proven capabilities of designing and manufacturing robust, value engineered mounting solutions. By utilising tried and tested manufacturing techniques, combined with highly developed design methods, Unicol continue to build on their long experience in the AV business adding to their exciting product ranges that combine flexibility and durability with style.