Smart classroom-The next frontier in transforming educational system
Looking at new trends in todays schools, digitization, no doubt is transforming educational system, globally especially in Nigeria where solution providers are deploying smart classroom and education solutions.
Just as it was the case centuries ago, people still receive instructions today in schools through such tools as textbooks, notebooks, pens/pencils, chalkboards, scripts, report cards/certificates, etc.
But the trend appears to be changing as Samsung, Educomp and other techy companies deploy smart classroom and education solutions around the world, Nigeria inclusive.
In line with this trend, the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) has phased out its old paper and pen Unified Tertiary Matriculation Exams (UTME) model for computer-based exam format.
Educomp launched its smart-class in 2004 in India, to kickstart a transformation process. In 2012 in the United States, Harvard and The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) developed EdX, a virtual university, in which Harvard and MIT offered classes online to millions of people around the world for free using multimedia digital platforms.
Similarly, the National Open University of Nigeria is largely run by correspondence. Today, there are thousands of online courses on offer on Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) or other institutions of learning.
These and many more attempts at transforming education have had tremendous impact on learning but little impact on how education is structured.
One company is, however, determined to make as much impact in the education sector, as it has done in mobile devices and other consumer electronics.
With this, Samsungs development of the smart classroom and internet schools is a hint of the potential changes that the education sector will undergo in the near future.
In places like the US, South Africa, Brazil, South Korea, India, and other countries, the smart classroom and solar-powered internet school are beginning to gain footholds.
In Nigeria, the smart classroom solution was unveiled last year in Greenspring International School, Lekki, while an internet school was launched in Oban community in Cross River State.
Commenting on the development, the Director, Greensprings School in Lagos, Mrs Olayiwola Koiki, has said that students of today are digital natives.
Similarly, Samsung Electronics West Africas Managing Director, Mr Brovo Kim, had said that Samsung was determined to deliver the classroom of the future today.
In line with this resolve, Samsung also recently partnered with Redeemers University , Ede, Osun State, to install 30 electronic boards in the school.
With this deployment, Redeemers University has joined institutions like Covenant University that have adopted technology to deploy education solutions.
Vice-Chancellor, Redeemers University, Professor Adebowale Adeyewa, said that the partnership with Samsung is yet another step in fulfilling Redeemers Universitys commitment to bringing new technology closer to students of the institution. We believe that this collaborative learning environment will improve students retention rates.Adeyewa added.
finding new and relevant ways to engage students is very important to the learning environment, said, Colm Keher, Principal of Loreto Kilkenny, the first school in Europe to experiment the smart school scheme. We must go beyond the blackboard and adopt new technologies into our teaching environments, and give our students easy access to technologies.
Indeed, it is interesting to see how the deployment of e-solutions will continue to transform the education sector. Imagine you enroll your kid in a school via the schools online portal, registration formalities are completed online and the kid is tested online.
The smart classroom is no doubt next generation. Cutting-edge technology drives the smart classroom and allows better engagement between the educator and the learner.
The solution utilises e-boards and devices such as tablets, PCs and other new age technological tools to facilitate learning.
Samsungs smart classroom, for instance, is a three-pronged solution involving the interactive management solution, the learning management system, and the student information system. Essentially, in the smart classroom, there is an e-board, a large screen that delivers content to students and helps teachers to monitor students progress.
The smart school solution may just be the catalyst to kick start a fresh enthusiasm for learning among school age kids.
There is no doubt that new ways of teaching are required to pique the interest of the digital age students.
In the next couple of years, when the power situation improves, interventions such as Samsung smart classrooms will lead to many schools adopting the average school classroom in Nigeria will feature e-board, e-textbooks, e-notebooks, e-syllabus, etcetera. There is the real danger that the school system, as it currently is, may become obsolete and unable to offer learning to todays tech-savvy school goers.