I am a teacher at the Agrupamento de Escolas de Fornos de Algodres, I teach Visual Education and Technological Education to the 2nd cycle (5th grade) and also Technological Education to the 3rd cycle (7th and 8th grade).
I enrolled in this course due to the importance of the theme in the evolution of the teaching-learning process and, with great expectations. I hope to be able to train my students to the skills of the XXI century.
What does the future classroom look like?
The Learning Objectives for this module are:
1. Reflect on your current practices and why you might want to change them
2. Develop an understanding of the evolution of classroom organisation over time
3. Consider the role of 21st Century Skills and their role in the classroom
4. Evaluate your current classroom organisation and consider if and how you would like to change it
1.1. Why should we change our classroom practices?
"Why should we change how we teach and learn in schools? Has it not proved effective for the last decades, even centuries? And why should we bring technology into our teaching? Is it not simply a distraction? Lots of questions!"
"We agree with Deirdre Butler. We live in a society that is constantly changing. Today's needs are not the same as tomorrow's needs. That is why it is necessary to prepare the students for the competences and the expertise of the 21st century. At the moment, many of our teaching practices do not meet the students’ needs: they are technological. Therefore, using technology as our ally rather than as an enemy will add value, making classes more motivating. When using the technology in the classroom, we are not only motivating the students but we are also preparing them for the future and helping developing skills that will be very useful in their careers." Posted by Anabela Fernandes, Dulce Freire, Isabel Cruz e Vítor Silva.
1.2. Past, Present and Future Classrooms
"Exploring similar questions to Deirdre but with a slightly different take on them, take a look at this video where Bart Verswijvel, Pedagogical Advisor at European Schoolnet, provides a brief overview on the organization of learning spaces in the past and then explores different classroom setups and learning environments. It will provide you with some useful ideas to consider when discussing your own classroom environment and how you would like to change it."
How do you see classrooms in the future? Will they stay the same or will we see a radical shift towards learning in open and flexible spaces? Share any thoughts on this video here.
"It's amazing comparison - school / factory!
So if the factories were modernized, why didn’t the same thing happen with schools? After all, this is where it all begins!
It seems to us that for 21st century students, 21st century classrooms are needed. But how do we do that? In our school, we do not even have functional internet. We agree that the physical space is important but we are also aware that it will not happen so soon. So it is important to start by changing the minds of those who are accustomed to the role of a sage on the stage and who refuse to apply new ways of working because they do not feel comfortable with ICT. When we change that, we are able to move forward."
Posted by Anabela Fernandes, Dulce Freire, Isabel Cruz e Vítor Silva.
1.3. 21st Century Skills
"Deirdre and Bart have already mentioned 21st Century Skills and it is a term that is in fact used quite widely. The problem is that it can mean quite a lot of different things. Roger Blamire, Senior Advisor to European Schoolnet, provides you with an introduction to what is commonly referred to as 21st Century Skills."
What skills, competences, knowledge should we focus on in our classrooms? Do you agree with the focus presented by Roger in the video?
"We agree with Roger. The 4 C's are essential for the training of 21st century students for a changing society. With these skills we are giving them tools to become active and constructive citizens in an increasingly demanding age. It seems to us important that the student becomes the center of the learning process.
However, it is necessary to start with the teachers. It is in them and in political power that the obstacle to change lies. Maybe this is due to historical or social reasons, economics, educational policies and even some insecurity by the teachers.
As someone said, we are twentieth-century teachers, teaching in 19th-century classrooms to 21st-century students. Something is not right!"
Posted by Anabela Fernandes, Dulce Freire, Isabel Cruz e Vítor Silva.
1.4. The Future Classroom Lab in Brussels
"How could the classroom of the future look like? There's no right or wrong answer to this but if you are in Brussels anytime soon, come take a look at the Future Classroom Lab, a flexible learning space organised around developing 21st Century Skills in the classroom. In the meantime, take a look at this tour of the Future Classroom Lab's learning zones."
Could you organize your classroom around learning zones? If not, why not? How would you organize learning in the Future Classroom Lab? Which zones would you focus on or start out with? Share your thoughts on these questions and the Future Classroom Lab
"We have already had the opportunity to visit a future classroom lab and in fact it is a wonderful place to work at. However, even if we wanted, this would not be possible in our school. Our classrooms only have desks and chairs and there is a single computer in the teacher's desk. However, all classrooms have video projectors and some interactive whiteboards. Also, we, the teachers, are always changing classrooms, there is not a culture of having a class in the same room the whole day. Sometimes we go into a classroom, change the way the chairs and desks are organized and, 100 minutes later, we have to leave it the way it was before. So, it is not practical at all. What can we do!?" Posted by Anabela Fernandes, Dulce Freire, Isabel Cruz e Vítor Silva.
