“Classrooms of the future” utilizing tablet PCs and e-textbooks in a specially designed e-learning environment were recently unveiled by leading educational publisher Vibal Publishing House as part of its campaign for digital education – presented at the Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines (CEAP) 2012 National Convention from August 29 to 31, 2012.
Two Vibal Smart Classrooms were opened: the Vibal Samsung Smart Classroom and the Vibal Apple Smart Classroom, at the SMX Convention Center Meeting Room 1 and Meeting Room 9, respectively, showcasing digital learning sessions led by Vibal demo teachers.
In partnership with global brands Samsung and Apple, the Vibal Smart Classroom simulated a prototype of an e-learning environment that infuses technological tools such as the tablet PC (iPad 2 and Galaxy Tablet 10.1), projectors, and interactive e-textbooks that encouraged engaging classroom discussions. Supplementing the mobile devices were a 65-inch Large Format Display (LFD) monitor at the Samsung room, a specially-designed table with flexible configurations, and a mobile server cart/ charging station at the Apple room.
CEAP delegates visited the two classrooms throughout the duration of the three-day event and enjoyed using the digital devices and the corresponding demo classes. The teachers and schools supervisors played the role of students, participating actively as they followed instructions given by the demo teachers from Vibal.
Using their Samsung Android and Apple iPad devices, the participants were able to access the Vibe Reader, Vibal's free e-book reader application that runs on both platforms. Its customizable feature set includes world-class DRM security, highlighter and drawing tools in at least three colors, bookmark and text size adjustment, landscape and portrait orientation display, and support for ePub 3.0 – the latest e-book format approved by the International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF).
The ePub 3.0 format makes it possible for e-books to come embedded with audio and video clips and enables true user interactivity. The delegates experienced this advantage themselves by browsing through the Vibal interactive e-textbooks loaded on the Samsung and Apple tablets. They were able to answer self-scoring quizzes, play audio, video, and slideshows, draw on the Vibal e-textbooks, and basically enjoy an enhanced and immersive user experience.
The Vibal Smart Classroom was patterned after the Korea Ministry of Education’s Smart Schools Program for 63 schools launched in 2011 – the world’s biggest education project worth US$2B that is supported by the Korean government.
Centered on the use of tablet PCs, the project aims to promote a technology-driven, intelligent classroom and a move towards digital textbooks in all subjects and all levels by the year 2015. To date, the project has revealed that students exhibited better performance inside the smart classroom, especially among low-performing students who are engaged to participate more in class because of the use of digital devices. ###