You’ve heard it before: bookstores are shrinking; magazine sales are plummeting. E-readers and video are more prolific and accessible than ice in the freezer. The important question is, why? It’s not as simple as ‘digital is everything’. There’s a second element at play that’s at the core of the unthinkably rapid digital movement: people absorb information better as multimedia.
Generation Zs are the driving force behind the adoption of information beyond the physical page. It seems they’re onto something: studies confirm that learning in visuals allows us to retain information better.
Not only is the information retained better, it’s absorbed quicker in the first place. Experts predict the human eye can register up to 36 000 visual messages in just an hour, and that visuals are processed sixty times faster in the brain than text.
So while doomsday preppers criticise the reduction in paper and adoption of visual information processing, Generation Zs are likely learning quicker and more effectively than generations before them. In light of this trend, it makes sense that classrooms and learning environments are being reimagined to facilitate visual learning.
It’s not only individual device-driven learning that’s taking over – it’s the reinvention of communal learning equipment too. Digital, interactive whiteboards are the new kid in the classroom, being rolled out by schools looking to future-proof their learning environments.
Keep ‘em engaged
These interactive devices are the educational solution to the most commonly asked question by school management: how do we relate to Generation Z and keep them actively interested in what they’re learning? Luckily for those having to play catch-up quickly, digital whiteboards were made to keep learners engaged.
The combined sound, video and text formats possible when teaching with interactive whiteboards is a unique cocktail of multimedia that enhances cognitive stimulation. Studies reflect the use of visuals can improve learning by up to 400%.
What’s critical to the success of digital whiteboards is also the ability to collaborate on work whilst it’s being taught – information can be edited and shared instantly, and ideas saved at the touch of a button. Thoughts, lists and inspiration aren’t erased, they’re safely stored.
Which means open season for the free-flow of ideas – the ideal tool for learners who, by the very nature of their environment having grown up in the 2000s, think laterally.
Learn to work
This also means preparing learners properly for their entry (one day) to the workplace which will be an entirely different experience by the time they get there. Contemporary workspaces are being equipped with digital whiteboards because corporate leadership also need to foist themselves into the hearts and minds of their next influx of employees: Generation Zs. When it comes to learning environments, digital innovation doesn’t mean a classroom of robotic learners with their noses stuck to iPads.
It can mean a creative hub, where learners speak up and feel confident to share ideas, and improve their own performance in an increasingly competitive space by retaining more of what they’re learning. Digital whiteboards are the first of many learning innovations that can and will improve and grow the minds of tomorrow.