1.5. Activity: What does your classroom look like?
"Now that you've spent quite some time looking at videos and sharing some thoughts, let's go a step further. For this first activity we would like you to share an image, sketch or video of your own classroom and think about what you would like to change and what you would like to keep the same."
For this first activity we would like you to share a picture, video, description or drawing of your own classroom. Post the picture here and then write two things you like about your classroom and would like to keep as well as two things you would like to change in your classroom. As you do this think about if you could setup your classroom differently to accommodate 21st Century Skills development? Can students collaborate in your classroom? What obstacles are there to changing how your classroom is organized?
"In our classrooms we would keep the computer, the video projector, the boards (white and interactive) but we would change the layout of the chairs and desks in order to create specific areas. We believe that the three major areas should be Develop, Investigate and Create."
Posted by Anabela Fernandes, Dulce Freire, Isabel Cruz e Vítor Silva.
1.6. The iTEC Project
"What was iTEC and why is it important? iTEC was a project about designing the future classroom. It involved 15 Ministries of Education from across Europe, brought together teachers, policymakers, pedagogical experts - representatives from each stage of the educational processes - to introduce innovative teaching practices. The output and ideas from this project provided the basis for most things in this course and Will Ellis, who you have already met in the course introduction video, was the iTEC Project Manager. He will introduce you to the concepts, tools and ideas that came from the work in the project."
Module 2: Your future classroom – towards a realistic vision
The Learning Objectives for this module are:
1. Understand the concept of future classroom scenarios
2. Explore the Future Classroom Toolkit that provides ideas and tools for developing a future classroom scenarios
3. Consider why it is important to involve stakeholders and which stakeholders you would want involve for your process of innovation
4. Discuss a variety of trends and challenges that are impacting on our work as educators
2.1 Future Classroom Scenarios
"Developing a clear vision of how we would like to change what happens in our schools and classrooms is an important first step to introducing innovation. Therefore, before even thinking about buying new technology or re-designing classrooms we need to think about where we want our individual journey of innovation to take us. The important thing here is that your journey of innovation will look very different to someone else's journey of innovation because the environment in which you operate is very different. Therefore make sure that you don't just adopt someone else's vision but think about what will work in your context."
What do you think of these scenarios? What are the pro's and con's of each?
"Very, very interesting this way of evaluating and learning. These scenarios are everything that we don’t do. Impressive informal learning. How does it work? We would like to know more ...
They seem to be quite motivating for students. We consider as pros: it promotes a high level of student engaging, they are motivating, they put students at the center of learning using the new technologies they like and in the second video it promotes collaborative work.
Cons: It requires a different way of working from the teacher, it requires some knowledge of new technologies, the curricula are too extensive and the parents / guardians demand the fulfillment of the same and assessment this form of learning is not easy." Posted by Anabela Fernandes, Dulce Freire, Isabel Cruz e Vítor Silva.
2.2. Developing a future classroom scenario: the Eduvista Toolkit
"As mentioned, developing a vision of how we would like to change what happens in our schools and classrooms is an important first step to introducing innovation. But how to go about creating such a vision?
To answer this question the iTEC project developed the Future Classroom Scenarios Toolkit. In this video, we provide an overview of the toolkit."
2.3 The role of trends & stakeholders
"One of the first steps when developing a new vision for our teaching and learning should be to talk to those people who will be impacted by these changes. The earlier these people are involved, the less likely we will face opposition to the suggested changes and the more likely the changes will have a substantial impact. This means we need to consider who are our stakeholders and how do we involve them.
We also need to consider what is happening outside of our schools. It is very easy to fall into the trap of staying inside our "school bubble". But if we are serious about innovation it is important to consider what is happening outside of school because at some point it usually has a big impact on what happens inside of schools. That is why considering the role of trends in society, technology, education, politics, etc. should be a fundamental part of this exercise."
Do you agree that it is important to involve stakeholders? Which stakeholders do you think are the most important for achieving successful innovation in the classroom? Can and should we be considering trends if they change so quickly? Share your thoughts on Roger's points in the video.
"Yes, we agree with Roger. It is convenient to involve those who are in some way part of the educational process; only working collaboratively will we reach the school of the future and can effectively work the skills of the 21st century." Posted by Anabela Fernandes, Dulce Freire, Isabel Cruz e Vítor Silva.
2.4. Trends & stakeholders: the classroom of 2025
"We have asked some of the stakeholders of the Future Classroom Lab about their visions for the future of education. These views have helped us shape our work in the Lab, in the same way as your consultation with your stakeholders should feed into the development of your future classroom scenario.
Watch the video below where our stakeholders describe their vision for the classroom of 2025 and identify some current education and technology trends that they believe will shape the future classroom."
Who do you agree with in the video? Are these realistic visions of how classrooms will develop over the next decade?
