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Expert teachers supporting Future Classroom Lab through innovative pedagogical activities

The first meeting of the Future Classroom Lab's group of expert teachers took place on 5 and 6 march in Brussels. The two-day meeting brought together eight innovative teachers from Italy, Czech Republic, France and Portugal, who brainstormed to create better pedagogical activities and services to all lab's visitors.

Since this was the first occasion for most of the teachers in the lab, the meeting focused first on explaining and discussing the lab's concept, role and potential. The teachers worked also on learning stories and activities that could be delivered using the Future Classroom Lab's facilities and technology.

The group that in total consists of ten teachers will continue working online and organise another face-to-face meeting next year. The results of the group's meeting and work will be soon available at the Future Classroom Lab.

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Join our teacher training course on programming

Course: Programming for the 21st century classroom Programming and computational thinking skills are becoming ever more important in our society and working life. It is estimated that there will be a need for up to 900.000 ICT professional on the job markets in 2015. Moreover, computer science skills and competences are increasingly required in many different fields and not only in ICT jobs.

There are a growing number of countries in Europe and internationally, which refocus their ICT curricula on developing students’ computer programming and coding skills and introduce this topic in national, regional or school curricula. Learning to program develops skills such as problem-solving, logical reasoning and creativity, and can help give students motivation in mathematics theory as it encourages them to apply their knowledge.

European Schoolnet will organise a teacher training course "Programming for the 21st century classroom" which will take place on 13-17 October 2014 in the Future Classroom Lab. During the course teachers will learn about the importance of programming in today's society and education, learn ways to introduce programming in cross-curricular work, discover and test different programming tools, explore ways to motivate and encourage students, and develop a lesson plan for their classrooms. The workshop will be organised during the Europe Code Week. 

Esri and European Schoolnet to deliver geographic education

ArcGis OnlineSchool systems across Europe will soon have access to the world's leading online mapping software for delivering better geographic education to the classroom. Esri has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with European Schoolnet, an organization that works with multiple ministries of education to bring innovation to teaching and learning throughout Europe.

The MOU will be active for three years. During this time, Esri will advise the European Schoolnet team members on the use of ArcGIS Online, Esri's cloud-based platform, as well as help them develop a series of related lesson plans. ArcGIS Online will be implemented in European Schoolnet's Future Classroom Lab, a state-of-the-art project that allows educators to explore the latest developments in the evolving educational environment.

"The cloud-based capabilities of ArcGIS Online align very well with the other technologies we are using in the Future Classroom Lab," says Benjamin Hertz, project coordinator of European Schoolnet. "It is a great tool for teachers to help students become enthusiastic about geography and how it is relevant to many other subjects. Lessons with ArcGIS Online bring STEM [science, technology, engineering, and mathematics] education to a higher level."

Read the full press release by ESRI

Future Classroom Scenarios online course - 2nd edition will start in July!

Future Classroom Scenarios MOOC - example of a toolThe 2nd edition of the Future Classroom Scenarios course, by the European Schoolnet Academy will start on 28 July 2014. The enrollment for the course is now open.

The Future Classroom Scenarios course aims to introduce teachers, headteachers and ICT coordinators in schools to concepts, tools, and exchanges about the future classroom. The course is designed in response to the increasing challenges faced by educators around the world to accommodate the rising importance of technology in education and the impact this has on teaching and learning.

The course covers six modules which introduce you to key concepts like 21st century skills and allow you to exchange with your peers about your own experiences of trying out new activities and technologies in the classroom. During the course we will also reflect and discuss the role of technology tools in the future classroom and your current teaching and learning environments. A number of tools are introduced which help the process of innovation in the school and classroom but are equally useful for your everyday teaching practices.

Read more and get enrolled here

If you are a science teacher, don't miss out the 2nd edition of another EUN Academy course "Innovative Practices for Engaging STEM Teaching" which will re-start on 18 August.

10th Future Classroom Lab interview - Anne Looney about innovation in schools

The 10th interview of the Future Classroom Lab series has been published. In this great interview Anne Looney, the CEO of Ireland's National Council for Curriculum and Assessment, speaks to us about innovation in school, student engagement and national digital learning strategy.

The interview was filmed during the Living Schools Lab summer school in Dublin, May 2014. Anne Looney's presentation at the event is available here.

