Learning Using Multiple Displays with Connectivity to Remote-Based Students
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Transform Teaching and Learning with Virtual Chalk and Multiple Displays Duncan Peberdy Consultant – Digital Learning Spaces www.learnfromanywhere.co.uk duncan@learnfromanywhere.co.uk 07887 628567 Synopsis Many STEM teachers still prefer the use of chalkboards. As formulae and equations are constructed, the friction of chalk on the surface slows writing and accompanies the verbal explanations as students copy down their own versions. Many attempts have been made to bring such scenarios into the digital age. Some favour the use of visualisers, but even where two are used on a forward-facing lectern and projected on to the wall behind, the writing areas are small and once content is erased it can’t be re-introduced without recreating it. Dry-wipe boards have a tendency to speed up the writing, as do the glass surfaces on many interactive screens. In the Netherlands, where development and research with using multiple digital displays for STEM teaching started in 2012, the student experience and academic outcomes have been positive: Students enjoy the greater information persistence and the ability to review the content after class has ended. Compared to similar ability students not using multiple displays, students achieved higher grades and were less likely to discontinue their studies. Adoption of systems developed in The Netherlands have been held back by the relatively high cost of equipping a room, and the requirement for the room to have a high ceiling so that a large front wall is available for the giant projector image containing a 2 x 2 matrix of images. Otherwise, this development – unlike the use of visualisers and other attempts to use technology - provides the large writing canvas cherished by STEM practices. UK STEM Wall Development In 2014, in conjunction with Jisc and five UK universities [Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham Trent, Teesside and West of Scotland] I set out to develop a Digital Learning Platform to solve the requirement that universities and many more expressed for bringing STEM teaching into the digital age. Although that project ended in 2015 without a go-to-market development, I’ve continued to explore the potential for a compelling solution, which The STEM Wall now provides. Potential Benefits to [Digital] Teaching An unlimited canvas can be created, with any content intuitively viewed on each of the available displays. For example, four screens of hand-written STEM, or a combination of PPT slides, web browsers, photos, handwriting, etc. One screen could host a gallery of remote students connecting via Microsoft Teams, for example. A specific interactive input screen incorporates technology that slows down writing in the same way that chalkboards behave. Forward-facing design maintains eye contact between the tutor and students, providing the opportunity to recognise understanding [or not] from displayed body language. Information can be presented in a linear or random formation. Two screens could be used to present information in English with replication on the other two screens in a different language to better support the learning of international students. Possibilities beyond just STEM. Consider the benefits to Fine Art, Architecture, Greek History or the presentation of complex research of using multiple displays so that different visual content can be compared and contrasted in a single visual panorama. Information on show for longer, and which is digitally captured for review after the session, helps those students with requirements for reasonable adjustments to their learning. Student Learning Using Multiple Displays Does an increased amount of information on display improve or reduce both the experience and academic effectiveness for students? In 2010, Dr. Brett Bligh [Learning Research Systems Developer] and Dr. Katharina Lorenz [Associate Professor of Classical Studies] published an article that discussed innovative postgraduate teaching sessions in Classics using the Multi-Slides presentation system. In the Visual Learning Lab at the University of Nottingham, a Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning funded by HEFCE, six projectors were able to simultaneously display six consecutive slides from a single PowerPoint Presentation. From a technological point of view, the system was able to display the material in a visually commanding manner, and allowed the transition between slides or sets of slides to occur quickly and unobtrusively. Observers noted a “loosened” discussion structure, less granularly bounded than a traditional PowerPoint presentation but still linear. Though the tutor had chosen the evidence arrayed in front of them and sometimes provided exemplar analysis, students were free to comment on any piece of evidence which was currently displayed. Students constructed analytical arguments by referring to evidence, which they could access using simple eye and head movements rather than traversing backwards and forwards through the presentation file, and used gesturing to illustrate to others the ways in which their arguments referred to the imagery within the room. Meanwhile, the tutor changed her teaching habits in easy ways which took advantage of the new medium. The presentation files started to be constructed in advance with the materials arranged in 6-slide chunks and specifically designed to trigger the kinds of discussions seen within the sessions. During the sessions themselves, the tutor began to direct the gaze of the audience around the room by using physical movement as a tool, standing adjacent to materials where appropriate while sometimes retreating to stand behind the students when the situation required them to choose their own visual focus points.” Bligh and Lorenz also noted that “teaching using large information displays has a successful history evidenced by the tradition of multiple [sliding] blackboards within Mathematics.” And in their conclusion added, “as an early example of the impact upon learning and teaching that new multiple display technologies