by Tobias Heiberg UCC, Futureclassroomlab.dk
Media and technologies are inevitable conditions within the teaching profession. Professional understanding and application of technologies and media are thus a key element in the basic professional competences of the teachers of tomorrow.
That is why the European Schoolnet network around Future Classroom Lab aims at qualifying the balance between technology and pedagogy. At Denmark’s largest University College, University College Copenhagen (UCC), the European Future Classroom Lab-network has contributed to the initiation of a new tier within teacher education, ‘Future Classroom Teaching’.
‘Future Classroom Teaching’ is a program within teacher education particularly designed for equipping students with a pedagogically and didactically competent understanding, as well as abilities to apply, the technologies and media which teachers inevitably will meet through their profession. The program offers a normal teacher education – but the program courses have an enhanced focus on the development of professional competences to understand and apply technologies and media in teaching.
‘Future Classroom Teaching’ thus aims at developing the teacher student’s abilities to constantly understand, assess and analyze: new technology, technology and media in situated practice, the intricate webs of technology and media and their influence on teaching as well as how all these factors affect each other. Students will examine and experiment with new technologies and their application, and they will appraise technologies both critically and constructively as conditions in modern schools – and not least collaborate on developing new and innovative pedagogies, which correspond to the competence requirements of the 21st century.
Taking off in August 2016, ’Future Classroom Teaching’ will be offered to a limited number of students at UCC. Students enrolled in the program have the opportunity study Danish (Secondary level: ages 10-15) and English (Secondary level: ages 10-15) as well as regular obligatory courses within teacher education. Students are expected to participate in volunteer work within the UCC and/or with partner institutions. This includes the UCC student tech unit ‘UCC Digiguides’, which is a student association that focuses on teacher professional aspects of new technologies – and continually works to disseminate their knowledge to other students. Furthermore, students have the opportunity to base their professional development on activities in ‘Future Classroom Lab’, which will be constructed as the new UCC Technology and Media Centre at Campus Carlsberg. This facility will provide optimal conditions for experimentation and professional progress with the latest technologies.
Here is a quote from the ’sales pitch’ for the students, whom we look forward to working with in the years to come:
Are you a teacher for future? – The kind of teacher who may not be a tech ninja, but who has the willingness to learn and experiment with new technology; without losing sight of relations and close human contact? – Would you consider trying to make learners cut out their spelling words in recycled wood using a laser cutter? Would you be the kind of teacher who would want to be heard, when the school board discusses buying a 3D printer – perhaps to tell them it is actually not what you need? Could you imagine explaining to parents that you want to teach their children environmental responsibility by taking charge of recyclable waste in their homes – using drones?
If you are curious about what new technology means for learners and schools, and if you want to develop skills that will be in demand in future classrooms…
Then FUTURE CLASSROOM TEACHING might be for you.