Sun | Sep 27, 2020

SMART move by Mico - Push for e-learning to boost maths, science teaching

Published:Thursday | February 20, 2020 | 12:09 AMJudana Murphy/Gleaner Writer
Dr Nicole Scott, deputy dean of the Graduate School of Education, The Mico University College, demonstrates the use of a smart projector to Sharon Wolfe, director of alumni affairs and development, at the official launch of the college’s SMART Room on Tuesday.
Dr Nicole Scott, deputy dean of the Graduate School of Education, The Mico University College, demonstrates the use of a smart projector to Sharon Wolfe, director of alumni affairs and development, at the official launch of the college’s SMART Room on Tuesday.

In its quest to strengthen electronic learning, a seventh SMART classroom was opened at The Mico University College in Kingston on Tuesday.

The project was funded by the Mico Old Students’ Association (MOSA), the graduating class of 1973, and the Dr Peter Phillips Foundation.

Mico President Dr Asburn Pinnock said the SMART room project was launched a few years ago in line with the administration’s efforts to boost the output of mathematics and science teachers.

“This is the last of seven, and we are hoping for 15. The idea is to teach teachers how to adopt not only STEM [science, technology, engineering and mathematics] subject areas, but also the methodology that goes with STEM,” he said.

GRATEFUL FOR DONATION

Pinnock expressed gratitude to the alumni association and other donors for supporting his vision of transforming Mico into a technologically driven college.

The room features an interactive SMART projector, a computer, and WiFi connectivity.

Deputy dean of the Graduate School of Education, Dr Nicole Scott, explained that two of the programmes offered are fully online while some are offered in blended mode – online and face to face.

“The SMART rooms have helped us to diversify our offerings and get into some untapped markets. For one programme – the Master of Arts in English – they have live classes every week and they are mediated via the Mico e-campus through Zoom for education,” she explained.

Scott said the platform also facilitates meetings in both audio and video and allows for the sharing of presentations and notes.

Alumni President Dr Merrit Henry said their contribution was not only to the institution, but to the development of Jamaica.

“This is the third one that as an alumni association, we have assisted with the development of,” Henry said, adding that they are committed to assisting with the build-out of the remaining eight rooms.

The opening of the room coincides with Mico Alumni Week. Today, the association will host its second student development day, and a mentorship programme will be launched in April.

judana.murphy@gleanerjm.com