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Final iTEC school pilot - 2,500 classrooms reached during four years

Classrooms from 16 countries are taking take part in the fifth and final cycle of the iTEC school pilots which has been underway since the beginning of this year. When the iTEC project was launched in 2010, the goal was to involve 1,000 classrooms across Europe in the pilots. Now, as the project draws towards the end of the piloting phase, it has reached almost 2,500 classrooms.

The last cycle is special also in the way it’s being implemented: the project’s National Pedagogical Coordinators will design Learning Activities tailored specifically to teachers in their country.

One activity that has been developed for teachers in Finland is ‘Ten sticks on a tablet’: children visit a retirement home to learn about the games that were played by children in previous generations, and also engage in exchange by teaching older people how to use and play games on tablet computers.

According to one of the teachers who reviewed the activity, “The concept looks excellent, it is well-described and has lots of potential for innovation, in particular the role given to the students includes good potential for change in student’s attitudes towards learning”.

Further details on the ‘Ten sticks on a tablet’ activity can be found at http://www.itec-sde.com/en/activities/68 (registration is required, but everybody is free to register).

New teacher training courses at the Future Classroom Lab - Apply for funding through ErasmusPlus

Are you looking for courses and workshops for yourself or for your school's teachers? Popular two-day workshops on different topics as well as comprehensive five-day courses will be organised at the Future Classroom Lab in Brussels. The workshops and courses are open to teachers from across Europe, so view here our training programme for 2014:

Five-day courses 2014-2015

  • Programming for the 21st century classroom, 13-17 October 2014
  • Collaboration and innovative learning scenarios, 30 March – 3 April 2015
  • Interactive technologies for the future classroom, 29 June – 3 July 2015
  • Creative use of multimedia, games and tablets in school (no date confirmed)

Two-day workshops 2014

  • Collaborative projects in the future classroom, 14-15 April
  • Creative use of multimedia and games in the classroom, 29-30 April
  • Future Classroom Scenarios, 2-3 June
  • Interactive classroom, Sep/Oct
  • Collaborative projects in the future classroom, October
  • Developing an eSafe classroom, November
  • 1:1 pedagogy and devices, December

Read also about Erasmus+ funding for school staff mobility projects, application deadline 17 March 2014

Classroom of 2025

European Schoolnet spoke to some of the leading thinkers in European education to get their ideas on how develops in society and technology would impact on how we teach and learn.

EMINENT 2013 | Teacher training for the 21st century

How are emerging trends in technology and education impacting on how we train teachers? What needs to be put in place to allow teachers to innovate within their professional development? These were some of the questions discussed and explored at the European Schoolnet’s annual conference, EMINENT, on 4-5 December 2013 in Helsinki, under the theme of ‘Teacher training for the 21st century’. As in previous years, the conference brought together over 130 policymakers, researchers, teachers, and industry providers from across the entire education spectrum. 

The opening address of EMINENT 2013 was delivered by Krista Kiuru, Finnish Minister for Education and Science. The keynote address was delivered by Diana Laurillard, Professor of Learning with Digital Technologies in the Faculty of Culture and Pedagogy, University of London, on the theme of teaching as a design science.

To view all of the conference videos, go to the EMINENT 2013 playlist on Youtube.

 

New Associate Partners join iTEC

As part of its mainstreaming activities, the iTEC project has been entering into new collaborations with educational institutions and organisations around Europe to facilitate the uptake of iTEC Learning Activities and technologies on a wider scale. Four new organisations have joined iTEC as Associate Partners, to share their expertise, and help make the future classroom a reality.

The new Associate Partners are:

  • Applied and Research Group of Education and Technology (ARGET) - Rovira i Virgili University
  • Faculty of Science and Technology – New University of Lisbon
  • PedSmia, a Norwegian education think-tank with a focus on using games and technologies for learning
  • RIKT AS, a Norwegian education and training organisation

 To learn more about the partners involved in the iTEC project, click here.

