iTEC - Overview
iTEC (Innovative Technologies for an Engaging Classroom) is a four year, large-scale project that takes an informed look at the potential classroom of the future.
Innovative Technologies for an Engaging Classroom
Starting in September 2010, iTEC will bring together policy makers, researchers, technology suppliers, other technology-enhanced learning experts and innovative teachers in order to design and build scalable learning and teaching scenarios for the future classroom with recognition of the realities of pace of the educational reform process. Rigorous testing of these future classroom scenarios in large-scale pilots will then be carried out in order to significantly increase the possibility that innovation can be mainstreamed and taken to scale when the project ends.
With 27 project partners, including 14 Ministries of Education (MoE), and funding from the European Commission of 9.45 million Euros, iTEC will provide a model describing how the deployment of technology in support of innovative teaching and learning activities can move beyond small scale pilots and become embedded in all Europe's schools. The strategic nature of the project is underlined by the fact that the iTEC piloting in >1,000 classrooms in 12 countries is by some margin the largest pan-European validation of ICT in schools yet undertaken.
The key aim is to develop engaging scenarios for learning in the future classroom that can be validated in a large-scale pilot and be subsequently taken to scale.
This will be achieved through an increased understanding of the ways in which new and emerging technologies can support more effective forms of learner engagement.
A number of previous scenarios for the school of the future have proposed a radical vision in which governments announce the end of compulsory schooling by 2020 and the school has even disappeared. Such blue-sky thinking has a role to play but there is a danger that this approach results in designs for the future classroom that are simply too unconnected with current practice, fail to engage teachers and cannot be mainstreamed because they are divorced from educational policy making in the real world. While iTEC will develop ambitious scenarios for the future classroom, it will also recognise the realities and pace of the educational reform process. By the end of the project, schools will most certainly still exist but the organization of learning will be changing as social interaction and personalization becomes much more prevalent.
iTEC, therefore, will explore a vision of the future where schools will remain the key location for learning and assessment as part of a wider network of physical and virtual learning locations. In doing so, the project recognises that the learning process will increasingly engage with other stakeholders including parents and cultural and business sector members and draw in adult and informal learning. iTEC also begins with a clear understanding that the starting point for change is current teaching practice and that educational policy making in the real world must be understood as the context for this change. The project will not only examine how innovative technologies can be deployed but also the underlying change processes that are required in order for innovative teaching and learning practices to be mainstreamed and taken to scale.
An underpinning principle of the project's approach is an appreciation that the power of technology to significantly enhance learning and teaching is not always transparent to practitioners. The iTEC learning centred approach is based upon the understanding that technology in itself cannot bring about schools that are competent in the use of ICT without other factors such as vision and competency, and technology that is designed with usability in mind.
The increasing use of Web 2.0 content and social tools to extend learning beyond the physical learning space is the focus for iTEC's pedagogical and technical analysis. The strategy is particularly to look beyond how schools are currently using learning platforms (LMSs, VLEs etc.) which arguably support a more formal approach to teaching and learning, and which have shown disappointing levels of adoption. Moving forward, iTEC will aim to build upon the popularity of community driven learning using personal learning spaces created by individuals through interaction with multiple personal online learning services.
Current trends suggest that tools and services supporting learning are increasingly likely to be fairly small, autonomous applications. Ways must be found to ensure that teachers and learners can reliably discover, assemble and fully exploit these tools. It is also recognised that interactive whiteboards have played a valuable role in demonstrating; how technology can engage both teachers and learners; drive transformational change in the classroom; and act as a ‘gateway' to more enhanced adoption of technology. With a range of interactive, multi-touch technologies being deployed at large scale in classrooms across Europe, it is now time to examine how these technologies can be successfully integrated with other emerging tools and services to ensure ease of adoption and maximise potential benefits.
A central objective for European Ministries of Education in order to help engage and motivate learners of the future should be to ensure that the richness of ICT used in schools does not pale in comparison to how pupils are using ICT for personal recreational use. To achieve its aims, the iTEC project may particularly need to challenge the tendency for schools to limit the learner's use of personal technologies (requiring pupils to ‘power down' when at school) and instead encourage and support learners in exploiting the potential of Web 2.0 approaches to content creation and social networking.iTEC Web site
- To develop and refine a range of teaching and learning scenarios that include new approaches to assessment, (developed by project partners and teachers themselves) for the future classroom in order to engage teachers and pupils together with other stakeholders contributing to pupils' learning and growth.
