Jakarta. The use of technology to improve the learning process in schools has become common in many parts of the world. Some of these methods were showcased at the Global Educational Supplies and Solutions exhibition in Jakarta this week, with some vendors pitching their products to Indonesia's education sector.
The Smart Class concept, which was used by many vendors at the event to describe technology-driven teaching systems.
One of these vendors was India-based Extramarks, which demonstrated a simulation of the future class where electronic gadgets are employed extensively for teaching, discussions, quizzes and assessments. The company uses its technology to transform the traditional classroom into a technology-enabled "smart class," which requires each student to have a tablet or other device for use during class.
"We use an interactive display system, which shows 3D images on the screen. It can be tailored and customized by teachers, so it's like replacing the whiteboard with a modern touch screen," an Extramarks representative said on the closing day of the event on Friday (16/09).
The company demonstrated its proposed learning process, which somewhat resembles participating in a television quiz show.
However, Extramarks did not forget the most important factor in the system, the teacher. Modern teachers have to be equipped with technological knowledge and the company is fully aware of that.
"We give training to the teachers first before they run the system, and we support tailored materials as an after-sales service," the company representative added. "This method has been heavily used in United Arab Emirates, Singapore and India. We'll open an office in Jakarta soon to propose this new system."
At another stall, South Korean conglomerate Samsung seemed to be doing the same, yet by means of a different concept called Smart Lab, a simulation with an augmented reality perspective in which students have to wear specific eye glasses such as when playing a video game.
Simulated Engineering Software
Instead of learning about mechanical engineering, students can now understand the engineering process with the use of virtual simulation software produced by Canada-based company Famic Technologies. The product, known as Automation Studio, is multi-simulated engineering software that replicate mechanical hardware in a digital format, making it more appropriate for teaching in vocational schools.
Famic's software can replicate any machine used in mechatronics, automation, renewable energy, electrical engineering, industrial maintenance, mechanical engineering, and many more.
"This is more than just modelling; this is a simulation," Famic business development manager Noel Perinpanathan told the Jakarta Globe at the event.
"Can you imagine all those heavy machines and engineering hardware used in real life were brought into the classroom? It's costly and not effective. This software aims to resolve that issue, so that engineering students can learn all these things virtually through this software," Perinpanathan explained.
"It is a very complete simulation; the students can know anything and you can put it into 24 computers, very easy," he added.
The software has been used in 120 countries, including Germany, Canada, South Korea, China and the United States. In Indonesia it is mainly used in a professional setting, the company hopes to interest engineering schools in its software.
"It costs $1,500 per license," Perinpanathan said.