Institute of Computer Science (ICS), Foundation for Research and Technology - Hellas (FORTH) (GREECE)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2021 Proceedings
Publication year: 2021
Pages: 9508-9518
ISBN: 978-84-09-27666-0
ISSN: 2340-1079
doi: 10.21125/inted.2021.1989
Conference name: 15th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 8-9 March, 2021
Location: Online Conference
With the emergence of Ambient Intelligence, many challenges have surfaced concerning the equipment of physical classrooms with technologically enhanced artefacts. When installed into an environment, such artefacts should reduce their overall footprint and blend harmoniously into their surroundings. In order to accomplish such unobtrusiveness, the artefacts are usually hidden or embedded in their surroundings and traditional furniture to become unnoticeable. The Intelligent Classroom of ICS-FORTH, following these principles, features a collection of interdependent technologically-enhanced artefacts (i.e. desk, teacher’s workstation, whiteboard) that are capable of exchanging information and communicating with each other offering a unified interaction experience.

The student’s desk is one of the key classroom artefacts, where students spend most of their class time, so this work aiming to enhance their daily educational activities introduces an Intelligent Desk, namely modDesk, featuring a modular design. Its construction permits customizable surfaces to be added or removed on demand, so as to support the specific and different needs of each course. For example, during the chemistry course the student can utilize a surface featuring equipment appropriate for chemical experiments such as smart flasks, test tubes, scales, a Bunsen burner and other basic accessories. This new generation desk aims to further enhance students’ engagement and motivation, providing hands-on experience and offering personal study spaces with specialized equipment.

Considering that related studies suggest that it would be beneficial for the educational process to equip students with a display along with an appropriate input method, the surfaces of modDesk feature built-in monitors and input devices, but also enable students to connect their handheld devices (e.g Smartphones, Tablets). Via sophisticated mechanisms the desk identifies any external devices that are docked to its surface or that are in close proximity, and assess the capabilities they offer. Based on the identified capabilities, modDesk adapts to better support the student by either selecting the most appropriate input/output device depending on the characteristics of the user and the task at hand, or adjusting the delivered user interfaces so as to ensure the optimal User Experience. Every desk creates its own individual micro-environment, which intercommunicates with the entire Intelligent Classroom environment.
Intelligent Classroom, Smart Classroom, Smart Desk, Ambient Intelligence.