"2025 is in 8 years, which is little time for radical changes. All these changes that we would like to see already require high investments, on the one hand, and when we look at most of our colleagues, we do not see them as willing to change. Why is it laborious? By insecurity? ... However, we are willing to try and convert those around us." Posted by Anabela Fernandes, Dulce Freire, Isabel Cruz e Vítor Silva.
2.5. The League of Trends
"For this activity, we'll be creating a "League of Trends", answering the question "Which educational trends do you think will have the greatest impact on our teaching and learning in the future?"
2.6. Tool for teaching: Slack
"Collaboration and Communication are two of the key competences of 21st century learning, they have not attracted the same level of interest or attention as other competences such as creativity or critical thinking.
In this Future Classroom Scenario course, we aim at offering you different tools for you to try out and to use with your students in your classroom. There a wide range of possible tools you can use in the classroom to develop competences, such as collaboration or communication. In this section, we would like to highlight the tool Slack.
Slack is a cloud-based team collaboration tool for real-time messaging that brings all your communication together in one place, allowing archiving and search for modern teams. It is a very useful tool that you can use in the classroom to discuss a project, a topic, etc. Besides, your students cannot only send messages and communicate with other students, but they can also share different documents and work collaboratively; If you use any services like Google Drive, Dropbox, or Box, you can also paste the link and that document will be immediately will be sync and searchable too.
Although Slack it’s useful for professional teams, it’s also very convenient for any other community that needs a quick place for synchronous and asynchronous conversation and collaboration; you can also use Slack in your school to provide feedback on student work, to send announcements to the whole class or to a particular student, to organize students into groups for assignments, etc; definitely a good tool to try in your classroom!"
Either if you already knew Slack, or if you decide to try it in your classroom, post a comment here answering the following questions: What have you used Slack for? Do you think Slack is a good tool to use in the classroom? Why? Why not? Give some examples.
"We did not know the slack. It seems interesting, we have to try." Posted by Anabela Fernandes, Dulce Freire, Isabel Cruz e Vítor Silva.
Module 3: From vision to reality – technology in your future classroom
The Learning Objectives for this module are:
1. Understand a variety of ways how technology can be used in schools
2. Evaluate the level of pedagogically effective use of technology in your classroom or school
3. Develop and share ideas of effective and innovative use of technology in the classroom and school
4. Discuss lesson examples that integrate technology
3.1. Evaluating your use of technology: The Innovation Maturity Model
"Most teachers nowadays use some form of ICT in their teaching practices. Especially for lesson planning and administrative purposes many of us will be used to working with computers, preparing handouts or presentations and communicating with colleagues, students or parents via email. In this way, ICT has been an important tool for us to simplify or improve our everyday work processes.
However, ICT has a much greater potential than just to make our work processes more efficient. ICT provides new and powerful opportunities of communicating, collaborating, creating, investigating, presenting, etc. In other words, ICT can be a powerful tool that supports us to develop 21st Century Skills in our students. Your participation in this course is a good example of how ICT provides a completely new form of collaboration with people from around the world. However, just by bringing ICT into classrooms does not automatically lead to new teaching and learning practices. In order for ICT to become a tool that helps us to develop 21st Century Skills, we need to really think about how, where and when we use it in the classroom."
3.2. 21st Century Skill in Focus: Thinking about Collaboration in the Classroom
"One of the key 21st Century Skills is collaboration so let's focus a bit more on this. Most of us will probably say that we include some form of collaboration in our classroom, be it pair work or group work. But effective collaboration is in fact much harder to achieve than simply asking students to work together.
In the first video below, Deirdre highlights some very relevant questions we should be asking about our own collaborative activities in the classroom. For a very helpful overview of these questions which you can use to interrogate your own planning, check out page 9 of this document. The document outlines the 21st Century Learning Design Rubrics which we will get back to later on the course. It's a highly useful resource and we would recommend to delve into it beyond just the part on collaboration.
In the second video, some teachers who had been working on the iTEC project share their very practical ideas of improving collaboration in their classrooms."
Share your ideas about collaboration in the classroom. What do you think of the ideas presented by Deirdre and the iTEC teachers? What other strategies can you recommend to make real collaboration work in the classroom?
"We agreed with Deirdre Butler and the iTEC teachers.
However a collaborative classroom is what we don’t have but for which we are starting to work.
Collaboration is an essential process in the 21st century and for that we must begin by putting teachers to work in this way. Working collaboratively involves discussion, consensus, respect, peer evaluation learning. Together we learn more.The use of technology in the classroom is an asset because soon the enthusiasm students and motivated students are the best there is in a classroom.
However, we repeat that this beginning is not easy."
Posted by Anabela Fernandes, Dulce Freire, Isabel Cruz e Vítor Silva.
3.3. 21st Century Skill in Focus: Collaboration and Technology in the Classroom
"That technology provides new opportunities of people working together should hopefully be clear, in fact, our joint participation in this course proves this point. But there are many other ways how technology can facilitate collaboration and there are now many tools out there that you can use in your classrooms for such purpose.
