What is a Smart Classroom?
Smart classrooms are the classrooms enhanced with technological equipments for the purpose of better learning and teaching. Based on the equipments available smart classrooms can be categorized as follows:
Basic smart classes The classrooms with basic smart technology include gadgets like laptops or computers, projector, DVD or VCD player and a viewing screen etc.
Intermediate smart classes The intermediate smart classrooms are one step ahead of the basic technology smart classrooms. They include gadgets like a smart podium with control panel in addition to laptop, projector, screen and DVD or VCD player etc. Advanced smart classes: The advanced smart classrooms have all the gadgets of a basic or intermediate smart classroom but their features are very advanced, that is, they use the newest technology. What are the equipments installed in a Smart Classroom?
The equipments installed in most of the smart classrooms are Computer or laptop: A computer or laptop is a basic and necessary requirement of a smart classroom. Instead of writing on board with a chalk or marker, teaching process is done by presentation or images or multimedia in a smart class room. Projector: it is an optical device. It projects stationery or moving objects onto a screen. They create an image by shining light through a transparent less or by a laser.
Screen: It is a surface used to display the images projected by a projector. The screens may be rigid wall mounted screens, pull down screens, fixed frame screens, electrical screens, switchable projection screens, or mobile screens. Microphone: it is generally called as mic or mike. It is a device which converts audio signals into electrical signals. These signals are then transmitted, amplified or recorded.
Amplifier and speaker: These are the electronic devices which are used to increase the volume of a sound. Podiums: it is a platform usually made of wood which raises the person standing on it so that he becomes visual to all the audience.
Document camera: They are also called as visual presenters, visualizers, digital overheads or docucams. They are used for displaying an object to a large audience. A document camera magnifies and projects the images of a two dimensional as well as a three dimensional object. The object is simply placed under the document camera. The camera takes its image and produces its live image by using a projector.
Smart Podiums: They are also called smart boards or smart LCDs. It is an interactive pen display which can be connected to the computer or laptop externally via the USB port or RGB ports. It can be called as an external monitor with the facility of digital inking. With a smart podium, we can open documents, presentations, multimedia files and can write on them with a digital pen. We can also save our work.
DVD or VCD player: There are a large amount of videos available on the internet but still there is a requirement of VCD or DVD player because there are some videos which have copyright and have to be purchased. These are often in the form of DVDs or CDs
Overhead projector: It is a device which is used to display enlarged images of a transparent acetate sheet placed on its base on a screen. This device was very famous a few years back, but now it is being replaced by computer based projectors. Advantages of Smart Classrooms
There are many advantages of a smart classroom. Some of them are as follows:
Access to online resources: In a smart classroom, the teacher can use the resources available on the internet for the better understanding of the students. For every subject, there are numerous resources available on the internet which can be accessed by the teachers as well as the students at any time in a smart classroom. Internet plays a major role in learning process. Today’s students are curious to know about everything. They want to gain extra knowledge about the ongoing topic in the class. This is a limitation of books. The books print only the syllabus. For those who want to learn beyond the syllabus internet is very useful tool. Even for the syllabus, the resources available on the internet are very helpful.
Digital medium for notes: In a regular classroom, the teacher writes on the board and the students note it down on their notebooks. In this methodology of teaching, the student’s mind gets diverted in two directions, one is listening to the teacher and understanding and the other is writing or making notes for future reference. In this way, the students do not understand the topic properly or gets confused or even sometimes, they do not listen anything and just make notes. This is a very dull approach in teaching process. But this is not the case in a smart classroom. In a smart classroom, there is a digital approach for notes. The teacher, instead of writing on the board, teaches using PowerPoint presentation, word documents, images, videos, and audios. These resources are given to the students in pen drives, CDs, or they are emailed to them. In this way, the students do not have to write for making notes. Notes are provided to them and they can devote their full concentration to the lecture.
Advantageous for the absentees: student who studies in a regular classroom is absent for one day, it becomes difficult for him to gather all the notes of the classes he missed. Also, it becomes difficult for the teacher to explain the previous topics to the students who were absent. The students then take a shortcut method and get the notes photocopied from other students. In this way, the students do not understand anything from the classes he missed. In a smart classroom, the lectures are recorded. Whenever a student is absent he can anytime see the recorded lecture. These recorded lectures are also uploaded on the internet which can be accessed by the students anytime by a login id and password. The notes are also in digital form, so they can be easily provided to the student.
Ease of understanding: There are many topics in the curriculum which are very difficult to understand. They cannot be just taught by using a chalk and a black blackboard. They require an interactive teaching approach. With smart classes, the teacher can use multimedia to teach that topic to the students. The students learn more from what they see rather than from what they listen. So the students understand easily and effectively all the difficult topics in a smart classroom.
Makes learning enjoyable: If we go and look in a regular classroom, the students are feeling very sleepy. Some of the students are not even listening to the teacher. They are busy talking with their friends. In short, the class becomes very boring for them. But it is not so in a smart classroom. The use of smart technology in the class makes the classroom a fun room. The class becomes interesting and enjoyable for the students. No student feels sleepy. It makes learning a fun process. The students who do not like to go to schools also starts enjoying in the school.
Improves the academic performance: It is often seen that the students studying in a smart class get a better result than the students studying in a regular class. This is so because the understanding ability in the students studying in a smart classroom is way more than other students. The use of technology in the classroom for teaching increases the understanding of the students. The topic becomes clearer and the base of the subject becomes stronger. Obviously, the students with better hold of the subject and with strong basic knowledge of the subject will score more in exams.
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