Barco today launched something I saw at InfoComm, but they waited until today to debut — it’s called weConnect. This collaborative learning solution (aimed exclusively at higher education) gives both teachers and students all the connectivity, interactivity and information exchange tools they need to enable educational institutions to evolve from a teacher-centric to a student-centric experience and make education more engaging. It’s like a group collaboration system. It’s like a Barco ClickShare on higher-education steroids.
Lectures at many colleges are transitioning from a uni-directional information dump (from the instructor) to an active, interactive exchange among all participants — students and teachers, alike. And while students and teachers want to bring any personal device (BYOD) into the room and tap into the campus Wi-Fi network to share information and interact more actively, students can also be located anywhere (e.g., in a remote classroom or at home), so the same features need to deliver an on-campus experience to everybody involved. Designed for students who have grown up with mobile technology (aka Millennials), weConnect — Barco’s collaborative learning solution for higher education — provides teachers with a new palette of tools for making their preferred teaching methods state-of-the-art.
weConnect allows users to participate in a lecture from and with their own devices − not only to share screen content, but to collaborate and interact as well. They can do this in traditional classrooms, active learning spaces (environments that allow groups of students to work together), libraries and other locations on the campus. For example: students can interact with the teacher using their tablets or smartphones; the teacher can issue a poll or a quiz to solicit feedback; remote students can pose a silent question, which other students participate in, etc.
Consisting of just a couple of building blocks, Barco’s weConnect is a cloud-based system and all users gain access to the classroom system through a web-based cloud app. The app gives teachers full moderation control of the content shared within the classroom, and students get a close-up view of what is being shown on the classroom displays. Barco’s wireless presentation and display nodes portfolio enables students and teachers to share their information on the central screen or the pod display without any hassle. And both teachers and students experience the flexibility and intuitiveness of the software via the simple browser interface.