Aula Innova - looking back on life in the 19th century

When Gloria Huerta decided to implement the iTEC's 'Tell a story' with her students, she wanted to do an inter-disciplinary project, to measure student competences and skills in a number of areas.

For the project, teachers Gloria Huerta, Araceli Catón and José Carlos Sánchez and their Year 8 class decided to create comics which illustrated the differences between life in the 19th and 21st centuries. During the project, students used online tools such as Mindomo and TeamUp, used their audio-visual skills to build narratives, improved their English-language skills, and used the class blog to reflect on their progress. The students also received from feedback from outside experts, including from Marta Herranz Calvo, a past-pupil of the school who has studied History of Art.

The project was carried out with iTEC partners Promethean and Innova&Educación. The class blog is available to view here (Spanish language).

'Every classroom a future classroom' - Niel McLean

 In the final interview from the 'Every classroom a future classroom' conference, Niel McLean, formerly with Britain's National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER) and now Head of Education at eSkills UK, speaks on how the huge increase in access to information brought about by the Web 2.0 is changing the dynamic between teacher and pupils.

Teaching as a design science - Interview with Diana Laurillard

Diana Laurillard, Professor of Learning with Digital Technologies at the Institute of Education, University of London, gives her views on the trends that are impacting on education including technology infrastructure in schools, MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses), teachers as drivers for innovation, and the classroom of 2025. The interview was filmed during the Eminent conference at Helsinki on 4-5 December 2013.

iTEC success story: SEK Atlántico, Spain

SEK Atlántico can truly be said to be an iTEC success story. Located in Pontevedra, Galicia, along Spain’s north-western coast, the school has over 600 students, from infants through to 12th grade. Since its founding in 1989, the school has always sought ways to introduce innovation to its teaching and learning.

SEK Atlántico has been involved in the iTEC project since the launch of the project in 2010, and started off with just one teacher. Since then, 18 pilot classes have taken part in all four of the project’s cycles. At SEK Atlántico, the success of iTEC can be traced back to the enthusiasm that students have shown towards the project. Gonzalo Garcia, a mathematics teacher who was the first teacher in the project, says that the more involved in the project the school was, the more motivated the students were. According to Gonzalo, the  students’ enthusiasm for the project is down to the fact that iTEC Learning Activities take place in a non-traditional classroom dynamic: “The iTEC activities design gives great importance to teamwork: this meant that the  students were involved in an engaging dynamic in which individual work contributes to a common goal, continuously assessed by teammates. It is often the case that students are actually more demanding on their peers than us teachers”.

Students also experienced an improvement of their test results, a higher level of engagement in classroom activities, and a greater awareness of their own learning management. “Probably the most impacting change in my teaching is that today I share more responsibility with my students”, Gonzalo continues. “I can be confident and trust in my students’ maturity, as I know they’ll take that responsibility.”

According to Cristina Márquez, Deputy Head of Learning and Development at SEK Atlántico, the iTEC experience has been very rich for the whole school community. “iTEC provides an opportunity to explore, innovate, and develop teachers professionally; working together and collaborating between different teams of teachers and students.”

She has also seen that iTEC provides opportunities for students to enrich their skills for the future and to be more reflective, active learners and participative students. Exploring, checking facts and theories, developing students’ scientific thinking, working together and connecting learning with real life matters and questions are all part of iTEC.

Pablo Martínez, a 10th grade student who was part of one of the pilot classes at the school, also feels that iTEC has benefited his everyday learning. “What a great project! It has been an incredible experience. The thing I liked most was to work in teams. I would never have thought that my classmates were so creative. I would recommend every teacher in Europe join the project; iTEC is really worth it.”

Read more success stories and other articles in the iTEC magazine
 

Interview - Promethean and Innova&Educación

Gill Leahy, Head of European Teaching and Learning Consultants, Promethean, and Maria Florenzano, Head of Education at Innova&Educación, speak about the role that technology will play in developing scenarios for the future classroom.

The interviews were recorded during the 'Every classroom a future classroom' conference that took place in Brussels in October.

