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Future Classroom Lab Strategic Seminar


22/05/2019

The Future Classroom Lab Strategic Seminar took place on 15 May 2019 in Brussels with the presence of 40 participants, mainly policy-makers and educational authorities from European, national and regional levels.

Schools and teachers are in a critical transition phase where the increasingly technology-rich learning environments, student-centric pedagogy and key competences are gaining ground in current practices. Moreover, schools and teachers are directly impacted by developments about modernising or transforming physical learning environments. The Future Classroom Lab's Strategic Seminar addressed these challenges and presented how the "FCL model" has helped to bring innovation into teaching and learning and has supported schools to benefit from the opportunities offered by new learning environments.

Welcome and introduction

In the welcome and opening session Marc Durando, European Schoolnet's Executive Director, and Jim Ayre, Senior Adviser, presented the key elements of the "FCL journey so far". FCL is perceived as "An inspirational learning environment challenging visitors to rethink pedagogy, technology, learning space design and how learning spaces can be adapted" confirmed by different stakeholders. FCL has also been crucial to sustain and mainstream results from EC-funded projects, such as iTEC, CPDLab, Living Schools Lab or FCL Regio. Various activities have resulted in a "FCL ecosystem" that is still growing and developing. Rehana Schwinninger-Ladak, Head of Unit at the DG CONNECT, European Commission, shared with the audience how the FP7-funded iTEC had been a milestone project also for the Commission and explained the kind of programmes that will be run in the future in the area.

National experiences by Future Classroom Ambassadors

The second session, hosted by EUN's Bart Verswijvel, Senior Adviser, offered a snapshot of national experiences by Future Classroom Ambassadors from Spain, Finland and Denmark. José Luis Fernández, Ministry of Education, Spain told how the FCL Ambassadors are supporting innovation at both national and local level.  Sampo Forsström from the University of Eastern-Finland Teacher Training School presented the case of a two-year pilot on developing new learning environments in teacher training schools in Finland. Lasse Remmer from the University College Copenhagen explained how the FCL model of a learning lab is being applied in Initial Teacher Education through the example of Campus Carlsberg.

Research questions regarding learning spaces and active learning

The following session looked into the research questions regarding learning spaces and active learning. In the day's keynote speech, professor. Karen Könings from the Maastricht University spoke on the possibilities of participatory design for built learning environments. Following this, Anja Balaskat, Senior Adviser, European Schoolnet, and Lorenzo Guasti and Giovanni Nulli, INDIRE presented on research on makerspaces that is carried out by the EUN's Interactive Classroom Working Group and INDIRE. The final presentation of this session focused on "Areas, trends and gaps in research on innovative learning spaces", by Patricia Wastiau, Principal Adviser for Research and Innovation, European Schoolnet. Read a longer article about the research session here.


Stakeholders' exchange sessions, panel and closing

In the afternoon, the participants discussed in four groups on topics of Future Classroom Ambassadors; Building new learning environments; Initial Teacher Education; and Research on innovative learning spaces. Read the ideas and conclusions of the discussions here.

Three participants shared their views in the panel discussion on mainstreaming of innovative pedagogical practice: Maria João Horta, DG Education, Portugal; Madeleine Murray, PDST Technology in Education, Ireland; and Vladimir Garkov, DG Education and Culture, European Commission.

In the closing session, Deirdre Hodson from the DG Education and Culture, European Commission, flagged up as the main challenge how to connect the innovators including different stakeholders and different sectors of education. Education will need to fit for the rapidly changing economy and society and to that end it is essential that we join the different islands of innovation to create a continent of change.

Presentations

For any questions regarding the seminar please contact fcl@eun.org