New concepts of education such as the "Flipped Class Room" or inverted classroom and collaboration, associated with the habits and desires of users of different generations bring great challenges to professionals in the audiovisual industry.
Carlos Dalmarco *
The user experience is a chapter of the book Marketing 4,0 written by the respected author Philip Kotler in 2017 and also the main concept in the name change from InfoComm to Avixa- Audiovisual and Integrated Experience Association, so it is an important topic also for the audiovisual industry.
Before addressing the user experience in the educational environment, we must understand the role of AV technology in this market and in many others in which we operate, which is the facilitator of communication. The technology we offer, as sophisticated as it is, always has this objective: to provide resources to help in communication between people in their various activities, from leisure to work, and through education.
Another important definition is to identify users and, from there, understand their expectations in the use of technology. Returning to the educational market and the classroom, we have two important users: students and teachers. We must also consider the other "stakeholders", such as the people responsible for supporting AV systems and also the shareholders who are investing in these resources. Everyone has expectations regarding AV systems, and they are not always the same.
For the marketing concepts, we can classify the users in 3 large groups, according to the year of birth. This classification is not precise since the consumption behavior of these groups changes during a few years between the reference dates.
• Generation X, born from 1960 until the end of the 70 decade, currently with ages between 38 and 59 years. They are the "digital migrants".
• Generation Y or Millennials, born from 1980 to mid 90, so today they go with ages between 23 and 39 years. It is the Internet generation.
• Generation Z, or GenZ, born from half of the 90 to 2010. They are the "Digital Natives" and now they are between 8 and 24 years
Studies of the groups Future Foundation Millennials Study, SDL Millennials Study, Mellennial and of MindMiners show some interesting characteristics of these groups: 90% of the Millennials are in the social networks and verify their smartphones in average 43 times a day. Millennials believe that having a smartphone is as important as having a health plan.
Another interesting topic is that Millennials have a different concept of the word "know" and understand that it means the same thing as having access to information, they learn from their fingers. This concept is very important when we think of BYOD and AV technology in the classroom.
New concepts of education such as the "Flipped Class Room" or inverted classroom and collaboration, associated with the habits and desires of users of different generations bring great challenges to professionals in the audiovisual industry. Let's see the scenario: students in a room working in groups, each with their BYOD device, each group with its screen, possibly connected with someone or another remote group. All this coordinated by a teacher who should see the content of all the groups and manage the exchange of information (images and audio) and the collaboration between the different groups, including those who are connected remotely. Did you see the problem? If it were generation Y or Z I would close this paragraph with an emoji 😱.
Another scenario: smartphones connected to the internet have transformed content consumers into content producers and this must also be on the radar of educational institutions. Students, teachers, schools and third parties produce multimedia materials that must be managed and shared, often live. This is a new challenge and also an opportunity for AV professionals.
Keep in mind that students, predominantly generations Y and Z, live with these multimedia resources in their daily lives and hope that all this simply works, always and without problems.
The teachers, in turn, are focused on the teaching and content that they must transmit to their students. They consider technology as a resource of support and not as an extra challenge for their activities, they need it easy to use and reliable.
People on the support team should make sure everything works, providing the maximum possible availability of AV systems, with rates above 90% by IT standards. What is the impact when a class of 50 minutes is interrupted for half an hour for the projector to work? Think about it...
We can not forget the shareholders, who invest in technology to attract and maintain their target audience: the student. Generating a good experience in the classroom and on campus is the expected result to ensure the profitability of your investment.
The good news is that today we have the resources to meet the expectations of users in the education sector and many other sectors of the economy. The distribution of audio and video over IP definitely puts all resources on the network, local and internet, allowing to elevate the concept of content distribution to a new level.
Storage and communication and collaboration software in the cloud allow institutions to incorporate these resources with an investment substantially lower than that required a short time ago.
In terms of hardware, we have increasingly "connected" and "friendly" products, which allows intuitive, reliable and easy to use systems. The possibility of remote support reduces costs and increases the availability of systems.
Providing a good experience to users in a classroom is a very important challenge. Basically, we are using the same method of transmitting knowledge for hundreds of years: chalkboard and chalk. However, the internet has changed our relationship with knowledge, smartphones have begun to "be part" of our body and allow us a direct connection with an unimaginable amount of information.
The new generations have been born connected and require a teaching experience aligned with their reality and expectations. Attention: this is not optional for educational institutions.
* Carlos Dalmarco is a consultant in AVI & Business technology. You can contact him at email@example.com and + 55 (11) 9 7286-8442.