Although blackboard and chalk have been exchanged for whiteboards and markers, the basic tools of the classroom and conference room haven’t evolved much over the years. But hardware maker Dell is trying to change that with a combination of interactive display devices and a new software tool aimed at facilitating cooperation between students and teachers.
Called Dell Classroom, the software is a Chrome-based solution designed to help integrate the various digital devices students and teachers now bring to the classroom. The platform offers custom user interfaces, a student/teacher chat feature, and a digital bulletin board for sharing important classroom events.
The new products were announced earlier this week at the International Society for Technology in Education 2016 conference and expo on in Denver, Colorado.
Jon Phillips, managing director of Dell Worldwide Education, explained that Dell Classroom provides custom tools for students and teachers to interact with each other. The focus is on creating a “more collaborative and interactive student-centered learning environment” through technology. Phillips said Dell will be providing the software for free to customers using Dell Chromebooks in schools.
Classroom is built on Activity Light, a pre-existing Dell education product that offers students a private messaging platform that allows them to digitally “raise their hands” to get their teacher’s attention.
The company said the platform also fosters collaborative learning by enabling teachers to group students randomly or by simply dragging and dropping, and allowing students to join forces using the Dell Devices application.
The Teacher UI also provides an Activity Drawer to help teachers quickly sort out the students who require assistance. Additionally, the Student UI features group chat and polling and quiz capabilities.
Classroom is not designed to compete with learning management systems, according to Dell. Classroom also integrates with Google Classroom, allowing teachers to import their existing Google…