can have, these sessions have provided useful insight. Within human-computer interaction research, it has been recognised for a while that the use of large displays can boost commercial productivity, while the ability to balance multiple pieces of information is recognised as a key element of expertise within many fields.” Whilst Multi-Slides was restricted to just pushing linear PowerPoint slides onto multiple displays, STEM Wall can distribute any real- time or prepared content to any display. When display space is restricted, complex concepts are reduced to simplistic bullet points, and with single digital displays the new content replaces the previous. STEM Wall allows both teaching and the presentation of complex research to benefit from having multiple displays in a single visual panorama where scaffolding of information can take place whilst reference material is still on display so that connections, comparisons, and contrasts can be made, advancing learning and understanding. STEM Wall and Student Participation Whilst STEM Wall was conceived as an in-room solution for evolving STEM teaching practices into the digital age, the digital age, thanks to COVID19, has been moved on exponentially during 2020. Campus-based institutions, with much larger overheads and a student destination for personal and social development in addition to academic rigour, must not compete with online-only providers. Instead, they must deploy digital systems that engage remote-based students in real-time classes which inspire and engage them and provide them with a sense of belonging that being on campus provides. STEM Wall provides full connectivity to both in-class and remote based-students - and therefore perfect too for Hybrid instruction – who can contribute and view material in a two-way flow. YOUR CALL TO ACTION The US manufacturer of STEM Wall is now looking for a partner university in the UK to deploy the first UK system and collaborate on determining the best installation, learning design, pedagogic practices, training, technical support, etc. At full price, STEM Wall is already around a 50% reduction on the multiple display system developed in the Netherlands, and the UK partner institution will benefit from a substantial partner discount. Opportunities: 1. To join a STEM Wall on-line demonstration in early October. Register your interest with Duncan Peberdy directly. duncan@learnfromanywhere.co.uk 2. Enquire about becoming the UK Partner Institution* Register your interest with Duncan Peberdy directly duncan@learnfromanywhere.co.uk 3. Join the Learn From Anywhere mailing list and keep up to date on STEM Wall, the Visual Learning Lab and other exciting digital learning space developments. http://www.learnfromanywhere.co.uk/newsletter.htm *Learn From Anywhere is also looking for a UK Partner institution for the first deployment of the Visual Learning Lab [VLL] with support from Intel and ViewSonic. Register your interest with Duncan Peberdy directly. duncan@learnfromanywhere.co.uk
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Learning Using Multiple Displays with Connectivity to Remote-Based Students
Transform Teaching and Learning with Virtual Chalk and Multiple Displays by Duncan Peberdy Consultant – Digital Learning Spaces www.learnfromanywhere.co.uk duncan@learnfromanywhere.co.uk 07887 628567  Synopsis Many STEM teachers still prefer the use of chalkboards.  As formulae and equations are constructed, the friction of chalk on the surface slows writing and accompanies the verbal explanations as students copy down their own versions.   Many attempts have been made to bring such scenarios into the digital age.  Some favour the use of visualisers, but even where two are used on a forward-facing lectern and projected on to the wall behind, the writing areas are small and once content is erased it can’t be re-introduced without recreating it.  Dry-wipe boards have a tendency to speed up the writing, as do the glass surfaces on many interactive screens. In the Netherlands, where development and research with using multiple digital displays for STEM teaching started in 2012, the student experience and academic outcomes have been positive: •	Students enjoy the greater information persistence and         the ability to review the content after class has ended.   •	Compared to similar ability students not using multiple         displays, students achieved higher grades and were less        likely to discontinue their studies. Adoption of systems developed in The Netherlands have been held back by the relatively high cost of equipping a room, and the requirement for the room to have a high ceiling so that a large front wall is available for the giant projector image containing a 2 x 2 matrix of images.  Otherwise, this development – unlike the use of visualisers and other attempts to use technology - provides the large writing canvas cherished by STEM practices. UK STEM Wall Development In 2014, in conjunction with Jisc and five UK universities [Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham Trent, Teesside and West of Scotland] I set out to develop a Digital Learning Platform to solve the requirement that universities and many more expressed for bringing STEM teaching into the digital age.  Although that project ended in 2015 without a go-to-market development, I’ve continued to explore the potential for a compelling solution, which The STEM Wall now provides.  Potential Benefits to [Digital] Teaching An unlimited canvas can be created, with any content intuitively viewed on each of the available displays.  For example, four screens of hand-written STEM, or a combination of PPT slides, web browsers, photos, handwriting, etc. One screen could host a gallery of remote students connecting via Microsoft Teams, for example. A specific interactive input screen incorporates technology that slows down writing in the same way that chalkboards behave. Forward-facing design maintains eye contact between the tutor and students, providing the opportunity to recognise understanding [or not] from displayed body language.    