Classroom practice videos - making the most of your IWB

ICT is already being used in many ways in schools across Europe. Some teachers starting to embed technology into their lessons may find it challenging to find tools, ideas and resources that fit their needs. The European Schoolnet's Interactive Classroom Working Group has created a series of videos that present practical and engaging ways of using ICT for teaching and learning. The videos present real-life classroom practice and concrete examples, and are explained through the experience of the teachers themselves.

The first four videos are:


Webinar 5 June - Students' top 10 priorities for education

The recent LSL Summer School was spiced up by a group of student reporters, "Scoop Ducks", formed by Italian and Irish students. During the event they interviewed the participants, took pictures and video clips, sent tweets, wrote blog posts, and contributed to the programme by delivering presentation on "Top 10 priorities for education by students" and contributing on a following panel discussion.

This highlight presentation of the Summer School will be delivered as a webinar by the students themselves to a wider audience. The webinar will take place on 5 June, at 6:30 PM (CEST, Brussels time). Enrol here!

The webinar will be delivered 4 students of the Francesco Redi scientific high school in Arezzo (Italy): Andrea Liguori (19), Lorenzo Giambagli (18), Gabriele Redigonda (18) and Chiara Fraticelli (18).

See also the students' Summer School blog:


European Schoolnet Academy courses - A huge success

New teaching methods, innovative approaches in classroom, and original pedagogical tools, are among what teachers taking part in the European Schoolnet Academy pilot courses reported when surveyed at the end of their learning journey.

The first two courses, finished this May, covered key areas of expertise of European Schoolnet: Future Classroom Scenarios and Innovative practice for engaging STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) teaching, and reached out to more than 3,200 participants from 60 countries in Europe and across the world.

Not only were the retention and completion rates high, both qualitative and quantitative feedback of the participants confirmed a very positive experience on both courses.

More than 2,200 people had enrolled in the Future Classroom Scenarios, of which about 60% had actually started the course. Interestingly, the majority of participants had at least 16 years of work experience in the educational field. Retention throughout the course was high with 55% of those who started the course also completing the course. In particular the module completion was very high with more than 90% of those who started a module also completing it. All this is remarkably high if we consider that in average roughly 5 percent of students who sign up for a MOOC earn a credential signifying official completion of the course.

Moreover 80% of respondents to the course evaluation survey rated the course “very good” with another 19% rating it “good”.  “This course has given me new energy and inspiration. I love my job, but every once in a while you need a professional development that gets you reenergized.  So thank you. I also learned [about] many new tools such as Aurasma, Padlet, Tricider etc. that I plan to use in my classroom. I also started to approach my planning process in [the] light of the new ideas from the course.” [A teacher’s comment in the final module with 111 supporting votes]. You can follow #fcscourse on Twitter for updates on the course and also to get a taste of what participants thought and shared during the course (view image below too).

More than 1000 people had enrolled in the Innovative practice for engaging STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) teaching of which 65% had actually started the course.  Most participants were also experienced professionals with about half having worked in the educational field for at least 16 years.
Retention and completion rates were slightly lower than on the Future Classroom Scenarios course but remained comparatively high for a large scale course. Module completion was high in most modules and in particular the later ones, with close to 90% of those who started a module also completing it. Retention throughout the course was also high with 47% of those who started the course also completing the course.
Results of the course evaluation survey also suggest a substantial impact on classroom practice with 78% reporting to have tried out a new form of teaching since attending the course and 83% reporting they have succeeded in motivating more effectively their students in the STEM area.

Moving forward

Given the successful piloting phase, the Academy will move forward in expanding its course catalogue via courses coming from European Schoolnet projects but also increasingly from other partners.
The upcoming courses include:
  • Future Classroom Scenarios - 2nd round (Jul./Aug. 2014)
  • Innovative Practices for Engaging STEM Teaching - 2nd round (18 August 2014)
  • Coding in the Classroom for Secondary School Teachers (20 October 2014)
  • Further information about this course will soon be published.
  • Teaching and Learning 21st Century Skills (Nov./Dec. 2014)
  • Coding in the Classroom for Primary School Teachers (2015)
  • Further information about this course will soon be published.
  • Creativity in the Classroom (2015)
  • Innovative use of Tablets in Schools (2015)

Useful links:

Join the 10th Education Fast Forward debate

Education Fast forwardBetter teaching for better learning: Results of the OECD Teaching and Learning International Survey (TALIS)

Be one of the first to learn from the outcomes of the OECD’s Teaching and Learning International Survey (TALIS) by joining Education Fast Forward’s global live debate on June 25, 2014 at 1pm BST (2PM CEST). No need to register, just click to view. Follow us on Twitter @effdebate and post your questions and comments to #EFF10.

