Based out of Dubai, UAE, Manish Bakshi is responsible for BenQ’s regional marketing and sales operations of the Middle East and Africa in the past 17 years, covering the entire Middle East countries and Turkey. For over two decades, Bakshi has been managing a cross-functional team and a business line in a multicultural context with the required competencies in strategic thinking and interpersonal communication as a co-founder of ACM office for the MEA region. Bakshi was BenQ’s General Manager for the first eleven years and became the Managing Director in 2012. Since then he spearheads the MEA operations and has successfully expanded BenQ’s in-country operations in KSA, Egypt and RSA where grass roots focus, attention and penetration was the hallmark. Under Bakshi’s leadership, BenQ MEA has brought the brand to more than 90 per cent awareness level in 17 years’ time and reached first, second and third position within the industry in most focus countries of the MEA region.
Schools and classrooms have seen one of the biggest shifts ever during the social distancing periods, and there’s much to learn from this transformational shift. With more blended learning classrooms than ever before, it has become vital for students and educators to be equipped with the technological resources they need to maintain consistent learning experiences. The next-generation learning spaces or 21st-century classrooms as some call them are incredible tools that can aid educators greatly in achieving their mission of improving learning outcomes. Collaborative classrooms are designed to be extremely flexible and highly compatible with almost all the emerging styles of learning, be it personalized learning, flipped classrooms, or even gamification.
The collaborative classroom is just one of the many different types of emerging specialized classroom designs, but a lot of classroom designs are often closely related to that of a collaborative classroom, such as Active Learning Classrooms (ALCs) and casual areas in libraries and lounges that have now evolved into Informal Learning Spaces. Another concept is that of a makerspace or sometimes known as a hackerspace – dedicated areas with tools, hardware, 3D printers, electronics, and supplies designed to facilitate students to ideate, create, innovate, invent, and learn. Some schools have already implemented a variety of specialized learning spaces or laboratories to mirror the environments that students will operate in once they pass out of school. With the many recent and innovative advances in virtual reality, immersive learning environments are gaining rapid traction, and for good reason.
The collaborative classroom emphasizes on group learning by design as it typically involves small groups sitting and working together as opposed to the rows of desks that model schools of last century are associated with. In a collaborative classroom, each group of students has ready access to the Internet, multimedia displays and collaboration software to facilitate smart and effective learning on a daily basis. Some common characteristics of smart and collaborative classrooms include group tables, shared table-top displays, and wall displays that allow unrestricted lines of view. Implementing an effective collaborative classroom is crucial, and that requires the integration of some smart tools like an instructor station, a simple remote control of the technology in the classroom, easy control of the lighting, a quiet HVAC, and preferably configurable audio/video.
Considering the exponentially increasing need for flexibility and configurability in these collaborative classrooms, it is crucial that they are not caught up with the challenges that come with wired networking. After all, smart classrooms need to be smart about everything to ensure they can operate at their full potential. The modern classroom needs to move to Wi-Fi networking to help everyone embrace the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) culture that has a variety of benefits to offer. Moreover, video and animations typically make up a large portion of the content that is shared in classrooms, thus, making the need for reliable Wi-Fi paramount. Wireless education displays and projectors are also gaining popularity as they are specially designed to cater to the creative, collaborative, and communicating needs of a modern classroom.
Designing and implementing collaborative classrooms can be done in a number of ways depending on the educators and their students, but their advantages are becoming more and more difficult to question by the day. The use of pictures, infographics, 3D models, and videos have a deeper impact on the minds of students to help entrench the concept better. Moreover, smart tools can help teachers create an online repository of resources for tests, quizzes, revision, homework, exams, and more that is easily accessible. The usage of digital pens is also growing to help making learning more fun and interactive, while also saving precious paper from being wasted on a large-scale. Modern classrooms need to be such that they help build a diverse understanding for both the students and the staff; smart collaborative classrooms do just that.
Creating collaborative classrooms and integrating smart education technology make them healthier and more conducive learning spaces as they offer tons of academic benefits. With visual aids and several interactive learning tools, students are more actively involved in the learning process which helps promote their critical thinking skills and help improve classroom results consistently. Students are motivated and more attentive to learn when lectures are made more fun and personalized. Moreover, constant data recording and analysis helps teachers understand every single child’s problem areas so that they are able to focus on them accordingly. Collaborative classrooms are an incredible tool to help bridge the gap between teachers and students, no matter how shy a student is, and no matter how strict a teacher is.
Apart from being of high importance in the academic sense, modern interactive classrooms have a number of social and psychological benefits for students as well. With physical distances and boundaries being rendered irrelevant through collaborative tools, remote learning tools help develop a social support system for learners, no matter where they are. The use of these advanced teaching tools also establishes a positive and healthy atmosphere for modeling and practicing cooperation in classrooms. Owing to enhanced data analytics and assessment tools made available to teachers through improved education technology solutions, there is a larger scope for more student-centered instruction that greatly helps increase the students’ self-esteem as well. Better coordination and cooperation also help reduce anxiety and stress amongst students and support them to learn more, faster. Smart and collaborative classrooms are the calling card of the future of education and the sooner schools can learn to harness them, the better they’ll be able to educate and nourish their students in these rapidly changing times.
We at BenQ offer a range of Classroom Care Technologies that redefines the new norm of healthy learning in Education. The products range from Germ Resistant Interactive Flat Panels with Eye Care Technology & Cloud Whiteboard, Smart Projector with PC-Less, Wire-Less & Driver-Less solutions and inbuilt Android system. Both provide collaborative learning. With the New range of BenQ DVY Webcams (Full HD & 4K) further facilitates video conferencing solution in a classroom. BenQ’s Eye Care Monitors have leading Eye Care features like Brightness Intelligence, Low Blue Light and Color Weakness Mode, Coding Mode and Care Mode with Built-In Speakers and Microphone, to enable students & teachers with healthy remote learning. Combine the BenQ ScreenBar e-Reading Monitor Lamp / Light Bar, to prevent light glare from the monitor screen and create a safe learning environment.