It is unreal to think that teaching off a tablet has become a normal everyday thing. I remember a year ago I couldn't imagine teaching in a classroom that uses so much technology, and now daily I am immersed in some of the world's first "Smart Classroom" environments. Chungdahm Learning’s 3.0 classroom gives teachers and students the opportunity to engage with cutting edge education-technology every day, using smart textbooks, tablets and media for every class.
As a teacher who has taught in Korean classrooms for four years, I would like to focus on the benefits of a smart classroom and how this has enhanced my ESL experience as a teacher. There are many advantages to the 3.0 Chungdahm smart classroom such as project production and student integration through speaking English more freely with one another. It is probably hard to imagine what this type of classroom looks like or how it works so, I will explain the everyday running of a smart classroom.
1. The Smart Classroom
The ChungDahm 3.0 smart classroom has a large HDTV screen that connects to the teacher's tablets via a wifi dongle. Once the tablet is connected the students can see everything that the teacher is teaching. Each student has their own tablet with smart textbooks and other class material uploaded on it. After the students log into the class they are taking their screen will automatically be synced with the teacher's screen. The teacher is surrounded by desks and the room has a few multiple plugs around it, so that students can connect their chargers when their tablets battery is low. Once the class is over the teacher can input the students' contribution and presentation grades in real-time and this will be send directly to the student tabs so that their parents can monitor their performance over the semester. Teachers and the Korean staff can also access the students completed homework online and monitor what they are and aren't doing.
2. The Smart Textbook
Chungdahm has tailored all of their own smart textbooks that range from level to level, and which the students purchase once they pay for a particular course. Students are placed into their classes according to their English abilities and the levels are arranged from EC1 classes up to Master classes. Chungdahm works with the basic level ranges of EC1-4, Giga, Mega, Tera, Bridge, Par, Birdie, Eagle, Albatross, Albatross+, IBT1, IBT2, Pre-Masters, and Masters.
Once the teacher opens up the smart textbook the students are synced to their tablet. The smart textbook has an array of functions and it gives teachers an opportunity to experiment with cutting-edge classroom technology, having an array of access to media and the internet of their choice. For example, for the majority of my classes I create media cards that are designed to test my students' knowledge of previous classes and push them to think critically and analytically. I also break up my classes with fun or educational video media cards and designed game cards that my students are familiar with when they enter my classroom. Other cool tools you can make use of on the 3.0 smart textbooks is unblocking apps for project time, creating real-time quizzes, screen capturing and sending students class notes. You can even play educational videos on YouTube to lighten up the class.
The greatest thing about teaching off smart textbooks is that everything is in one place, and the teacher never has to worry about piles of papers, or students missing their homework or information for class. Also, if the teacher forgets their tablet at home they can access any other tablet that their branch has and they can teach off another tablet.
3. The 3.0 Smart Student
Teaching ESL off smart textbooks has a lot of benefits for the second and foreign language speakers. With regards to speaking English in an ESL environment, the smart textbook is beneficial to creating a classroom environment that is engaging and interesting. Nowadays, students no longer are interested in paper and books and teaching in a smart classroom has helped them a lot to communicating their ideas freely and being able to participate in a classroom environment that is all about speaking English with your peers and teachers. From my own experience of teaching ESL over the past five years, I have witnessed how this type of smart classroom environment is much more beneficial to students who live in a technology driven world. Also, their confidence shoots up when they retainin information visually and through a creative process that they are very involved in. The majority of students seem to be engaged in the material (of course with the teachers input and care) and they are more likely to participate. Instead of staring at a blank page in front of them, they are all actively looking at the same place on the HDTV and learning together.
It is no surprise that Tijana Huysamen, a South African born Capetownian, avid traveler and travel journalist, fell in love with South Korea and its people. After Tijana arrived in South Korea in 2010, she had the opportunity to live in the heart of the Korean countryside. During her time spent in Chungnam province she learned to speak Korean, prepare Korean food and experience the humble nature of the countryside people. After a year break in New York, Tijana jumped at the opportunity to return to Korea again, and is currently working at the CDI Jamsil Branch, in Jamsil, Seoul. Read Tijana’s Aclipse blog to gain a unique perspective on Korea and her shared experiences and adventures both in a major city and in the countryside. Follow Tijana on Twitter @TeeAnni or email firstname.lastname@example.org to request more information on teaching