- To develop decision support criteria (technological, pedagogical and policy-related) that facilitates the selection of scenarios that can be mainstreamed and taken to scale.
- To develop specific teaching and learning activities, also involving new approaches to assessment, based on the scenarios and test these in a pre-pilot phase with a focus group of teachers, with a view to determining which of these have the potential to be mainstreamed in a number of countries.
- To carry out large-scale pilots in up to 1,000 classrooms in at least 12 countries exploring both the integration of technologies and how these impact on teaching and learning practices and the engagement of a wider group of stakeholders outside the school.
- To research the skills and competences needed by teachers in the classroom of the future and to equip teachers and ICT co-ordinators, both within and beyond the project, with the pedagogical knowledge and skills needed to implement project scenarios.
- To evaluate the extent to which the iTEC scenarios have been successful in supporting collaboration, individualisation, creativity and expressiveness and identify those with maximum potential to have a transformative effect on the design of the future classroom. Also to identify the underlying change processes necessary to bring about this transformation.
- To widely disseminate project results and ensure they can be taken to scale by implementing a mainstreaming strategy that includes the formation of a new high-level body at European level to ensure that iTEC scenarios and work in the large-scale pilots contribute to the educational reform process.
|Research and Development objectives
- To select resources (i.e., technologies: tools, learning platforms, services, and plug-ins; content; and people) necessary to carry out the selected learning and teaching scenarios and then to group these resources into meaningful categories (i.e., depending on the way they contribute to the different scenarios) and provide a conceptual framework for describing each of these categories.
- To describe these selected resources according to the corresponding frameworks and to register them in one or more registries and then to apply a set of specifications and standards (e.g., IMS LTI, OpenID) to the selected resources in order to make them interoperable and easy to combine (mash-up).
- To develop a shell (possibly more than one) that will support the combination of resources in order to provide classrooms with the technical setting necessary to support the teaching and learning activities corresponding to the selected scenarios.
- To explore conceptual modelling paradigms (e.g., learning design, semantic-web ontologies) to formally describe learning and teaching scenarios.
- To build a prototype assistant for advising users how to find, select and combine resources that support the project scenarios.
iTEC involves 27 partners from 18 countries, including 14 Ministeries of Education.
- European Schoolnet (EUN) - Belgium | www.europeanschoolnet.org
- Promethean – United Kingdom | www.prometheanworld.com
- University of Namur (FUNDP) - Belgium | www.fundp.ac.be
- SMART Technologies - Germany | smarttech.de
- Institute of Education of University of Lisbon - Portugal | www.ul.pt
- Directorate-General of Innovation and Curricular Development (DGIDC) - Portugal | sitio.dgidc.min-edu.pt
- Bundesministerium für Unterricht, Kunst und Kultur (BM:UKK) - Austria | www.bmukk.gv.at
- Centre of Information Technologies in Education (ITC) - Lithuania | www.ipc.lt
- National Ministry of Education – Turkey | www.meb.gov.tr
- Aalto University - Finland | www.aalto.fi
- Agenzia Nazionale per lo Sviluppo dell’Autonomia Scolastica (ANSAS) - Italy | www.indire.it
- Tiger Leap Foundation - Estonia | www.tiigrihype.ee
- UNI•C - DK | www.uni-c.dk
- The Norwegian Centre for ICT in Education - Norway
- University of Bolton - United Kingdom | www.bolton.ac.uk
- Katholieke Universiteit Leuven – Belgium | www.kuleuven.be
- University of Vigo - Spain | www.teleco.uvigo.es
- Knowledge Markets Consulting - Austria | www.wu.ac.at
- Futurelab - United Kingdom | www.futurelab.org.uk
- Manchester Metropolitan University - United Kingdom | www.esri.mmu.ac.uk
- Swiss Agency for ICT in Education - Switzerland | www.sfib.ch
- MAKASH Advancing CMC Applications in Education, Culture and Science - Israel | www.makash.org.il
- elfa, s.r.o. - Slovakia | www.elfa.sk
- Icodeon, Ltd - United Kingdom | www.icodeon.com
- Centre National de Documentation Pédagogique (CNDP) - France | www2.cndp.fr
- Educatio Public Services Non-profit LLC - Hungary | www.educatio.hu
- EduBIT.eu - Belgium | www.edubit.eu
- Microsoft | www.microsoft.com
- National Board of Education Finland; Finnish teacher training schools | www.oph.fi
|WORK PACKAGE 1 – PROJECT MANAGEMENT
WP Leader – European Schoolnet, BE
- To effectively manage the project to deliver the solutions developed in the Work Packages on time, to cost and quality, in accordance with the requirements of the contract between the Commission and the project consortium.
