Market expectations for interactive educational institutions in the coming years are good screens. But to reap the full benefits of these, training of teachers is essential.
Richard St. S.
The economic turbulence that lived around the world during the 2011 made both private enterprise and government entities freeze or reduce technology investments. This scenario also affected the interactive whiteboards for education.
This year, things promise to be much better in this sector, because the interest of educational institutions was reactivated to acquire the latest technology to enhance the learning process of students.
For Gregory Vincent, director of international sales for Qomo HiteVision, the expectation for 2012 is that interactive whiteboards will continue to be installed in educational institutions. The new advances in technology are beginning to reduce their costs, which will result in a further strengthening of the market.
"There is a desire to purchase these types of products because they are believed to be effective tools to teach children. Includes interactive projectors and touch monitors will also be sold as an alternative to an interactive whiteboard "he said.
Luis Fernando Hinojosa, general director of Planadores Visión México, also foresees a positive year in this sector. "The segment continues to grow and I see that this year it will grow more. Every day, throughout Latin America and the world, classrooms have more technology, of course many other things are needed but interactive whiteboards are transforming the lives of teachers and students. "
Trends in interactive whiteboards incorporate the Multi-Touch system with Windows 7, which Supports efforts hand and removes the need to install a special driver, because the whiteboards are now plug-n-play. They are also bringing Internet resources directly to the classroom for use on blackboards.
According to Gregory Vincent. "Multi-user interactive whiteboards allow more people to work on them and encourage collaboration among students. It is also more common to use ultra-short throw projectors that eliminate the shadow and improve the view of the audience. The new developments are more focused on providing software and educational content. "
The latest trends are based on how they work with classmates and the teacher can be interacting with young people who head from a wireless tablet. The rest of the class can also participate with different devices that assist in the classroom everyone to get involved.
Luis Fernando Hinojosa said the new boards allow integrated interactive response systems, classroom management software, even the same smartphones that students have can be used in class.
He added that "another example is the interactive projectors, which work like a cannon that projects the image onto a wall and students use their fingers, without any spatial tool to manipulate the image output projected. Of course not still have all the benefits of interactive whiteboards software, which are the essence of these tools. "
Improving classroom experience
Experts agree that one of the main benefits of the boards is that they generate a direct impact on students in their classrooms.
"Students are more attentive, more reminiscent because visual presentation helps our memories and want to be in the classroom because it's more fun to learn. Teachers have the ability to prepare digital material, they can use their time more effectively in the classroom and will see the participation increase, "said Gregory Vincent.
Furthermore, blackboards can help improve visual and auditory what is exposed in an instant communication, leaving digital evidence at the classroom, so the value of the shared information increases;
Luis Fernando Hinojosa pointed out that they have an idea that the use of interactive smartboards is complicated to use, but in reality they are very simple, both for the teacher and the student.
"Do not forget the school administrators are also benefiting with interactive whiteboards, because they can plan, manage and see how they are used in each class," he added.
Training, the challenge
To make the experience with interactive whiteboards in educational institutions to be successful, there must be adequate training of teachers in use. This is one of the main challenges to develop the system.
"Annotation software shales is generally very sophisticated and there are many features that the teacher needs to get used to use it to its fullest capabilities. A teacher could easily handle it but need more training and another time with the use of the blackboard, "says the director of international sales QOMO HiteVision.
He adds that this learning curve frightens many teachers because they would be ashamed in front the class. "Therefore, training and daily use of the interactive whiteboard is important to have good success with this technology in the classroom."
In the same vein he said the CEO of Gliders Vision, "over the years I've noticed that if a user does not know the technology, and this is not intuitive, simply does not use it for fear of being wrong or look bad in students, of course, this is not unique interactive whiteboards. "
Faced with the technical conditions required by the slates to be installed, they do not present major difficulties. The orientation of the existing classroom must be taken into account because there are traditional slates installed and the new interactive whiteboards that need to be installed directly on top of the old ones.
Another aspect is the location of the teacher's desk so that it is not affected with cables and should be located near an important point is that projectors need to be mounted correctly to fill the projection area.
They are consolidated in Latin America
The implementation of interactive whiteboards in Latin America is on track, although in general, projects are more dependent on the decision of each educational institution of government policy making ICTs for the benefit of education.
"Today Latin America is implementing developments more or less school by school, which requires the deep relationship between this and inclusive. The countries of Mexico, Brazil and Colombia are having good success with the implementation of interactive whiteboards, "said Gregory Vincent.
Luis Fernando Hinojosa highlighted the case of Mexico, which has incorporated technologies for over 15 years supported by the government through various megaprojects technology implementation.