What is Smart Class – An assistant for our teachers to teach better, right?
In its true sense, a Smart Class is an assistant, a supplementary tool for our teachers who can use it anytime to show a quick animation to clarify a concept, a practical feature to engage students or a question for mastery in a topic which they wish to make more clear to their students.
But for them to be inspired to use this digital tool regularly, the first important thing is that the Smart Class system should be very easy to use and should work on instant finger tip instructions of the teachers, so that during their verbal teaching session, they can anytime turn on and quickly use the digital supplement without getting stuck in complex hardware and operating system. Extrapolate this requirement to government schools and there the need of an extremely simple to use Smart Class for government school teachers becomes imperative.
Since our government school teachers come from varied backgrounds and already face tough working situations on the ground, therefore unless the Digital tools are extremely natural for them to use, they end up not getting used regularly. They need systems which they can use just like they use TVs and Android Phones at their homes without much complexity.
Wait. We just said TV and Android Phones?
How can we make the Smart Class Hardware and Operating System simple and easy to use for our Government school teachers?
By using Digital hardware which aligns with the psychology and current life situation of our government school teachers.
What is the digital hardware which is reaching every corner of our country and something that most of our rural citizens and therefore even the government school teachers know decently well how to use?
- A Television – Almost every government school teacher would be naturally comfortable with using a television. Everyone aspires to have a television at home and the biggest advantage is that everyone is naturally trained how to use a TV, whereas rarely any government school teacher would have used a projector in their life. Nowadays with affordable Smart TVs coming in the market, most of the new televisions being purchased even in rural india are Smart TVs.
- Android based Affordable Mobile Phones – After TVs, the next digital hardware that is reaching crores of rural users in every corner of India is an android based mobile phone. Every person aspires to own an android phone which becomes a great digital enabler for them. This is the reason why the majority of Government Schemes for the rural beneficiaries have taken a mobile first approach. Remember the BHIM App? Or the Kisan Apps for farmers? Or the DigiLocker app for certificates & documents?
For operating systems almost every rural citizen is now getting comfortable in using android based devices whereas very few in their lives would have regularly used windows based computers or laptops.
Therefore, combining the tremendous reach, natural self training and ease of use of both TVs and Android OS, we can offer an affordable yet regularly used Smart Class solution to our Govt School Teachers.
What are the options available for Android based digital hardware for Smart Class?
Today, almost all formats of digital infrastructure used for Digital Classrooms are available with the android operating system. Therefore to setup a PC free Smart Class or an Android based Smart Class, three different options can be considered:
1. Android TV or Smart TV for Smart Class – An affordable android TV can be used as a good solution for Smart Class display. One of the best options we have experienced is the MI Smart TVs. They are available in various sizes, are robust and offer all features needed for Smart Classes.
2. Android Projector for Smart Class – Many android based projectors are available and instead of needing to be connected to a windows computer or laptop, they have a pre installed android box inside the projector. These projectors become a viable alternative to Smart TVs for affordable Smart Class implementations.
3. Interactive Flat Panel – IFP for Smart Class – If you need a touch enabled Smart Class just like the Interactive Touch Boards, then IFP is the option to choose. Android based Touch enabled Interactive Flat Panels are the most premium option for Digital Classes. They are available in 55, 65, 75 and 86 inches and offer a complete touch based usage and operations. For premium and interactive smart class, the IFP is a great option.
These three types of PC free Smart Class hardware can be considered depending upon budgets, usage situation and project outcomes. All the three are PC free and would not need a computer, keyboard, mouse or any other accessories. An android projector may depending upon the size of the room require an external speaker to be connected (only if you feel the sound output isn’t sufficient)
Easy to use Android Hardware is very Good, but can Digital Content run on Android?
This is another important aspect to be taken care of. We have seen many CSR projects and Govt tenders who use android hardware for Smart Class but still attach a PC or windows box to it for running the Digital Content. That again increases hardware costs, makes regular management complicated and nullifies the key benefits of PC free Smart Class.
Till some time ago, most of the Smart Class content solutions used to deliver their platforms only for windows devices and that was a limitation. But now many new age Smart Class solutions are offering digital content for smart classes directly on android.
The Smart Class application is installed on the android device and it runs the offline content from either the device memory or a Pen Drive attached to the smart TV, Android projector or the IFP.
Infact running digital content on android brings some advantages with it. Android being the latest and multi device technology, it is much easier to run different types of content and also record usage data with auto sync.
Therefore, on android hardware, usage reports and project monitoring can happen very easily with auto sync of offline usage data happening automatically whenever the devices connect to the internet
Summarising key benefits of an Android based Smart Class below:
- Extremely easy to set up and requires no additional items such as processor, wiring, speakers, keyboards etc
- Very easy to operate. Just like the teachers use TV at home, this smart class hardware can be similarly operated with a remote or touch
- Offline digital content can be preloaded on pen drive, SD Card or in the device memory for the teachers to comfortably use it OFFLINE
- Multiple types of digital content can be integrated and offered on Android facilitating different styles of teaching and pedagogies
- With a feature to sync reports to a central dashboard, such projects can be remotely monitored for continuous impact assessment
- Since these are affordable and easily scalable, smart teaching can be quickly expanded to schools in every corner of the country
With Android based Smart Class, we can genuinely empower the teachers, not burden them and inspire them to use the set up regularly with their students to happily engage them with interactive digital education and growth.
At iDream Education, we research and specialize in Digital Content for PC Free Smart Classes and can offer all services related to them. Read more about our work on PC free Smart Class and our solutions here: https://www.idreameducation.org/learningtv
If you would like to share your thoughts on PC free Smart Class or would like to connect with us, please write to us in the comments section below or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
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