DEVELOPING A CLASSROOM FOR THE FUTURE (ENGAGING STUDENTS IN LEARNING)
Central University of Technology (SOUTH AFRICA)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2010 Proceedings
Publication year: 2010
Page: 265 (abstract only)
Conference name: 3rd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 15-17 November, 2010
Location: Madrid, Spain
Abstract:The development of a classroom of the future or a “smart”-classroom can be a daunting task. I have started the development of such a classroom and in this paper I would like to share the concept and some ideas with you.
It is important to note that the Classroom of the future is not only a technological hub, but to a large extent it is a comfortable learning centered area where students are surrounded with everything they need to learn. The room is also designed to make learning easy and effortless. Even though the student is completely surrounded by technology it is also the esthetics of the room that create a comfortable learning environment for the learner. This atmosphere adds to the creation of the students own Personal Learning Environment.
To prepare for this advanced learning environment there are many aspects to consider and in short I can explain my view as follows.
Much has been written about the design and implementation of a “smart classroom” . Many of these proposed designs are great when seen on paper but does not quite link up with the real world and the situation in which we find ourselves. These classrooms are often designed by people who come from an older educational system. There are usually two scenarios, either a total lack of insight into what is possible the other scenario is where so much money is thrown at the concept that so much money is wasted on technology that is not needed. The main problem here is that with the ever changing technology landscape money is spent on the first version of the classroom and in the end there is no money left to keep up with technology. We may call it the classroom of the future but if we can only be keep up with technology if we start small and keep up with the latest trends.
Currently many classrooms at the Central University of Technology, Free State (CUT) still do not even have the basics, lecturers do not have laptops and a large number of classes are not even equipped with Data projectors
It is very important to remember that the design of the classroom is only as good as it is relevant to the instructional goals, needs and pedagogies of the student that will use this venue.. It is therefore important that the people who make use of this classroom will utilise it effectively and not fall back on old teaching practices.
In this paper I will provide some of the key technologies that should be included in this classroom. The esthetics of the room are vital and a strong focus is placed on it in the paper. It is also important that the design of this room should take into consideration accessibility for people with disabilities. This paper will also include 3Dimensional renderings of a specially designed desk and a complete classroom.
Keywords: Classroom, Future, Smarter Classrooms.