Try to picture a classroom with 98-inch ultra-HD monitor with touch screen display, advanced computer with internet connection, digital whiteboard, projectors and high-end peripherals for video-conferencing. This is how a twenty-first century classroom looks like. Technology, ever since it started blending with education, has changed the way a classroom used to look like. It has also transformed the approach of learning as well.
Today’s classroom, unlike traditional one, provides development opportunities and advanced tool to nurture creativity and eminence in learning for the students and teaching for the educators. Here they can evaluate themselves by engaging in research based learning. This means, instead of fully relying on lectures delivered by educators, they have the chance to dig into the internet to search and modify study material. Technology supports self-directed learning, where only students are in the pole position of education, not the teachers nor even the entire educational system.
Let’s talk through the innovative ideas that a digital classroom has to offer.
Digital classroom. Digital classrooms are vibrant places where students can engage themselves in study. Unlike traditional brick-and-mortar classroom, digital classroom does not bound the students with strict guidelines. They can engage in a video-conference, a small-group or even one-to-one conversation whenever they feel the need of it. The classrooms are designed to help students to express their ideas explicitly. Ziad Munson, professor of political sociology at Lehigh University says,
“We use the technology room for a lab where students get hands-on experience applying the concepts they are learning in class and synthesizing class ideas to understand real world situations and issues.”
Technology: the source of information. Today, technologies are not distractors that break the concentration, they are the source of information that forms a connection; connection within classroom and beyond it. With the increasing availability of high speed internet connection with unlimited bandwidth students are becoming addicted to studying.
“We view technology as another arrow in our quiver,” James Lerman, director of the Progressive Science Initiative. says. “We don’t teach technology for its own sake. We see it as useful to the extent that it supports teaching and learning”
Building student engagement through collaboration. If you, by any chance, happen to be in a digital classroom, you can see students are interacting with each other. Numerous scholars have a notion that collaborative research done by students from different background and with atypical talents in a single classroom can enhance the impact of learning. As Douglas Thomas, in A New Culture of Learning, says,
“Learning communities simplified by technology allow students – both individuals and groups – to deepen and broaden their conceptual understanding of curriculum topics.”
Students, in digital classroom, learn to work together by following simple guidelines which, in a nutshell, defines modern learning. Those guidelines are as follows-
a. Helping each other.
b. Adaptable to change.
c. Sharing viewpoints.
d. Realising roles and responsibilities.
e. Working in fixed time-frame.
Classroom and beyond.
Interaction between students beyond the classroom is as important as building a collaborative environment within the classroom. Digital classroom allows students to connect with the rest of the world through education-based blogging platform. A student can direct his own study in whatever way he wants, be it sharing or stating a problem or solution, expressing by voice-thread or participating in discussion boards.
Digital classroom helps the students to innovate. It acts as a technical hub that transform classroom educations into life skills. Furthermore, it is increasing the responsibility among the students as they are the core of entire educational system.
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