WASHINGTON: Scientists at Durham University are developing world's first interactive classroom, which may result in a Star Trek style makeover for schools.
With the researchers' efforts students will be able to learn in environments using interactive multi-touch desks that look and act like a large version of an Apple iPhone.
Researchers at the Technology-Enhanced Learning Research Group (TEL) at Durham University are designing an interactive classroom solution called ‘SynergyNet' which aims at achieving active student engagement and learning by sharing, problem-solving and creating.
The team has collaborated with manufacturers and are now designing software, and desks that recognize multiple touches on the desktop, using vision systems that can see infrared light.
The team observed how students and teachers interact in classes and how Information Communications technology could improve collaboration and are developing SynergyNet which will integrate ICT into the classroom.
The ‘multi-touch' desks will be the central component and the desks will be networked to a main smartboard that will provide new opportunities for teaching and collaboration. At a time, many students will be able to work together at a desk as the desks allow simultaneous screen contact by multiple users using fingers or pens.
A single work-desk can operate as a set of individual work spaces and/or a large screen allowing students to cooperate on a task. The software will be used to link everything together in a fully interactive classroom system of desks and smartboards.
Teachers will be able to instantly display examples of good work by students on the main smart-board; tasks could also be set for each desk. Numeracy tasks could include exercises where pupils have to split a restaurant bill by sliding visual representations of money into a group space.
The scientists wanted to create a ‘natural way' for students to use computers in class. "Our vision is that every desk in school in 10 years time will be interactive. IT in schools is an exciting prospect — our system is very similar to the type of interface shown as a vision of the future in the TV series Star Trek , said Liz Burd, director of active learning in computing at Durham University.
6 months ago