Ensuring maximum learning for the 21st Century learners
Rohit Mann, Director
Lancers International School
Smart classroom is indeed a blessing, all you need to do is to give it a try and reap the benefits in the form of students’ achievement.
Smart Classrooms in collaboration with innovative methods of teaching enhances and maximizes students’ learning and understanding. They help students gain a wider in-depth knowledge of subject rather than just restricting their learning and knowledge acquisition to curriculum. The use of digital aids facilitates creative and innovative learning. It also makes lessons interesting and more interactive. Here, Rohit Mann, Director, Lancers International School shares his opinion about Smart classrooms.
Q: What merits do a ‘smart classroom’ command in delivering an effecting learning model?
Rohit Mann: Smart Classrooms are technology enhanced classrooms that foster opportunities for teaching and learning by integrating learning technology, such as computers, specialized software, audience response technology, assistive listening devices, networking, and audio/visual capabilities. One of the major benefits of a Smart Classrooms is that the lessons are fun, interesting and are delivered in an interactive way. In Smart Classrooms, teachers integrate technology through computers, specialized software – online and offline, audience response technology, assistive listening devices, online libraries like Jstor and audio/visual capabilities into their teaching methodologies. It thus facilitates learning beyond textbooks and encourages interactive learning. One such strategy is flipped classroom which benefits both students and teachers many ways. This approach allows students to be ready for lessons as compared to a traditional classroom where a teacher uses conventional methods of teaching. Smart Classrooms in collaboration with innovative methods of teaching enhances and maximizes students’ learning and understanding. Due to interactive nature of the digital aids, the understanding of concepts is concrete and has a lasting effect. The advantages of Smart Classrooms are endless. So, I believe that Smart Classrooms are the best way forward to ensure maximum learning for the 21st Century learners. Although adopting such a new concept might be a tough decision for many, but the technology can create wonders in classrooms.
Q: What challenges do schools face in delivering pedagogy in a ‘smart environment’ and how can they adopt the new model?
Rohit Mann: Switching to non-traditional, digital mode of learning entails plethora of challenges. A Smart Classroom can be a different, however challenging, learning experience especially for students who are accustomed to traditional modes of learning. However, the right approach of introduction to these digital methodologies and strategies can help a great deal in overcoming these challenges. Overcoming technical glitches is another challenge. E-learning requires high bandwidth internet connection. Time management is also a difficult task for e-Learners, as online courses require a lot of time and intensive work. Also, ‘Smart teachers’ should realize that technology cannot replace the need for a good teacher. Relevant training should be imparted to teachers for them to be able to integrate technology in the lectures. It must be remembered that even in Smart Classrooms, students, not technology, should remain at the centre of things.
Q: How can ‘smart schools’ help in empowering individualized learning of the students and to address differentiated learners in a typical classroom?
Rohit Mann: Smart Schools employ various digital programs or software to empower teachers with tools that help them to design differentiated learning experience for students. Developing a personalized learning plan for each student helps both teachers and students to set their weekly targets and make decisions for the short-term as well as long-term. Smart Classroom helps students become independent learners as well as responsible for their own learning.
Q: What has been the response at your school?
Rohit Mann: Smart Classes in our school have received an overwhelming response. It has shown considerable difference in learning outcomes of our students. Our Smart Classes provide opportunities for teaching and learning by integrating learning technology, such as computers, specialized software, audience response technology, assistive listening devices, networking, and audio/visual capabilities. In addition, school has subscribed to various online digital libraries which help students in their research work and additional learning at home. Such facilities have taken learning beyond classrooms.
As I mentioned before as well, Smart Classrooms are the best way forward to ensure maximum learning for the 21st Century learners. It’s indeed a blessing, all you need to do is to give it a try and reap the benefits in the form of students’ achievement.