Tech in the classroom will improve learning with new tools and may one day include sensors that let teachers see who’s not paying attention, says President Jeff Volpe of Brea-based ViewSonic Americas.
ViewSonic, with nearly 100 employees at its local base, provides desktop monitors, interactive displays, and non-touch commercial displays, software and accessories for customers.
“There is no classroom of the future that will not have tech,” Volpe told the Business Journal on Aug. 2 as a new school year was about to start.
That includes internet web access, the new concept of the internet-linked metaverse, remote and hybrid learning, technology, science, artificial intelligence and machine learning.
ViewSonic has a strong focus on schools from elementary grades through college.
For example, the company in June showcased its new Universe by ViewSonic offering at the ISTE educational technology conference in New Orleans. The product provides an immersive 3D virtual environment for education and facilitates interactive experiences for students and teachers.
ViewSonic ranked No. 20 on this year’s Business Journal list of largest private companies by revenue, with an estimated $1 billion.
A notable product from the company includes the myViewBoard “ecosystem” for high-tech whiteboards in the classroom.
“We now have over 6 million users on our MyViewBoard software,” Volpe said.
There are increasingly more innovative ways of learning, Volpe points out, noting for example that plenty of students may absorb more from a YouTube video than from a book.
Teachers are consulted along the way.
“We talk to them about their needs and their evolutionary needs are in tech,” according to Volpe.
Making sure students are paying attention and are engaged is an age-old problem that may get some help from sensor development.
“Tech can help identify when children are engaged or not engaged,” Volpe says. “There are many sensor devices that are being developed that will have real application in the future, of which ViewSonic has been thinking.”
He added: “It’s basically facial recognition, not on the individual but on the individual facial expression. It’s saying this particular student—unnamed—has a facial expression that’s sort of disengaged,” Volpe says.
That feedback would then go back to the teacher.
“That’s in our oven being baked but whether it comes to fruition this year, next year or the year after is going to depend on a lot of factors, privacy factors and many others,” Volpe cautions.