Get Hands on with Spherical Displays for More Powerful Learning – Education

Get Hands on with Spherical Displays for More Powerful Learning

From Business Development Manager for Education, Ethan Campbell

When it comes to engaging learners and ensuring they come away with a deep understanding of the subject matter, there is only so far that traditional teaching methods can take us. Bringing technology into the classroom could be the answer, but any investment needs a strong justification to show how the activity aligns with, and enhances, what we understand to be the most effective learning methods. This deep dive into the positive impact of interactive experiences will provide the justification you need.

Experienced teachers will know that a hands-on approach to learning supports absorption and retention of information enormously when compared with more passive learning techniques, and this is one area in which technology has the potential to open the doors to a whole new world of education.

This method of ‘learning by doing’ was pioneered by American philosopher and psychologist John Dewey, who developed a theory of experiential learning, emphasising the importance of active engagement and real-life experiences in the learning process. This really shook up the educational establishment because it challenged the traditional approach of learning through lectures and memorisation, instead encouraging active engagement with the material and opportunities to experience it in a real-life context. Dewey’s theories are still highly influential in education and, when applied to the use of touch-enabled spherical displays, can revolutionise the educational experience.

Research confirms that hands-on learning is the most efficient method for retaining knowledge and applying it to the real world. In a study by a team from US universities, four teaching techniques — lecture, demonstrations, discussions, and in-class activities — were measured for effectiveness. The results indicated that passive learning methods like lectures were the least effective, while in-class activities were the most effective for utilising new facts to apply them to the real world. 

The results of the study back up what’s seen in classrooms daily, that interactive learning techniques hold the attention of students and make it more likely for key information to stay in the mind. This is something we see often when our touch-enabled spherical displays are used in educational settings, and research into the effectiveness of spherical displays indicates they are particularly effective in the teaching of earth science subjects.

Touch-enabled spherical displays – with their intuitive presentation of data in three dimensional space, and the ability for users to get hands-on and interact with this data – align perfectly with the principles of experiential learning. These displays offer an interactive experience that brings subjects to life, particularly in the field of earth sciences. From exploring a virtual model of the Earth’s layers, and zooming in to examine the intricate details, to visualising geological processes through dynamic simulations; interactive applications on touch-enabled spherical displays make learning a captivating and memorable experience.

The ability of touch-enabled spherical displays to incorporate experiential learning tasks extends well beyond the visual exploration of three dimensional data. Quizzes and interactive exercises can be integrated seamlessly into the display, enabling learners to get actively involved and reinforce their understanding. This interactivity not only enhances engagement but also provides immediate feedback, allowing learners to assess their progress and identify areas for improvement.

With their 360 degree visibility, spherical screens have also been very successful in facilitating collaborative learning environments that are the setting for many hands-on learning opportunities. This is supported by the high degree of social balance afforded by spherical displays, the positive impacts of which were confirmed by a field study conducted by a team from the University of Florida. By fostering group discussions, cooperative learning, and collective problem-solving activities, touch-enabled spherical displays encourage meaningful interactions and empower learners to face active learning challenges together.

The immersive nature of touch-enabled spherical displays also enhances the overall learning experience and encourages a hands-on, tactile approach. When learners are fully immersed in an interactive environment, multiple senses are stimulated, activating various areas of the brain to facilitate deeper understanding. Audiences are then more likely to absorb information, make connections and retain knowledge.

The versatility of touch-enabled spherical displays means that they can be leveraged in settings outside of the traditional classroom. From museums and science centres to outdoor learning spaces, spherical displays with touch capabilities open a world of possibilities for hands-on learning. Students can explore historical sites, dive into the depths of the ocean, or take a journey through space, all within the immersive sphere of a touch-enabled display.

As leaders in spherical display technology, we at Pufferfish understand the power of touch-enabled spherical displays to create immersive and engaging learning experiences that maximise the benefit of ‘learning by doing’. By providing an intuitive and immersive platform for active engagement, touch-enabled spherical displays enable learners to explore, interact, and collaborate in ways that were not previously possible. Educators can embrace John Dewey’s theory of experiential learning, along with the potential of spherical displays, to supercharge the learning process for their students, and create educational experiences that stay long in the memory.

If you’re interested in bringing touch-enabled spherical displays into your educational environment, then as specialist business development manager at Pufferfish for the educational sector, I’d be delighted to have a conversation about how we can enhance the learning experience for your students.