Prague is upgrading some of its classrooms with new 3D and audiovisual technology. The city will match European Union contributions to spend a total of CZK 29.5 million on the project.
Building industry students will be able to verify their designs with a virtual 3D prototypes. In language classrooms, students will be able to communicate online with foreign peers, create videos and use visual materials. And a new lab will allow science students to try some experiments.
The planned changes concern mainly specialized classrooms, science classrooms, and language classrooms. New interactive whiteboards, computers, software, 3D workstations, audio, and video equipment, analytic technology for chemistry and physics, and other devices to help improve quality will be acquired.
“The main purpose of the school modernization project is to remove technological inequality. The changes should include mainly the renovation of outdated classrooms and other spaces that significantly influence the quality of teaching and thus the future integration of students into the workforce,” City Councilor Vít Šimral, responsible for education, sports, and science, said on the City Hall website.
By purchasing a 3D rendering device, Prague will contribute to upgrading the classroom at the Secondary Industrial Building School on Dušní Street. This technology is already commonly used in the construction industry. Thanks to modern means of virtual reality, students confirm on a 3D prototype that their design is not only feasible in shape but also in use.
The device shows a visualization of a virtual building from various details and views. This allows the user to walk smoothly around the building, ride elevators or escalators and experience the entire space as if the building is already standing.
The concept is most often referred to as BIM (building information modeling) and is a new trend in building design that will immediately discover any shortcomings. With the 3D technology in the classroom, students can easily acquire the spatial imagination that is crucial to the construction industry.
Language classrooms will also be modernized at the Secondary Vocational School of Education on Evropská Street in Prague 6. The classrooms will be equipped with an interactive display and a digital board and will be used for teaching English, Spanish, French, and German.
These classes will enable students to use on-line communication with other students and instructors. This will greatly support students’ active communication. Students will also be able to use digital tablets for visual projections. Through digital technology, a teacher can convey authentic materials to pupils, such as a video interview, and through videoconferencing can connect different schools or classes to a controlled dialogue.
Students can use a video editor to create and share their own videos. Students will thus improve the fluency of spoken and written expression and their understanding of texts. It will also develop their social competences and competences in the use of information and communication technologies.
The City of Prague has helped schools administer the use of European subsidies and is also directly involved in financing the project with one-half of the funding. This will significantly improve the situation at 14 secondary and four specialized schools.
The completion of contracts is expected in February 2020, when school equipment should be purchased.
The modernization of schools is one of the leading themes that Prague City Hall is focused on. The project should lead to better teaching and motivation of students. It will also contribute to increasing the attractiveness of fields with a low number of people interested in studying, increasing students’ qualifications, and thus improving their employment in the labor market, according to City Hall.