Updated September 2014
In iTEC (Innovative Technologies for Engaging Classrooms, 2010-2014), European Schoolnet worked with education ministries, technology providers and research organisations to transform the way that technology is used in schools.
Over the course of the project, educational tools and resources were piloted in over 2,500 classrooms across 20 European countries, with the goal of providing a sustainable model for fundamentally redesigning teaching and learning. The project involved 26 project partners, including 14 Ministries of Education, and funding of €9.45 million from the European Commission’s FP7 programme. The project ended in August 2014.
Watch here the iTEC summary on video and read the magazine "Designing the future classroom" (available in five languages):
How did the iTEC approach impact on learners and learning
How did the iTEC approach impact on teachers and teaching?
What is the potential of the iTEC approach for system-wide adoption in schools?
A summary of the evaluation report is available in various languages (PDF file):
Future Classroom Toolkit
iTEC has established a set of processes to help schools and other key stakeholders in educational reform to create and deliver a viable vision for teaching and learning in the future classroom.
The main one, the Future Classroom Toolkit, enables school leaders, education policy makers, teachers and ICT suppliers to create and implement Future Classroom Scenarios which provide a clear vision of innovative teaching and learning practices. It can be used to introduce or scale up innovative use of ICT in a school or across a number of schools within an education system. The rationale for this process is to bring about incremental but sustainable change in the education system.
The toolkit encourages whole school use of ICT by:
In the project was developed also Edukata, for the design of innovative Learning Activities. Edukata is based on a research-based design approach, successfully used to design digital tools for learning. Edukata is an adaptation of that method for educators to design learning activities for their own educational context. Edukata was developed by the Learning Environments research group in Media Lab Helsinki, in Aalto University, Finland.
Beyond iTEC - Mainstreaming the results of the iTEC project
With school pilots in over 2,500 classrooms in 20 countries, iTEC has been the largest pan-European project to date focused on teaching and learning in the future classroom. As such, it is essential that the project’s results continue helping teachers and schools to innovate with ICT and to find new ways to improve their practice long after the project has ended.
A key part of the iTEC mainstreaming strategy is the European Schoolnet Future Classroom Lab in Brussels that showcases project results and provides training on the iTEC change management process both via face-to-face courses and online. This provides a permanent platform or ‘Ideas Lab’ where policy-makers, industry partners, teachers, and school leaders can rethink how innovative practice should be developed and supported in 21st century classrooms.
European Schoolnet has also developed a family of related projects under the umbrella of the Future Classroom Lab which have built on the iTEC methodology and outputs. In turn, these projects are now providing resources, training, networking opportunities and guidelines that align with the iTEC project objectives. For example, the CPDLab project (2011-2013) produced and ran successful courses for teachers on Future Classroom Scenarios, Interactive Whiteboards and eSafety. The Living Schools Lab project (2012-2014) has complemented the iTEC focus on mainstreaming innovative practice by developing new models for supporting whole school use of ICT. Moreover, the ongoing Creative Classrooms Lab project (2013-2015) is using the iTEC methodology to develop Scenarios and Learning Activities for policy experimentations and school pilots focused on the use of tablets. The following pages provide a flavour of what has been happening in these projects and some new initiatives which will further ensure that iTEC results continue to be mainstreamed.
Embedding iTEC results successfully at national level will particularly rely on the 17 Ministries of Education that took part in the project as well as the on-going commitment of school leaders and teachers. Here the signs are encouraging. For example, it is already clear that the Future Classroom Toolkit will be customised and translated for local use, not only by a number of iTEC ministries, but also by initial teacher training organisations and iTEC industry partners. Another positive sign is the resounding success of the Future Classroom Scenarios online course delivered through the European Schoolnet Academy. An upcoming network of Future Classroom Ambassadors, supported by the Ministries of Education, will also help to take the iTEC message to the local and national level.
At the end of the project, iTEC Future Classroom Scenarios and Learning Activities have been tested by teachers, not in 1,000 classrooms (the original target) but in 2,500 classrooms. The results from the evaluation also clearly show how iTEC has not only inspired and motivated teachers, but also provided students with more independent, collaborative and engaging learning across Europe. Nothing like this level of ‘bottom-up’ response could have been predicted at the start of the project. So, although iTEC has finished its work, there is most definitely a solid base on which to build as we move forward with the mainstreaming of project results.