Wednesday, 23 May 2012
SANJIV PANDE tells SANGEETA YADAV how the trend of whiteboard learning and teaching has increased manifold in the past few years in this country
What is Smart Technologies all about?
Smart Technologies is one of the few companies to offer one-stop shop solutions to meet all the pedagogical needs of an educational institution. Since 1991, we have been focused on developing a variety of easy-to-use, integrated solutions that free people from their desks and computer screens and make learning with digital resources more natural. Smart products have transformed teaching and learning in more than 1.9 million classrooms worldwide, reaching over 40 million students and their teachers.
What are the various smart products and facilities available?
From interactive whiteboards, graphs, maps, diagrams to videos, pictures, all this and much more are available in mere touch of a button. Teachers and parents can download innovative lesson activities from the ‘Smart Exchange’ website which serves as a repository of quality multimedia lessons, infusing life into the classroom teaching.
What research work has gone into this techniques?
A study conducted at the University of Virginia in the United States resulted that Smart’s interactive whiteboards when used with appropriate pedagogy and digital resources, can lead to improved student learning outcomes and teachers’ quality of life. Teachers felt they were more organised and had more time to prepare for lessons using learning software — ‘Smart Notebook’.
What about teacher’s training?
We believe that teachers form the back-bone of an effective education system. Thus, it is very critical to train teachers, who are mostly digital immigrants, in the use of 21st century educational tools so they may be effective in using technology in classrooms. Recognising this training need, we have introduced ‘Smart Professional Development Program’ to make teachers adept in using technology tools. Our education consultants conduct training for school teachers at regular intervals to help them upgrade their skills as per the evolving learning needs of students.
Your take on the trend of technology in classrooms…
The traditional ‘chalk and talk’ teaching method has found to be inadequate for today’s learners. Students are expected to face different opportunities and challenges at work, life and citizenship than previous generations. Thus technology plays a vital role in making learning experience interactive and easy to grasp and retain concepts.
Where can we see this trend?
Over the last one year, 13,000 classrooms across 2,000 schools have installed Smart’s solutions. Some of them are DPS, Alpine School, National Public School, International School of Bangalore and colleges like IIM Ahmedabad, Bangalore, IIT Chennai, Delhi, Kharagpur etc.
We have been working with the State boards to make quality educational tools accessible to ECI (economically weaker section). In Delhi, we have collaborated with ten Rajkiya Pratibha Vikas Vidyalaya.
How costly is it?
SMART Technologies offers products across various price brackets to suit the requirements and budgets of every educational institution. The products are also available under Government of India – Directorate General of Supplies and Disposals (DGS&D) rate contract.
(The interview was published in the Pioneer Newspaper’s Avenues supplement)