itec: Future Classroom Lab
The iTEC (Innovative Technologies for an Engaging Classroom) project investigates how established and emerging technologies can be used effectively in the classroom in the next 5-10 years and in particular how scenarios for the future classroom can move beyond small pilots and be taken to scale.
In order to help exploit the emerging iTEC results, European Schoolnet has opened a Future Classroom Lab to showcase iTEC teaching and learning scenarios. It consists of a room designed as an interactive classroom to illustrate how a traditional classroom setting can use technology to enhance interactivity and student participation, plus a large reconfigurable open space (divided into five learning ‘zones’) equipped with the latest technology.
The initial response to project dissemination activities from Ministries of Education, regional education authorities and ICT vendors indicates that iTEC has the potential to become a more permanent ‘Living Lab’ or ‘Ideas’ Lab’, a platform that enables key stakeholders to rethink teaching and learning in 21st century classrooms.
The Future Classroom Lab will consist of a room designed as an interactive classroom to illustrate how a traditional classroom setting can use technology to enhance interactivity and student participation, plus a large reconfigurable open space (divided into five learning ‘zones’) equipped with the latest technology. In particular, the Future Classroom Lab will be used as an environment to:
Stimulate discussions and illustrate practice related to a range of current and prospective innovative teaching and learning scenarios.
Provide hands-on training facilities for teachers, head teachers and ICT advisers.
Act as a venue for meetings, workshops and events for Ministries of Education, regional education authorities and commercial partners.
Provide a platform where policy makers, practitioners and ICT suppliers can come together in order to rethink how teaching and learning can take place in 21st century classrooms and other learning spaces.
One of the first companies to support the Future Classroom Lab is RM Education, a leading provider of ICT software, infrastructure and services in the UK which has set up the REAL (Rethinking Education and Learning) Centre at its headquarters in Abingdon.
The aim is that the new European Schoolnet Future Classroom Lab in Brussels will be equipped and ready for a series of launch events starting in December 2011.