Over the last few decades, everything has changed in our lives with the all pervasive intervention of technology. However classrooms have remained untouched by technology. The classrooms that our grandparents went to are exactly the kind of classrooms our children study in. Chalk and blackboard, a packed classroom, text books, regimented curriculum, a teacher painstakingly explaining abstract concepts with the limited tools at her disposal.
Imagine a Science teacher explaining how a DNA replicates, a History teacher teaching a class about the Harappan Civilisation, or a Geography teacher teaching how Block of mountains are formed. The best of teachers take pains to explain the concepts largely depending on their own abilities. The students listen to the teachers, try to decipher the figures drawn on the blackboard and read from their text books, take notes and try hard to visualize how it happens and remember. At the end of the class, the teacher asks a few random questions to assess how the class fared. Invariably a few hands (mostly of the same set of brightest students in class), go up, the answers are given and the class ends. Smart class brings about a complete transformation in classrooms. The Science teacher while explaining how a DNA replicates is able to show the class a 3D animation of the DNA replication process on a large screen. She can explain the fine points of the process, zoom in to show the relevant visuals, freeze and annotate when and where she needs to emphasize. Similarly the History teacher shows the class a virtual walk through of the Harappan Civilisation. Uncovering the relevant parts step by step as a part of her lesson plan , while the Geography teacher shows a virtual Block mountain being formed…all with engaging animations, colors, music, sounds and voice. The teachers gain complete attention and interest of every child in the class. Every child gets a visual input on how it happens and the concepts are well understood and internalised. Towards the end of the class, every teacher displays a set of questions on a large screen, every child in class gets ready to answer the questions with their personal answering device – SAS. Students click the answers, instantly, teachers are able to get a score sheet for every child in class. She ends the class re –teaching the parts of the lesson that were not understood well by class.
This results in faster and accurate understanding of the concepts in class and helps improve the overall academic performance of students. Teachers are able to keep students engaged in the learning process and also get an instant and accurate assessment of learning outcomes achieved at the end of the class.
EXTRA MARK is a technology oriented initiative for schools. It provides tools and content for interactive self-paced learning by students, as well as rich-media presentations for teacher-led classroom learning.
Smart class is for teachers and students over the web, and will also be installed on the school’s local server for faster and more reliable access to the content.
The content available consists of pedagogically sound and visually rich curriculum resources mapped and customized as per the school’s Scheme of Work. This content will be streamed into the classroom and shown by teachers in the classroom to make abstract concepts real.
Smart Class concept have been adapted by Goenka’s and following Hardware have been installed at the school premises:
- Intel powered CMPC laptops for every Smart Class student in the school.
- Laptops for teachers with special teaching tools developed for one on one teaching and learning.
- The O3 learning system that includes comprehensive facilitators Guide Books to help them integrate O3 in their day-to-day teaching in school.
- A training Manual and Learning Wheel to spin and strategize.
- Curriculum based digital resources for use in O3.
- All supporting equipment and infrastructure including routers, servers, and networking.
How does Smart Class affect a Child?
- Improves teacher effectiveness and productivity in class.
- It brings abstract and difficult curriculum concepts to life inside classrooms.
- Makes learning an enjoyable experience for students.
- Improves academic performance of students.
- Enables instant formative assessment of learning outcomes in class.
It also enables teachers to instantly assess and evaluate the learning achieved by their students in class.
At home, Students can access the content through Educomp Online, a portal dedicated to provide the smartclass schools with a 360 degree learning experience. The smartclass system includes a virtual school, where parents, teachers and students can communicate with each other. Teachers can upload assignments for students to download, and make available important information for parents to view.