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Interactive Classroom Working Group
The Interactive Classroom Working Group (ICWG) set up in 2013 is one of three current European Schoolnet working groups. It replaces the previous Interactive Whiteboard Working Group (2008-2013). The aim of the Interactive Classroom Working Group is to enable Ministries of Education to explore common areas of concern, share experience, and address policy challenges related to the integration of a wide range of technologies in classrooms and their impact on teaching and learning.
Currently eight Ministries of Education are involved in the working group (Austria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Ireland, Italy, Norway, Portugal, Switzerland), and also working closely with policy makers from regional education authorities in the FCL Regio project.
- Guidelines for Effective School/Classroom use of IWBs [July 2010]
- Making the most of your interactive whiteboard (a shorter version of the guidelines) [September 2010]: CZ | DE | PT | IT
- IWB Procurement Guidelines report [January 2011]
- Guidelines for Small Scale IWB Procurements [July 2011]: CZ
- Top 10 tips for buying and installing interactive whiteboards [October 2012]: CZ | DE | FR
- ICWG pedagogical videos - (2014, 2015) ICWG members have created videos showcasing innovative pedagogical practice in classrooms across Europe
- BYOD Bring Your Own Device - A guide for school leaders (October 2015)
2016 work plan on personalising learning
In 2015, the ICWG was primarily focused on issues related to the pedagogical use of mobile devices and K-12 cloud services. This resulted in the development of pedagogical videos showcasing innovative practice and BYOD guidelines for school leaders. The ICWG also carried out two study visits (to Northern Ireland and the Netherlands).
In 2016, the ICWG is particularly focusing on different approaches to personalising learning. Of course, this is a very wide ranging topic; personalizing learning is still an evolving concept where definitions are something of a moving target and the emphasis on what is needed to personalise learning may differ from country to country. The starting point for the IGWG is that there is an increasing recognition in most countries that learning needs to: enable students (both individually and within groups) to learn at their own pace; and in a way that suits them - where they can exercise choice over when and how they learn.
Christine Gilbert's 2006 definition and the 2020 Vision report from the UK provides a useful starting point for anyone who is unfamiliar with the sorts of issues that the ICWG is interested in exploring in the next couple of years:
Personalising learning means, in practical terms, focusing in a more structured way on each child's learning in order to enhance progress, achievement and participation. All children and young people have the right to receive support and challenge, tailored to their needs, interests and abilities.
As with its earlier work, the ICWG aims to produce practical guidelines and resources that will help school leaders and teachers as well as policy makers. As part of its 2016-2017 work plan, there will be two initial strands:
Showcasing innovative practice
At a workshop in March 2016, ICWG members started work with a small focus group of school leaders and teachers who have already developed innovative approaches to personalising learning with their students.
This focus group is now defining requirements for short courses and support materials for schools that will be made available later in 2016.
Designing flexible learning spaces
ICWG members recognise that personalising learning can sometimes be difficult within conventional classrooms. The EUN Future Classroom Lab concept is also based on the notion that effective use of ICT is often only possible when it is combined with new approaches to providing more flexible learning spaces. In June 2016, the ICWG will organise a small workshop for teachers and other educators to help it determine what deliverables and support materials are needed on this topic.