It is impossible to list all of these tools and all the different forms of collaboration that are facilitated by them but Bart makes a good start with this overview of different educational technology tools and how they can be used in the classroom."
Collaboration and Technology: what are the pros and cons of using the technology tools Bart presents (if you know them). And what other technologies can you add to this list?
"We agreed with Bart. Regarding furniture, ours is old and whenever we change the layout of the tables and chairs at the beginning of the lesson in the end you have to put them as they were, as we already mentioned in this MOC, which leads to some loss of time. With regard to the use of technology for collaborative work we are beginning to use the Moodle platform where we create specific disciplines for each class. Here we include tutorials of some applications that the students can use, proposals of activities, for example, using the Powtoon and we have created a Padlet where students can share their work / ideas / conclusions. What we can verify is that we get the attention of the students they feel motivated. The use of these tools makes the shy students more confident and allows them to develop the ability to communicate." Posted by Anabela Fernandes, Dulce Freire, Isabel Cruz e Vítor Silva.
3.4. 21st Century Skill in Focus: Creativity and Technology in the Classroom
"Let's briefly take a look at another 21st Century Skill, being creative. Many of the complex problems we face in our societies require new and creative solutions so it is important that we cultivate creativity as a valued skill in our classrooms. In fact, creative problem solving was an element looked at in the most recent PISA test results (for an overview of the PISA 2015 results find more details in this news article: PISA 2015 results - Improving educational policies and outcomes).
Creativity can be developed in a huge variety of ways, many of them not using technology. But technology often provides completely new ways of interacting with existing content or creating new content thereby providing students with new ways to express their creativity. Furthermore, with technology also offering us new forms of collaboration, an important ingredient of a creative workflow - the exchange of ideas - is activated more easily and more often.
In the videos below two teachers who have been working on the topic of creativity in the classroom share their favourite technology tools to support creativity in the classroom. Irene Pateraki is an active teacher on the eTwinning network working with more than 2000 teachers in an eTwinning group called "Creative Classroom" and Kurt Klynen is a teacher and teacher trainer who ran the "Creative use of Multimedia" workshop at the Future Classroom Lab."
Creativity and Technology: what are the pros and cons of using the technology tools presented in the videos (if you know them). And what other technologies can you add to this list?
"The examples presented are phenomenal, at least for us who are now implementing collaborative work. It is very difficult to select this or that application because there are so many and we do not have the time we need to explore them. And we already realized that when we wanted to do a lot we started to lose focus. If this happens to us who are adults, so does the students. However, being of the zap generation, they reveal much more easily than we do to manipulate them and manage through technology to develop their creativity. They are really amazing, we think we have to start trusting them." Posted by Anabela Fernandes, Dulce Freire, Isabel Cruz e Vítor Silva.
3.5. Using Technology in the Classroom: Example Lessons
"We have talked a lot about technology in teaching and learning but now it's time to see it in action in the classroom.
Below you will find three videos that show how some teachers have used technology in the classroom. Take a close look. How is technology used in these lessons? What stage of the Innovation Maturity Model would you place these examples on?"
Identify what you especially like about each of the lessons
"When we watch these videos, we feel that we are really far behind. They are very inspiring! What we like to see is the motivation with which the students work, the interest and dedication to the requested tasks, promoting the collaborative work, essential in the 21st century. This is considered to be the most powerful effect of ICT use in the classroom; Motivation." Posted by Anabela Fernandes, Dulce Freire, Isabel Cruz e Vítor Silva.
3.6. Activity: Our Innovation Maturity
"For this activity we ask you to respond to four questions that focus on your innovation maturity. The questions are based on elements of the innovation maturity model presented at the beginning of this module but have been adapted. The first question focuses on the use of technology while the other questions focus on more general pedagogical practices that are associated to how we use technology in the classroom. This activity should help you to identify at what level you are and what areas you could focus on in the future to develop the use of technology."
Discuss here the results of this activity
"We subscribe to the MOOC because we think we need to change our practice. Our results prove this, however, we expect to be working in a different way in a while. Although we still have difficulties to see the student as “co-designer” or taking control of learning or as ‘producer'. We have a great challenge ahead of us." Posted by Anabela Fernandes, Dulce Freire, Isabel Cruz e Vítor Silva.
3.7 Tool for Teaching: Aurasma
"The tool for teaching this week is Aurasma, an augmented reality app and a great tool to develop your students creativity."
Do you have any experience of using Aurasma or have a great idea of how you would want to use it?
"Although we have never used this application before, we were introduced to a workshop held during our visit to the future classroom in Mangualde (Edufor)." Posted by Anabela Fernandes, Dulce Freire, Isabel Cruz e Vítor Silva.
