Interactive learning, thanks to a ‘smart’ classroom

Michael Josh Villanueva

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The Smart Classroom project at the Philippine Science High School aims to provides students with a fully digital and interactive learning environment

MANILA, Philippines — I haven’t been in any classrooms lately, but if they are anything like the recently unveiled Samsung Smart Classroom at the Philippine Science High School (PSHS) Main Campus in Quezon City, then I’d like to take some of my meetings to school.  

The tech giant and the country’s most prestigious high school joined forces late last year to develop the high-tech classroom.

The project took over 10 months to design and conceptualize, and takes into consideration not only the techie details but also function and adaptability of the space. 

The classroom can accommodate 30 students at a time. Students are each given Windows based tablets to use while in class. The tablets are wirelessly hooked up to the teacher’s computer so he can, for example, declare a pop quiz and immediately send the questionnaire over to the tablets. 

During the class demonstration at the launch of the Smart Classroom on Monday, February 10, a teacher gave students a time limit and tracked in real time the digital test papers being submitted. Once all results were in, he then took a look at how the class did per test item, and what percentage of the students correctly answered each question – with visualizations reminiscent of an elections covergae on TV.   

Instead of a blackboard, a touch-enabled large-format display (LFD) sits in front of the classroom. The high-tech whiteboard can project the professor’s lecture or an interactive computer program that can be used for exercises.

At the back of the class, five 55-inch Smart TVs are mounted in a row. You can hook up USB drives to any or all of these Smart TVs and play a movie or a presentation, or even mirror the contents of your smartphone or tablet. If those displays are not enough on the side of the classroom is a video wall made up of three 75-inch LFDs mounted vertically.

The PSHS administration hopes that the Smart Classroom will help bridge the gap between traditional teaching methods and technology proficient students.  — 

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