Class is in session at Samsung’s booth in TCEA 2015’s exhibit hall, and the lesson plan is about how to convert tablets from distractions into tools for collaboration and personalized learning in the classroom.
Educators have been beset by challenges since tablets were introduced in classrooms. One of the top 3 problems has been controlling student use, according to Digital Book World. Tablets were used to surf the web or engage in social media.
Samsung Smart School was designed to empower teachers to monitor student work and lead interactive lessons and collaboration. It allows screen sharing between an interactive whiteboard and all of the devices in a classroom, and teachers are given full control over how these different screens interact.
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"Within the classroom, it allows teachers to create more collaboration and a more personalized learning environment," says Reuben Staines, a Samsung representative.
Using Samsung Smart School, teachers can monitor their students’ progress and take action, if necessary. For example they can "freeze" individual students' screens if they are off-task, or message them if they appear to need assistance.
"We found a lot of the discipline problems just simply vanished," says Billy Smith, a former teacher who is now a senior sales manager for Samsung.
Teachers can also launch collaborative projects, allowing students to work together on the large screen at the front of the class from their devices.
The pilot for Samsung Smart School was introduced in September 2012. Upgrades have been added regularly, but 2014's addition of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 Education to the company’s tablet lineup gave educators a whole new playing field in terms of management capabilities.
Combining Google Play for Education's array of IT management tools with the interactive tools from Samsung’s Smart School and Galaxy Tab 4 Education gives educators unprecedented options in the classroom, Staines says.