Ministry of Education, Guyana

Monday, 23 November 2015 08:40

The Smart Classroom: transforming curriculum delivery –using advances in technology

With the recent pilot of the Samsung Smart-School initiative at the North Ruimveldt Multilateral Secondary, Guyana is finally catching up with the rest of the Caribbean, and the rest of the world, where interactive learning is concerned. And with neighbouring Trinidad and Tobago already ahead, having piloted a similar programme in 20 schools last year, it is clear that the technology landscape continues to evolve and brings new opportunities for schools and educators alike, says STARR Computers Michael Mohan.

The expectation, Mohan said, is that today’s students should be prepared not only for success in deploying tomorrow’s technological skills, but also for an interactive learning environment. Samsung is piloting Smart Schools in over 30 countries.
In its Smart-School pilot projects, Samsung has been supplying teachers and some whole classes with their own personal devices.

The Smart Classroom

The Smart Classroom Solution is a complete digital education package consisting of Samsung tablets, television, a server and software.
Mohan said that as demand for digital education tools grows, device manufacturers and solution providers are realising emerging opportunities in the academic field.
Governments are also beginning to understand the importance of adapting to the changing needs of tech-savvy students. As a result of this realisation, he said, many are implementing aggressive initiatives, such as digitising public school textbooks, with the primary goal being to make fundamental improvements to education through interactive teaching tools in the classroom and beyond.
Noting the benefits to be derived by going that route, Mohan said the Samsung Smart-School solution has the capacity to help boost student retention rates by providing an interactive learning environment, whereby they actively participate in the lesson.
Students become more engaged in the subject matter with hands-on experience and collaboration in the classroom and beyond, helping them to retain what they learn.
Further emphasising on the benefits, Mohan said teachers are finding it increasingly difficult to give each student their undivided attention, which challenge is becoming a serious concern among educators. As a result, teachers are looking for dynamic new ways to engage students in the learning experience. Educators need to focus on tools that not only motivate students to learn, but also increase collaboration and enthusiasm. Advances in digital technology have opened new avenues of communication, which are being translated into valuable teaching tools.
Indeed, he concluded that Internet access has substantially changed the nature of education.

Global Learning Centres

Recently, the E-Governance Unit has begun rolling out Wi-Fi networks in schools, while hinterland and remote areas are expected to benefit from Internet access by the end of the first quarter of 2016.
Classrooms are no longer learning islands; they can be global collaborative learning centres. The growth of Internet access and connectivity in schools, coupled with digital content development and learning management systems, has enabled the start of real-time communication between students, teachers and parents. Online course development and instructional design, learning management systems, interactive multimedia-based learning, individualised self-paced learning, and online communities of excellence afford the opportunity for all schools to access the tools and information needed for effective student learning.
The expectation is that today’s students should be prepared not only for success in deploying tomorrow’s technological skills, but for an interactive learning environment.

Source:http://guyanachronicle.com/

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