3.8. Tool for Teaching: Thinglink
"Do you want to engage students with interactive images and videos?
Then you have to try Thinglink! If you haven’t heard about it, Thinglink is a tool that allows you to create and share engaging interactive images, videos and 360° photos for teaching and learning.
Thinglink offers a web platform and mobile app for creating and sharing interactive images. This allows teachers or students to add content inside any image - including photos, video and audio players, web links, polls, text and more - that appear in the image when shared and viewed. Have a look below at this very nice image created by Kristie Johnson using Thinglink, where you can also find other useful tools for your classroom."
If you have decided to give thinglink a try, then write a note in this padlet and tell us about it. Did you find it useful? Do you think you can use this in your classroom? How?
"We already use thinglink, students like it. However the version we use (free) is somewhat limited." Posted by Anabela Fernandes, Dulce Freire, Isabel Cruz e Vítor Silva.
Module 4: Learning activities for 21st century skills
The Learning Objectives for this module are:
1. Explore how the general vision of a scenario can be broken up into more concrete and short learning activities that teachers can use to achieve the scenario.
2. Develop an understanding how the 21st Century Learning Design Rubrics can help to create rigorous learning activities for 21st Century Skills.
3. Identify suitable learning activities for the Flipped Classroom scenario.
4.1. Introduction to iTEC Learning Activities
"The idea of Learning Activities is to break up the more general vision of a Future Classroom Scenario into smaller building blocks to assist us in turning the scenario into reality. Too often exciting visions for a future classroom have been developed without the sufficient support infrastructure to guide us through the steps in realizing that vision.
This is what the iTEC project addresses with the concept of Learning Activities. The Learning Activities are simple stepping stones that provide concrete ideas of how we can achieve the scenarios in our classroom.
In this video, Will explains the concept of Learning Activities in more detail."
Do you have any questions or comments about Will's presentation?
"It seems interesting to us to develop learning activities that do not aim at a specific goal or curriculum although it seems a bit strange, however, we are curious. We need examples." Posted by Anabela Fernandes, Dulce Freire, Isabel Cruz e Vítor Silva.
4.2. Examples of iTEC Learning Activities
"First, remind yourself of the "Outdoor Study Project" Scenario from Module 2 in the video below. As you will have noticed, this video already outlines lots of concrete individual activities. Many of these activities can also be used in lots of other contexts and to realize other Future Classroom Scenarios.
Now, take a look at the six Learning Activities outlined below. You should recognize some of them from the video. You will notice that by themselves, they are not necessarily radical in their innovation. However, they support us by offering concrete stepping stones towards achieving an innovative Future Classroom Scenario. Each of the Learning Activities provides a concrete idea of an activity that can be used to develop the Scenario. Each activity idea is also generic enough to be used for other scenarios and more importantly, each activity could be used in any subject context."
Collecting data outside of school
Students go outside of school to collect data. The data can either be in the form of multimedia or scientific observations. Either the entire class goes outside, or only some of the students.
Mental notes about learners
You record mental notes about learners. These notes are based on your observations of their working habits, personality traits, social connections, hobbies, and special skills. The mental notes aid in forming functional teams and also support your interactions with your students. You use the TeamUP tool to record your notes.
You divide the class into small teams of 4-5 learners that are optimal for collaboration. Each team has their own topic of inquiry that is related to the theme of the course. You let the learners suggest topics they are interested in and use the TeamUP tool to match learners and topics, using information stored in mental notes.
Independently working individual learners or teams of learners post periodic status updates for other learners and you to be able to follow the independent activities and progress.
Learners view each other’s work and provide feedback, praise, and criticism. Peer feedback can be used when students present their project outcomes, but it can also be used as part of a knowledge building activity, when students are discussing about a challenging topic.
Working with outside experts
Students receive additional and/or deeper knowledge from an out-of-school expert of a relevant field. In addition to a video interview, the expert may be involved in following teamwork and commenting on it.
Can you identify some other Learning Activities that could be used in this Scenario? What activities do you do when moving the learning outside of the classroom or when doing an investigation?
"This activity is very interesting. We never did anything of this genre. Sometimes we make study visits, but at the end when they return to school, we ask them to respond individually to a small survey." Posted by Anabela Fernandes, Dulce Freire, Isabel Cruz e Vítor Silva.
4.3. Developing Learning Activities: The Edukata Process
"The Edukata process is quite comprehensive and time-intensive and it is of course not necessary to use such a process to come up with Learning Activities. However, one of the key elements of the Edukata process is that Learning Activities should be identified and further developed collaboratively, ensuring that more and better ideas for activities emerge.
Take a look at the video and the document and see if you can use some of the ideas to create a process in your school to design innovative learning activities with your colleagues."
Share any ideas, questions or feedback about Edukata here.
"Did not know Edukata. We have to experiment, only then can we express an opinion." Posted by Anabela Fernandes, Dulce Freire, Isabel Cruz e Vítor Silva.
