JASPER, Ind. – (May 17, 2021) – To combat the steep drop in college enrollment in the 2020-2021 school year, many colleges are planning to continue using the remote-learning technology tools they employed during the pandemic as well as invest in new technology with the billions of dollars in federal funds available through the CARES Act and Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds (HEERF).
Matrix Integration, a strategic IT infrastructure partner for more than 1,000 businesses and schools in Indiana, Kentucky and beyond, has been helping K-12 and higher education institutions re-purpose and enhance their technology investment to create a “Classroom of the Future” – a learning environment that applies technology solutions to enhance communication, collaboration and ultimately result in deeper learning.
“Colleges and universities had to adapt during the pandemic, and now it’s a matter of innovating with those tools to stand out in an increasingly competitive environment,” said Reggie Gresham, vice president of sales for Matrix Integration. “Learning and the classroom environment continues to change, but it’s possible to set up classrooms now that will work for both in-person and hybrid situations with components that engage students and increase comprehension.”
Here are three specific classroom technology projects Matrix Integration recommends for higher education institutions that are ready to build their own “Classroom of the Future.
- WebEx with TelePresence endpoints. While Zoom classes were common during the pandemic, a setup with Webex and TelePresense endpoints maximizes learning for hybrid situations. The configuration allows the instructor to teach students onsite as they would naturally, without sitting in front of a computer screen or camera. Classroom-mounted cameras follow the teacher and can easily toggle between class materials and live learning.
- Closed captioning. The same setup offers students real-time closed captioning in the language of their choice. For students with hearing impairments, students who need to learn the material in a quiet environment, or those for whom English is a second language, live captioning can greatly improve comprehension and engagement.
- Integration with LMS. Many e-learning solutions in the past year weren’t integrated with university-based learning management systems (LMSs) like Blackboard, Canvas and Talent. Integrating these technologies with solutions like Cisco WebEx and Microsoft Teams helps student and teachers enhance the learning experience and improve collaboration.
These projects help improve collaboration and can support everything from daily hybrid learning solutions to showcasing a live specialist or taking virtual field trips. Ultimately, the goal is to build a seamless, fully collaborative learning solution that works both in the short-term as well as the long-term, and that encourages as much interaction between instructors and students as possible.
Getting Up and Running on Short Notice
All of these solutions can be up and running within weeks, and provide flexibility to re-configure and add to as needs change. Institutions that have implemented elements of the “Classroom of the Future” have experienced advantages such as:
- Instructor time savings based on the ability to digitally collaborate on and share lesson plans
- Administrative time savings that accounts for students to learn remotely when needed
- A wider range of learning opportunities – for example, bringing in experts from another country to teach a class.
For more information on how Matrix Integration works with higher education institutions to develop customized e-learning solutions, please contact Reggie Gresham, firstname.lastname@example.org, 502-242-5309.
# # #
About Matrix Integration
Matrix Integration is a strategic IT solutions and managed services provider that has been in business for more than 40 years. With clients regionally and offices in Indiana and Kentucky, Matrix Integration works closely with businesses and institutions to provide personalized consulting and managed services along with networking, data center, security, collaboration, telephony, and computing solutions. Strategic partners include Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Aruba, Cisco Systems, Meraki, VMware, Microsoft, and Veeam. Matrix Integration is a Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB) and Women Business Enterprise (WBE), that has consistently been recognized on industry lists including CRN Solution Provider 500, CRN Managed Service Provider (MSP) 500, CRN Women of the Channel, and CRN Tech Elite 250.
1 Higher education Trends to Watch in 2021, Higher Ed Dive, Jan. 3, 2021, https://www.highereddive.com/news/5-higher-education-trends-to-watch-in-2021/592691/
2 U.S. Department of Education, Cares Act: https://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ope/caresact.html, HEERF: https://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ope/crrsaa.html