Classrooms are becoming smarter – creating advanced, creative, digitally-supported learning environments.
The traditional teaching aids of old-school classrooms are being surpassed by a range of innovative computer tools and learning environments which provide teachers and pupils with new educational experiences.
- Wizefloor, specifically designed for nurseries, primary schools and special education establishments, is an interactive floor space aimed at 3–11-year-olds. The teaching tool consists of a 4 x 3m reflective vinyl floor mat, ceiling-mounted projector, a Microsoft Kinect camera, audio speakers and an Apple Mac Mini integrated with nine software applications including text, sound, pictures and videos.
- FrogLearn is a specialised learning platform for both students and teachers. Built in HTML 5, the platform works across mobile and tablet devices, enabling teachers to create fun and dynamic learning resources such as quizzes, polls, one-to-one support and lesson planning.
- Omi has designed an interactive sensory environment, enabling users to have control of their surroundings. With over 50 sensory themes such as Interactive Music, Educational, Our World, Festive and Playtime, the 'sensory room' is controlled by the Omipad touchscreen interface, which is used to change themes, effects and mood lighting. The room is designed to stimulate hand and eye coordination, boost self-confidence, teach and improve communication skills.
- The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and Cisco have collaborated to create the 'Cisco Connected Classroom'. Using Cisco's TelePresence technology, suitable classrooms can be virtually connected. To ensure students feel they are learning in the same physical space, floor-to-ceiling screens, large projection screens and 80in LED monitors are strategically placed around the classroom.
- Redcat is an all-in-one classroom audio system which has adopted Lightspeed exciter technology, an audio signal processing technique where a series of exciters apply sound energy directly to the system, 'exciting' the voice signal. The teacher wears a wireless microphone, which enables their natural voice to come through audibly instead of being lost among the classroom noise.
- Robotics company Aldebaran has designed Nao, a humanoid robot ideal for teaching or researching in science and technology. The idea is that pupils can gain hands-on experience and interest in engineering careers such as computer science and mechanics, plus skills in problem solving. Nao's key features include sensors and cameras which enable text to speech, speech recognition, face detection, object recognition and sound detection.