- To provide internal management and financial, administrative and quality control of the project; planning of external strategic co-operation activities; building of both informal and formal relationships with other relevant projects and initiatives.
- To monitor, evaluate and coordinate the work of the consortium, paying particular attention to quality and risk management.
|WORK PACKAGE 2 – PEDAGOGICAL SCENARIO DEVELOPMENT AND MONITORING
WP Leader – Futurelab Education, UK
- To develop a process that ensures the views and expertise of all project stakeholders are reflected within the scenarios created for the future classroom,
- To develop meaningful pedagogical scenarios for future European classrooms that can enable project partners to develop technologies which can be taken to scale.
|WORK PACKAGE 3 – ENGAGING TEACHERS/LEARNERS IN THE FUTURE CLASSROOM
WP Leader – AALTO University, FI
- To transform the future classroom scenarios provided by WP2 into design challenges
- To develop these design challenges, using an evolutionary, agile prototyping method, into learning activities that can be tested with a pre-pilot focus group of teachers in >30 classrooms in twelve countries.
- To feed back the results of these focus group sessions to WP2 to assist with the formulation of new scenarios and improving/abandoning existing ones.
|WORK PACKAGE 4 – ORGANISATION/SUPPORT OF SCHOOL PILOTS AND CPD
WP Leader – European Schoolnet, BE
- To identify scenarios for the future classroom that have the potential to be taken to scale after the end of the project and impact on the educational reform process at national and European level.
- To equip teachers and national co-ordinators involved with the pedagogical and technological knowledge and skills needed to implement scenarios and to provide enduring mechanisms to support teachers outside the project in developing and running future classrooms.
- To design, carry out and report a large-scale pilot involving up to 1,000 classrooms and at least 12 Ministries of Education looking at the design of the future classroom in terms of both technology and teaching methods.
|WORK PACKAGE 5 – EVALUATION OF SCHOOL PILOTS
WP Leader – Manchester Metropolitan University, UK
- To produce a knowledge map of current evidence of the use of innovative tools in classrooms
- To engage with teachers to record the process of operationalizing scenarios in classroom settings, within each project cycle
- To establish how teachers integrate innovative technological tools within their pedagogy
- To evaluate the impact of the scenarios in each cycle on: teaching practices; engagement with all stakeholders; individualisation; collaboration; creativity; expressiveness; overall transformative effect and the design of the future classroom, including underlying change processes.
|WORK PACKAGE 6 – TRAINING AND SUPPORTING TEACHERS IN USING AND ADAPTING ITEC TECHNOLOGY
WP Leader – UNI*C, DK
- Set up examples of iTEC environments (i.e. iTEC shells integrated with tools and services) for national coordinators in support of the engaging classroom by using the iTEC composer for selecting tools, services, and plug-ins, and customising and integrating them with the selected shells
- Investigate the training needs of national coordinators and provide training in using the different iTEC environments
- Operate a technical support service for national technical coordinators
|WORK PACKAGE 7 – DEVELOPMENT OF ITEC SHELLS AND COMPOSER
WP Leader – Knowledge Markets Consulting, AT
- Elicit requirements for iTEC shells and composer
- Identify candidate technologies for iTEC shells.
- Build iTEC shells and composer that provide a configurable, interoperable technology for combining (1) people, (2) content, and (3) tools for the purpose of supporting the execution of lesson and assessment plans during run-time. The iTEC shell is configured using a composer component that is based on an interoperability layer capable of configuring multiple types of shells.
- Draw conclusions from the deployment and maintenance of the iTEC shells, their composer and underlying identity management infrastructure.
|WORK PACKAGE 8 – PROVIDE MASH-UP CONNECTORS TO EXISTING COMPONENTS
WP Leader – University of Bolton, UK
- The objective of this work package is to develop the Wookie Widget server technology to provide a technological infrastructure which supports the mash-up and interoperation between different tools and services in order to ensure a seamless experience for teachers, learners and other stakeholders while providing the user with access to a variety of tools and services.
|WORK PACKAGE 9 – SHARING BEYOND CONTENT
WP Leader – Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, BE
- To create a directory service that references the actors necessary to play the different roles (e.g., co-learners, experts, tutors), as well as different kinds of events, defined in the learning and teaching scenarios selected by teachers.
