Are you interested in media education and digital competence? Proposing actions and strategies for teaching and research in the field of Media and Information Literacy topics are in the spotlight of an upcoming conference, divided into online and face-to-face parts, organized by the Spanish Ministry of Education.
Firstly, the II Virtual Conference on Media Education and Digital Competence is addressed to all those professionals and students of education and communication interested in media and informational literacy. This online conference in Spanish is free-of-charge and it takes place on 1-31 May 2017 using the educaLAB platform. You can already register here.
The virtual conference can be taken independently, but it is also the first part of the III International Conference on Media Education and Digital Competence that takes place on 15-17 June 2017, in Segovia, Spain. This conference builds on the work of international scholars and practitioners from the fields of education and communication who participated in two previous conferences. The face-to-face conference has a small fee.
The two parts, online and face-to-face, are connected and complementary, but at the same time, they operate independently. While the face-to-face conference will provide opportunities for interaction and for the development of a rich and continuous discourse about the field, the online component of the conference extends the time for dialogue and provides ideas and archives that can be used to shape and support the face-to-face conference proceedings and post-conference field-building. The interested can either register for both parts together, online and face-to-face, or only for the online.
Jørund Høie Skaug, FCL Ambassador, Norway
I think it´s fair to demand from a proper future classroom that it should have 3D holograms that students can interact with, like in a Star Trek movie. At the moment Microsofts Hololens costs $3000, and is only available to developers and early adopters. But even if a consumer version is a few years ahead, it´s very much possible at this point to make experiments with mixed reality in a classroom to explore how the technology can be used for learning, and envision how devices can be integrated in educational practices. If you can get hold of a Hololens, that is. The Norwegian Centre for ICT in Education was lucky to borrow one, for a lesson in natural sciences with 7th graders at Åssiden school in Drammen.
Mixed reality (MR) is a technology which makes the real and virtual worlds merge, to produce new environments and visualizations a user can and interact with in real time. Virtual reality has already made an impact on education in some schools, either with cheap cardboard goggles used with mobile phones, or with more high-end systems like Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. If you are a bit confused with how MR differs from AR or VR, this article on Wikipedia might be of help.
In my opinion, neither VR og MR will make a big impact on education before experiences of high quality can be shared in real time. When that moment arrive, where you can take your class on a virtual trip to the moon or explore the human body in 3D, things start to get really interesting for educators. At this point, we wanted to see if it´s possible to have some sort of shared experience, and that was actually quite easy, since it´s possible to show a stream (in 2D) from the Hololens at the interactive whiteboard. The 3D-pictures of the planets and stars you see in the video, is recorded in the Hololens (we had two Hololenses running). A few years from now, the prices will have dropped, the head-mounted displays will be a lot smaller, and it will probably be possible to take that trip to the moon with your class.
The solar system app looks very impressive, but has few features apart from seeing the distance between the planets and a few ways of interacting with each planet. I suspect that the content being made in the future will be mindblowing on a whole other level. You might have seen pictures of people using Hololens being able to play Minecraft, like in this picture:
In reality, the field of view is much more narrow with Hololens, so the picture exaggerates to a great deal what´s it´s like to wear a Hololens. But it´s still very exciting to move around an object in 3D, and explore content through voice commands, gestures, and your gaze. And some developers who have gotten hold of a Hololens have started to make some very interesting uses of the technology. Like the guy who has created a functioning version of the computer game Portal, including the Portal Gun, who shoots portals through space and time. What would you like your students to experience in Mixed Reality?
by Elina Jokisalo, Future Classroom Lab, Brussels
On 7 March 2017 European Schoolnet had the honour to take part in the official opening of the the “Aula del Futuro”, the future classroom created by INTEF of the Spanish Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport. The project was inaugurated by the Secretary of State for Education, Vocational Training and Universities, Marcial Marín.
Similar to the FCL in Brussels, the main characteristic of the classroom, besides the technology that it integrates, is the division into different learning areas, which will encourage teachers to reflect on how technologies can support the process of educational change. The classroom has now tablets, 360º cameras, mobile phones, touch screens, virtual reality glasses and furniture that allows reorganizing the space and support different kind of learning situations.