4.4. Developing Learning Activities: 21st Century Learning Design Rubrics
"Another very useful tool to help you build learning activities for Future Classroom Scenarios are the 21st Century Learning Design (21CLD) Rubrics developed by the Innovative Teaching and Learning (ITL) Research project."
"The 21CLD rubrics help you to identify, understand and build learning activities that allow students to develop 21st Century Skills. The rubrics incorporate a framework for coding learning activities along a number of questions to ensure you are embedding 21st Century Skills in your teaching practices. To understand better what this means, take a quick look at the 21CLD rubric cheat sheet."
"Then watch Deirdre's explanation to get a more general overview. Parts of this video you will have already seen in previous modules but it's good to watch it again in the context of the 21CLD rubrics."
What do you think of the 21CLD rubrics? Can they help you in developing meaningful learning activities for 21st Century Skills? Can you provide examples of learning activities that achieve the highest score for one of the rubrics (explain why)?
"We already know these rubrics. They makes sense if we want to draw a collaborative activity and make a careful assessment. This facilitates which to us seems complicated, monitoring and evaluation of the whole process, however, require a long time preparation that we don’t have." Posted by Anabela Fernandes, Dulce Freire, Isabel Cruz e Vítor Silva.
4.5. Activity: Learning Activities for the Flipped Classroom Scenario
For this module's activity we'll look at a Future Classroom Scenario which many of you will probably already be familiar with: The Flipped Classroom Scenario.
If you already have experience with the flipped classroom idea, share your expertise.
"Although we already know, we never used the flipped classroom." Posted by Anabela Fernandes, Dulce Freire, Isabel Cruz e Vítor Silva.
4.6. Tool for Teaching: Socrative
"This modules tool for teaching is a free student response system that empowers you to engage your students through a series of educational exercises and games via smartphones, laptops, and tablets."
Have you used Socrative before? Never heard of Socrative but know other tools that do something similar?
"Although we already know it, we never use it, however, we use Plickers with which we do real-time evaluation." Posted by Anabela Fernandes, Dulce Freire, Isabel Cruz e Vítor Silva.
Module 5: From Learning Activities to Learning Stories
The Learning objectives for this module are:
1. Understand the concept of iTEC Learning Stories and how these relate to the iTEC Learning Activities and Future Classroom Scenarios
2. Explore examples of iTEC Learning Stories
3. Draft your own Learning Story using the Learning Designer tool
5.1. Introduction to Learning Stories
"In this Module we now examine the concept of Learning Stories.
To get a better idea of this, take a look at Will's introduction to Learning Stories. He already gives two brief examples of Learning Stories but you will have an opportunity to look at some examples in more detail in the following section. Then watch the 2nd video which provides a good overview of all the three iTEC concepts to be sure you understand the bigger picture of how Learning Stories fit with the other iTEC concepts (in this video Future Classroom Scenarios are referred to as Learning Scenarios but they are exactly the same)."
Unclear about all the iTEC concepts? Ask your questions here. Have ideas or experience of using iTEC Learning Activities or Stories?
"We never work on these concepts, new to us. However, it seems to us that this way of working is coherent when our activities are intended to be conducive to the development of 21st century skills. However it seems to us that it is time-consuming work. At this point we believe that we realize the idea." Posted by Anabela Fernandes, Dulce Freire, Isabel Cruz e Vítor Silva.
5.2. From Learning Activities to Learning Story: An example
"In this video, Will introduces you to an example of how an iTEC teacher has used generic Learning Activities and turned them into an innovative and contextualised narrative to use in the classroom, in other words a Learning Story."
"Then take a look at the 2nd set of Learning Activities. These are in fact the same Learning Activities but the description has now been contextualised to the subject and classroom of the teacher. Also Learning Activities have been organized in such a way to support the narrative of the Learning Story."
GENERIC LEARNING ACTIVITIES
You present a design brief to your class that ties to the curriculum and the local community, but leaves room for interpretation. You inspire the students by providing them with the motivation for giving their best and by telling them about the ownership and freedom over the task. You present your schedule, and negotiate the assessment criteria with the class. Students form teams, discuss, question and familiarize themselves with the design brief. The teams refine their design brief, particularly in relation to whom they are designing for, initial design challenges and possible design results. Students record reflections and document their work online.
Student teams explore the context of a topic or question either by observing relevant practices or environments using digital cameras, notebooks and microphones, or by searching existing works that relate to the topic or question by collecting relevant examples that they can use in answering the question or explaining the topic. They share their collected media files on their blogs and record a reflection. You guide their search and support them in the qualification of their material. Note that viewing and qualifying video material can be time consuming. Spending time viewing videos that contain inaccurate information, can be a detour from which a pedagogically meaningful conversation may arise, and may provide students with a first-hand experience about the appearance of an invalid source. Some students, for example younger ones, may need more guidance in performing this activity.
