Back to School During a Pandemic

2020 has been an interesting ride, and with schools around the country looking for ways to reopen, I think things are about to get even busier for all of us in the AV world. For months now we have seen an increase in the need for laptops and webcams for online learning, but with so many schools adopting a hybrid learning format for their students, we are faced with examining what the new classroom looks like.

Recently, I received an email from my son's high school. The school has new classroom floor plans mapped out, along with new lunch schedules, hall schedules, arrival schedules, and dismissal schedules. Students must maintain a 6' distance from each other in the halls, classrooms, and cafeteria. Students must be online for lectures at specified times each day, and some extracurricular activities are moving to 100% online instruction. These are just a few of the things that are being done, but the questions I keep hearing from leaders in my community are how do we make this as easy as possible for the students and the staff, how can we make these classes both in person and online more consistent, how do we keep the kids safe, and how long will this model last?

Let's tackle the first two questions. How do we make this as easy as possible for students and teachers, and how to we provide consistency in both the classroom and online? The way I see it, video conference technology is going to be a necessity and quality technology is a must. There are so many options for schools to consider, and the OneScreen Touchscreen for Education offers collaboration, sharing, compatibility, and support unlike any others on the market. With the Touchscreen for Education, teachers are able to personalize learning and promote student engagement. The OneScreen Touchscreen for Education bundle includes:

  • OneScreen Hype: Browser based video conferencing and collaboration, 50 licenses.

  • OneScreen Swap: Screen share and control with multiple participants, 50 licenses.

  • OneScreen Annotate: Up to 10 users work together in a shared whiteboard space. Easily exchange and annotate content in real-time.

  • OneScreen Attendance: Efficient and secure student attendance management.

  • ZUNI Learning: All of the best, free, online lessons & resources in one place integrated with Google Class.

  • OneScreen EShare: Share, mirror and cast devices/screens or applications wirelessly.

  • OneScreen Central: Centralized screen control, emergency notification, firmware upgrades & more.

  • OneScreen Navigate: Centralized & customizable product navigation from a home screen.

  • Unlimited multi-party calls with up to 50 participants.

  • Up to 49 ad-hoc participants using Google Chrome, SIP or H.323 platforms.

  • Universal meeting scheduler for WebEx, Adobe Connect and Audio Conference.

  • Multi-camera support for capturing different angles in large meetings and conferences.

  • Save and record your work on cloud or local servers.

  • Share, mirror and cast devices/screens or applications wirelessly.

  • Secure instant messaging and exchange of files.

  • Convert voice to text with real time transcription.

  • Full access to Android apps and Google Play Store with multi-user login support.

  • Write on any content, save, transfer via QR code or email.

When we try to think of ways to ensure student and teacher safety as they return to campus, there are more technology options than ever before. Body temperature and facial recognition scanners are everywhere, and they are all excellent options with features that can be beneficial in allowing people to go safely back into public spaces. One option that truly stands out is the OneScreen GoSafe. The OneScreen GoSafe is a Qualcomm-based device, allowing temperature scanning, mask presence, and facial recognition. The GoSafe securely scans in less than one second with on-board AI, provides access control integration for automatic doors, centralized management for multiple scanners, data and attendance, is the only scanner with live video assistance for real time entry approval, and has free, unlimited help and training. This device is safe, secure, and easy to use while allowing for quick and efficient temperature scanning.

Now, the biggest question, how long will this new classroom structure last? At this point, I am not so sure this won't be the "new normal." I believe that many parents, administrators, teachers, and students will find that the new classroom environment allows for students and teachers to customize their experiences to better fit their needs. This may allow teachers to become even more effective than before. The thing I know for sure is that this is without a doubt an interesting time for schools, but it is truly a time for technology to become a bigger part of the student experience. Those of us in the professional AV business are going to play a huge roll in that.

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