During the inauguration, 5th grade students from the CEIP Miguel de Cervantes de Leganés (Madrid), took part in mini-workshops showing how the classroom is used in practice. The young students also proved their presentation skills when explaining in detail what they did and how they did it.
The event was also attended by representatives of Samsung Spain and Steelcase, the first two companies collaborating with the project.
The enthusiasm about the new project was palpable among the staff as well the visitors of all ages. European Schoolnet wishes all the best to the new member of the family, and will stay tuned for more news and success stories!
by Bart Verswijvel, Future Classroom Lab Pedagogical Adviser
The International School of Brussels is a private K12 school, located in residential Brussels. The school, built on a hill next to the Boitsfort Ponds, is surrounded by the beautiful old trees of a small forest.
A few years ago the school decided to rethink the learning spaces of the school. The idea was to promote active and social learning and to give the students the possibility to develop themselves according to their own learning styles, needs and strengths.
Year by year the school does some investments to reshape the different floors of their Middle School building. The idea is to transform the complete building into one space for learning. Glass walls have replaced the blind walls next to the corridors. The corridors and the in-between-spaces have been upgraded and integrated into the overall learning environment. Each of floors hosts a different subject section and groups classes for e.g. maths, languages, science, etc. The students work in the classroom with their teacher but quite often also individually or in groups. At that time they can spread out in the open spaces outside the classrooms. At first sight you might think that this concept is messy and distracting, but when visiting the school I saw that the kids were all focused on their work and felt at home.
The open space provides comfortable furniture where the students can sit together and collaborate in an informal way. Some spaces and cubicles made of sound-proof glass, are reserved for students who want to work in complete silence.
The school has a 1:1 policy and the students all have the same laptop, included in the school tuition. The school also encourages that students bring their own smartphone to be used for mobile learning or as a tool to connect with the outside world. The students and teachers of the ISB Middle School use the hashtag #mslearns to share learning outcomes and views on Twitter. In the school building there is a screen with a Twitter wall displaying the feed of tweets sent by the students.
The school wants to invest in the well-being of the students. The light in the open spaces comes from SAD lamps. According to the school management the light therapy has a wonderful effect as it gives an energy boost and as it brightens dark winter moods. In the school I saw happy kids.
They did not at all abuse the freedom they were given in the open space. They were committed to their tasks, spoke with tempered voices or were very concentrated and silent. When visiting the science maker space I saw the pupils really enjoying the learning activities. At the wall the students had painted their learning mantras. One of them was Embrace Failure and Success.
The International School of Brussels is well aware they are in a privileged position, but according to me the view on learning can also be adapted in schools with less funding. With a minimum on investment, steps can be taken to reshape the building into a place where students can build 21st century skills and… enjoy learning.
by Sergio González Moreau, Future Classroom Lab Ambassador, Spain
eTwinning is part of the EU programme for education, training, youth and sport - Erasmus+. Its goal is to promote and facilitate contact, exchange ideas and collaborative work between teachers and students of the 41 countries participating in eTwinning, through ICTs. Moreover, it fosters the exchange of ideas and good practices and teachers professional development.
To coordinate this action across Europe, eTwinning has a Central Support Service (CSS) in Brussels and a National Support Service (NSS) in each country. In Spain, the NSS is at the National Institute of Educational Technologies and Teacher Training (Instituto Nacional de Tecnologías Educativas y de Formación del Profesorado – INTEF) of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports. Each Autonomous Community/City has an eTwinning representative. The coordination between Spanish NSS and the eTwinning representatives is a key element for a good development of the project in Spain. Part of this coordination includes face-to-face and virtual meetings to update information, initiatives and processes that allow an efficient and effective project management. The last meeting of this eTwinning coordination group was held on 22nd and 23rd November at the European Schoolnet (EUN) headquarters in Brussels, which is responsible for the CSS, as well as hosting the Future Classroom Lab (FCL). It was an opportunity for eTwinning representatives to get to know the FCL and its pedagogical approach, a very enriching experience that can positively influence eTwinning projects.
The first day of the meeting was dedicated to learn about EUN and FCL, as well as the coordination of the SNA with the autonomous representatives. The next day we visited the Parliament and the European Commission, where we had the possibility to share opinions with Cecile Le Clercq, Director General for Education and Culture.
