Origin and difference between smart school and normal school

1. Opening

Smart education is a new trend of world education. In order to build a smart nation, many countries have aimed to build a smart education to train generations of smart citizens. As an advanced school model, smart schools create opportunities and conditions for schools to enhance their adaptive capacity and balance development in the face of rapid changes in society in general; Learners are able to discover and construct knowledge, develop self-control and adaptive capacity, and think creatively through personalized pedagogical instruction, suitable to individual characteristics and needs. ]; increase the importance, credibility, usefulness, flexibility of the curriculum content. The application of smart technology to school education has reshaped the educational landscape by transforming the content and mode of receiving/delivering learning as well as the way in which instruction, support, organization, school administration [2].

In Vietnam, the elements of the THTM model appeared not long ago. Because the issue is still quite new, information about related studies in Vietnam is scattered. A study to clarify the meaning, nature and characteristics of the smart school model has theoretical and practical significance in order to improve the adaptive capacity and quality of school education. From there, the study draws lessons for the development of smart shopping in Vietnam today.

2. Research content

2.1. about the origin of the smart school model

When considering the origins of smart school, international studies often mention the requirements to transform the school model as an essential element for school education to keep up with the latest changes of the information technology and technology era. , meeting the requirements of citizen training for the new era.

The advent of the Internet and the increasingly widespread application of the Internet, the rapid development of science and technology, the trend of globalization and integration in general have changed all aspects of social life. Industrial Revolution 4.0 with the fusion of technologies, the emergence and strong application of “artificial intelligence”, the Internet of things, the system of combining reality – virtual, … do everything in a world in which people can connect and interact with each other by intelligent interactions. Besides, the process of integration is inevitable in terms of economy, culture, education, etc. between nations creates a world that fades away.

The penetration and influence of technological advances, globalization and integration trends change the perception and role of education and schools. Education must become a direct productive force, creating products with high value and gray matter content. The school must create an open and modern educational environment to train generations of smart citizens. The changing needs, interests, learning styles and modes of activities of learners pose an inevitable requirement for the change of school education. Information and Communication Technology (ICT) influences and transforms teaching and learning through its potential as a source of knowledge, a medium of content delivery, and a medium of interaction. and dialogue [3]. Information technology changes the elements of the curriculum and the type of program that prepares learners for the essential foundation of the digital world, information technology and information age [1]. The approach considers TM as a necessity for schools to adapt to changes, and TM includes a blend of information technology and curricula that bring about changes in the teaching process. The goal is to prepare students’ foundations, activate individual competencies to enhance their experiences and expand their independence, rather than infusing them with specific knowledge [2].

In that trend, smart school has been deployed in many developed countries as an innovation and modernization of schools and has spread to many other countries around the world.

In New York, since the 1990s, technology in the classroom has been a concern, and school intelligence programs emphasize the role of technology integration in the classroom. In 1997, Malaysia launched its first smart education project, which included a plan to build a smart school, supported by the government to prepare the workforce to meet the challenges of the 21st century. Singapore has implemented the Smart Nation Master Plan since 2006, identifying smart education as an important part of achieving the national goal. Korea has a SMART education project whose mission is to reform the education system and improve the educational infrastructure (Choi & Lee, 2012). In Australia, through a partnership with IBM (2012), an intelligent education system is designed to enable multi-dimensional relationships for learners and between schools….

Thus, the requirement to train smart citizens to meet the new requirements of society along with the strong development and application of technology, first of all, ICT in all aspects of social life creates school changes. Smart schools are expected to meet the wishes of society and countries in training future citizens, building an open educational environment for learners.

2.2. Definition and characteristics of smart school

2.2.1. Smart school definition

When emphasizing the ability to adapt to modern technology, in New York, Smart School is considered as a model of schools deploying smart education associated with forms of modernizing facilities and making the best use of modern technology. Multi-technology towards a high-quality education [4].

In Finland, Smart School is “a type of school that is flexible according to the characteristics and abilities of students” [5]. The school’s intelligent nature is aimed at the effective use of learning solutions, promoting learners to learn continuously and effectively.

When considering Smart School as a component of a smart education system based on ICT achievements, “Smart school is an educational institution through teaching processes and educational management practices to promote systemic changes, helping learners overcome the challenges posed by the information technology era” [6; p 3]. Smart school is emphasized as a model in which school processes and activities are optimized by using and encouraging and promoting the use of modern technological devices. The school, in addition to focusing on stimulating thought, creativity and caring for students, is also interested in considering individual differences and individual learning styles [2].

Although the approaches to define Smart Schools in research perspectives have certain differences. However, the outstanding content is agreed to show that: A smart school is a school that flexibly and effectively uses resources on the basis of advanced digital technology application to improve the quality of education. meet the requirements of society in training the young generation.

