The first digital classroom solutions were introduced in India close to 2 decades ago. It revolutionised the way we taught in classrooms and made the entire experience more engaging. The solution made it easier for teachers to teach in the classroom and gave a way for students to visualise the topic being discussed in ways that couldn’t be achieved with print media. Over the period, tons of new organisations have come up with a variety of solutions offered, each with their own pedagogy, making it difficult for the management to choose what is best for their children.
When choosing a smart classroom solution in India, there are 2 main aspects one needs to look at – Hardware & Content. In this blog, we try to break them down into smaller pointers that we believe should drive the decision making process.
Choosing the Right Hardware
The hardware we get today is pretty standard and it is easier to pick the ones from brands we trust. In order to setup a smart classroom solution in India we need a projector, a computer and an interactive white board. Here is how you can pick the best within your budget.
When choosing a projector for the classroom it is important to consider its throw distance and its lumen rating.
A projector with a longer throw distance are cheaper but it must be setup far away from the white board. Teachers end up casting a shadow on the screen as they move closer to the white board in this setting. While a projector with a longer throw distance is cheaper, it is not advisable in the classrooms. We should pick a projector with a short throw distance to avoid any obstructions and a more effective learning experience.
Classrooms are usually bright and the picture projected might not be clearly visible to kids across the class if unless you pick a projector with a good lumen rating. Here is a small chart that will help you pick the right lumen rating for your classroom.
Digital smart classrooms DO NOT require expensive configurations!!
In order to view content on your projector screen, you need not invest in a high end computer. All you need is a computer that can run the latest Windows operating system. Such computers with low configuration costs less than INR 10,000 per setup.
- Interactive White Board
Interactive white boards heavily rely on sensors in order to pick inputs from touch and other pens. This increases the chances of error over a period of time if the calibration mechanism is not good enough. You must pick a whiteboard from a reputed brand and the one that is used mostly by schools in your region.
Choosing the Right Content
Now, here comes the interesting part.
The first and foremost point to consider is “Is the content mapped with your school curriculum?” You must analyse the various modules made available to you to check if these are mapped with your school curriculum.
All schools have their own way of ensuring quality of education they provide. Similarly, content developers for Digital Classroom Solutions also have their own way of using technology to benefits students most. One must experience the pedagogy adopted by the Smart Classroom Solutions provider in order to ensure that the pedagogy followed is suitable to kids in your school and is in line with your philosophy of education.
When technology was first introduced to the classroom, it was a giant leap from the traditional methods of teaching from books. However, it has been almost 2 decades since the smart classes were introduced in the Indian educational system. You must check if the providers are up to date with technology and doing justice to your investment by providing you continuous content updates.
Presentations and videos are a thing of the past. Interactive technology is the way of future. When finalising your content provider, you can check if the solution can be used to make the classroom activity more engaging by involving the students or not.
How we designed content for Digital Classrooms in Preschools?
It has been noticed that most of the content developers have been focusing all their efforts towards developing rich content for classes 1 to 12. However, none have considered developing engaging content in the early years of education. This is where we began our journey.
For centuries kids have been learning about the environment through pictures in books. Schools often take kids on Field Trips to make it easier for them to visualise the topics being covered in the class. Let’s say, the we have to teach kids about Wild Animals. We show them pictures in books, show them a video on YouTube and take them to the Zoo. In none of the mentioned practices are the kids able to experience how these animals live in the real jungle.
The Innovative Solution
It is difficult to take all the kids to the jungle and hope to show them all the animals. So, we decided to bring the jungle to the classroom. We also had to make it interactive, so we use computer vision along with a pack of flash cards to engage kids in the activity.
Truly Interactive Smart Classes
Along with interactive simulation activities, we also make the classroom more lively by having interactive activities related to the various subjects like Maths and English. With Digital Classroom Solutions from Dweek Studios, kids are not just spectators to being at the centre of the learning experience.
The UlterioRoom Experience Zone
Here is a short video of the UlterioRoom Experience zone we developed to give you a sense of the potential of technology in today’s classrooms. Let’s say NO to traditional smart class solutions with presentations and videos and let’s insist on exploiting technology to ensure better education for our kids.