By Aniekan James Ekah
Quality education has become essential in today’s world as the skill set of every individual is getting updated as the years, in terms of technology, pass by.
A recent unscheduled visit to Akwa Ibom State University (AKSU), Ikot Akpaden campus, by the Otuekong Franklyn Isong-led Civil Liberties Organization (CLO), Akwa Ibom state chapter, reveals that the institution is providing students with quality education by helping them understand concepts better, improve their reading and comprehension skills, and achieve academic excellence through the deployment of the smart classroom technology.
Smart classrooms are technology-enhanced classrooms that foster opportunities for teaching and learning by integrating learning technology, such as computers, specialized software, audience response technology, assistive listening devices, networking, and audio/visual capabilities. Smart classrooms enable educators to develop and share content in real-time and empower students to play an active role in learning.
AKSU’s smart classroom, 100% managed by the ICT Department of the school, is a modern learning space with 50 computers fully connected to high-speed internet, customized for adaptability, comfort, connectivity, personalization, and safety. The classroom is also equipped with overhead projectors, screens, microphones, individual input devices, amplifiers and speakers, podiums and document cameras.
The smart classroom makes it possible for students to have a seamless, end-to-end visual experience. They can attend lectures from home, download lectures in audio, text or video format, and also collaborate and communicate remotely with lecturers and other students, in real-time. Smart classrooms improve academic performance and make learning fun.
For years, educators have known the power of interactivity in learning, yet were restricted to the traditional classroom model. Today, through the ingenuity of the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Eno James Ibanga, and his management team, AKSU has transitioned to a student-centered, collaborative environment that appeals to a new generation of tech-savvy, visual learners.
Setting up a smart classroom is, however, not cheap. According to the Vice-Chancellor, the school was able to achieve this feat through the Tertiary Education Trust fund (TETFUND) and Internally Generated Revenue (IGR). The school management envisages the deployment of smart classrooms in all faculties and campuses of the institution in due course.
AKSU is a conventional, multi-campus institution with eight faculties (Agriculture, Arts, Education, Social Sciences, Physical Sciences, Biological Sciences, and Management Sciences). All courses in this institution have been fully accredited by the National Universities Commission (NUC). The institution has just been granted a radio broadcasting license by the Federal Government.
The Prof. Eno Ibanga-led AKSU is taking education beyond its wall by placing a digital learning technology, equipped with specialized software, assistive listening devices and audio/visual capabilities in a classroom to open up a Pandora box of infinite methods of teaching, learning and growth.