Digital transformation is at its peak especially post Covid and therefore, integration & usage of technology even in education and specifically, in the rural education system has also become significant.
To bridge the digital divide in the education sector across India, the government has also approved setting up 10,778 Information Communication Technology (ICT) labs and 42,311 smart classrooms at the cost of Rs 956.8 crore in 2021-22.
But what are these ICT Labs and Smart Classrooms that the government is referring to? Smart Classrooms have been in existence for nearly 2 decades now and because of various infrastructural and psychological challenges, their regular usage has always been a challenge. So, why then is the government keen on replicating the same model which has not delivered the intended outcomes? Or is it something new and innovative that is under consideration, which can change things around?
In this blog, allow us to first talk about what Smart Class actually means. Stay with us and we will go deeper into the kinds of Smart Class that exist today and what kind of innovation possibilities are emerging.
What is Smart Class – A World beyond textbooks
Smart Class is a digitally equipped classroom with a range of teaching and learning tools. This incorporates audio and visual learning material through which the teacher can make the classroom teaching fun and engaging.
Why Do We Need a Smart Classroom?
Learning is a cognitive process that involves thinking, reasoning, and making sense of what is being taught. Using digital content in the form of videos and picture books, teachers can enable students to visualize what they are learning, which has the potential to create better conceptual clarity in the student.
In traditional classroom teaching, teachers are unable to maintain one-to-one interaction with students, but with the integration of smart classrooms, they save on their time as they do not have to write or draw on the board as much as earlier and hence they are able to connect with their students better and are able to give them enhanced personalised experience Moreover, teachers are able to communicate complex concepts in a better way which also encourages student-teacher interaction.
With an element of fun in teaching, students will have a higher engagement in the classroom, will improve average daily attendance, and educational outcomes of students in long term.
How are Smart Classrooms typically set up in Government schools?
Following equipments are generally used while setting up a Smart Class:
- A white screen. These days we even use touch-based panels
- Projector either mounted on a ceiling or on the screen itself
- Processor with a keyboard and a mouse
- Sound System
- Bunch of wires to interconnect all the hardware elements mentioned above
Challenges of Existing Smart Class Setup in Government Schools
Existing Smart Class hardware in government schools is very challenging to use because of:
Turning on and off the entire setup takes time since every component is linked to one or the other device
Maintaining each hardware component is difficult and if anyone of it fails, the entire setup ceases to work.
Need for Finer innovation in Smart Class Hardware to Drive its Regular Usage
So, now the question is, how do we make it easy for the regular use of teachers?
One way is to align with the natural psychology of teachers. For example, if we look at the rural development, television was the one innovation for which no training was given to people but in a very little time, people became comfortable using it because it is nothing alien and is very easy to access.
Further, replacing all the smart class components with one single piece of hardware like TV will also align with the comfort of teachers with technology. With this, we will be able to simplify smart class and cope with teachers’ resistance to technology. Thus, we believe giving teachers access to technology that they are already familiar with, will enable regular use of digital teaching solutions in government schools.
Introducing the Concept of PC Free Smart Class Setup
The idea of PC Free Smart Class is all about one piece of hardware which could be Smart TV or Touch-Based Panels with an Android-based operating system to make digital teaching simple and easy. At iDream Education, we are at forefront of introducing PC Free Smart Class to take it across for the development of government schools. It is just like TV, and with Pendrive plugged in that has all the content required for delivering a digital classroom experience.
Benefits of a Single Unit Smart Class Setup in our Government Schools
- PC Free Smart Class is easy to set up single unit hardware. It does not require any infrastructural changes in any space as it can be set up on any wall with the help of one stand and 4 screws. It is a feasible digital teaching solution that can enhance the infrastructure of any government school.
- PC Free Smart Class is nothing alien and requires no specific care to maintain. To access this, teachers just need to switch it on, navigate content through the remote, and switch it off with one power button.
- With Pendrive plugged in, PC Free Smart Class works completely offline, removing dependence on the internet.
How Innovation in Content and Content Delivery can Further Drive the Regular Usage of PC Free Smart Class
To ensure regular use of smart classes in government schools, we have specifically focused on innovation in content. Content in PC Free Smart Class is in:
We encourage teaching and learning in the mother tongue for which we enable content in Hindi, English, and other regional languages. Further, providing content in teacher preferred language motivates them to use digital solutions regularly because it becomes easy to access.
Align with boards:
All the content is aligned with CBSE and local state boards therefore when teachers see similar topics of books in TV they naturally wish to teach through it which drives regular use of PC Free Smart Class in government schools
Easy navigation of category:
Navigating content in PC Free Smart Class is just like changing channels on TV and when the content category is divided just like textbooks and chapters, it becomes easier for teachers to navigate and teach through it regularly.
These are some ways through which we drive regular usage and build comfort for government school teachers with Smart Class.
Are Smart Classes the future of education style?
Digitalisation is growing at a fast pace and our government is investing a lot of money to digitize government school teaching and learning. To make a right use of their investment, we emphasise implementing PC Free Smart Class to empower teachers to put digital teaching into action and improve students learning outcomes. Hence, if we will be able to drive regular use of technology in government schools, smart classes would become the future of education style.
Take Power of Digital to Next Level
Empower People | Enrich Lives
-Honorable PM Narendra Modi Ji