How digital screens could facilitate a safer socially distanced classroom
With schools going back this month and a contentious atmosphere surrounding the classroom and everything to do with it, safety has never been more at the forefront of parents’ minds.
Having spent the best part of the last 6 months isolated from much of the outside world, it seems almost surreal now to be sending the kids back to school, particularly when the very real threat of coronavirus is always lurking just out of frame.
But we can’t let this virus beat us and we can’t let lockdown carry on forever and if we’re going to learn to live with this virus for the foreseeable future, we have to learn how to do so in a manner that keeps our kids and their teachers safe.
Social distancing might well be difficult when you’re dealing with classes of up to 30 students but some precautions have already been put in place at schools across the country to mitigate risk.
From ensuring desks are thoroughly cleaned after each lesson to staggering playtimes and keeping year groups contained within their classroom bubbles, it can’t be said the education system isn’t doing its best.
But is there a solution many are failing to see that could make the jobs of teachers in this strange new normal that much easier?
Digital signage has always traditionally been seen as a solution for the retail, transport and healthcare sectors, with little attention given to education. But there is real scope for these LCD screens to help keep classrooms safe.
Messaging - Clear and calm messaging has been at the forefront of the government’s COVID-19 combat tactics and this is something children will have become accustomed to over the lockdown and summer break.
A health and safety LED sign or digital information screen located either outside the classroom or at the front, reminding children of the rules and dangers of COVID will help them realise things haven’t gone back to normal just yet, even though it might feel like it.
Sanitiser Stations - Digital sanitiser stations can be located across the school with hand gel and messaging to remind children to use it before and after using the bathroom and when entering and leaving each classroom.
Segregation - It’s not a nice word but segregation is in the best interests of everyone involved right now. By utilising solutions such as LED traffic light systems and digital wayfinding signage, children can be directed more safely.
This is particularly relevant at playtimes, where children will need to enjoy staggering sessions that could be controlled by an LED countdown timer or something even more sophisticated.
Engaging Education - Through the use of connected technology, teachers will be able to use a large LED screen as a blackboard and have their students send ideas across to them remotely via individual tablets.
This is a potentially expensive solution but the benefits are obvious. It allows students to remain seated throughout the lesson, meaning less direct interaction. It also gives teachers the ability to mark work without passing back and forth potentially contaminated workbooks.
It’s going to be strange going back to school for everyone right now, but it’s by no means an insurmountable change as long as we approach it the right way with the right tools.
Technology exists to make our lives more comfortable and investing in digital signage for your school could bring that extra level of comfort and security to your classrooms this year that is sorely needed in such uncomfortable times.