Chess meets tech in Russian schools

SPONSORED: Promethean embark on a strategic education venture in Russia encompassing the value of technology and chess

Could Moscow be leading the way in education innovation?

Education and pedagogy are at the forefront of the minds of not only teachers and parents, but also governments around the world. Education makes up the building blocks of a country by creating the workforces of tomorrow and governments are naturally looking for ways to raise standards and improve learning provisions. Technology has become an integral part of modern learning practices as a way of enhancing engagement and facilitating the best student outcomes and career prospects. In Russia, in a first of its kind, a recent project by the department of education set out to transform the edtech offering of Moscow schools.

An overhaul of classroom technology on a large scale

The Moscow Online School project is the single largest project of the digitalisation of education in the world, with 980,000 students and 65,000 teachers participating. The initiative aims to use all the advantages of modern digital technologies to convert classrooms into high-tech spaces, media centres, workshops and scientific laboratories with super-fast internet speeds, modern devices and a single point of data storage.

In support of Moscow’s Smart City initiative, global education technology provider Promethean has developed a bespoke Irbis panel to meet the exact needs of Moscow’s teachers. Promethean’s wealth of experience in the design and manufacturing of edtech solutions put the company in the perfect position to develop a panel with specially customised features and a tailored user experience.

In order to strive for improvements in education, there is potential to learn from other countries worldwide, where new strategies, technologies and innovations are being developed

The Irbis panel offers a tablet-like interface with a customisable home screen so teachers and students alike can use a set up that suits them most. Convenient for administrators and managers, the solution will be integrated with the infrastructure of the Moscow Online School, providing on-hand management and online monitoring. 

By the end of the project, the Promethean Irbis interactive display will have been installed in approximately 21,600 classrooms.

Recognising the value in traditional teaching practices

While the department for education in Moscow is pioneering large-scale improvements to edtech provisions across schools, it has also given a nod to traditional teaching practices. Research has suggested that there is positive correlation between the skills learned in chess and attainment across wider subjects, leading Moscow to introduce weekly chess lessons as a compulsory part of the primary school curriculum.

To coincide with the addition of chess to the curriculum, Promethean partnered with Russian Chess Grandmaster Sergey Karjakin, to run the Promethean Grandmaster Challenge in Russia. Having learned to play chess at the age of five, Sergey Karjakin holds the record for the world’s youngest-ever chess grandmaster, having qualified for the title at the age of 12.

The competition set out to encourage teachers to find innovative ways of teaching chess using technology to deliver inspiring lessons. The winning teacher won a trip to education technology show Bett in London, with chess grandmaster Sergey Karjakin and Promethean, to deliver a series of presentations on the benefits of chess in education. At the show the subject of the pedagogical benefits of chess captured the interest of visitors and delegations alike, posing the question whether chess should have a more prominent place in British education.

Promethean is committed to sharing best practice in education and opening thought-provoking dialogues with pedagogy at the core. In order to strive for improvements in education, there is potential to learn from other countries worldwide, where new strategies, technologies and innovations are being developed. In Russia, though the Moscow Online School project places an emphasis on tech, the introduction of chess into the curriculum makes the initiative exemplary of how traditional education best practices can be blended with the capabilities of modern learning technologies.

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