Smart Classrooms and Higher Education
With technology making inroads into every realm of society, can education be far behind? In countries like India, particularly, where a long-running debate has debated the pros and cons of our archaic education system, smart classrooms have transformed our education system in significant ways.
It has long been argued that learning should be a stimulating and interesting process, in which the child’s curiosity to learn should be roused. Textbook learning and teachers with uncertain qualifications and little incentives to teach have resulted in the curbing of the creative side of education. The idea of smart classrooms, therefore, has been a boon to education, especially in an era dominated by computers, laptops, internet, tablets and every kind of technology which is designed to integrate.
Smart classrooms make use of technology, bold displays, showing and telling, and advanced computing techniques to make learning an interesting process. Learning is no longer about a boring lecture where the teacher dictates from prepared notes and the students diligently take down every word, without really engaging with the content of the subject. Smart classrooms, on the other hand, rouse the curiosity of learners and will them to engage with the subject matter at hand.
Teachers are heavily relying on Information and Communication Technology (ICT) mechanisms to make their lessons more interesting and stimulating. Technology and its ways have become a must-know in today’s digital era and students are by default exposed to smart phones, and sophisticated laptops from a very early age at home. This process has carried on over to classrooms as well where teachers use interactive boards, PowerPoint presentations, projectors, videos and the like to communicate.
While smart classes are increasing, their reach is admittedly limited owing to the expense involved in making such transitions as well as a lack of skilled teachers to operate new technology mechanisms.
The impact of smart classes on higher education has also been significant. Advanced students dealing with complex subjects have been very receptive to smart classrooms, since they already identify with technology and ICT. For teachers, their task becomes simpler since they can use precise PowerPoint presentations, detailed graphics, statistics and maps to present their case.
Further, the use of technology in classrooms implies that knowledge can be immediately accessed and imparted. Feedback happens almost instantly, and the teacher can be more assured that all students are on board. Smart classrooms also involve the use of computing devices for taking examinations. Students are assigned a computer terminal each in which they feed in their responses to both objective and subjective type questions. The computer records all the responses. This also reduces the stress of writing long wordy answers within a tight timeframe.
The unique part of web technology is that it can be accessed from anywhere in the world. Hence students in India can connect with students in Zimbabwe, for instance, on history, geography, literature, maths, science, arts and culture. The possibilities are endless. Smart classes are creating tectonic shifts in the contours of higher education