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In the past, as we've written our "Focus on Active Learning" series, we've mainly talked about styles of teaching, but we've never really gone into the nuts and bolts of how to carry them out. Here, we'll take a look at 5 web applications that you can use in an active learning classroom, as well as give you a few tips on how to best use them during a lesson.
Here at wePresent, we've had a lot of reasons to celebrate this year: 8 awards on the American and European trade show circuits, the addition of two new products (the education-focused WiPG-1600, and the multipurpose SharePod), and the upcoming expansion of our European office, to name a few. Now we're adding yet another one: a partnership with Croma Digital to distribute wePresent solutions in Mexico.
Sometimes it isn't enough to have a presentation displayed up on the screen. Your screen might be too small, some in your audience could suffer from poor eyesight, or you might just be in a classroom where you need to engage mobile devices in order to keep the attention of your students. Recognizing all of these, plus the fact that it's just handy for your audience to have the ability to view your slides at their leisure, wePresent features a function we call WebSlides. Simply put, WebSlides is the ability to access and view the presentation from any device's browser at your own pace. It's very easy to use, so let's talk about how it works.
We talk a lot about the wePresent's ability to connect up to 64 users together for collaborative efforts, but what does it actually mean to work with that? Moderator control allows a teacher or meeting leader to choose which devices are displayed - up to 4 at a time - from a handy web control panel, meaning you'll be able to work together with your audience, rather than just talking to them. Learning how to use the moderator control panel is easy, and only takes a few minutes to master. Let's take a look.
Space is big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the road to the chemist, but that's just peanuts to space. -Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
Space is still big news, that much hasn't changed. SpaceX recently experienced a string of high-publicity successes with their Falcon reuseable booster, and NASA has recently begun testing Bigelow Aerospace's BEAM inflatable habitats on the International Space Station. Commander Scott Kelly, along with his identical twin brother, Commander Mark Kelly, have both participated in the first experiment to test the effects of long-term space travel on humans, with Scott staying on board the ISS for a year to discover what kinds of hurdles that humanity must jump over to live among the stars.
Summer has been a busy month for your favorite wireless presentation gateway, but we've managed to make some splashes here and there. We've been up to a lot after InfoComm and ISTE, including a golf tournament in Europe, a partner school being featured at Model Schools out in Orlando, and a couple more Best-Of-Show awards coming out of trade show season.
Whether it's meeting rooms in the business world, or classrooms in the education world, there will come a time when you need a guest to be able to easily present to an audience. Here at wePresent, we pride ourselves on how easy-to-use our product is, but with every new piece of hardware, there's a learning curve. When technology becomes part of your day-to-day life, it's easy to take for granted how it might look to new users, especially those who might only need it temporarily, or for a short time.
However, there are a multitude of ways to makes guest comfortable presenting with the wePresent hardware, be it the feature-rich WiPG-2000, or the education-focused WiPG-1600. Here's a few tips for preparing new or temporary presenters for their time with our hardware.
The ultimate goal in education, pragmatically speaking, is to help kids prepare for the working world. This goal is a little more at the forefront of the educator's mind in higher education than, say, in primary and secondary education, but being that those two stages of education are essentially intended to prepare the student for college, one can extrapolate that they serve essentially the same function. This, more than anything else, is the reason that project-based learning is taking off. The replication of real-world work processes is essential in helping students learn to collaborate and function in the real world.
So how does it work?
Technology in the classroom is growing more and more important, but with that technology has to come a change in the way classes are taught. These days, students have a wealth of information at their fingertips thanks to the internet, and whatever concept they cannot get a basic grasp of from Wikipedia, there are dozens of educational YouTube channels ready to fill them in.
The reality of today's classroom is that, in many ways, it can be far ahead of the modern corporate meeting room. Classroom technology has grown in leaps and bounds in the last decade or so as the concept of active learning spaces has taken hold. As a result, many classrooms already contain pieces of collaboration hardware like SMART boards, touchscreen displays, and similar teaching gear with any level of interactivity, which means that when it comes to a BYOD-capable wireless presentation gateway to take your lesson straight to your student's own devices, sometimes you don't need a full-featured piece of hardware. When your annotation is being done by a SMART board, your video streaming is being done from a laptop, and your WiFi signal is coming from an already-present access point, you need something that does only what wePresent does best: bringing your presentation out of the realm of a simple lecture, and turning it into a collaborative lesson involving everyone in your classroom.