Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Does Technology Make Classrooms Smarter?

The 2000s saw the introduction of computers and projectors in the classroom. A decade later iPads and LCDs took over. The most recent trend, however, shows that the modern classroom has fascination with gadgets and is now focussing on using techonology to make the classroom smarter. Gadgets are increasingly being used only as a means to improve learning processes, engage students in classroom discussions and enhance learning environment.

The noveau age educational institutes have been adopting a comprehensive strategy at making education digital. These technologically sound classrooms offer high-tech tools like touch panel device to control the whole system that include computers, data projector, audio system, and interactive whiteboards.

“Using visuals during classroom presentations not only help students to understand the subject clearly but also offer a way to keep the class engaged while covering required curriculum material,” says Punit Rastogi, Managing director Solutions India Systems Pvt. Ltd. (SISPL) which has deployed AV Solutions for Dhirubhai Ambani International Schools. The company has also created high-tech smart classes with over 800 projectors at NIIT recently, besides developing state of the art technology for Amity University, Jetking, and Frankfinn among others.

He further adds, “Referring to the benefits of smart classes, Government of India has also taken a step for the implementation of innovative teaching methodology. Some schools are promoting the BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) concept to make learning more effective and speedy.”

 “For instance, if a professor is explaining the geography of a place, in a smart class room it will show the exact location of the point on a map, the continent it belongs to, the adjacent ocean, the mountain range that surrounds it, the cities, states and national borders. In fact it will throw up any detail. During the session if a student raises a question related to partition of the country or formation of states, the professor is in a position to quickly pull another presentation or content or access available material on the web and address the inquiry immediately. These solutions also have internal libraries which are mapped according to the curriculum of various boards and packed with fine details for better understanding. Once the class ends, professor can post the presentation with added inputs on website with a private access or email it to the students. This also encourages students to concentrate in the class instead of focusing on their notes,” adds Rastogi.

In addition to this, moving data, compiling images, referring to altogether different files, incorporating images or data is easily possible through this technology.

“We have also improved upon technologies that break geographical barriers in education and give distance education a whole new meaning. The technology has been flawlessly implemented at corporate training centres. But going forward, we see this impacting education institutes in a big way. Theoretically, this means that when Stephen Hawking delivers an address at, let us say, University of Houston, students in India tied up with the university can not only listen live to him, but can interact as much as his American counterpart who is physically present there. The future of education is exciting,” concludes Rastogi.

Samsung New Smart & LED Tv Models Now In India

Samsung India, further expanding its Smart TV and LED TV portfolios, has launched 20 new TV models in the market. And also it unveiled an 85 inch Ultra HD (High-Definition) Television namely 8569 and Joy Range of TVs that would be available later this year; according to Samsung these TVS are made especially for India. 

The Joy Range of TVs are currently being developed and designed at development centres of Samsung at Noida and Bangalore. The TVs that come under Smart series are priced between between Rs.37900 to Rs.3.68 Lakhs, while the prices of the Plasma range TVs vary in between Rs.35,500 and Rs.2.09 Lakhs.

However, the newly launched models that come under the Smart and Plasma TV series comprise interactive features letting users to browse through the internet. Samsung has also unveiled a new ‘Evolution Kit’ that is being sold separately facilitates upgrading the features of software & hardware of selected models of Samsung. It is priced at Rs.17,000.

According to S.K. Kim, Senior Vice President (Consumer Electronics), Samsung India, “With the launch of our 2013 Smart TV range, we are looking to consolidate our leadership in the Panel TV market in India. We expect LED TVs to drive our Panel TV growth, with Smart TVs contributing at least 20 per cent of our Panel TV volumes this year.”

Among the newly launched models under the Smart TV range, there is F8000 model, the same model that was unveiled at CES 2013, which is said to be the first Smart LED TV of the world that comes with a quad core processor. This one also comes equipped with S-Recommendation & intelligent viewing features. However, the S-Recommendation feature allows users to ask for the recommendations using their own voice. 

The S-Recommendation feature is a part of Smart Hub Suite that lets users to access apps and social networks. This feature also comes with another quad-core powered model named F7500, which comes with a 46 inch monitor. Both these F8000 and F7500 models are designed to deliver ultimate lean back experience to its customers being powered by quad-core processors.

Kim also said that as of now more or less 1000 has been developed that run on Linux platform. These TVs not only facilitates social media but also lets users transfer contents from other gadgets like smartphone & tablets to the TVs.
To know more about these new launches, refer to the official website of the Korean manufacturer. And stay tuned for further such updates.

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