Innovative new technology promises to elevate students’ engagement and wellness in the classroom
Remote learning and the introduction of new EdTech solutions have accelerated digital transformation in education, which has led to all new ways of teaching and learning. In this article, Peter Claxton, Senior Director of EdTech Solutions at ViewSonic, discusses how AI solutions can further benefit students’ engagement and wellness in school, and he also looks at a real-life case study to see this technology in action.
myViewBoard Sens – A New AI-powered Analysis Tool for the Classroom
“At ViewSonic we are looking at AI and the opportunities it provides as an EdTech solution-based provider,” says Peter Claxton. “With myViewBoard Sens and AI in general we can help teachers understand a more about what is going on in the classroom. It provides the opportunity to provide feedback to the teacher to improve their teaching and student’s learning outcomes. It also provides information about levels of wellness and engagement in the classroom.”
The myViewBoard Sens sits on a ViewBoard or interactive panel and is both easy to connect and user-friendly. myViewBoard Sens monitors various factors, from the room’s temperature, lighting temperature, and ambient lighting, to analyzing students’ attentiveness. Combined, these insights indicate the factors that affect students’ focus. The point of detecting levels of engagement at the group level is to help teachers foster a more active learning environment.
For example, myViewBoard Sens analyses body language, such as physical posture, to detect levels of engagement. This is done using what ViewSonic calls articulated human pose estimation. Additionally, myViewBoard Sens can be taught to understand the differences between attentive bodies, and those that are not. For instance, if two students lean closer together, the device shows this as better engagement or involvement in the class; if a student put his or her head down, it analyses this as lower engagement.
“In terms of wellness, myViewBoard Sens’ embedded sensor detects and evaluates airborne transmission risks according to four indicators – temperature, humidity, occupancy rate, and the level of close contact between students,” Claxton says. “If the wellness compliance rating decreases, it means that the room’s wellness level is at risk and the myViewBoard Sens will show actionable insights on the dashboard in real-time for the school and teachers to make changes.”
Teachers can then view this data in real time on ViewBoards or other monitors. Or educators can go back and look at an overview of previous lessons after class to see which activities and lesson plans worked better than others.
The data that myViewBoard Sens collects is stored in the device, it is not sent to the cloud, and no individual profiles of students or their Data is made. What’s more, it is not a camera, and it does not record students or teachers in the classroom, thus safeguarding their privacy and identities. It is also GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) compliant. The data myViewBoard Sens collects instead is meant solely for teachers and schools to use so that they can adjust class content and setup to maximise learning.
How AI Can Benefit Both Students and Teachers
“It must be said that AI is not designed to take over teachers, teachers do a fantastic job and we have seen this during the pandemic,” Claxton says. “What it does do is enhance what teachers are already doing. It makes brilliant teachers even more brilliant. It is also a very useful tool for new teachers in their initial teacher training.”
Smestow Academy in Wolverhampton recently began a trial rollout of myViewBoard Sens in their classrooms in conjunction with myViewBoard as they had previously installed ViewBoards in their school.
“Teachers there could sit down with their students and ask for feedback from the students at times where myViewBoard Sens detected lower levels of engagement,” Claxton says.
“As part of our trial at Smestow Academy, another one of the factors we are looking at is coaching new teachers,” Claxton says. “When new teachers perhaps haven’t yet developed the skills and experience to understand if students are attentive or not, myViewBoard Sens can provide useful information to schools to use to coach and mentor new teachers. Soon we will be rolling out myViewBoard Sens to more schools across the UK and once this has taken place, we will have further examples and information to share.”
Expectations for a Better Educational Future Thanks to EdTech
Education continues to evolve and face new challenges, but with the right approach and EdTech tools it can improve and provide a better experience for all. To this end, ViewSonic is working on research research across the UK with Professor Stephen Heppell about learning and the learning environment.
“ViewSonic will implement the results of this work by listening to our customers and use myViewBoard Sens to work with schools and teachers to improve educational outcomes and attainment,” Claxton says. “Students get one chance at education and ViewSonic wants to make sure that the classroom environment is the best that it can be. There is a lot of evidence out there that suggests making seemingly small marginal changes, like adjusting the lighting in the classroom or improving humidity in the room, can make a real change to learning outcomes.”
Learn more about ViewSonic’s EdTech solutions, please click https://www.viewsonic.com/uk/education/