Interactive flat panel displays (IFPDs) have become increasingly common in educational environments, thanks in part to the technology’s flexibility and ongoing evolution. IFPDs let us easily share information with more devices in more ways seemingly every day. As a result, university users are making the most out of their IFPDs, from connecting to smartphones to help turn a lecture into a dialogue to syncing with a learning management system (LMS) to hash out a group project in real time, regardless of participants’ location.

As IFPDs’ feature sets continue to grow, it can be easy to think about what they can do in the abstract (connecting with smartphones or other IFPDs, for instance) instead of how they can actually help in the classroom (making it easier for students to participate and collaborate). Recently, we worked with a customer whose architecture school was still using overhead projectors and wanted to make a change. When working with potential customers, I like to talk about how their school can put the technology to work so people can see how IFPDs are empowering digital classrooms. Here are three key examples:

1. Everybody in. Multiple students can use the whiteboard at once, using built-in text and shapes to call out specific areas and a pen to add or highlight key details of their architectural drawings with more precision than a fingertip or felt-tip pen. This allows collaborative teams and/or instructors to enter a dialog, making changes and responding to one another in real time.

Previously, classes gathered around desks and used tracing paper placed over architectural drawings to mark up their changes. From there, the professor would walk to each desk to critique the markups. Now, they make changes and comment on and learn from them in real time.

About the Author:

Elisa Esposito is senior manager, channel marketing, higher education, K12, and SLG for Ricoh USA, Inc., responsible for vertical marketing strategy, development, and success to ensure strategic alignment for customer environments. Esposito has worked with Ricoh’s strategic partner, Blackboard, to create the industry’s first scanning and printing connector that unites information from a Ricoh multifunction device to integrate within Blackboard Learn, and also supported the partnership agreement between Ricoh and CANVAS.

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