How to use the Future Classroom Toolkit

The Future Classroom Toolkit is a collection of tools, guidance and resources for designing future classroom scenarios and using them to bring advanced and innovative learning and teaching to the classroom. The toolkit helps the user to establish a path through the process of innovation. It focuses on advanced approaches to learning and teaching that support learners in the adoption of 21st century skills.

The toolkit consists of five toolsets which guide the user through the steps for creating a scenario with the aim of bringing innovation in the classroom. The term "classroom" refers not just to a traditional classroom, but to anywhere that learning takes place, including home or other places outside of school.

The toolkit supports a whole-school approach to innovation by:

  • Creating an ambitious but realistically achievable educational vision
  • Involving all key stakeholders in developing a school's ICT strategy
  • Focusing on advanced pedagogical practices and change management
  • Designing engaging Learning Activities that bring innovation through the use of digital technologies to support learner acquisition of 21st century skills
  • Evaluating the use of Learning Activities

Who is the toolkit aimed at?

The toolkit can be adapted to different needs and contexts and used by stakeholders who want to introduce innovation in a single classroom, a whole school or a wider education system. It can be used by:

  • School leaders and teachers to develop meaningful and innovative pedagogies, e.g. when a school is changing the curriculum or considering an investment in technology to enhance teaching and learning practices. They can use the toolkit to reflect on their current practice and to design and implement innovation in the classroom.
  • Advisers and policy-makers at regional or national level to develop a regional or national strategy for deploying new technologies. They can use the toolkit to address trends and challenges, to implement new technologies and solutions throughout education systems and to bring system-wide change at regional, national or international level.
  • Technology providers and consultants – to provide support and guidance to schools on how to develop their ICT strategy and to guide their own product and service development. They can use the toolkit to understand better the needs of schools and educators and to collaborate with policy-makers and teachers with the aim of developing a shared vision for effective deployment and use of technology in learning.

How should the toolkit be used?

The toolkit is designed to guide you through the complete process of creating Future Classroom Scenarios (FCS). It comprises five toolsets, each of which can be used independently or as part of a complete process for developing Future Classroom Scenarios. In each toolset there are a number of suggested activities that can be used in workshops organised by the school's Innovation Team or by other trainers to design or to adapt future classroom scenarios.

ToolsetAs part of the FCS process (at school or system level)As individual tools
1 – Identifying Stakeholders and TrendsCreating an FCS starts by involving a variety of informed stakeholders and working with them to identify trends and to define changes that are likely to affect schools in the future.To identify who should be involved in any change management process. Education policy-making processes should be based upon an informed identification of trends.
2 – Future Classroom modellingTo create a useful FCS, it is important to assess the maturity of a school in how it uses ICT for teaching and learning.Self-review is used in many schools and countries to benchmark their current progress in adopting ICT effectively.
3 – Creating a Future Classroom ScenarioA face to face workshop activity for creating an FCS, as a vision for change.Simply adapting and adopting an existing scenario from the FCS bank.
4 – Designing innovative Learning ActivitiesThe FCS is used as inspiration for designing innovative Learning Activities, with guidance and support on the use of learning technologies.An existing FCS can be used to create a number of Learning Activities
5 – Evaluating innovation in the classroomLearning Activities should be used in the classroom and evaluated to ensure they bring the desired innovation.Existing Learning Activities can be used in the classroom and evaluated.

The Future Classroom Methodology

The Future Classroom Toolkit provides a range of guidance materials, ICT tools and other resources to guide users through a complete change management process. This methodology ensures that the deployment of ICT in schools is informed by a clear vision of the future classroom and that advanced pedagogical approaches are adopted.

The process of creating a Future Classroom Scenario can be understood in three stages:

Stage 1 – Development of Inspirational Future Classroom Scenarios

A Future Classroom Scenario (FCS) is a narrative description of learning and teaching that provides a vision for innovation and advanced pedagogical practices supported by technology.

A Future Classroom Scenario is created by bringing together a number of diverse stakeholders who have different perspectives on the challenges and opportunities that need to be considered when planning education for the future. Their role is to identify important emerging trends which are likely to have an impact on learning and teaching in the future. They also assess the Future Classroom maturity level regarding the use of digital technologies and other innovative approaches in order to determine the desired level the school would like to reach. The trends and the level of maturity are used to guide the process of writing the scenario.

Stage 2 – Designing Innovative Learning Activities

The second stage in the Future Classroom Methodology is the use of Future Classroom Scenarios as inspiration for designing Learning Activities to be implemented in the classroom. This involves a collaborative design process, where groups of teachers, often from different subject areas and backgrounds, work together in a design workshop. They are provided with guidance on the use of resources and technologies.

A Learning Activity is a concrete description of a unit of a teaching and learning experience which is not subject-specific and can be used across the curriculum. The collaborative Learning Activity design process is intended to enable teachers to turn visionary educational scenarios into actual classroom practices. The scenarios therefore provide a stimulus for the design of innovative Learning Activities.

Stage 3 – Piloting and evaluating Learning Activities

In the final stage, Learning Activities are tested in the classroom and evaluated. The purpose of evaluation is to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the Learning Activity as well as the benefits and shortcomings of the tools and the resources used in the Activity. Teachers are encouraged to share their experiences within a community of practice, give one another feedback and reflect on the challenges and obstacles they experienced.

Evaluation is used to gather and analyse evidence and information about the innovative teaching and learning process and its results. It is used to refine the Learning Activity and to identify opportunities for further development. The results of the evaluation are fed back to inform future decisions about innovation in teaching and learning.

Inspiring user stories

How the toolkit helped a Norwegian headmaster to motivate teachers to innovate.