Teams analyse their findings on a given question or topic using mind-mapping techniques. They identify relations, similarities and differences between the examples and/or media files they collected. Based on their collected information and analysis, the teams refine their answers or explanations to the given topic or question. Then the teams record a reflection. Open ended questions can be challenging for students to answer initially. However, after passing the initial threshold, students are likely to have inspiring ideas.
Students and the teacher record, post and share audio-visual reflections and feedback of project progress, challenges and future steps. The students slowly build a shared collection of ways to tackle challenges, which can be used after the project ended.
Based on a design brief and design ideas, student teams start making a product. They create their first prototype, and discuss it afterwards. The discussion especially relates to how well the design addresses the identified design challenges. They then record a reflection and document their activities. Careful guidance through the learning activities and the process of creation is indispensable for students to keep their minds on learning potential curricular requirements. Highlight the reflection after this activity and ensure that everyone focuses on addressing the needs of an audience. To avoid free-riders or unequal workload division, carefully divide tasks and roles within teams.
After having created a product as part of their work (prototype, presentation, design, etc.) student teams meet with 2–4 “experts”. These “experts” could be future users, readers, or recipients of the product created by the team. Expertise may be interpreted broadly, for example, a construction site worker can be considered to offer deep insight into the everyday practices of people on a building site. Other students or teachers can also be considered as “experts” in certain areas. The student teams communicate their ideas using prints, drawings, models or other supporting materials. The “experts” are encouraged to modify and comment on the product. After the meeting the students analyze the comments and decide how to interpret them for their re-design. They then refine their product, especially in relation to the challenges, context and added value of the result, record a reflection and update their documentation. This activity can happen more than once at varying time investments and can be conducted online or face to face.
Students create a video with English subtitles presenting the results of an investigation, a product they have created or some other piece of work. In the video they also address their learning achievements and possible future steps. They share this video with other students in the school, their parents and their identified audience to transfer their learning, to communicate the background of their project, to let others know about the possibility to remix their work, and to receive feedback for improvement.
Students collaborate with students from other schools. Ad-hoc and serendipitous collaboration, driven by the students is encouraged.
CONTEXTUALISED LEARNING ACTIVITIES: LEARNING STORY
I am a science teacher and with the media studies teacher, I am challenging my students to create engaging short video stories about the concept of friction. I give them the design brief and suggest they think of their peers as the target audience. I show a few inspiring video stories to them and we proceed with discussing the potential of each method of communication, thus developing their digital media literacy at the same time as their science understanding. The media studies teacher and I agree that this will support the students’ ability to narrate and to deeply engage with a scientific concept. In the first lesson, I ask my students to dream up what their video stories could be about. REFLECT – Each student uses ReFlex to record their first reflection as well as their dreamed achievement as a time capsule, dated at the end of the course.
I ask the students to find, view and review engaging science videos to gain inspiration for their own videos as home work, for example at home, after school clubs or public libraries. They will also deeply engage with their science story, trying to figure out the mechanics involved, how to experiment with them and how to explain them in their story. REFLECT – Students reflect on what they’ve found and what their initial ideas for their stories are.
Back in school, all students create mind maps of their findings and start creating storyboards for their video stories. Pairs of students comment each others’ plans. The storyboards show sketches of scenes and video transitions, and describe shooting locations, sound information and descriptions of the actors dialogue, expression and movement. After the storyboards are completed, the students, the media teacher and I develop criteria based on which the video stories will be evaluated. REFLECT – Teams reflect on the activity, their challenged and their plans for the upcoming make activity.
The students start their video production using their mobile phones and digital cameras. They share tips, ideas and media files. To edit their stories, they are using free web-based software. Some of the clips have to be filmed outside of the school. The media teacher is providing tips about the narrative structure of the videos, while I am mainly mindful about the scientific accuracy of the content. I remind the students to prepare for PD workshops with media professionals. REFLECT – Students reflect on their data gathering progress and their plans for the upcoming PD workshop.
ASK and COLLABORATE
One student showed his reflections to his mother, who works for a children’s television programme and offered that she and her colleagues could tour the students around the television studio and comment on the first draft of the student videos. Although I planned on using the iTEC people and events network to locate a screenplay writer or fiction author who might be interested in supporting the students, this seems to be a much more interesting connection. During the workshop with the television staff, the students are filled with exciting ideas and are energized to add the received suggestions to their video stories, although this means for some of the students to put in a few more hours than expected. REFLECT – PD workshop participants comment on the reflection and development of the students work.
