Level up the remote learning experience with Surface devices

For universities, 2020 has been a year of sudden change, as lecturers and their students were forced to adapt to a new environment of remote learning. Whatever the future holds, it seems likely that remote learning will have a big part to play in education. The challenge now for lecturers and their IT departments is to find a way of making a hybrid situation, where some students attend lessons in person and others join remotely, work as well as possible. 

The future of learning

Even when we’re not in lockdown, there are plenty of benefits to adopting a more flexible approach to higher learning.

  • Work life balance

For lecturers, spending less time on campus is potentially attractive, allowing them to save time and money on commuting and achieve a better work life balance. For students, it also offers a degree of flexibility, meaning they don’t have to move away from their hometown to attend university.

  • A wider pool of talent

It’s not just lecturers and students that stand to benefit; universities can gain much from a hybrid approach to learning. It allows them to attract staff and students from a bigger pool of talent.

  • A competitive edge

Those institutions that adapt to the new normal with open arms will gain an edge in what is already a very competitive market.

The right devices for a hybrid future

Creating a hybrid approach to remote learning comes with a unique set of challenges. In a 100% remote learning situation, everybody in the lesson is unified by the same technology, often Microsoft Teams or a similar videoconferencing platform. But bridging the divide between hybrid and remote students is a different situation.

The challenge is to get the hardware in classrooms and lecture theatres to interact seamlessly with your videoconferencing software. Most importantly, this needs to be done in a way that blurs the boundary between remote and in-person learners, bringing people together and creating an immersive learning experience.

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Bringing people together with Surface

Easier said than done, you might think. But with the right technology, that doesn’t necessarily need to be the case. The solution lies in procuring the right hardware, with devices like the Microsoft Surface family playing a vital role.

Microsoft Surface devices were designed to work natively and seamlessly with the wider Microsoft ecosystem – including Outlook, the Office Suite and, crucially, Microsoft Teams. If your university has turned to Microsoft Teams to support remote learning, this is a key differentiator. With Surface devices available around the university, your lecturers will have access to several key benefits:

  • Easily share files on screen during lessons

Microsoft Surface devices connect seamlessly with files stored in OneDrive, allowing teaching staff to efficiently bring documents on screen and enhance the teaching experience.

  • Annotate as you go with Surface Pen

All Microsoft Surface allow users to quickly add notes and annotate on touch screens using the Surface Pen. Crucially, Microsoft Teams integration allows these notes to be translated onto the shared presentation screen for remote learners to follow.

  •  Record and transcribe lessons

Surface devices come with superior sound quality, which means everybody can be picked up on lesson recordings, no matter whether they’re sitting next to the device or at the back of the lecture theatre. Native integration with Teams and OneDrive also allows lecturers to easily save and share these recordings among their students.

  • Connect to smart screens and other surface devices

All Microsoft Surface devices come with Miracast, enabling efficient connection with other Windows 10 devices. That means lecturers can project their screen to other participants, both remote and in-person, at the click of a button.

With these benefits, lecturers and teachers can call an end to the days of fiddling with wires, cables and sound settings. Instead, they can simply plug in and switch on a hybrid learning environment that provides an efficient learning system for all students, no matter where they sit.

An immersive learning hub

The Microsoft Surface Hub S2 is designed to bring people together, creating an immersive learning experience around a shared, interactive screen that can be seamlessly duplicated across virtual and on-campus learning environments.

These features work together with superior sound settings and a 4K camera to ensure that everybody is seen and heard in your lesson – no matter where they’re joining from. Bring your immersive learning environment to the big screen and create a dynamic learning style that students will be proud to join.

If you want to find out more about how the Microsoft Surface devices can help your university create a seamless hybrid learning environment, get in touch with the team today. Alternatively, check out our recent eBook “Building tomorrow’s lecture theatre” to discover more about the new Microsoft Surface Hub 2S.

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