Brandon has extensive research experience in education technology and implementation. Specifically, in K-12 and university environments.
Smart schools incorporate various types of technologies, but all share the feature of connected equipment. In a smart classroom, you might see projectors, interactive whiteboards, and individual laptops for students. It’s not just the equipment that’s different, either; such classrooms will incorporate digital platforms into class learning as well as outside it to create more effective communication between teachers, students, and parents. While smart classrooms involve significant shifts in teaching style, they offer many benefits to students, teachers, and school administrators alike.
Good for Multiple Learning Types
While traditional classrooms benefit students who can absorb information by listening and writing, there are many different types of learners. Students can improve their study time by understanding what their own learning styles are, and teachers can use smart tech tools to reach a wider range of learners.
For instance, using an interactive whiteboard, teachers can provide material for visual and auditory learners; touchscreen capabilities also offer tactile learners something to interact with.
Not only do smart schools help educate individuals, but they also save a lot of energy by using smart technology. This can mean big savings which the school can put towards classroom resources. Sometimes we forget about the possibilities for smart classrooms that aren’t about the teaching process. Infrastructure technology such as smart thermostats, leak detectors, and smart light bulbs can help schools save on energy costs and put that money toward acquiring better educational materials. And, replacing paper and pencils with screens offers a forest-friendly alternative.
Both teachers and students benefit from the increased availability of information that comes with smart classroom tech—just one of the ways it can help teachers is to make lessons more interactive and fun.
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With every student on a laptop, it’s easy to add quizzes or assessments to class time to check on progress and decide what to focus on next. And incorporating visuals, such as maps, graphs, charts, videos, and photos gives students something to look at and presents information in a new way.
Access to Information
Teachers and students in smart schools have all the information available on the web at their fingertips; no need to wait for a trip to the library to look something up. This can be helpful in class by giving students a way to work on their own projects and learn what they need to know in real time. Instead of only being able to reference a textbook, students can get the most up-to-date info on whatever subject they’re studying.
Helps Make Up for Absences
With smart school tech, classes can be recorded so absent students (or any others, for that matter) can review what they missed instead of relying on a friend’s notes. And with digital activities woven into the class presentation, these students can go through the same learning process they’d otherwise miss out on.
Of course, it’s ideal to have students in class, but in situations of illness or injury, tech is a great way to close the gap for students who have to miss school. With some smart classroom technologies, students can even follow along from home as the class unfolds.
Keeps Parents in the Loop
Teachers can use classroom management apps to provide lessons to students, keep track of each student’s progress, and provide feedback to students, among other tasks. The great thing about such apps is that parents can also access them, so they know how their kids are doing, and use them to communicate directly with teachers about any issues without the challenge of finding a time to meet in person.
Prepares Students for the Future
Even for kids who don’t later choose to enter the tech field, working with tech will likely be a big aspect of their future careers. The earlier they learn these skills, the better. What more effective way to do so than to incorporate tech into the learning environment? The variety of interactive experiences smart schools offer, from online communities to in-class projects, also helps students learn excellent communication and collaboration skills while accomplishing tasks.
The benefits of smart schools for students, from greater interaction and collaboration to more personalized education, are undeniable. Smart schools will only be as effective as the teachers trained to use the technology, so if you’re thinking about adding this tech to your classroom, make sure to invest in training time.