Smart Techniques for Smarter Education


Teaching has always been one of the hardest professions because of the effort teachers exert to deliver information to students. Teachers use different tools to facilitate their hard profession; one of which is the writing board, which is the oldest and best known tool. The board is the most important tool in the classroom; sometimes, it is the only tool the teacher uses to explain their subject. Boards have changed and developed over the years; from the wooden blackboard written on with chalk, to plastic white boards written on with markers, and finally the smart board.

The smart board is one of the latest advancements in educational tools; it is basically a large monitor connected to a computer and operates using a projector. Images and any stored data on the computer or available on the Internet can be easily displayed on the smart board.

The smart board is a huge touch screen; similar to any modern tablet or mobile that works by touch, responding to open, turn off, writing, and other commands. It works easily using the fingers or the smart pen; teachers can write on it, solve mathematical exercises, draw, open files and folders, or play videos, in addition to any other task a teacher needs to perform while teaching.

In old versions, only one person could use the smart board at a time; however, newer versions support usage by multiple persons at the same time.

The smart board was invented by David Martin and Nancy Knowlton; it was first introduced in 1991, as a product of the "Smart Technology" Company. In 1992, the first smart board with "Rear Projection" was released; in 1999, the first plasma smart board was invented, then it was developed into the flat screen smart board in 2003. In 2007, the flat smart board was improved by adding a system that enables the teacher to record and monitor the students' performances and assess their examinations.

Smart board prices range according to their type; there are the smart boards that work with the smart pen, others that work by touch, and another type that works with both. The major difference between smart boards lies in the display method; the display is either frontal, where the display system is placed in front of the board and reflects the images on the screen, or it is behind the board attached to it or separated from it. The board is connected to the computer through a wire or wirelessly; the wireless method is preferred in large halls, as it resembles the WiFi or bluetooth in operation.

The smart board has many advantages, which is why its usage in schools, lectures, and universities has been increasing in recent years. It completely changed the traditional writing experience on the board, which used to consume most of the lecture or class time; moreover, when the writing was erased, it could not be restored again. The smart broad does not require writing the lesson during the class; the lesson would be already stored on the computer to be displayed immediately on the board whenever needed. Moreover, the lessons do not need to be erased after display, but can be displayed again anytime the teacher wants. The smart board has several features to adjust the display's resolution, the colors, and the displayed pictures size. This enables the teacher to make the lessons more attractive and easier to comprehend, especially for young students, through using cheerful colors, illustrations, and educational movies that facilitate the educational process.

Smart educational techniques are not restricted to the smart board only. Recently, school exams, especially international ones, have changed. Rather than essay questions that require a lot of writing, multiple choice questions are now more prevalent; as a result, the marking exam process has also changed.

Rather than teachers spending long hours marking hundreds of exam papers, which is an exhausting process that may entail errors, an exam correction machine has been invented. This machine is a scanner that reads the answers; it can detect the correct answers from the wrong ones through a program fed with the correct answers designed specifically for this machine. This correction machine saves time and effort; it also guarantees the marking accuracy. Its only disadvantage is that it cannot be used with all types of questions; it is only applied for multiple choice questions.

We have tackled only two among many techniques that have made education smarter today; there are many other examples that have enriched, and thankfully lightened the educational process.


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SCIplanet is a bilingual edutainment science magazine published by the Bibliotheca Alexandrina Planetarium Science Center and developed by the Cultural Outreach Publications Unit ...
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