Five Pieces of Technology every Successful Hybrid Classroom Needs

hybrid classroom

Education is a common practice, right? Well, 2020 was almost anything other than a common year. Most schools around the country moved to a virtual format while some stayed in-person, and some went to a hybrid solution. 

At the start of the 2021 school year, all of us knew we needed to do everything we could to keep our kids safe and in school. Policies differ from state to state and school district to school district. What do we do when kids need to stay home due to exposure? What do we do when we need to limit the number of kids in the classroom. 

Enter the hybrid classroom. The solution is the best of both worlds. It lets our kids go to school while providing a measure of safety. The hybrid classroom helps to ensure the continuation of education for our kids and students even when there is exposure. 

What is a hybrid classroom?

In simplest forms, a hybrid classroom is a classroom where some students may join live in-person while others join remotely using technology. Hybrid classrooms are managed in various ways, such as:

  • Parents choose if they would like their kids to join in person or virtually. 
  • Students with the last name beginning with the letter A-M are in class Monday and Wednesday and virtually the other days of the week. Students with the last name beginning with the letter N-Z are in class Tuesday and Thursday and virtually all other days of the week. 

We all experienced the global pandemic over 2020 that is continuing today. A hybrid classroom allows fewer students to be physically in a classroom, bringing greater in-person safety by reducing risk. Hybrid classrooms are great for students that may need to isolate themselves to prepare for a gathering or travel, students that may have been exposed to the virus, or those that are waiting for test results. 

Let’s take a look at some essential technology for hybrid classrooms.

Interactive Whiteboards/Smartboards

An interactive whiteboard is a large display that you may interact with, responding to real-time actions on its surface. They play the role of a traditional whiteboard, such as note-taking, doing math on them, and more, while also acting as a display the students may interact with. Having interactive whiteboards at both the front of the room and in the back is a great way to ensure the teachers can see and interact with all of the students both in the classroom and virtually. When students joining the class virtually have a touch-enabled laptop or a tablet, they may also write and share on the board. 

Visualizers

An important aspect for hybrid learning to be successful is that teachers must be free to teach the way they normally would while letting the students feel as though they are in the classroom even when they aren’t. Visualizers, known as document cameras, allow teachers to show intricate details on documents and objects by projecting them in HD quality straight to the interactive whiteboard and on the kid’s devices. 

Auto Tracking Cameras

We mentioned above that one of the important aspects for hybrid learning to be a success is for teachers to teach as they normally would and for students to feel like they’re in the classroom even when they aren’t. 

Auto tracking cameras help a student feel immersed and engaged with the classroom by letting them watch the teacher as they normally would inside the classroom. Teachers move around a lot as they teach and present (these are great for business presentations as well!). With stationary cameras, as teachers move around they often end up new the edge of the display or even off of the display. 

Charging carts and cabinets

In hybrid classrooms, all students have access to technology, not just the ones joining in remotely. Hybrid classrooms need an organized and efficient way to manage and charge the devices of those students in the classroom. You will want to make sure that whatever solution you go with has a safe and secure means to lock and keep the devices protected. Also, make sure it has organized cable management so it is easy to use. Look into smart charging solutions so that it charges the lowest battery level devices first and shuts power off once the device is fully charged to ensure no additional damage occurs. 

Microphone

A high-quality microphone will enable you to pick up everything the teachers are saying and pick up the students when they ask questions or make statements. Without quality microphones, the teacher may sound muffled, or there may be a lot of interference.

Overview

We covered some of the must-have technology for a successful hybrid classroom. What technology would you add to the list? Do you have experience with hybrid classrooms, either from the teacher or student perspective? Share your experience with us in the comments. 

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