Today, we headed off to something we have never experienced before, a 21st-century classroom. This classroom in Kirkop at St. Benedict’s secondary, together with Microsoft Innovation Center is the first classroom in Malta to be using some upcoming technology to enhance teaching, as well as the student’s learning experience.
This aim of this initiative was to break the walls of the classroom and focus more on methods of teaching that are somewhat outdated. The system of learning hasn’t been changed enough for how much we have advanced technologically. The Microsoft Innovation Center has been working with schools to start introducing technology such as mixed reality and education through Minecraft. This will help to immerse the students more into their learning and keep the students more attentive and overall, more interested.
What technology are they using for teaching?
This 21st-century classroom at St. Benedict’s Secondary was equipped with Dell laptops and the Dell Visor with Hololens. Each student had their own setup for the last few weeks and have been working on creating a replica of the prehistoric Mnajdra Temples. The process of this was; first getting the plans of the Mnajdra temples which they then converted the values to Minecraft blocks. After doing this, the building process started and the Mnajdra temple was slowly built by students to scale of the actual temples.
The aim of this was to change the way of teaching to prepare students more for life, rather than just exams. The students need to know what to do and where to get the information but teachers need to stop using only traditional methods for information finding.
How will this help students?
After seeing the marvellous Minecraft replica of the Mnajdra Temples, we got to see what the students were also getting to experience using a mixed reality headset. The students told us how they got to visit Rome and Peru, from their classroom! What a great way to teach history, rather than looking through long, boring books only.
The Digital Economy and Innovation Parliamentary Secretary Silvio Schembri told the Gadgets crew that he is somewhat “jealous” students learning in such a fun and interactive way and he is extremely proud that this is the first classroom in Europe to be adapting to such teaching.
The Maltese students are among the first in Europe who will experience learning through this technology such as mixed reality. – Hon. Silvio Schembri
Do you think our classrooms are keeping up with modern techology? Tell us what you think in the comments below.