Education

What does a smart classroom entail?

With technology having made inroads into education, online learning has come into its own. Students are able to learn at their own pace an time and also have access to diverse and engaging content.

However, despite the growth of ed-tech in India, the use of content on these platforms continues to be limited due to gaps in the teaching and learning mechanism and student needs. During the pandemic, teachers were asked to become both course designers and tutors almost overnight. The onus for this lies not only with the faculty but also with educational institutions who should invest in professional development of the faculty. A technology-enabled learning environment is not just about devices but also needs an understanding of the right teaching mechanism to make optimum use of resources.

What is required are Smart Classrooms, which are a technology-enabled learning environments where quality education can be accessed through technology devices and the Internet. A smart classroom will include interactive displays and other tools like videos and other content medium and practice exercises to make learning interesting and engaging. If the content is available in regional languages, the reach will be wider. This also allows students to choose courses from across institutions in a cost-effective manner. While physical teaching cannot be replaced, digital platforms help keep the learning going.

Fundamental shift

With tech-based learning increasing, there has been a fundamental shift in the roles and responsibilities of educators. Today, teachers can utilise technological tools and resources to collect and analyse data, design experiments, test hypotheses, and make conclusions. There is a need to create an entire technology-supported ecosystem involving all stakeholders and taking into account appropriate grade-level curriculum, content needs, and how the devices can be used to maximum benefit. Compatible digital curriculum and content, assessment and feedback tools, administrative manageability options, security features, device-user friendliness, training, and the overall cost of ownership should be considered. A secure and robust IT infrastructure is the base of a 360⁰ learning experience.

Educators must be trained and supported to understand how they can implement technology to strengthen their pedagogical methods and develop skills and techniques to map students’ learning progress. Educational institutions and the government must organise professional development programmes that help teachers update their knowledge and refine their methodology to deliver a better teaching experience.

Rural uplift

One important aspect is rural digital uplift. Efforts need to made towards enabling online education models in the rural setting. While platforms such as DIKSHA or SWAYAM enhance educational opportunities for children, they are not effective in rural areas due to the lack of adequate digital infrastructure, technological skill and supportive family environment. This requires a collective effort from the corporate sector, policy makers and the government. Apart from training teachers in rural areas to use technology, offering multimedia teaching tools and setting up smart classroom equipment such as digital boards and virtual classrooms can help boost online education for students.

The writer is CEO, Globus Infocom Ltd.


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Printable version | Oct 16, 2021 5:00:37 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/education/what-does-a-smart-classroom-entail/article36536676.ece

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