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Soon classrooms may be invaded by smart students' desks along with teachers' smart boards
A team of pedagogues and researchers at the Technology-Enhanced Learning (TEL), Durham University, is engaged in designing an interactive classroom with touch-screen desks in order to make learning more interactive, creative, and problem-solving based.

The team is in the process of developing course-wares to be integrated to information communication technology (ICT) to benefit students. It is being hoped that the smart classroom with smart boards for teachers and smart desks for the students will make for the ultimate smart classroom called 'SynergyNet'.

Basic information about the smart desk hardware and design have been tested but various software are being developed and tried out to evaluate the efficacy of new kind of smart classroom that will be mainly technology driven since the desks will be multi-touch ones.

The smart desks have been designed in such a way so as to be touch and feel sensitive along with being used with an e-pen. The desks linked with teacher's smart board will provide the representation of real objects for manipulative and creative activity. Collective use of a desk by a group of students will be another feature of the smart desk.

The designers of the smart desk feel that in the coming years, a large number of institutions will go for the technology-enabled desks. It is being said that in this scenario, the teacher will be able to collect and evaluate students' responses on the smart board and display the examples of students' good work to the whole class immediately.

However, many think that this exclusively technology mediated classroom should be used with caution and one may go for blended classroom instructions.

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