In the past two decades, technology has been growing rapidly, and the world of academia has seen classrooms get smarter with each passing year. Blackboards have turned white, projectors have evolved into interactive smartboards, chalks, pens, and erasers have been replaced by cursors, mice and delete keys, and hand-raising to ask a question has become hand-typing on google to find an answer.
But is this change for better or for worse? Although it is a matter of perception – from student’s or from teacher’s, there is a general consensus that technology has been an absolute groundbreaker in the field of education. This blog post explores the concept of smart classrooms and how much they have changed the face of learning.
Technology has not only improved the literacy rates around the world, for instance, the 10% increase in India from 2001 to 2011, but it has also bettered the academic performance of students. Subjects like physics and maths have become fun with funky visualizations, relevant graphs and real-life videos. The presentation of information has shifted from writing on blackboards to explaining through PowerPoint presentations; this has in turn enabled students to pay more attention in class, instead of having to split time between listening and writing notes.
Devices like speakers, amplifiers and microphones have given a huge boost to school/university admissions, as more number of learners can fit into a single class. Perhaps the biggest makeover in this new age education is the notebook/laptop/tablet. From classroom presentation slides to calculator applications to entire tests are being offered on these platforms by various institutions to facilitate efficient conduct of courses and quicker subject delivery. Smart classrooms have also put a wide smile on the faces of environment gurus due to the minimalistic wastage of paper, ink and plastic.
Despite these various thumbs-ups, technology has flooded the modern classroom so much, that parents and educators have questioned its purposes. A research done by MIT on 726 American students in two academic years between 2014 and 2016 found that computer/tablet usage had a significant negative effect on their academic performance. In fact, diversions from classroom learning like going on social media, internet browsing or playing monotonous games are a major concern of using gadgets in school. These woes are heightened when real-time social interaction with peers drops. Also, laptops/tablets are a double-edged sword: while they aid students in getting all the information they need, they also encourage heavy dependence of calculators and google search in students, essentially curbing the creativity-inculcating process. Smart classroom paraphernalia like interactive boards, projectors and learning software are quite expensive to replace or upgrade, and not all schools think about these maintenance and disposal costs while deciding to install them.
While some think that technology has reinvented learning, others assert that it has made teaching lose the Midas touch of personal interaction. It has certainly tipped the scale of learning for the better, but we believe a blend of traditional learning methods like taking questions in class and minimal usage of calculators, and modern technology like interactive whiteboards and video conference classes will serve educators and learners to the best of their collective interests.
Blueprint Education is aimed at providing high quality knowledge as Educational Publishers to the students who are the future of our nation. We work to create an insightful learning environment for the students and provide a strong footstool for their future endeavours.
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