#HowDoYouDoIt: Making Classrooms Smarter with Technology


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The classroom is buzzing with activity as students excitably speak over one another. However, the lecturer makes no attempt to quiet the boisterous class, instead waiting patiently for the noise to die down. A quick glance at the projector screen tells the lecturer that the students only have five minutes to go before presenting their findings from the internet. A few moments later, the students looked up in anticipation, waiting to see what else their lecturer had in stall for them for the rest of the lesson.

This is just one scenario that can take place in a smart classroom—one that is conducive for a digitally-enabled education. As students become more technologically inclined, smart classrooms can keep them actively engaged in their learning, while helping them to understand key concepts that might otherwise be difficult to explain through traditional teaching methods.

Here are some ways how educators around Asia Pacific have incorporated technology as part of their teaching tools.

 

Foster collaboration and teamwork skills with Microsoft Sway

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Teamwork is a fundamental skill that all students should be equipped with upon graduation, as it is vital for participating in any workforce. With that in mind, some educators espouse collaborative learning, in which students get together to work on shared assignments.

Jakkrapong Juntawong, an educator from Thailand, uses Microsoft Sway in his classroom to discuss and showcase his students’ projects. The biology teacher found that the presentation program helps facilitate group discussions centered on complex biology theories and at the same time, allowing him to check and track his students’ progress on presentations.

 

Learning from overseas students with Skype

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Living in an increasingly connected world has given us the once-rare opportunity to learn about other people’s experiences from various cultures. Microsoft’s Skype in the Classroom programme is a free platform that allows both educators and learners to speak to students and experts from other countries via Skype, without taking a step out of the classroom.

Abdul Walid Misli, an educator from Brunei, has adopted the programme in his lessons, which helped his students to practice their language and communication skills while growing their self-confidence. For instance, his students were able to converse with a class of school students based in Taiwan, which allowed them to practice their English speaking skills with the Taiwanese students.

 

Keeping students engaged with mobile apps and programs

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When it comes to complex or abstract concepts, the use of mobile apps and programs can simplify or offer an alternative approach to learning, while encouraging them to stay participative in class.

Muhammad Zulham, an elementary teacher from Indonesia, is using Kodu Game Lab, a visual programming language, to show his students how to create virtual game worlds and spark off their creativity. The simplicity of Kodu Game Lab enables his students to grasp coding fundamentals quickly and easily; and in no time, they were able to create their own worlds to their hearts’ content.

 

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