This blog post aims to tell you more about our experience at the FCL.
The opening of the event was carried out by Carlos Medina, Head of the International Projects Service of INTEF. He expressed his thanks to the autonomous communities and cities for being all there and remembered that five years ago a similar meeting was held in the same place.
Next, Elina Jokisalo, Project Manager School Education Gateway & Future Classroom Lab, talked on behalf of CSS. Besides the welcome speech, she presented some of the initiatives related to Erasmus + as the School Education Gateway website that offers a wide range of training opportunities via Teacher Academy.
In the beginning, Águeda Gras, Director of the Sciences and Regions program, presented European Schoolnet, and then Elina introduced us to the FCL initiative and what it means in terms of innovation in teaching practice at school level. She emphasised in her presentation that the teaching model has changed in the last decades, in which students have evolved from being just a receiver of information, who only listened and memorized, to persons who collaborate, interact and share to generate their own learning. Taking in mind this objective, the FCL and its division into 6 learning spaces, aims to promote the development of skills necessary for 21st century society:
To do so, FCL created the six learning zones that you can check at the section Learning Zones in this website. The goal of these areas is to boost interaction, peer work, learning through exploration and problem solving, multidisciplinary work, creative and communicative processes, reflection and personalization of learning.
At the end of the presentation, we visited the physical space in which we could explore and test various resources, as well as being informed of its possibilities.
These two days have been very intense for us, the Spanish coordinators of eTwinning, and we have lived and share a true European experience thanks to the excellent organization of the CSS and the Spanish NSS. When we returned, we all said that we were motivated to continue supporting and working on eTwinning, as well as to incorporate a new initiative to our tasks, the FCL.
The group photo in the article is from a tweet by Anna Perez.
by Bart Verswijvel
On 10 and 11 November 2016 the Future Classroom Lead ambassadors and members of the Interactive Classroom Working Group of European Schoolnet went on a study visit to Copenhagen. We visited 3 venues with new learning spaces and we had a special interest on how new technologies and methodologies had been integrated.
The first day we went to the University Campus Copenhagen where Lasse Remmer, the Danish FCL Ambassador welcomed us in the Future Classroom DK. This Future Classroom has been inspired by the FCL of European Schoolnet. It contains different learning zones, all with fitting and flexible furniture, as well as state of the art technologies. The FCL is used by different groups of stakeholders in and outside the University College but it plays first of all a prominent role in the initial teacher training organized at UCC.
We were all very impressed by the concept of the Future Classroom Teacher. The title of Future Classroom Teacher can be obtained by the students of all disciplines. In fact students follow the regular courses but when opting for Future Classroom Teacher they will get extra training and be assessed in a different way. This means that, for example, instead of writing papers like the other students would do, these students will have to come up with digital or physical products or with solutions that work within a flexible learning space. The experience so far indicates that the Future Classroom Teachers have embraced the FCL wholeheartedly and made it to their workplace where they like to spend many hours of the week. During this first pilot year, 30 trainees have been able to enrol on the special programme. In the next school year 120 students will be accepted. Also trainers get training at the FCL so that they will all be Future Classroom Trainers as well.
On the second day of the visit we went to two schools. We started at Skolen I Sydhavnen, a newly built primary school located in the old harbour, now a residential area full of new buildings. When the pupils come to the school early in the morning, they get much more than what you would expect from a school. The school is a place where students can develop different aspects of their personality. The lessons with the teachers are just part of it. The whole school environment and the social interaction and activities make pupils feel at home. The school is a place to learn and to live.
Traditional schools are a collection of classrooms connected by corridors and stairs. In this school we hardly saw traditional corridors. Every square metre, stairs included, is a potential learning space. The stairs are broad and prominent and they give students and staff the daily gym. The food in the school is 90% organic and students are involved in meal preparation as part of their studies. The school also takes initiatives to connect to the community. Parents have a space to meet other parents over coffee and the spaces in the school are also used by people from the neighbourhood in the evening.
