In an effort to take teaching beyond classrooms and textbooks in local government schools, the UT education department has finally begun digitalising classrooms in nine schools in the city as the new academic session kicked off.
Having collaborated with Extra Marks, a private company, to facilitate digital learning for students, the pilot project took off on April 1 across these schools, including 200 classrooms in all.
District education officer, Chandigarh, Vinay Sood said to begin with 200 classrooms across nine schools currently had been converted into smart classrooms.
“Depending on the response we would install more, but so far the response has been quite positive as students enjoy learning this way,” said Sood.
Several teachers across government schools have received training from employees of the digital solutions company so as to teach students effectively via digital boards.
The director school education (DSE), deputy DSE and district education officer (DEO) also attended an English class at a local government school recently so as to see the output of the pilot project of E-content.
DSE, Rubinderjit Singh Brar said, “Another 1,000 digital classrooms would be added once we see the response of the first 200. We have given the schools six months for now to get accustomed with the process.”
Education department officials also shared that each school had one employee deputed specifically for smart classrooms so that in case of any difficulty during the initial period, guidance is at hand.
A visit to one of GMSSS-19 smart classroom by HT team on Tuesday highlighted how students were more proactive in classroom discussion and were also seen attempting multiple choice questions on the digital board.
A teacher said, “In such a case, students learn from their mistakes on the spot as E-content project has options where the right answer pops up if the student doesn’t get it right.”
Mahesh Rana, a student of Class 10, GMSSS-19, said, “Learning through visuals and animation makes it more interesting for us. My attention span has improved after attending such classes.”
Another Class 10 student, Alka Arya said, “The best part is we are told our mistakes on the spot during assessments or class tests which, in turn, enables us to recollect concepts faster.”
Arvind Rana, a teacher at government school, Sarangpur and president of SSATWA, said, ”Teaching through smart boards is a creative method initiated by education department in government schools of Chandigarh. Class wise and subject wise software have been pre-installed and if necessary teachers can also use pen drive to customise the teaching leaning material as per requirement of subject and class.”
Principal of GMSSS-10 Harbir Anand said, “It was a good way to bring government schools at par with other private schools in the city as smart classrooms means more exposure for students.”
Lucky Bhanot, from Extra Marks, deputed at a local government school for assistance, said, “There is active learning in the classrooms through animations and audio lectures… The BBC emotion gallery videos are also being used, as well as phonetics, quizzes, it includes everything to encourage students to participate.”
WHAT IS A SMART CLASSROOM?
Smart classroom is a comprehensive strategy for digital education as part of pilot project in city’s government schools. The aim is to enhance classroom teaching with the latest in computer and projector technology where students engage in learning through a digital board in classrooms. FEATURES OFFERED IN SMART CLASSROOM For an active teacher-student participation, the digital board offers features like lesson planner and Maths Xplorer; Map Xplorer; interactive GK-covering themes like famous personalities, sports, world, culture and religion and Science.
Also, an assets module for teachers to create question banks, worksheets and presentations and a student response system as well where the teachers will be able to record live results of students, individually, is part of the package.