Information can be presented in a linear or random formation. Two screens could be used to present information in English with replication on the other two screens in a different language to better support the learning of international students. Possibilities beyond just STEM.  Consider the benefits to Fine Art, Architecture, Greek History or the presentation of complex research of using multiple displays so that different visual content can be compared and contrasted in a single visual panorama.  Information on show for longer, and which is digitally captured for review after the session, helps those students with requirements for reasonable adjustments to their learning. Student Learning Using Multiple Displays Does an increased amount of information on display improve or reduce both the experience and academic effectiveness for students? In 2010, Dr. Brett Bligh [Learning Research Systems Developer] and Dr. Katharina Lorenz [Associate Professor of Classical Studies] published an article that discussed innovative postgraduate teaching sessions in Classics using the Multi-Slides presentation system.  In the Visual Learning Lab at the University of Nottingham, a Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning funded by HEFCE, six projectors were able to simultaneously display six consecutive slides from a single PowerPoint Presentation. “From a technological point of view, the system was able to display the material in a visually commanding manner, and allowed the transition between slides or sets of slides to occur quickly and unobtrusively. Observers noted a “loosened” discussion structure, less granularly bounded than a traditional PowerPoint presentation but still linear. Though the tutor had chosen the evidence arrayed in front of them and sometimes provided exemplar analysis, students were free to comment on any piece of evidence which was currently displayed. Students constructed analytical arguments by referring to evidence, which they could access using simple eye and head movements rather than traversing backwards and forwards through the presentation file, and used gesturing to illustrate to others the ways in which their arguments referred to the imagery within the room. Meanwhile, the tutor changed her teaching habits in easy ways which took advantage of the new medium. The presentation files started to be constructed in advance with the materials arranged in 6-slide chunks and specifically designed to trigger the kinds of discussions seen within the sessions. During the sessions themselves, the tutor began to direct the gaze of the audience around the room by using physical movement as a tool, standing adjacent to materials where appropriate while sometimes retreating to stand behind the students when the situation required them to choose their own visual focus points.” Bligh and Lorenz also noted that “teaching using large information displays has a successful history evidenced by the tradition of multiple [sliding] blackboards within Mathematics.” And in their conclusion added, “as an early example of the impact upon learning and teaching that new multiple display technologies can have, these sessions have provided useful insight. Within human-computer interaction research, it has been recognised for a while that the use of large displays can boost commercial productivity, while the ability to balance multiple pieces of information is recognised as a key element of expertise within many fields.” Whilst Multi-Slides was restricted to just pushing linear PowerPoint slides onto multiple displays, STEM Wall can distribute any real-time or prepared content to any display.  When display space is restricted, complex concepts are reduced to simplistic bullet points, and with single digital displays the new content replaces the previous.  STEM Wall allows both teaching and the presentation of complex research to benefit from having multiple displays in a single visual panorama where scaffolding of information can take place whilst reference material is still on display so that connections, comparisons, and contrasts can be made, advancing learning and understanding. STEM Wall and Student Participation Whilst STEM Wall was conceived as an in-room solution for evolving STEM teaching practices into the digital age, the digital age, thanks to COVID19, has been moved on exponentially during 2020.  Campus-based institutions, with much larger overheads and a student destination for personal and social development in addition to academic rigour, must not compete with online-only providers.  Instead, they must deploy digital systems that engage remote-based students in real-time classes which inspire and engage them and provide them with a sense of belonging that being on campus provides. STEM Wall provides full connectivity to both in-class and remote based-students - and therefore perfect too for Hybrid instruction – who can contribute and view material in a two-way flow.  YOUR CALL TO ACTION The US manufacturer of STEM Wall is now looking for a partner university in the UK to deploy the first UK system and collaborate on determining the best installation, learning design, pedagogic practices, training, technical support, etc.    At full price, STEM Wall is already around a 50% reduction on the multiple display system developed in the Netherlands, and the UK partner institution will benefit from a substantial partner discount. Opportunities: 1.	To join a STEM Wall on-line demonstration in early        October.  Register your interest with Duncan Peberdy directly. duncan@learnfromanywhere.co.uk  2.	Enquire about becoming the UK Partner Institution* Register your interest with Duncan Peberdy directly duncan@learnfromanywhere.co.uk 3.	Join the Learn From Anywhere mailing list and keep up        to date on STEM Wall, the Visual Learning Lab and other   	exciting digital learning space developments. http://www.learnfromanywhere.co.uk/newsletter.htm  *Learn From Anywhere is also looking for a UK Partner institution for the first deployment of the Visual Learning Lab [VLL] with support from Intel and ViewSonic. Register your interest with Duncan Peberdy directly. duncan@learnfromanywhere.co.uk NEWSLETTER NEWSLETTER
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