The last school on the programme was Ørestad Gymnasium, a secondary school, again with an innovative and open architecture. Here we also saw students using all parts of the building to learn and develop. When speaking to some of the students we learned that they appreciated this freedom and they wouldn’t like to go back to the traditional concept of a school and classroom. They liked the fact that the school was paperless and all learning materials were digital. On the other hand, we also heard some critical comments - some students saying that from time to time they missed the intimacy of a quiet classroom to concentrate better.
It would be of great value if the experiences of more innovative Danish schools like these could be monitored and documented so that school leaders and policy makers in other countries could learn how flexible learning spaces are supporting new pedagogical practices.
More information: University College Copenhagen Ørestad Gymnasium Skolen I Sydhavnen
by Maria Teresa Godinho Future Classroom Lead Ambassador for Portugal
Portuguese innovative educational spaces were presented at two big educational fairs. With the motto "Innovation - The Future is Today", the Directorate-General for Education (DGE) that coordinates these projects, was present both at Futuralia (Lisbon) and Qualifica (Oporto) exhibitions, which took place between March 16th and 19th 2016 (Futuralia) and April 16th and 19th 2016 (Qualifica).
These fairs offer educational, training and employability information and opportunities intended for students and the educational community. The fairs were privileged moments to disseminate and promote DGE’s vision for education in a near future in the fields of pedagogical and didactic innovation, and they also served as an opportunity to recreate an "Innovative Educational Environment". It allowed the promotion of good practice in schools which are being implemented at these environments, reflection on the improvement of pedagogy, technology and design in an educational context. It also promoted the access and exploration of teaching and learning resources to support the educational community.
Freixo School Cluster is a public School located in Ponte de Lima Municipality, Portugal, with 700 students from K-9th Grade. Freixo School Cluster has been setting a consolidated path of innovation and technology integration in education.
Inspired by the Future Classroom Lab from European Schoolnet, the school has decided to go forward with one of their major challenges: to create a space where students and teachers can go further on and find answers to develop learning scenarios for 21st Century skills: a Personalised Working Room (PWR), where the center of all activity is the student interaction with other students and teachers.
This room will work as an open flexible space for teacher personal development, classes, extracurricular activities, research and development of innovative educational activities.
To achieve this project, the school is looking for the best Partners, which can contribute for one or more of the following areas:
The space has a total of 97 m2, with wireless and electrical connections. So far, it has been equipped with laptops, tablets and other devices, video and sound systems and also experimental sciences and robotics materials.
Partners of the Freixo School Cluster will access the PWR for educational purposes, personal development, as well as a showroom to display their educational solutions and also the result of students and teachers’ innovative activities.
Partners are fundamental for the school to create unique opportunities of mutual learning, improvement and evolution, towards building an open and aware school for the world!
Find Freixo School Cluster’s Partner engagement plan here. To receive more information please contact this email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
by Lasse Remmer, Future Classroom Lead Ambassador for Denmark
Two years ago, UCC was contacted by the Danish National Agency for IT and Learning (part of the Ministry of Education) and asked to take charge of implementing the Future Classroom Lab initiative under European Schoolnet. The Ministry required a Danish version that could help Danish teachers understand and use innovative technologies in teaching. Enhancing the learner’s role as producer – a feature of 21st century learning skills recently introduced to the Danish national curriculum – was particularly targeted as a key objective.
After an initial kick-off meeting in Brussels in November 2014, our work began by defining why we, and Danish teachers, even needed a Future Classroom Lab. This made us reflect, not just on the job at hand, but also on our prior experiences from a multitude of courses, seminars and in-service training programs for schools, schools managers and policy makers; which had had very diverse and not always successful outcomes. Key experiences and developments were identified as:
Consequently, we set out to find a solution which could embrace as many of these new challenges and trends as possible. www.futureclassroomlab.dk
by Jørund Høie Skaug, Future Classroom Lead Ambassador for Norway
Virtual Reality has become hyped technology this year, with the launch of Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and the upcoming PlayStation VR. There are a lot of possibilities for VR in education but price is a barrier against mainstream use in classrooms for the foreseeable future. Oculus Rift ($599) and HTC Vive (€ 899) both require expensive desktop PCs, and even if PlayStation VR is more moderately priced ($399), these VR systems do not scale very good for classroom or Future Classroom lab use, since only one person at a time can use a headset.