2.2.2. Smart school features

In the 2014 New York Smart Schools Commission Report, the features outlined for SMART School are: 1) Delivering and extending online learning; 2) Use transformative technology to provide instruction tailored to the specific abilities and needs of each student; 3) Connecting every school to high-speed, broadband using technological advancements and applications; 4) Expanding classroom connections with open sources outside the school; 5) Ensure members of the pedagogical team successfully integrate technology into teaching and learning for continuous professional development; 6) Focus on STEM skills in teaching and education; 7) Effective leadership and management based on technology foundation and technological capabilities [4].

In Finland, the characteristics of Smart Schools are mentioned as: 1) Increased opportunities for learning experiences and applications in learning; 2) Easiest and most convenient in receiving pedagogical instructions and feedback; 3) Comprehensive and fast learning results information; 4) Enhance and continuously improve the quality and effectiveness of learning; 5) Both teachers and learners have opportunities for continuous development [5].

Schools in Malaysia have gone through many steps to meet the goal of Smart Schools. Currently, the Smart School here does not just stop at learning ICT and using ICT as a utility in teaching. Smart School here is implementing a total solution: smart learning program, smart teaching and guidance, smart school management, establishing and maintaining smart external relations. Technology is the connecting factor, creating the advanced quality of such content [2], [6].

Although there are differences, the descriptions of Smart School are emphasized in several contents:

– The goal of Smart Schools is to prepare and motivate the workforce – employers of the 21st century have the knowledge and skills to meet the needs and challenges of a modern technological society;

– Learners are the center, provided with modern and quality learning services; learning tailored to individual needs and pace, characteristics and circumstances;

– The intelligent nature of the school towards flexibility, adaptability, modernity and continuous development – ​​dynamic balance with the development of the modern technological world;

– Smart schools provide a smart educational environment for learners;

Table. Comparison of smart school characteristics and normal schools (popular today)

Comparison criteria

Normal schools (popular today)

Smart Schools

Development strategy

There is no goal to develop THTM

The goal of developing into THTM


– Framing, lack of flexibility; fewer opportunities for personal education- Content that has not focused on developing STEM skills

– Open, flexible, student-centered development; educational advantages suitable for each individual student.- Content focusing on STEM skills, expanded and unlimited.

Leadership and management

– Highly administrative.- Little or no application of modern technology in management activities.- Little or no conditions to support GV, HS to access and use smart technology.- Develop traditional school leadership and management capacity.

– Empowering and encouraging autonomy.- Effective management based on the application of modern technologies.- Actively support teachers and students to access and optimally use smart resources and technologies.- Develop leadership capacity, manage smart education environment.


– There is no commitment to intelligent teaching.- Little or no smart technology software and equipment to support teaching.- Manage and educate students in the traditional way.- Develop professional and pedagogical capacity in a traditional classroom environment.

– Commitment to smart teaching strategies suitable for each individual student.- Applying a variety of software and smart technology devices in teaching.- Performing the role of managers, educators, consultants based on the application of modern technology; enhance the role of educational environment management.- In addition to professional capacity, pedagogical skills, focus on developing ICT capacity, consulting capacity, intelligent learning support.


– Not yet developed self-oriented learning – Learning according to the instructions and lesson progress of teachers under the general program.- Little or no support, no compulsory use of multimedia technology in learning.- Limited learning opportunities

– Self-directed learning in accordance with the capacity and characteristics of the individual student.- Self-access to materials, learning resources and self-study.- Using multimedia technologies is required for learning.- Expanded learning opportunities.

School assessment and supervision

– Assessing a number of outstanding aspects corresponding to the educational objectives of the school.- Supervision has not met comprehensive, multi-dimensional, public criteria.

– Objective and comprehensive assessment on the basis of smart technology.- Multi-dimensional, comprehensive and public monitoring. Supervision information is a school assessment criterion

Educational facilities and equipment

Little or no smart technology devices

– Diverse and synchronized smart technology devices based on ICT platform (smart boards, smart lecture halls, projectors, tablets,..); surveillance camera system; school surveillance technology system, broadband Internet connection…- Database, open learning resources, rich

With the characteristics described by comparison with normal schools in the table above,    Smart   Schools has a convergence of factors: intelligent pedagogy, intelligent learning, intelligent educational environment. In the interaction of those factors, the roles and methods of operation of students, teachers, school leaders and managers have changed, different from traditional schools. Students are central and supported, facilitating the development of intelligent learning. The application of ICT, extensive and imbued smart technology devices in the school’s activities increases interaction, expands connectivity, improves the quality of teaching and learning, and increases the efficiency of school management. The school becomes a cell, an important link in the world connecting with schools, with other learning institutions and with the community at large.               Smart    schools are truly an advanced school model and highly adapted to the technological environment and the general development of      society.