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Welcome to the Future Classroom Lab of European Schoolnet!
The Future Classroom of European Schoolnet has been created to inspire you. It gives ideas of how flexible space design and educational technology can facilitate active learning pedagogy. Don't make a copy of this space but apply its ideas in your own environment.
Creating a future classroom is more than investing in furniture and equipment. It all starts with a mindset of innovative pedagogy.
This is the area where the teacher faces all the learners and leads them through all the steps of the learning scenario.
Teacher-led activities don't automatically imply that the role of the students is limited to being a passive audience. The teacher may be the expert, to a certain extent, but he is rather a facilitator and a moderator. Involving all students is one of the conditions to have active learning taking place in a classroom setup that may look traditional at first sight.
Interact sessions, where teachers keep control over every single step, must be in balance with other zones. Teacher-led activities must alternate with learning activities where students have more freedom without having to follow the track and pace imposed by the teacher.
Much importance is given to make students collaborate with others in the classroom. In the exchange zone, the teacher is at the side, acting as a coach to support teams when needed.
Teamwork can take place at different stages of the scenario, for instance, while investigating, creating and presenting. The quality of student collaboration is composed of ownership, shared responsibility and by the decision-making process within the group.
Learning must not be limited to the time spent under the direct supervision of a teacher. Schools need to encourage and prepare students to become self-directed, life-long learners. The 'develop' zone is a space for independent learning. It facilitates learning in a more informal way and gives in many ways freedom to students. Students can carry out schoolwork independently at their own pace, either on their own or in small groups, but they can also focus on their own interests. The 'develop' zone allows for a more relaxed and non-monitored interaction or self-reflection.
'Develop' zones can be created in a classroom but quite often these cosy, home-like environments are part of the whole school building.
Teachers are aware they should not always act as the sage on the stage. Learners must be invited to do their own research and knowledge building.
The investigate zone facilitates inquiry- and project-based learning to enhance students' critical thinking skills. Students are encouraged to discover for themselves; they are given the opportunity to be active participants, rather than passive listeners. Students learn how to find quality resources and how to manage information. The investigate zone connects to a driving question that challenges students to come up with creative answers.
The learners have access to real-life data and to tools to examine and analyse.
The idea of creating and making is interwoven with the process of investigation. The create zone provides materials and equipment where learners can create their own product to showcase their learning. Instead of just being content consumers, learners get the opportunity to be content creators.
In the create zone learners go beyond simple repetition of information. They make a transfer of the acquired knowledge to a new piece of content as a result of analysis, synthesis and evaluation. Creating and making new artefacts are ways of processing learning. Creating gives ownership and offers possibilities for personalized learning. It allows learners to exercise their imagination, and to innovate.
In the future classroom learning is a social matter. Students get the opportunity to share what they have created and this goes beyond the presentation of finished products. The future classroom is a workplace where not only final products are showcased, but it is an area where trying out and failure are an inherent part of learning.
Sharing with others shows learners they have a voice, and they are capable of producing meaningful, authentic, high-quality work. At the same time, presenting and sharing of work encourages metacognition and the development of soft skills, as this process offers opportunities to reflect on the work done and to clarify misconceptions or areas for improvement.
The activities of the present zone lead to feedback and peer assessment.