iTEC: Designing the Future Classroom
iTEC (Innovative Technologies for an Engaging Classroom) is a large-scale, four year education project funded by the European Commission’s FP7 programme. Begun in September 2010, the project has involved 27 partners, from 18 countries, including 15 Ministries of Education from across Europe. These countries are Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, France, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Lithuania, Norway, Portugal, Slovakia, Turkey and the United Kingdom.
This initiative brings together representatives from each stage of the educational process, teachers, policymakers, researchers, industry experts and technologies suppliers, to design, build and test learning experiences for the future classroom. Divided in five cycles, iTEC tries to establish how emerging technologies can be used effectively in the classroom, by piloting learning and teaching scenarios using integrated technology solutions. Please view this European Schoolnet video:
During this project, teachers will have the chance to create and adopt innovative learning activities that effectively use both existing and emerging technologies, in order to better prepare students for the challenges of work and society. Since the launch of the iTEC project, these innovative learning activities have been piloted in over 2000 classrooms.
How it works? To have a better idea, you can find testimonials (below) by three iTEC teachers from Spain, France and Portugal. These teachers explain how they used iTEC learning activities to introduce innovation in their teaching. Please view this European Schoolnet video:
Click here to view more iTEC innovative teacher stories.
Examples of Learning Activities
The Composer is a tool that allows teachers to create, adapt and share iTEC learning activities. It also provides with suggested technologies that can be used to deliver a selected Learning Activity.
iTEC Widget Store
iTEC Widget Store is both an integrated component of the Composer and an independent tool allowing you to search for popular widgets or create your own.
Scenario Development Environment
The Scenario Development Environment (SDE) provides the capability of looking for resources such as applications, events that may have an educational value and experts that may contribute to Learning Activities.
Evaluation and results of this project
At the end of each cycle, several sources including case studies, questionnaires, interviews and lesson observations to teachers and students who participated, are used to evaluate the impact made by this project.
A thorough analysis of these reports has concluded that this project has had a positive impact on both students, regarding their attitudes, engagement in the classroom, motivation and learning practices, and teachers, who also saw changes on their attitudes, motivation, as well as improved their skills using ICT in the classroom. Click here to read the full report about “Evidence of the impact of iTEC”.
At the end of the iTEC project, the aim is to bring these piloted changes across all schools in Europe and beyond, and not only the ones who participated on project.
About the author: Ivete Silva is Senior Web Content Editor, for Promethean, based in Blackburn, England.