- To put in place the frameworks necessary to describe these actors in a way that makes it possible to retrieve them and to assess their relevancy for a given scenario.
- To put in place the tools and procedures necessary to ensure the quality and accuracy of the produced actor descriptions.
- To populate and maintain this directory with descriptions of actors who contribute to the iTEC scenarios.
- In principle all scenarios that will be tested in WP4 will be supported. If for any reason a particular scenario cannot be supported, this will be reported and the reasons will be expounded.
|WORK PACKAGE 10 – SUPPORT FOR IMPLEMENTING ITEC ENGAGING SCENARIOS
WP Leader – University of Vigo, ES
- Development of a semantic characterization of educational scenarios, identified in WP2, in terms of context, human and digital resources, interactions, roles played, etc.
- Development of a semantic characterization of the technical settings, identified in WP3, in terms of functionalities provided by services and tools available.
- Definition of an automated procedure to identify Localised Scenarios, that is, educational scenarios applicable to a given Technical Setting.
- Development of a semantic characterization of the actual services, tools and applications that may be utilized by the iTEC Scenario Development Environment along with the transformation of a Localized Scenario into a Lesson or Assessment Plan.
|WORK PACKAGE 11 – MAINSTREAMING SUCCESSFUL ITEC SCENARIOS
WP Leader – European Schoolnet, BE
- To ensure high level European visibility for the project by proactively disseminating iTEC results to a wide group of stakeholders.
- To move beyond awareness raising and dissemination of project results by implementing a strategy that enables iTEC to engage with policy makers and impact on the educational reform process.
iTEC workshop at EMINENT 2012
( 17/12/2012 )
|The iTEC project was presented to a group of teachers, policymakers and education specialists
The iTEC project was presented to a group of teachers, policymakers and education specialists at a workshop held as part of the EMINENT conference in Genoa, Italy. EMINENT is European Schoolnet’s annual conference for education policy makers and opinion shapers, which was held this year under the theme of ‘Schools in Europe in 2025’. Representatives from the iTEC project were there to showcase the progress to date of the initiative in its mission to design the future classroom.
Will Ellis, Project Manager of iTEC, presented the findings of the project’s intermediate public report, which measured the impact of the initiative in participating schools. To date, iTEC learning activities have already been piloted in over 500 classrooms across Europe. Teachers have reported that iTEC learning activities allow them the space to innovate, and that their experiences in the school pilots have provided them with confidence in using digital learning tools. The majority of teachers feel that the implementation led to new pedagogical practices in their teaching.
Teachers from Germany and Spain also spoke on how their teaching, and the students learning outcomes, have benefitted from the introduction of iTEC learning activities to their classroom practice.
New iTEC Newsletter published
( 19/12/2011 )
|iTEC Newsletter N.4 December 2011Read the latest iTEC newsletter with the following news stories:
iTEC Newsletter N. 4 - December 2011
- Schools in action - Visiting iTEC pilot schools in Hungary
- iTEC at Online Educa 2011
- French teachers enthusiastic about new approaches to learning
- iTEC webinar recording available
- 50 teachers selected to join the first ITEC workshop for teachers
Exploiting iTEC results
( 06/09/2011 )
|European Schoolnet is putting in place a new Future Classroom Lab that will allow showcasing iTEC teaching and learning scenarios
In order to help exploit emerging iTEC results, European Schoolnet is putting in place a new Future Classroom Lab that will allow showcasing iTEC teaching and learning scenarios. Moreover, a new project called CPDlab (Continuing Professional Development Lab) starting in October will help to find new ways to provide ongoing teacher training and support beyond the end of the project.
Future Classroom Lab
The initial response to project dissemination activities from Ministries of Education, regional education authorities and ICT vendors indicates that iTEC has the potential to become a more permanent ‘Living Lab’ or ‘Ideas’ Lab’, a platform that enables key stakeholders to rethink teaching and learning in 21st century classrooms.
The Future Classroom Lab will consist of a room designed as an interactive classroom to illustrate how a traditional classroom setting can use technology to enhance interactivity and student participation, plus a large reconfigurable open space (divided into five learning ‘zones’) equipped with the latest technology.
This new, two-year project, supported by the Commission’s Lifelong Learning Programme, will commence in October 2011. Its aim is to improve the quality of ICT-related Continuing Professional Development available to teachers, school leaders and other school staff and help schools become effective learning environments by offering a portfolio of training courses directly related to the needs of teachers in the future classroom.More info