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Press release: iTEC sparks innovation in over 2,000 European classrooms

iTEC, a flagship four-year EC-funded project involving 14 Ministries of Education, has doubled its original target by now involving over 2000 classes across Europe in its future classroom pilots. The project evaluation is also showing an extremely positive impact on students’ knowledge, skills and understanding, and a beneficial effect on teachers, especially on their technology-supported pedagogy, digital competence, and motivation.

Led by European Schoolnet, a network of 30 European Ministries of Education, the iTEC project, with its €9.45 million EC-funding (FP7) and 26 partners, including Ministries of Education, ICT providers, and research organisations, has piloted learning and teaching activities using integrated technology solutions in more than 2000 classrooms in 19 European countries.

The iTEC pilots, now in their fifth and final cycle, have developed ‘Future Classroom Scenarios’ and ‘Learning Stories and Activities’ to inspire teachers to change their pedagogical practices with the support of ICT. ‘Learning Activities’ and ‘Learning Stories’ have been developed through a participatory design process with teachers. Moreover, European Schoolnet has also delivered an international programme of online and face-to-face training, including courses at the Future Classroom Lab in Brussels on teaching and learning activities for the future classroom.

The newly published meta-analysis of the evaluation data over the first three cycles shows that the project has had a positive impact on students’ knowledge, skills and understanding – in particular on their 21st century skills, motivation, engagement, attitudes, and learning practices. iTEC has also had a beneficial effect on teachers, having a positive impact on their technology-supported pedagogy, digital competence, and their motivation and attitudes. “The project evaluation has demonstrated that iTEC is leading to many innovative changes in pedagogical practices”, said Professor Cathy Lewin, the evaluation coordinator. “Almost 90% of teachers agreed that the iTEC process enabled students to become more deeply engaged in their work, and allowed them to undertake more collaborative activities. Teachers observed also a higher student attainment, an increase in student autonomy and independent learning, as well as more opportunities to learn beyond the boundaries of the classroom”.

According to the meta-analysis of the evaluation data,iTEC is fully seen as scalable, having the potential to support pedagogical and technological innovation, to increase the effective use of ICT and to enable teachers to experiment with innovative technologies and tools. “We are confident that iTEC products and processes can have an impact on key educational policy areas and ensure that the advancement of teaching practice keeps pace with changes in society and technology,affirms Marc Durando, Executive Director of European Schoolnet.

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