However, with mobile VR systems, the situation is different. Google Cardboard and similar VR viewers are inexpensive (from 5€), and work with all newer smartphones. A VR experience on a cardboard viewer does not have the quality of the Rift or the Vive, but there are still a lot of exciting opportunities for educators interested in immersive learning. Finding VR and 360 degree video content is easy, some of the best (mostly free) smartphone apps we have come across are collected in The Norwegian FCLs list of Cardboard Apps for Educators . Another way to find content is simply to search for «virtual reality» or «vr» in Google Play and App Store. A VR workshop in a Future Classroom lab does not really require more than a couple of cardboard viewers, since learners can work in groups, and download apps on their own smartphones.
Some iOS and Google Play apps which could be interesting in FCL settings, are Bosch VR, where you get a guided tour in the Hieronymus Bosch triptych The Garden of Earthly Delights, and the Google Cardboard app, where you can experience the Antarctica and Street View in VR.
Titans of Space (Android only), is perhaps the best example to date of how VR can be used in classrooms. In Titans of Space, you travel through the solar system, and learn about planets and stars on the way. Even with a cardboard headset the experience can be breathtaking, especially regarding to the size of some of the stars you encounter in the outskirts of the solar system. One of our ambassadors, Adrian Talleraas, have made a presentation (in English) which describes in detail how a teacher can set up groups (with 2 or 3 learners, secondary level) who work with Titans of Space, taking turns to write notes and travel through space. After the trip and the note-taking, the groups play a learning game with a quiz in Kahoot (also in English).
The Samsung Gear VR ($99) is by far the best mobile VR system, and has its own app store with a lot of interesting content. The catch is that it only works with Samsung Galaxy S6 or S7 phones. But as mentioned above, a few inexpensive cardboard viewers is really all you need for doing VR workshops in Future Classroom labs.
Other things to consider:
By Yael Yaron, Tel-Aviv Distict ICT Supervisor, MoE and Karina Batat Future Classroom Lead Ambassador for Israel
Beta School in collaboration with the ICT department in Tel Aviv district organized its 1st “Pedagogical Hackathon” on February the 9th 2016. Nineteen teams from 19 schools in the Tel Aviv District competed to design an activity aiming to raise awareness for Digital Citizenship in the community. The idea was born by trying to convert the issue to something proactive among teachers and students, trying to link together e-Safety and Collaborative Learning! The main goal of the Hackathon was to engage more schools to act toward Digital Citizenship by creating an innovative "product" in a tight schedule. The Aim of the DiCi contest to produce an outcome which:
a) Participants had to build a team of 5 members and choose one from the following tracks:
b) Before the Hackathon, they were asked to gain further knowledge about their chosen track. Participants could also chose between participating online or coming to Beta School to attend the Hackathon.
Dici Preliminary Online Phase Dici Design and Create Phase
The teams worked in a shared online OneNote we prepared to document the process. Each phase in the Hackathon was documented in a separate section. At the end of the DiCi Hackathon 19 products were uploaded to the online OneNote, Products Section. The outstanding products will be taken up by technological partners.
"We had a great experience. We learnt a lot about team work and working under pressure" Gordon Team
“The students had a formative experience ...We intend to take the track we have chosen and the app our students were planning one step forward. The app will allow to measure ethics in our digital network". Natan Yonatan Primary School
“We enjoyed the Hackathon! We hope to participate in similar events" Usha Team
"The Hackathon allow us to experience a different way of teaching/learning, working as team and using new digital tools, enhancing educational values". Ygal Alon School, Netanya
by Jørund Høie Skaug Future Classroom Lead Ambassador for Norway
One of our goals in FCL Norway is to work more closely with and collaborate with stakeholders from Teacher Education Institutions. Several Teacher Education Institutions in Norway are interested in setting up their own Future Classroom labs, and a couple of weeks ago, our own department for Kindergarten and Teacher Education invited the TEs of Norway to an innovation camp over two days. The goal was to get new ideas for using technology in initial teacher training, and let mixed teams compete about the best idea. The innovation camp was organised with methodology and help from Junior Achievement Norway (Ungt Entrepenørskap). The methodology has quite a few similarities with toolset 3 (Creating a Future Classroom Scenario) in the FCL Toolkit, so toolset is also an option for those interested in arranging an event like this.
