Taking care of yourself as a teacher is vital. So, although you’re usually the one who does all the teaching and training, here’s a quick lesson that may enrich you the way you usually enrich others: Imagine a not too distant future that allows you to finish your class and then simply take your equipment home with you - if you’re not already at home.
Quick lesson for the teacher
Your audience’s ability to learn during your lessons is directly linked to the length of their attention spans. There is only so much attention they can afford to pay you before their brains go “broke”, so to speak. Roughly, only eight seconds, according to experts.
Furthermore, if they’re not able to pay attention, all your efforts, however brilliant, will be fruitless.
It also doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with their age, but how much time they spend online, and if it's a lot of time, they’re likely to have a much shorter attention span than what you may have given them credit for.
Goodbye classroom of the past
Remember the goldfish with a ridiculously short attention span analogy? Well, if your audience is tech-savvy they may have even less attention to pay, according to a study conducted by Microsoft Corporation as referenced in an article for Time Magazine. Being tech-wise means your not as easily entertained and have even less attention to pay.
These days most would struggle to concentrate in an ‘old school’ classroom environment. Come to think of it, was it ever an easy thing to do? Hard wooden desks carved with crude graffiti and peppered with used pieces of petrified chewing gum going back generations. Screeching chalkboards and dishevelled textbooks of questionable hygiene standards. Talk about being driven to distraction.
Adults didn’t fare much better during training in the past. Sterile, over-airconditioned boardrooms, cheap coffee and stale biscuits in sessions that could only begin once everyone stuck in traffic eventually got there.
Our attention spans are waning, explains Microsoft, because “heavy multi-screeners find it difficult to filter out irrelevant stimuli — they’re more easily distracted by multiple streams of media.” What’s the solution?
What would the future look like? Well, imagine being able to teach anyone, anywhere at any time online using a Mobile Interactive System. A system that can fully adapt to the requirements of the educator and the needs of the class.
Imagine being able to transform any flat surface anywhere into a dynamic colour electronic Whiteboard. An attention-grabbing interactive multimedia tool that displays presentations effortlessly using a handy stylus E-pen.
When a pandemic brings perspective
The COVID-19 pandemic is a catastrophic event that brought with it innumerable challenges and hardships, many of which proved to be insurmountable. However, it was also a time that bore witness to many triumphs of the human spirit, breathtaking acts of kindness and revealed our ingenious and adaptable nature.
Among the health workers and other essential service providers who gave selflessly of themselves, teachers, trainers and facilitators deserve props for rapidly moving everything online so that others could continue to learn during this adversity.
Why should they return to those old and uncomfortable classrooms when they can continue to reap the benefits of remote teaching.
A preference, not a necessity
Working remotely and making better use of technology may initially have been forced on most educators and trainers due to circumstance but an increasing number have since come to prefer this way of teaching. It was an easier transition than they thought it would be.
Describing the benefits of teaching writing and rhetoric online, Professor Steven D. Krause writes: “One of the affordances I value most in my online classes is the necessity for everyone to participate in order to demonstrate their presence. In my face-to-face classes, a student can sit quietly and appear to be engaged in the discussion without ever offering a thought or opinion. Online, I consider a student who sits quietly but who does not participate in the discussion board for the assigned reading or activity to be simply not present.”
Professor Krause can keep a much closer eye on how much attention he is being paid in his classes as a result.
Other conveniences associated with online teaching include being able to teach anyone with internet access, anywhere and from the comfort of your own home. No commute involving traffic to and from anywhere and access to everything you may have at your home, which is where most of us keep much of what we have.
A better class while cutting costs
As an independent trainer or teacher, establishing a decent online course or syllabus will allow you to be more mobile and flexible especially if you use equipment that is as portable as it is effective and easy to use. It will allow you to adapt as and when you need to, which is often in this new world.
It can be as simple and cost-effective as setting up an adjustable Universal Bracket on which to perch your Tablet that allows multiple display angles and rotates 360°.
An inexpensive way to use media in a way that might even hold the attention span of a squirrel on espresso.
Using multi-faceted and immediately shareable media to engage minds that have already been altered by media.
Naturally, you could also make your teaching equipment as high-tech and state of the art as you choose, without having to necessarily spend a fortune in the long-term. To find and then rent or acquire a teaching space to accommodate a number of students would cost more over time.
The future is now
Online and remote teaching and training is nothing new. It’s been around for decades but is only now coming into the mainstream in a similar way to how social media and smartphones are woven into our social fabric.
If you can Wirelessly Monitor, Present and Share your lessons on interactive, dynamic, mobile and multimedia technology, why would you choose to do it any other way?
Especially when one Interactive Touch LED Panel could provide all of that.
So, how does one keep these short-lived attention spans engaged for long enough to learn? Unsurprisingly, it will take technology to regain and then keep our interest in the classes of the future.