The word “smart” has changed meaning over the last decade or so. A decade or so ago if you said “smart” it would have meant someone, a person, who is clean, tidy, and well-dressed or someone witty and intelligent. However, today when you say smart, it is interpreted as a technological device which has computation ability (e.g., a computer) and is connected to the internet. For example, smartphones, smart TV, smartwatch, etc. So, what do we mean when we say smart classroom? What makes a classroom “smart”? What are the benefits of smart classrooms? What is the role of the teachers in smart classrooms? These are some of the questions this article will try to answer.
Defining smart classrooms
A smart classroom is a classroom which is well-equipped with technology and is seamlessly connected to the internet. A smart classroom leverages technology to uplift the teaching-learning experience in the classroom. A smart classroom allows more flexibility and tools for teachers to deliver learning, and it also allows students to engage and experience learning at an elevated level. A typical smart classroom with have the following capabilities:
– High-speed internet connection
– Computing devices (laptops, desktops, Tablets, smart screens, etc)
– Connected Audio-Video systems (Video chatting software, smart screens, speakers, amplifiers, microphones, etc)
– Interactive technologies and tools (e.g., polls, quizzes, etc)
– Collaborative tools (e.g., interactive whiteboards, discussion forums, Learning Management Systems, etc.)
A smart classroom makes teaching less tedious for teachers and makes learning more enjoyable for teachers.
Let’s look at some of the vital advantages of smart classrooms.
Brand Image for the Schools
Smart classrooms are a big investment which can run into lakhs of rupees for each classroom. For any school to invest so much financial resources sends a strong message about the progressive nature and strong commercial fundamentals of the school. Schools that have smart classrooms give an extra bit of confidence to the parents about the quality and reliability of the education the school delivers. Smart classrooms act as a strong signal in driving up the brand equity of schools in the eyes of both parents and children.
Pulls students to the classroom
Attending classes in a smart classroom could be an activity students will look forward to. As against the typical aversion students have to attend classes. Kids of today are living in a hyper-digital era. They love using and engaging with technology. Being in command of technology gives them a boost in confidence. This sense of excitement pulls students to be excited about attending and participating in classes being conducted in smart classrooms.
Makes teaching less tedious
Smart classrooms are equipped with innovative technologies that make life easier for teachers and help them simplify complex concepts for students. Sometimes teachers feel helpless in their ability to explain complex scientific phenomena to children. Having access to multimedia tools and animation, and simulations in classrooms makes it easier for teachers to impart learning to their students. Teachers feel empowered and enabled in a smart classroom environment as they can deliver much more high-quality learning to their students than they could in regular classrooms. Smart classrooms also open up opportunities for educators to enhance their skills, augment their learning, and elevate their teaching methods using smart technologies.
Smart classrooms with their use of interactive and collaborative technologies enhance the engagement of students in the learning process. For example, a quick class poll or quiz can be conducted within seconds where all students can vote for their preferred option using polling apps such as Kahoot on their respective internet-connected handheld devices. The results of the poll or quiz can be instantly projected on the slide through the PowerPoint extensions connected to the polling software. Such connectivity engages every student, even those hiding in the corner of most backbench. These backbenchers typically tend to get ignored during regular classrooms. Smart technologies enable teachers to keep every student engaged in the classroom learning activities.
Smart classrooms offer a unique combination of synchronous and asynchronous learning. Those students who are unable to keep pace with the pace of the teachers in class can go back and refer to the recorded lectures and other study material and learn at their own pace. Those who are specially gifted can enhance their learning by engaging themselves in advanced learning through learning management systems (LMS). This feature adds multi-dimensionality to the otherwise unidimensional classroom. Smart classrooms make learning easily accessible to students in a ubiquitous manner – anytime, anywhere, and on any device. For example, an hour before an exam if a student wants to revise certain concepts, she has the option to revisit the lecture explaining that specific concept using multimedia animation effects. She is no more restricted to her memory recall and hazy class notes.
In regular classrooms, students collaborate in a physical setting while they are in school. The collaboration largely is limited to the confines of the physical classroom. In a smart classroom, the collaboration is multi-dimensional and time and place agnostic. Smart interactive collaborative technologies enable students to collaborate remotely from their respective houses, share ideas, contribute remotely to group assignments and projects, and even learn from their peers and teachers remotely. Learning is no more limited to the physical classroom and is available on demand with just a click of a button.
Develops Ease with Technology
Smart technologies have become a way of life for all of us. A strong command of smart technologies bodes well for the professional future of all students. In most likelihood, their professional roles will require them to work extensively using one or more of such smart technologies. Smart classrooms can help students get comfortable using and leveraging smart technologies, to understand their benefits and use cases. This will give them a head start in their academic and professional fields.
At EuroSchool we consider ourselves as pioneers in smart classroom adoption. Our classrooms boast of state-of-the-art smart technologies that elevate the learning experience for our students. Our educators are experts in leveraging these smart tools and technologies to deliver a superior learning experience to our students.