We presented the Future Classroom lab, and brought some equipment for the participants to play with in the process. Many were interested in discussing how technologies such as coding and video games can be integrated in initial teacher training, and the simple Cardboard Virtual Reality-boxes (which can be used with any smartphone) impressed those who had´t already been exposed to this kind of technology before. One of the teams did a brilliant presentation the next day with a suggested Virtual Reality training programme for initial teacher training, with the instructor stopping a chemistry experiment which went off the rails, and doing an analysis on the fly on what the teacher student could have done to improve the lesson. Even though this idea is a few years ahead of its time, it suggests possibilities with VR in education, and something which may be realised further down the line.
Other teams had ideas for their own Future Classroom labs, or services and websites which could be used for sharing ideas and good practices. Our Future Classroom lab team will follow the initiatives up with workshops for students and teachers this year on three of the institutions, with more to follow next year.
Karina Batat, Israel Lead Ambassador and Iris Weintraub ICT School Leader
In today's technology world, to all three job offers have one candidate. Following this lack, a global movement called "The Hour of Code" raised with the aim to exposing everyone (from 4 to 104) in the world to code. The next two weeks tens of millions of students will experience coding in more than 180 countries worldwide. The key message of this amazing worldwide event is "anyone can code."
"Team code" is an innovative project, product of a collaboration learning in the last ICT leaders' course, Tel Aviv District, MoE, in July 2015 at Beta School.
"Team code" is a cooperation between two schools, Weitzman School in Beit Yehoshua - Hof Hasharon and "Gordon School in Petah Tikva.
The project idea was born in a common thinking about how to introduce code at primary schools. Our vision was students as partners, leading code in schools.
The project aim to train a group of student leaders to code in schools. The project focuses on exposing students to worlds of virtual environments of code (Kodu, Minecraft) and on training them in critical skills for the 21st century, such as problem solving, teamwork, common sense and creativity.
The project "Team Code" involved two groups of students: one group from Weizmann school and one from Gordon school, from 5th and 6th grade. The groups meets once a week for one hour of code, leaded by two ICT teachers, MIE Experts, Iris Weintraub and Karina Batat.
At the beginning of the course, the students of the "Team Code" have experienced coding and basic concepts of programming (such as an algorithm, loops, variables, etc. ...) and skills training including the construction of age-appropriate lesson plans.
During the course, four meetings will be F2F. The first F2F meeting was held a week before the "Hour of Code" week at Beta School with the purpose of planning together the "Hour of Code" event. In this meeting after 15 minutes of Warm Up activity they prepared to each other, they worked in small mixed groups (Weitzman School students and "Gordon School students) to design their "hour of Code" lesson.
During the coming week, dressing with "Hour of Code" shirts, the "Team Code" participants will guide the "Hour of Code" in their schools.
The add on benefit of the "Team Code" project is the encounter between the students, "Gordon" students & "Weitzman", creating an authentic dialogue, relevant and unique, reflecting the lifestyles in different communities (town, kibbutz and moshav).
It is important to emphasize that the involvement and encouragement of the School Principals: Mrs. Daphne Partos, director of Weizmann School and Mrs. Rachel Berman, director of "Gordon School" was essential for its implementation and success. They enable the dreams become reality.
Later in the course, the Team Code group, will learn about other worlds as Kodu and Minecraft, and will participate in the Code Olympics, a similar initiative of the Ministry of Education to introduce students to leading technical professional programming while raising students' motivation to study technological subjects. Keep tuned!
By Maria Teresa Godinho, Future Classroom Lead Ambassador for Portugal
The Portuguese Directorate-General of Education (DGE), in partnership with European Schoolnet (EUN), is promoting the initiative "Learning Labs / Future Classroom Lab “. It is intended to disseminate to teachers, schools and other educational providers, guidelines and resources produced by EUN that support the construction, operation and implementation of innovative scenarios of teaching and learning, as well as building a network of teachers to spread the integration of innovative practices at national level.
