ITE College East students take hybrid learning to next level with smart classroom

Lecturers can use a large interactive display to share their teaching slides with students tuning in from home. ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM

SINGAPORE - Electronic engineering students at the Institute of Technical Education (ITE) College East can now use a new smart classroom to view videos of lessons and present their work from home, among other things.

The smart classroom comes with a large interactive display that lecturers can use to share their teaching slides with students tuning in from home.

The display is also equipped with features to record lessons that students can view at any time.

The classroom, which was rolled out in February and officially launched on Friday (Aug 26), also comes with a camera that can be used to identify students and monitor their attendance.

In a ceremony on Friday at ITE's Simei campus, ITE College East principal Yek Tiew Ming and Mr Ben Mao, general manager of Hikvision Singapore, inked a deal that will focus on improving students' learning experience in the smart classroom and equip teachers with digital teaching tools.

Hikvision is a China-based video surveillance firm.

Students using the smart classroom can link their laptops to an interactive display, which doubles as a whiteboard, to answer questions and present their work.

Those attending class remotely can also use the display to answer questions and make presentations.

First-year Higher Nitec student Tony Tan, 18, said he uses the smart classroom twice a week for modules like digital applications.

He said: "It is very helpful because when the teachers connect their computers to the large display screen, we are able to access and view the learning materials easily on our laptop screens."

ITE College East electronics engineering head Pang Kem Peng said the Covid-19 pandemic drove home the importance of hybrid learning.

The smart classroom, she added, is an upgrade for hybrid learning.

She said: "We want to engage the students because previously, the teachers would just teach by looking at the slides without much interaction. But with this, they can engage more effectively."

A student demonstrating the taking of attendance via a facial recognition system before entering the smart classroom. ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM

Mr Mao said Hikvision and ITE came up with the concept to build the smart classroom, named Classroom of the Future, about two years ago.

He said: "The challenge of developing such a prototype classroom was to ensure that the learning experience was not diminished or affected."

Hikvision, as part of the deal with ITE, will also offer internship opportunities to some 20 students at ITE College East and ITE College West.

Dr Yek said: "Our partnership with all the industry players whose technology and work practices are current and future oriented is important.

"We wish to continue to work with every company that will provide our students with internships and long-term opportunities."

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