Line markers on football field

How interactive classroom technology is making an impact on the playing field

Interactive, collaborative technologies have been making a difference in the classroom. Now that they’re expanding onto the gridiron, colleges and universities are seeing an even greater effect on recruitment.

Interactive classroom technology can help drive student satisfaction and improve university reputation. And while we have certainly talked before about how higher education technologies can affect a football player’s experience on campus, there’s one area you may not have thought about: technology’s role in getting the football player on campus.

According to Fox Sports, a top school can turn as much as a $90 million profit from football, with twenty programs making $28 million or more in 2014.[1] To bring in that kind of money, a program needs to perform well, which in turn requires top players – players who are being recruited, trained and assisted on the field by technology.

Distance between schools and prospective students has always been a problem, but in the world of college football, it has historically proven even more difficult. In the past, to see how well a player performs, you would have to pay to send a scout, or request game film to be shipped – and that was assuming you could find prospects in the first place.

Digital scouting

In an age of unprecedented information aggregation, services have emerged to help coaches digitally flip through thousands of prospects and their game footage, from the comfort of their office.[2] Students are often recognized and drafted through the same technology that is used on the playing field.

Discovering student athletes via viral video highlights, and then interviewing them using the same video conferencing systems that can be found in many college classrooms is both cost-effective and time-efficient. Coaches can now virtually meet prospects from across the country, even as they travel to meet “big fish” potential student-athletes in person. The ability to meet face-to-face with students who live anywhere, from anywhere, is huge for college coaches tasked with efficiently recruiting talented, skilled students who are a good fit for the campus and team culture.

The power of interactive classroom technology

The presence of interactive classroom technology continues once the perfect team is assembled. The advent of interactive collaboration tools like those used in innovation incubators and flipped classrooms, enables coaches to collaborate on plays and more with their team on and off the field. The ability to strategize, mark up and change plays on the fly on a digital whiteboard is a significant advantage – along with having assistant coaches, defensive instructors and team members use their connected mobile devices to share their ideas to a large interactive display.

Interactive classroom technology’s uses for the football team don’t end there. Game film and the playbook are arguably the backbone of a team’s training, and both have seen huge changes as technology has improved.

For example, Mike Bobo, Offensive Coordinator, University of Georgia, told USA TODAY that the rise of tablets means “we can install 15 times more (plays and formations) now."[3] Previously, heavier, paper playbooks could prove difficult to carry throughout the day for active student-athletes, but tablets are not only lighter and smaller, students are often already familiar with the technology, making it easier for them to flip through plays and learn them right off the screen.

Meanwhile, game footage has come a long way since the days of passing around a film canister after waiting for it to be developed. Many coaches expect multiple cuts of game footage to be ready same-day, so their staff can make notes on what to practice and what to discuss with players at the next practice. Coaches may even use interactive displays to annotate footage in real time while discussing strategy with their assistants or players.

Leverage classroom technology to improve collaboration on the field

Add a technology expert to your team to up your game and enhance the student-athlete experience.

Implement campus technologies that attract students
  1. 1. Source: Travis, Clay. "The 20 Most Profitable College Football Teams." Outkick the Coverage and Fox Sports. December 22, 2015.
  2. 2. Source: Swartz, Jon. "It's tech warfare in college football today." USA TODAY. November 11, 2013.
  3. 3. Source: Swartz, Jon. "It's tech warfare in college football today." USA TODAY. November 11, 2013.