At the end of the course, the students upload their video stories to an online video sharing platform, such as YouTube and Vimeo, and link to them through the iTEC facebook group. For this, each student has to collect permission of their parents. The students view and comment the videos created by other iTEC students across Europe. As all videos include subtitles, the videos communicate easily across the language borders of European countries. We are also asking parents to view the videos and comment on them. Some of the videos are really interesting, so I decide to bookmark and use them in my teaching in the future. REFLECT – I am using the accumulation of comments, the reflection recordings of my students, their documentation as well as the feedback I recorded throughout the Learning Story to assess their work. We discuss my assessment in the following lesson. Throughout the discussion, students get the chance to argue for or against my assessment. Some of them bring up strong grounds that make me re-evaluate their work.
Exciting examples – MIT Blossoms videos: http://blossoms.mit.edu/
Support material – UNESCO Young Digital Creators is a guidebook for digital production at school.
Any comments or ideas linked to the above video and example?
"We are impressed. We are far, far from working this way. We have a lot of work to do and a lot to learn." Posted by Anabela Fernandes, Dulce Freire, Isabel Cruz e Vítor Silva.
5.3. Learning Stories in Action
"Let's see what a Learning Story can actually look like in the classroom. In the first video, one of the iTEC teachers and her students tell us about how the Learning Activities we explored in the previous section were turned into a Learning Story that was applied in their classroom"
"The 2nd video was created by another iTEC teacher and her students and also documents a Learning Story that uses the same Learning Activities as the previous one but in quite a different context. This is a nice example of how a great result can be achieved using the iTEC methodology while having less access to technology and receiving less support from outside (via parents or outside experts, rather they use older students as in-school experts)."
"Finally, take a look at the 3rd video as an example of another Learning Story but using a different set of Learning Activities."
Could you see these ideas working in your classroom? What elements of these Learning Stories did you particularly like? Have you done something similar before?
"When we think of the student as a builder of their learning the presented learning scenario model is fantastic. Yet quite honestly at this point we aren’t felling able to perform any, we need more time to study, experience and know all the technological panoply unknown for us. We believe that with time we’ll be able to adapt don’t say all but at least one in ours classroom and then will be the best time to make a reflection on this subject. It's hard to give an opinion on something that for us is unknown and never experienced. Assement all steps of the process seems to be complicated. However, it seems in order to prepare a collaborative learning activity according to the described scenarios take long and this is something that worries us." Posted by Anabela Fernandes, Dulce Freire, Isabel Cruz e Vítor Silva.
5.4. A tool to create Learning Stories: the Learning Designer
"We have recently been working with the London Institute of Education who have developed a very nice tool, the Learning Designer, which can help us in creating and sharing something similar to a Learning Story. It is especially important for us to be able to easily share Learning Stories so that we can get feedback and exchange best practices. The Learning Designer allows us to do this.
For an introduction on how to use the Learning Designer watch the video below."
5.5. Activity: Preparing your Final Assessment
5.6. Tool for Teaching: Popplet
"Popplet. It's a great mindmapping tool that works well for the "Map" Learning Activity"
Popplet: Any suggestions or ideas of how it can be used especially effectively? Have you used it before and want to provide some feedback or advice?
"We did not know the poplet. It seems simple and interesting to experience." Posted by Anabela Fernandes, Dulce Freire, Isabel Cruz e Vítor Silva.
Module 6: Have you seen the future classroom yet?
The Learning Objectives for this module are:
1. Consider the advantages and disadvantages of peer review as a tool for teaching as well as a tool for professional development
2. Develop your Learning Story further so that it incorporates the key elements covered during the course
3. Reflect on the topics covered during the course by evaluating your peers’ Learning Stories
What are the key messages, ideas, tools that you picked up from the course?
"It was a really interesting experience. We have now realized that it will take us a lot of hard work and we feel we still have plenty of learning ahead of us." Posted by Anabela Fernandes, Dulce Freire, Isabel Cruz e Vítor Silva.
6.1. Peer review in the classroom and as a tool for professional development
What do you think about these strategies? Do you agree that peer review of each other's lesson plans or peer observations in lessons can be a useful form of professional development? What experience do you have with these strategies? What about peer-review as a student activity? What tips can you give to make peer-review in the classroom more effective?
"We do agree. As long as the work is done in a serious way and hoping that the reviews are constructive. This way we can improve our performance on behalf of our students.
Whether it is among teachers or among students we believe that peer review is always positive for it may lead us to a reflective and critical thinking which is essential in the building of XXI century skills. We do not have enough experience to give opinions on this subject." Posted by Anabela Fernandes, Dulce Freire, Isabel Cruz e Vítor Silva.
6.2. Final Activity/Assessment: Submission and Review of Learning Stories
6.3. Tool for Teaching: Stickymoose
Share any experiences or ideas for Stickymoose
"We really don’t have any experience using this tool. Nevertheless, it seems very interesting to use as a brainstorming activity when introducing a new topic or to start a discussion among students." Posted by Anabela Fernandes, Dulce Freire, Isabel Cruz e Vítor Silva.