Poor air quality, germs, and blue-light from LCD panels, are the silent enemy of a healthy classroom environment. When risks like these are prevalent, it can be detrimental to learning efficiency and school absenteeism. Due to COVID-19, maintaining a hygienic and collaborative classroom, without impacting educational outcomes, is now a top priority. Let’s look deeper into how germs, poor indoor air quality, and screen lights, affect the learning environment.
In today’s learning environment, students are writing on interactive displays with their fingers, doing group activities together, and solving the problems side by side on the same display. A recent article in The Active Times highlights how germs accumulate and spread, on items such as：
- students hands
- sink faucet handles
- classroom computer keyboards and desks
- bathroom door handles
- cafeteria tables and trays
Respiratory (colds and flu) and gastrointestinal illness (Norovirus and Rotavirus) are easily transmitted by touch, and a significant cause of school absenteeism. On average, in the US, each student is absent for 4.1 days, and the average teacher misses 5.3 days per school year per academic year. This amounts to losses of 10.7 billion per annum . Therefore, providing an interactive, yet hygienic, learning environment is crucial.
According to a study by The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), indoor levels of pollutants may be more than 100 times higher than outdoor levels. In particular, CO2 ventilation rates in schools are inadequate. A CO2 buildup in classrooms can lead to discomfort and subsequently to learning difficulties and loss of concentration. Furthermore, poor indoor air quality can cause coughing, eye irritation, allergies, asthma and headache. Teachers need to be aware of the classrooms current environmental parameters in order to take remedial action.
According to WHO statistics, at least 2.2 billion people worldwide have a vision impairment. Many eye problems start at a young age, and may be due to constant exposure to the blue lights and flickers associated with electronic screens. Blue light is a powerful visible light which includes blue, indigo and violet light. The short-waves of violet light (UV) can penetrate through the cornea and lens, directly into the macula, causing damage to its photoreceptor cells.
Generally, screen flickering is not visible to the naked eye, occurring up to 250 times per second. During a regular 8 hour (working) day of screen viewing time, flickering occurs some 5,760,00 times. With the increasing adaptation of digital technology in classrooms, digital eye strain, also known as Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS), has become a major risk to students’ eye health.
Reducing the number of health-related risks in a classroom can do wonders for productivity. Between reduced absenteeism, higher concentration levels and easy-on-the-eye screens, BenQ’s Blended Learning Solutions, featuring exclusive ClassroomCare® technologies, will take your school’s learning environment to the next level.