The FCL initiative began in September 2014 and is promoted by a team of teachers (LL Ambassadors) of the Resources and Educational Technologies Team (ERTE) of DGE.
Workshops of the LL / FCL initiative are one of the activities that the team of ambassadors has developed. The workshops, last for three hours and are organized following a format that is replicated and adapted to the various contexts of schools, in-service teacher training centers and other training institutions (regional meetings, conferences, etc.).
Following a brief presentation of the LL / FCL initiative, participants try some digital tools (Aurasma, Socrative, Popplet, Padlet, Sketchup, Weebly, Plickers, ...) that support innovative learning activities.
The participants in these workshops where pre-school, lower and higher secondary teachers, some school principals, and directors of in-service teacher training centers, among other stakeholders.
Between April and June 2015 32 workshops where held in various parts of the country with the participation of 743 teachers.
Primary School Pero Vaz de Caminha, Oporto In-service Teacher Training Centre Tua and Douro Superior / Secondary School of Vila Flor, Bragança Marco deCanaveses and Cinfães Association of Schools in-service Teacher Training Centre,Oporto Primary School and Secondary Lima Freitas, Setúbal Minerva School Association in-service Teacher Training Centre, Coimbra Secondary School Sampaio, Sesimbra High School Manuel Martins, Setúbal Secondary School Marques de Pombal, Lisbon High School Palmela, Setúbal Cascais County Schools in-service Teacher Training Centre
By Karina Batat Future Classroom Lead Ambassador for Israel
Programming has become a subject of increasing national awareness including primary education. In Israel, the Education Ministry and the Minister of Education, Naftali Bennett, encourage reinforcing science education and teaching programming through interactive games, in order to increase students' interest in technology, mathematics and computer science.
The Israeli Learning Lab, Beta School, aims to promote innovation in education and it hosted on 9 November 2015 in collaboration with Microsoft Development Center at Herzliya a kickoff event "InEdu", to promote a new community of Innovation Technology School Leaders. The event was a 'call for action' for school leaders, principals and teachers, who are willing to introduce innovative technology in schools.
During the event, a course of 30 hours on coding for teachers was announced. The purpose of the course is to train a group of teachers on coding and app development who will then encourage more youth to learn computing.
The event was opened by Ariela Keidar, Tel Aviv District Head Supervisor, Israel MoE; Roni Dayan, Director of Information Technology, Israel MoE and Itay Itah, Director of Development and Member of the Microsoft Executive Board who talked about the activity of Microsoft Development Center in Israel. Dana Shoushan Whol, Citizenship Manager at Microsoft Development Center and active contributor to this initiative, introduced us with the world of programming and coding.
The event was closed with two exciting demos: Project Spark & Touch Development, presented by two members of the Microsoft development team, living the audience with high expectations about the Course of Code, which begins this December, and we have listed already 38 teachers!
By Fernando Franco, DGE
DGE is the General Directorate of Education of the Ministry of Science and Education of Portugal, which is responsible for setting educational policies for education, particularly with the spread of new methodologies and pedagogies associated with new technologies. One of its teams, ERTE, has the direct responsibility for the introduction of new technologies into the curriculum. One of the DGE/ERTE objectives in this area, is to create a network at national level, and implement a community to share examples of good practice.
There are several Future Classroom Labs in Portugal. Here we present a short description of four of them:
1. FCL of the Institute of Education of the University of Lisbon The main goals of this FCL are initial and in-service teacher training.
2. FCL of the D. Manuel Martins School, Setúbal: This space hosts national meetings, in-service teacher training activities and classes. It is a place for teacher reflection on the impact of new methodologies and new technological resources on teaching and learning.
3. FCL of the in-service Teacher Training Center, School Rafael Bordallo Pinheiro, Caldas da Rainha: Training room dedicated to in-service Teacher Training activities using the models of FCL and aiming at the development of Scientific and Digital Literacies. It is also used by teachers to guide students in using Web 2.0 tools
4. Atouguia da Baleia Learning Lab, Basic School 2,3 of Atouguia da Baleia: This FCL aims at:
By Hermann Morgenbesser, Future Classroom Lead Ambassador for Austria
Interpädagogica is Austria’s only trade fair for the education sector and is therefore the most important information hub for educators and all those interested in education. It offers a comprehensive overview of the latest developments, concepts and innovations for the education market and is the sector’s platform for exchanging information and opinions.