The lead debaters will be the OECD’s Andreas Schleicher, Acting Director and Special Advisor on Education Policy to the Secretary-General and Professor Michael Fullan former dean of the Ontario Institute of Education Studies in Education. Plus specially invited guests. Andreas will be revealing the results of the TALIS survey and looking at what conditions teachers face and how this data can influence policy to make sure that teachers have the best environment possible to create effective learning environments.

What?            Live Global Education Debate
When?            25th June 2014
What Time?    1pm BST to 3.30pm BST (2PM CEST: Brussels/Paris/Berlin time)
Where?          Streamed live to      
                     Free, no need to register, just click to join

Education Fast Forward (EFF) brings together leading global experts and change agents from the world of education to debate the topics that matter most. The forum addresses the key challenges facing governments, educators and employers both now and in the future, and aims to find practical resolutions.


Andreas Schleicher
Andreas is Acting Director for the Directorate of Education and Skills and Special Advisor on Education Policy to the Secretary-General.  He also provides strategic oversight over OECD’s work on the development and utilisation of skills and their social and economic outcomes.  This includes the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), the OECD Survey of Adult Skills (PIAAC), the OECD Teaching and Learning International Survey (TALIS) and the development and analysis of benchmarks on the performance of education systems (INES).

Professor Michael Fullan
Michael is a worldwide authority on education reform with a mandate of helping to achieve the moral purpose of all children learning.

Join Kodu Kup to develop game-based learning and enhance digital skills and collaboration

KoduCup competition for schoolsEuropean Schoolnet and Microsoft are pleased to announce European Kodu Kup, a new school competition that will encourage pupils to design games and take their first steps in coding in a fun and engaging way. Kodu Kup Europe highlights the role played by game-based learning to strengthen digital skills, collaboration and new thinking for young Europeans.

Kodu Game Lab is a visual programming language for creating games, accessible for children as young as 6 year olds and enjoyable for anyone. What made it so famous worldwide is that it is very easy and visually attractive and yet it allows for high degree of computational thinking and programming fundamentals. With strong links to numeracy and literacy, as well as science, maths and geography, teachers can use it across the curriculum.

In the Kodu Kup competition the pupils will be challenged to develop their own games using the Kodu Game Lab tools and thus take their first steps in coding (e.g. using directional commands, creating imaginary worlds, conditional loops, modelling and simulations).

To know more about Kodu Kup, take part in the free webinar on Tuesday 13 May, at 4.00 pm. Send an email to to sign up for the webinar.

e-Skills for Jobs 2014 - EU places high priority on digital job creation

eSkills 2014 campaignThe e-Skills for Jobs 2014 campaign is part of the Commission’s Grand Coalition for Digital Jobs - an EU-wide multi-stakeholder partnership designed to address a shortfall in the number of European citizens with ICT professional skills, and to exploit the employment creation potential of ICT.

The main focus of the campaign is to raise awareness of the education, training, jobs, and other opportunities that are available to people with e-Skills – those who know how to effectively use digital technologies. It will inform students, unemployed people, ICT professionals and SMEs about the vast range of opportunities that ICT-related jobs present During the course of 2014, the e-Skills for jobs campaign will run in 30 EU countries*.

The campaign is coordinated by DIGITALEUROPE and European Schoolnet in conjunction with hundreds of national and pan-European partners including, SEPE (partner for Greece), the European Centre for Women and Technology, JA-YE, Telecentre Europe and many major IT industry partners.

While Europe struggles with a prolonged economic downturn, e-Skills are more essential than ever to help get Europe’s economy back on its feet. People with strong e-Skills will play a central role in making Europe an innovative and competitive environment.

Marc Durando, Executive Director of European Schoolnet, said: "The latest data indicate that secondary school students are still insufficiently aware of the importance of IT skills for their future jobs***. We are committed to ensuring that Europe’s young people are prepared to engage in Europe digital future and be equipped to work in the digital age.”

More information:

  • Find out more about e-Skills Week here: 
  • Download the full press release (pdf)
  • Read the EUN Briefing Papers Nº7 on Europe’s young people awareness on the importance of ICT skills for learning, adult and work life and whether the education system is equipping them to navigate the labour market of the 21st century. The special focus is dedicated to e-Skills for Jobs 2014 campaign.
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