What are Smart Classrooms, and is this the way for the future of education?

Posted by Nadia Winget on December 15th, 2021

Educational institutions all over the world are investing in new technologies that will change education as we know it. These technological investments include smart classrooms, which combine state-of-the-art technology with traditional learning methods.

What is a smart classroom? A smart classroom integrates interactive and engaging digital content into everyday teaching and learning activities to support students\' cognitive development and foster creativity, critical thinking, problem solving skills and 21st century skills. Though there has been some concern about whether or not these types of classrooms actually work for children\'s development, research has shown mixed results; either showing no significant statistical difference between those who take classes in such a setting versus those who do not; or proving that such an environment does indeed have benefits for student achievement, engagement, motivation and creativity. Smart Classroom solutions in Sri Lanka are also available now through reputed vendors, and are gradually being implemented through various organisations.

Classrooms that are described as \"smart\" usually have technology integrated into the learning environment in some way. This can include using interactive whiteboards or projectors to display content on a screen for the entire class to see, providing laptops or tablets for each student to use, or having computers and other devices hooked up to internet-enabled screens around the room. Smart classrooms may also have microphones and cameras installed so that teachers can call on students remotely and monitor their work from anywhere in the room. Additionally, many smart classrooms make use of various software programs that allow for different types of interactivities between students and teachers or among students themselves.

The advantages of having a smart classroom includes:

-      The ability for the teacher to call on any student in the room without having to leave their desk.

-      The ability for students to work collaboratively on projects from anywhere in the room.

-      The ability for teachers to track individual student progress and provide help or support as needed.

The disadvantages of having a smart classroom include:

-      Teachers may feel overwhelmed by all of the technology at their disposal and not be sure how to use it effectively.

-      Students who are not comfortable with computers or who do not have access to devices outside of school may fall behind their peers in terms of technological skills.

-      There is potential for cyberbullying if proper precautions are not taken.

Why are Smart Classrooms being used in schools now?

This type of technology is being used in may institutes of higher learning these days, because it provides more opportunities for experiential learning and allows students to fully explore what interests them inside and outside of the classroom.

Smart Classroom solutions in Sri Lanka and elsewhere around the world, provide students with the opportunity to carry out their educational activities and needs from the home environment itself, with distance learning and a variety of multimedia resources and tools. The use of Smart Boards, tablets, projectors and laptops can make the educational process more interesting for students, motivating them to learn better.

How can they help students learn better?

The big question however, is whether this new technology can actually help students to learn better, or whether it will have a negative impact on their education because of the distractions that are commonly associated with new technologies. According to a study conducted by The Journal of Computers in Mathematics and Science Teaching, smart classrooms do help students learn better. The study found that students who were taught using digital resources achieved higher test scores than those who were not. In particular, the use of laptops helped students achieve better results in mathematics, science and social studies tests. This was because these devices provided teachers with an opportunity to provide more individualized instruction to their students, which is something that is not possible in a traditional classroom setting.

Another study conducted by The National Centre for Education Statistics in the USA, also found that there was a positive relationship between the use of technology and student achievement. However, this study also found that the type of technology used in the classroom was important. For example, the use of computers had a more positive impact on student achievement than the use of cell phones or tablets.

Despite these findings, there are still some disadvantages to using technology in the classroom. One disadvantage is that students can become distracted by their devices and may not be paying attention to the teacher. In addition, teachers may need to spend more time preparing lessons that include technology and may not have enough time to cover all of the material they would like to teach.

How do teachers feel about them?

Let us look at the other side of smart classrooms, which is the teacher’s perspective. A majority of teachers feel that smart classrooms have a positive impact on student achievement. They find that students are more engaged in the classroom, they can assess what students know better, and they can provide individualized instruction to meet each student\'s needs.

What is the cost to implement them into a school or classroom?

While smart classrooms may be a reality in developed countries, the cost is still far too high for smaller countries to implement these classrooms on a wide scale. The price for one smart classroom usually runs at a very high cost. That is a lot of money to spend on one classroom, and it is hard to justify the cost when so many schools in the world are still without basic needs like textbooks and desks.

While not all schools or educational centres can afford the cost of implementing a smart classroom into their facility, it is clear that they will become more popular in coming years as technology moves forward. There are many advantages to having these digital learning tools available but there are also some disadvantages too which should be considered before making any decisions on whether or not you want one installed at your school.

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Nadia Winget

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Nadia Winget
Joined: June 2nd, 2021
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