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How to Equip Your Hybrid Classroom: Tips for “New Normal” Learning

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Author: Mike Walsh | CEO
How to Equip Your Hybrid Classroom: Tips for “New Normal” Learning

To combat the spread of COVID-19, schools across the nation are re-opening with new occupancy, scheduling and learning models amidst new recommendations and regulations regarding staff and student wellness. Will school be at home or back in the school building?

In many areas the answer is yes to both, with some students at home, some at school and some attending part time. It’s not only grades K-12; colleges and universities are also blending on-campus instruction with remote learning. This dramatic shift in education delivery requires the right strategy, hardware and expertise to enable successful hybrid remote learning.

Hybrid classroom models are an increasingly popular choice in many school districts, blending in-school and remote learning to reduce points of contact inside school facilities. This new model requires important changes to meet state, local and CDC guidelines. DGI is prepared to equip your school with the right video hardware, protective shields, signage and even temperature check devices to ensure a safe and healthy in-school experience partnered with seamless technological integration for at-home learners.

DGI is a ZOOM-certified partner, offering hardware and solutions for simultaneous teaching to remote learners and classroom students, as well as remote learning. We are happy to assist in the setup of Zoom for your school and to help you take advantage of free Zoom licensing at no cost, or explore full Zoom for Education Licensing at a fraction of standard licensing costs. Combining Zoom Rooms with permanent or portable touch displays directly connects students and teachers. DGI will consult on and deploy the best hardware for simplifying your hybrid classroom teaching, including:

  • Document Cameras
  • Headsets
  • Tablets
  • Laptops/Chromebooks
  • Cameras
  • Microphones

Cost-effective mobile classroom technology solutions like the Infocus & Poly X50 Studio All-in-One provide flexible, plug-and-play opportunities to connect teachers in classrooms with students at home via Zoom. The Poly X50 Studio’s robust microphones focus on the speaker as they move in the space, allowing a teacher to move around a live classroom. Speakers allow for two-way interaction with at-home participants. Auto or manual framing keeps the focus where the educator wants it. Multiple cameras are an option for additional subject matter points of view. The Poly X50 Studio shares with Zoom via hardwired or wireless connections, regardless of your teacher’s device platform.

DGI’s Temperature Scanner with Dynamic Detection DisplayTM utilizes advanced thermal detection technology to quickly scan internal body temperatures. Dynamic Detection Displays can quickly identify potential safety threats and help mitigate large-scale exposure. Using the temperature scanner is simple and intuitive: Building entrants simply step up to the device. Custom floor and freestanding signage can be an asset in this application. If facial recognition features are in use, the device will not only read internal temperature, but identify mask usage.

Features include:

  • ≤ .5°C accuracy
  • Non-touch scanning
  • Facial recognition feature options
  • Wall, table and podium mounting options

Prominent building and classroom signage can be a powerful tool to provide clarity, comfort and confidence, and to remind in-school students about the importance of following the rules and working together to ensure everyone’s health and safety. Keeping signage fun and informative engages younger students in the process, making them part of the team in keeping hybrid-classroom learners healthy.

Each school area, including bus drop-offs, carpool and parking areas, entrances, the front office, corridors, and restrooms, have specific needs. You can help your students start the year off comfortably and confidently with DGI’s line of custom campus signage and wellness products, which include:

Window decals remind students, staff and guests to:

  • Practice optimal hygiene (hand washing, mask use, sanitizer use, wiping down areas, etc.)
  • Use designated staff and student/visitor entrances
  • Check in with the front office to sign in or if you need a mask
  • Practice responsible social distancing—and fun ways to visualize it!

Retractable banner stands:

  • Inspire camaraderie and team-building for older students (we are in this together!)
  • Comfort and reassure younger learners with age-appropriate graphics and directives
  • Welcome guests and communicate CDC guidelines in your school’s colors
  • Fold ‘n go towers are a great option for corridor infographics, including social distancing visual cues and hygiene practice icons, perfect for students of all reading levels
  • Table tent cards and stickers remind those using public surfaces such as cafeteria or public study tables to practice optimal hygiene, wear masks and observe touch-free technology zones.

Room and door graphics:

  • Offer wayfinding options and reassure students, especially as traffic patterns for corridors and stairwells, and occupancy capacities for classrooms, libraries, gymnasiums, cafeterias and other public spaces change
  • Designate off-limits areas

Floor graphics remind staff and visitors to keep a safe distance and follow traffic patterns. How many of your school’s mascot fit between responsibly socially distanced individuals?

Restroom and cafeteria signage remind everyone to be responsible and wash their hands.

Stairway directional graphics are specifically designed to promote compliance with traffic patterns and occupancy in stairwells. This signage can help younger students cope with changes to familiar spaces after a long time away from school.

Workstation dividers and face shields

  • Three divider sizes provide your office staff protection during visitor and student interactions, as well as keeping workspaces separated.
  • Face shields protect in-school health workers and educators who work in close proximity and one-on-one with students, such as special-needs educators and aides.

Exterior Flags and banners

  • Offer an eye-catching welcome and can be customized with a school logo or mascot and colors
  • Let students and parents know about adjusted points of entry
  • Direct foot and vehicular traffic

Yard signs and sidewalk signs

  • Remind visitors about mask requirements
  • Enforce social distancing
  • Alert students and visitors to changes they may encounter
  • Direct the flow of traffic

Barrier stand systems provide signage while physically designating off-limits areas or enforcing temperature scan lines and other point of entry building safety checks

DGI’s fun, welcoming, and informative custom signage options support hybrid classroom models with an uncompromising commitment to quality, safety, and connection while students are in school buildings.

DGI’s unique position as both a leading videoconferencing expert and a large-format printer allows us to help you adapt without multiple partnerships to cause delay and confusion. We’ve implemented, enhanced, and consulted on remote-learning platforms and onsite solutions for K-12 education as well as for major colleges and universities. DGI can:

  • Install interior and exterior solutions safely and on time
  • Help you leverage free licenses from partners like Zoom
  • Choose the right hardware for your in-school and remote educators
  • Troubleshoot and offer guidance for current videoconferencing challenges
  • Add your mascot, school colors and custom messaging to safety and health-related signage and deliver the solution on time
  • Assist in a game plan for reopening your college or university campus
  • Create an online catalog for your school’s intranet to enable online ordering for various departments and budgets

Delivering remote learning in a time of crisis isn’t easy on anyone. Solutions from DGI can help everyone make the best of it so that students can learn and educators can teach.

To learn more about how we can help you equip your hybrid-classrooms, contact DGI today.

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Mike Walsh | CEO

Mike Walsh is a 15+ year veteran in the audio visual industry, bringing extensive knowledge of AV design, implementation, service and sales to DGI. Mike is high energy, providing leadership and driving innovation for the diverse divisions that make up our company. He’s also led a team that was recognized as the top integration firm serving educational markets in the country two years running.

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Education Signage: Preparing Your School for the "New Normal"
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