This event is aimed at educators in all kinds of schools and child supervision institutions; and at representatives of school authorities and those running schools; at coaches and trainers, and people employed in youth work; at students of teaching-related courses, parents, and all those interested in adult further education.
This year students from LMS Münzkirchen (Upper Austria) and KIS Klosterneuburg presented their competences and experiences with tablets using a new eBook, called Inter(net)aktiv. All content in this book fulfils the Austrian lesson plan. The eBooks follow the ideas of Learning Activities, coming out from European Schoolnet projects iTEC and Creative Classrooms Lab (CCL). All content follows the recommendations of the Future Classroom Toolkit. eBook and printed version can be used in parallel running, the book will be offered for all lessons of Grade 5 to Grade 8 until 2018. A teachers’ handbook and a workbook for students will be available.
Staff from BMBF and ENIS Austria supported teachers and students with a prototype of a Mobile Future Classroom.
By Jørund Høie Skaug, Senior Advisor at The Norwegian Centre for ICT in Education
The Norwegian Centre for ICT in Education hosted a two-day conference in Bergen on 27-28 October 2015 on coding and computer games and learning. Nearly 250 attendees, most of them teachers and teacher educators, came to hear international keynote speakers such as James Paul Gee, Ian Livingstone, and BBC Learning. But the keynote speakers were just step one, we want to inspire innovative use of ICT through hands-on experiences with technology.
Over the last year, we have travelled to several conferences with our mobile version of the Future Classroom Lab, and on this conference we took it with us from Oslo, scaled it up over two days, with about half of the 30 sessions being practical workshops. The mobile FCL consists of laptops, tablets, and build-your-own-drone/Arduino/Raspberry Pi kits. Teachers from our FCL network did a great job with workshops with MinecraftEdu/Computercraft, games on PCs and tablets, Scratch, and several technologies for coding and programming. A huge team effort!
Media students from Nordahl Grieg upper secondary school covered the conference with a live stream, interviews and articles. Many interviews and presentations are in English, they are available on NGV Medias YouTube-channel. People have been in particular happy with the presentation and workshop from Carrie Ann Philbin (Raspberry Pi Foundation),
By Bart Verswijvel, Future Classroom Lab pedagogical adviser
The Future Classroom Lead Ambassadors are a group of professional European educators appointed by their Ministries of Education. Their role is to set up local informal networks for teachers and to promote initiatives and projects by European Schoolnet. Future Classroom Ambassadors organize or contribute to local events and quite often they are involved in the creation of a Future Classroom inspired by the Future Classroom Lab at European Schoolnet.
Since the launch of the network of Future Classroom Ambassadors at the end of 2014, the group has met a few times in Brussels but also virtually at several conference calls. Last September the ambassadors had their face-to-face meeting in Tallinn, Estonia. The regular meetings were combined with a study visit to two institutes that host a Future Classroom.
The first day Triin Kangur, the Estonian Future Classroom Ambassador, welcomed us at HITSA, the Innovation Centre for Education in Estonia that supports the implementation of information and communication technology. Since the opening of the HITSA Lab two years ago, hundreds of Estonian teachers found their way to Nutiklass to experience learning activities in a flexible space. The standard approach is that staff of HITSA visits the school of the teachers first to prepare the visit to HITSA.
The network of teachers in Estonia is very well organized. In E-country Estonia a common platform for teachers is a driving force behind Continuous Professional Development for teachers, providing info about many courses, both online and on-site.
The second day the Ambassadors visited the University of Tallinn where different types of classrooms have been installed and are used for initial teacher training. We see that more teachers training institutes in Europe follow the same approach and prepare students to teach in non-traditional classrooms.
The visit to Tallinn has been very inspiring and relevant for the work of the Future Classroom Ambassadors.
In this blog we will read stories written by the Future Classroom Ambassadors, FCL network labs, teacher trainers, invited experts, etc. If you would like to submit a story to be published, please send it to email@example.com.
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