Instead of a teacher's monologue explaining the food-chain of animals, these days classrooms are abuzz with video clips streaming on YouTube. Students are more comfortable in giving power-point presentations and audio-visual techniques while teachers make most of the 3D images to explain the toughest of lessons. Welcome to the world of digital classrooms in schools which are slowly, but steadily replacing the traditional classrooms having chalks and blackboard.
About a decade ago, one dreamt and talked of 'open-air classrooms' for better learning. The closed room teaching with teachers scribbling on black boards was much criticised. However, that was then. The rooms might be the same but the environment within the rooms has changed completely. The conventional black-board has made way for digital equipment, making the learning process not just more colourful but also more interesting.
Pearl Singh, a Class XII (commerce) student of Maharani Gayatri Devi School, observed that the Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation (CCE) system is good for students who are consistent in studies. "This system has partly put an end to mugging of lessons and jotting notes. It has more scope for students to sharpen their creativity and showcase skills in different spectrums. I found it far interesting and easy to understand the subjects than the earlier form of textbook learning,'' says Pearl.
To make education more interactive and learning a fun experience, many schools are opting for Information and Communication Technology-enabled smart classes where digital black boards, audio-visual rooms and interactive sessions have replaced traditional blackboards and textbooks. The tech-savvy students not only enjoy their studies through these methodologies but keenly participate in the learning process. Audio-visual rooms, e-boards and knowledge centres are adding a new dimension to the teaching style.
"Smart classes have changed the process of learning. These days it is happening more through screens -- be it television, laptop or films. Students are very quick in learning new technologies and if they are used to impart education, it enhances the understanding of the concepts. Also, students do not want to hear teacher all the time. There has to be a bit extra to keep them hook. Technology helps in that," said Seema Bhatnagar, principal, Delhi Public School.
Use of technology is not restricted just to classrooms. Teachers are using social networking sites and emails to engage with their students and parents. The assignments are now accepted through emails. Groups are made on Facebook to keep the students updated about classes and school activities. Similarly, students are using it to upload interesting videos and articles about topics of their interest on the group page and share it with everyone.
"We allow our students to submit their assignments through emails. It saves paper and students also find it easy. We also encourage them do more research and find various dimensions of the particular topics on internet. In the periods at smart classes, the attention of the students is very high. Digital learning gives the exact reproduction of the concept," said Bela Joshi, principal, Subodh Public School.
Viewing the change, the libraries in schools are also getting IT enabled. With every textbook, a CD version is also available for students. Smart cards have made inroads which keep track of books issued online. "Administration of books is done through software. This help us in making list of popular books and keep a tab on the reading trends among children. The ebooks are all available online," said Jayshree Periwal, director-principal of Step By Step group of schools.