Smart technology has been making its presence felt in the educational space for quite some time now. Most modern schools have migrated a part of their pedagogy to the digital world. Although the benefits of smart classrooms can hardly ever be questioned, the true nature of the same remains doubtful. Can you call a classroom with a smartboard and an audio system smart? Can you call the presence of Wi-Fi in the school premises smart? How much smartness is actually smart and what is the role of the teachers if the internet can do everything? These queries need answers. If a student is being exposed to technology, is he/she truly drawing its benefits?
The true concept of smart classrooms
On the surface, smart education is something where technology aids textbooks. No one entity can completely take over. Its popularity spread owing to the engagement it brought to the classrooms and the ease with which teachers could also deliver their lectures. The basic infrastructure of all smart classes is indeed an internet-connected smartboard along with a functioning audio system but the best school in noida also escalates that by adding e-learning facilities in its libraries, intranet assessment software, subscriptions to online EdTech platforms and more.
Now, in a typical smart classroom, all the above infrastructure come together to further lessons. For instance, a video can play on the smartboard to introduce the students to a particular topic. The teacher can then use the textbook to delve deeper. Then, the students can be asked to write an essay on a related topic by researching online in the library and submit the same over the intranet connection. The teacher checks the assignments and grades them online only. And students see their results directly by logging in. As evident, the entire procedure is faster now. Technology not only engages the students but also makes them efficient learners.
Similarly, with smartboards, the teachers can also open up their teaching styles. Instead of solely depending on lectures, they can take the students on a virtual tour of the Amazon rainforest, the International Space Station or the remains of the Nalanda University. The children now have visual aids to support their imagination and teaching becomes that much easier. Comprehension is the goal of smart classrooms. And this happens when students and teachers alike know how to make the best of the infrastructure available.
Lastly, smart classrooms also accommodate personalised learning in the top primary school in Noida. Smartboards can reach out to both visual and kinaesthetic learners while the audio system can teach auditory learners. Also, the provision to access learning videos from home allows students the freedom to learn at their own pace or revise on their own time. From the teachers’ angle, smart classrooms eliminate a lot of redundant tasks. They can now focus on bettering their lessons and infuse meaning into education.
The right infrastructure is not enough to make a classroom smart. If the pedagogy is not proper, classes can never be smart. Teachers need to have adequate IT training if they are to seamlessly transit from textbooks to technology. Otherwise, even when the smartboard is present, learning will remain rote with emphasis on the direct lecture. Similarly, students can only use the freedom provided they know how to surf the internet efficiently. Without these lessons, too much online freedom can be detrimental.
Then again, technology is a bad master. Teachers must always play the facilitator role wherein they guide their students to use technology for their betterment. The videos the children watch, the resources they read must be screened by teachers first and then given access. Then again, too much virtual connection can take away the essence of reality. Direct lectures have their own benefits and media can never take over as the latter is often unorganised. In short, just like having a smart infrastructure is not enough. Too much dependency is also not suggested.
The right way
It all comes down to how well you can use modern technology. How well can you balance the physical and virtual world and shift efficiently to grow effectively. The GD Goenka Global School, one of the top 10 schools in Noida , maintains the true sense of smart technology where the infrastructure complements pedagogy. Students receive their required freedom of exploration with proper guidance. The teachers are IT experts who blend media with texts in the proper mix. Although GD Goenka starts with technology early, it uses smartboards and audios in moderation as per the students’ acceptance of such complications. The right way is always the balanced way, where smart classrooms include the human factor and yet, goes beyond.