Make way for an ActivClassroom
Covering a wide range of areas, the learning resources are engaging and fun, says YOGENDRA KALAVALAPALLI
- PHOTO: P.V. SIVAKUMAR
Hi-tech: Technicians of Promethean put up an e-Classroom on the ActivBoard in Hyderabad on Tuesday .
Interaction is one of the keys to good education. How well a student grasps a particular concept could be gauged only on his/her answers to a teachers’ queries, which could become cumbersome in a large classroom. After all, a teacher cannot pose the same question to every student and it is almost impractical to check if the entire class understood a concept, not before conducting an examination.
Could technology be the solution to such constraints? “In many parts of the world, including in the United Kingdom, the traditional blackboard in the classroom has been replaced by the electronic whiteboard. Personal computers and laptops are now universal… High quality tools – hardware – have to be put together with high quality educational content – software - and high quality professional teaching and continuing professional development to deliver the outcomes we seek,” Charles Clarke, Member of Parliament of Norwich South and former Education Minister and Home Secretary of United Kingdom told delegates at the opening session of e-India at Hyderabad recently.
And it is this area that Promethean, a UK-based interactive education technology solutions provider caters to. Among its products are wireless gadgets, learning response systems (LRIs) in the company’s jargon that allow students to respond to teachers’ queries.
In an ActivClassroom, using ActivExpression and ActivRemote devices, a teacher can assess students’ answers and analyse various parameters like response time of student(s), how many answered correctly, the number of students that gave a particular answer, etc.
The results of an ActivExpression session can also be exported to an Excel spreadsheet for detailed analysis, explains John Collick, International Educational Manager for Promethean.
There is also a provision for students to give anonymous feedback on how well they understood a concept.
Lickert scale, as the feature is called, especially helps shy kids in clarifying their doubts, according to Dr. Collick. Promethean’s content software ActivInspire is feature-rich combining colour, motion and interactivity with integrated sound.
For example, a unique tool like translucency slider allows a user to go back and forth with time, according to the slider’s movement. Similarly, geometry tools in the package help in measuring different parameters directly on the screen.
Supporting and enhancing this technology is a free-to-join online teacher forum ( www.PrometheanPlanet.com) that boasts of 3,50,000 member-teachers from around the globe. Teachers can upload content on the site, share flip charts and exchange ideas to make lessons more absorbing.
Different gadgets like ActivPen, ActivSlate, ActivBoard, ActivWand aid in state of the art pedagogy techniques in an ActivClassroom. Complimenting these tools is learning content from LJ Create, a UK-based innovative solutions provider.
Covering a wide range of areas like mechanical, hydraulics, telecommunications, management systems, electrical systems, robotics, automotive, electronics, networking systems, information technology, digital photography, computer programming, digital audio technology, skyscraper and earthquake simulator, bridge design and building kit, its learning resources are engaging and fun to learn.
“Each module includes both real hardware and a computer-based simulator that can be used for the practical activities included in the curriculum.
This allows teaching of key engineering principles in each module with students using the simulators for practice tasks,” says Damian Breeze, marketing director of LJ Create.
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