Education sees the benefits of 4K in Learning
Education sees the benefits of 4K in Learning
Image envy, we’ve all had it right? You visit a friend’s house and see the amazing images on their new 4K television or at work see the quality of image projection at a meeting in a new conference suite. Well, it seems the Education market is also beginning to realise the potential benefits of the use of 4K image technology in learning.
Clarity alongside colour
As you start to examine 4K more closely, it becomes clear that there are many educational advantages for this change. Firstly, the higher resolution of 4K on projections and displays can help students with their learning in a number of areas. For example, detailed images can help bring to life and view complex science experiments. Greater clarity and detail can aid the understanding of detailed data sets and charts and graphs in classes such as math and economics. This level of detail, when combined with vivid and differentiated colour gamut, is also important when viewing medical images for doctor and nursing students.
In fact, psychologists tell us that there may also be wider benefits for students in the use of colour in education. It’s long been suggested that colours have an impact upon us in our everyday lives; that we shop longer in stores painted green and that fast food restaurants like to use bright red, orange and yellow colours because they stimulate our appetites. In education, the colour green could benefit students’ efficiency and focus. Dr Kate Lee, a Melbourne scientist, carried out an experiment where she gave 150 students a “boring attention sapping task”. When they took a break half-way through the task, half the students looked out on a green rooftop and the other onto a concrete rooftop.
The results were surprising. After the break, students who glanced at the greener vista made significantly fewer errors and demonstrated superior concentration, compared to those who viewed the concrete roof. The researchers concluded that the green roof provided a restorative experience that boosted those mental resources that control attention. The use of colour in learning and, in particular, in eLearning design is now an important consideration. The ability for 4K technology to show more detailed images, alongside the benefits of enhanced colour gamuts to project these colours more vividly and in greater detail than ever before is a benefit being recognised by educators.
Multiple sources of knowledge
In the past the learning process was very linear – the subject of the learning was very often all taken from the books, chapter by chapter. Today we know that the learning process is much more efficient if it is multi-sensory and especially visual. Advanced teaching uses multiple sources of content, such as a presentation, a video or a web article. With 4K screens, multiple inputs can be viewed at the same time with each image in HD resolution showing its content in crisp and clear detail. In a similar way, blended classroom sessions, where some participants are connected from outside via video conference, can benefit from displaying individual video feeds onto the large screen – each in a high resolution display.
Like every other sector, Education has also had to adjust and learn to live with the reality of the new world following the pandemic. In classrooms and lecture halls this has led to new requirements. As people remain socially distanced, there is a move towards larger screens in larger rooms to allow students to safely spread out. 4K technology is ideal for this situation with higher resolution meaning larger screens can still deliver a clear and vivid viewing experience without pixelation even for those at the front of the room. In addition, blended learning looks set to become a long-term trend with some students physically in the room and others viewing online. The use of 4K cameras, projectors and displays works well in this blended learning environment by seamlessly combining the physical and digital content.
New teaching techniques
New teaching techniques and student expectations are also driving the switch to 4K visual technology. One example is the Scale-up Classroom, a physical learning environment that encourages active learning and interactions by positioning small tables, each with their own 4K touch screen display, around the perimeter of the room, with one larger display or projection at the front. Students work on problems or projects in small groups, freeing up the lecturer’s time to spend with them and provide clarification or ask questions.
In this environment, students often use their own devices to create and share content and, of course, they are already very used to the visual benefits of 4K on their laptops, tablets and mobile phones. In many ways, this quality of visual technology has become expected by the current generation of students.
Another benefit for the teacher in the use of 4K projectors or displays is the opportunity to share up to 4 different content sources at the same time with students. Course presentations can be organised in such a way that different applications run simultaneously and independently in the four different quadrants of the screen. This level of engagement during classes produces an increase in student understanding, resulting in better learning outcomes.
Two-ways to embrace 4K
Although the benefits of 4K are clear, new technology requires new investment. However, there are two potential approaches for educational institutions to move to 4K. One option is to future proof projector and display investments by choosing devices that simply support 4K input. An example would be the Panasonic PT-MZ880 Series of projectors.
This Series is compatible with 4K input signals, accepting 4K/60p video via HDMI inputs or DIGITAL LINK terminal. This capability is useful when integrating the projectors into existing 4K-ready system infrastructure or when it’s necessary to distribute the same 4K signal to a network of end-points with different display resolutions without having to use an external converter or to re-encode the source.
The second option is to commit to the full benefits of 4K by choosing projectors with True 4K capabilities, such as the Panasonic PT-RDQ10 or PT-FRQ50 Projector Series, alongside the full range of Panasonic Professional 4K displays, including touchscreens.
Whatever the budget and best approach for each education institution, it is clear that educators are already seeing the huge potential of using 4K technology in learning. Today Panasonic has the widest range of 4K projectors, displays and collaboration tools available on the market to help the technology ultimately become universal in education.