'Every classroom a future classroom' - Peter Claxton, SMART Technologies

Peter Claxton is Senior Manager for Educational Policy & Practice with SMART Technologies, one of the educational technology providers that are partners in the iTEC project.

He gave his insights on the speaks about the role that industry can play in bringing innovation into teaching learning during the 'Every classroom a future classroom' conference in Brussels, October 2013. 

Launch of European Schoolnet Academy

European Schoolnet, the organisation that coordinates the iTEC project, has recently announced the launch of the European Schoolnet Academy. The Academy is an online course platform, developed by European Schoolnet, to help deliver our training and professional development resources, free-of-cost, to a wider audience. European Schoolnet Academy is the first MOOC (massive open online course) platform developed specifically for teachers in Europe.

The first two courses that the Academy will deliver are the ‘Future Classroom Scenarios’ course, and the ‘Innovative Practices for Engaging STEM Teaching’. The ‘Future Classroom Scenarios’ has been developed by the pedagogical experts involved in developing iTEC’s Learning Activities and Toolkits, and is aimed at teachers, at both primary and secondary level, who wish to develop their own future classroom scenario, and innovate in their everyday teaching practice. The European Schoolnet Academy is already online and accepting registrations – so register today!

www.europeanschoolnetacademy.eu

iTEC goes Cape Verde

The iTEC project and its toolkits were introduced to university students at Praia, Cape Verde, when one of the iTEC partners, Institute of Education at University of Lisbon, delivered courses as part of an interinstitutional Master's Degree in 'ICT and Education'. The degree is provided jointly by the Institute of Education and the University of Cape Verde.

During the workshop on "Learning activities for the future classroom" 32 students were introduced to the iTEC project, they got a change to explore learning stories and activities, and get familiar with the concept of the future classroom through videos and practical examples.

Webinar: Findings of the 4th iTEC evaluation

In spring 2013, teachers took part in the fourth cycle of iTEC pilots, which were focused on ‘real world’ challenges. 342 teachers across 19 countries took part in the evaluation. They reported that iTEC Learning Stories and technologies had a positive impact on student attainment, motivation and 21st century skills. Participation in iTEC also had a positive impact on teacher competences, attitudes and motivation. Moreover, teachers were motivated to expand the range of pedagogies and technologies they use and to develop their teaching in new, innovative ways.

Many teachers are keen to continue to use iTEC approaches within their teaching and are encouraging their colleagues to do the same. One teacher summed up their experience as follows: “It has the potential to change my future practice because now I have learnt about other ways to get my objectives, other ways to work in groups with my students, other ways to do collaborative work, and I’m going to use it in my future lesson” (Spain, teacher interview)

Join the iTEC webinar to hear more about this evaluation: Tuesday 26 November 2013, 16:00-17:00h CET

Opportunities for science teachers

inGenious competition for schools - participate now!

To participate in the competition, teachers are invited to create and upload successful pedagogical methodologies and resources that can be shared and replicated in classrooms across Europe. The materials should raise pupils’ awareness of STEM studies by exploring innovative sectors, breaking down stereotypes, addressing tomorrow's challenges, and understanding how we can make a difference. The inGenious competition is open to all teachers (primary and secondary school level) from 30 countries (28 EU member states, Israel and Turkey). Teachers can submit their entry in one of the inGenious languages (DA, DE, EN, ES, FR, IT, NL, PT, SE). Applications are open until 28 February 2014. Then 30 finalists will be invited to attend the inGenious European Award Ceremony in Brussels, Belgium, in 2014. See the competition page for further information.

Join the Scientix team and work as Scientix Ambassador in your country

Scientix is looking for science and maths teachers across Europe to support Scientix 2 in 2013-2014 as part of the Scientix 2 Teacher Panel. Members of the Teacher Panel will be working either as Ambassadors or Deputy Ambassadors of Scientix in their respective countries. The main tasks of the Teacher Panel include promoting Scientix at national level and in national teacher communities, supporting the Scientix National Contact Points or pedagogical quality control. Apply as soon as possible! Read about the countries involved and requirements here

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