School’s smart move


All hands up: Year Four pupils eager to answer a question posed by their teacher.

A Tamil school is seeing better participation and outcomes from their pupils with its digital classrooms.

TECHNOLOGY is changing the education landscape rapidly and it is exciting times for children who have the opportunity to learn their lessons visually and in a different manner instead of the traditional textbook method.

SJK(T) Ladang Midlands pupils have had a new beginning this year as they are learning in classrooms with e-boards.

All its lessons from Years One to Six in the Shah Alam school are being conducted using the smart board in every classroom, making it the first among the country’s Tamil schools.

School board chairman Uthaya-soorian Kalimuthu said information and communication technology (ICT) facilities were incorporated to enhance teaching and learning.

Each classroom has an e-board, a large screen that delivers content to the pupils. Teachers act as facilitators and also monitor their progress, he said.

Uthayasoorian added that the smart class solution may just be the catalyst to bring about fresh enthusiasm for learning among the pupils.

The cutting-edge technology allows better engagement between the teachers and the learners. Apart from the e-boards, the technology also utilises personal computers and other new age tools to facilitate learning.

1 Learning flexibility: Thilaga looks on as a pupil answers a question on the e-board. The smart board allows different forms of media – text, illustrations, maps, graphs, games, and videos to enrich the clasroom experience.2 All hands up: Year Four pupils during a question and answer session.3 Digital education: Teacher S. Indrani guiding her pupils through a language lesson. Apart from the e-boards, the pupils also use personal computers and other new age tools to facilitate learning.
Learning flexibility: Thilaga looks on as a pupil answers a question on the e-board. The smart board allows different forms of media – text, illustrations, maps, graphs, games, and videos to enrich the clasroom experience.

He said that one of the objectives of incorporating the new age concept was to inject an academic interest in the weaker pupils as merely setting up slides and projectors was “boring”.

“The smart classroom is about multimedia teaching to assist especially the weaker pupils grasp and understand the subject matter.

“It is not so much of an issue with the brighter pupils as they receive better support at home from their parents and even from tuition classes.

“ The technology paves the ways for teachers to enjoy greater freedom and control in the classroom with the user-friendly technology, he added.

Year Four teacher Thilaga Raman said the smart classroom concept not only eased the burden of teachers, but also allowed them to quickly find materials for teaching and learning because of easy accessibility to the Internet.

“We can obtain information at our fingertips and with this interactive board that’s connected to the teacher’s computer, pupils’ participation in classroom activities have increased,” she said.

The number of pupils who skipped school had greatly reduced, Thilaga added.

Transforming education: Apart from the e-boards, the technology also utilises personal computers and other new age tools to facilitate learning..
Digital education: Teacher S. Indrani guiding her pupils through a language lesson. Apart from the e-boards, the pupils also use personal computers and other new age tools to facilitate learning.

“The children now come forward to answer questions through the interactive learning board. By doing so, they increase their level of understanding as opposed to the previous method of teaching and learning.”

Echoing Thilaga was English teacher Vathzala Krishnasamy who said that through the new methodology, weaker pupils were more willing to take part and eager to engage with their classmates and teachers during lessons.

It was quite evident from the way the Year Four pupils sat at the edge of their seats, the moment the lesson began.

It was an English lesson and in no time, all the 20 pupils had their hands raised as their teacher posed a question to them.

“Teacher, I know the answer”, “Teacher let me anwer”, “Give me a chance ... please” and “Teacher, me, me, me” were but some of the responses that came from the pupils as they excitedly waited to be called up by their teacher.

“This method caters for different types of learners as music, pictures and videos are integrated to make teaching and learning easier and more interesting,” Vathzala added.

“We can record lessons and play them back for the pupils,” she said, adding that it also made documenting easier for teachers.

Year Three pupil Shoban Chandrasegaran said he was thrilled with the smart classroom.

“I like the answer boxes that come in various colours when I answer them on the interactive board.”

Year Six pupil Manusha Jagan said the new ICT facilities made learning “so much more fun and exciting”.

With 137 pupils, Uthayasoorian said he hoped the smart classroom concept will not only be beneficial for pupils and increase the passing rate, but also attract more children to enrol in the Tamil school.

He added that the smart classroom concept was now a “must-have” for 21st century learning.

Through revenue generated from its multipurpose hall – Midlands Convention Centre – the school would be able to fund the project

District education officer Rajaspare Rengasamy who sat in for a recent teachers’ training session, said she was happy and impressed with their enthusiasm.

“After being inspired and motivated at the session, the teachers will now give their best and bring about positive changes,” she said.

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