Future Classroom Lab

I have been soooooo lucky to have had the possibility to attend a seminar in Brussels at the Future Classroom Lab. The Future Classroom Lab is “created by European Schoolnet, its supporting 30 ministries and industry partners to help visualise how conventional classrooms and other learning spaces can be easily reorganised to support changing styles of teaching and learning”.  http://fcl.eun.org/

The workshop I attended was about The Creative Use of Multimedia and Devices in the Classroom. It lasted two days, or better a day and a half, but  I learnt and enjoyed so much that I could have stayed there for weeks and weeks.

Our tutor, Kurt Klyvert is an Apple educator and showed us how to use some apps in the classroom.

There were 17 of us from Austria, Ireland, the UK, Spain, the Czech Rep., Switzerland  Latvia and Italy and it was simply great! Not last for all the different languages and ways to speak English.

Apart from the technology –  we were in a classroom which I would like to have in my school: four ImageIWBs, iPads, tablets and any sort of devices 🙂 – what I learnt was interesting and engaging indeed.

I am in a stage now when I don’t need so much to learn about apps. What I really need is to know how to use them in the curriculum which means in my daily routine at school.

As Kurt said “the fewer tools, the more creativity you’ll have; the better you plan, the less technology you need”.

Sometimes I use web based materials in order to motivate pupils because I know that they find such activities fun and engaging but I am not so good at linking such activities to my planning. That’s why I am not satisfied with what I do and keep looking for what I miss 🙂

I thought that the seminar could help me and to some extent it did. Planning, planning and planning, that’s the key.

The classes were great, the atmosphere friendly and stimulating and the teacher acted as a perfect tutor.

Some apps/tools were presented and illustrated – I must confess I was really happy when the ones I use everyday were mentioned – it made me think I am on the right way 🙂

Edmodo to create virtual classes and share materials – a group was created for us too just to show how it works; Glogster and Prezi for presentations; Dropbox to share as well and many others I already knew about.

What I didn’t know and really fascinated me for the range of opportunities is the use of QR codes. I have read about them and also read about the use you can do of them in the classroom, but I had never cared so much about them before.

What I appreciate in them now is the fact that they appeal to different learning styles. You write a story, you combine images and words, but what about auditive learners? You can create audio recordings and then link a code to them for the students to listen to. This is my very first 🙂

Image

You can differentiate codes and make students work in groups according to their learning styles or skills. Really challenging!

Here is a site where you can find a lot of ideas and information about QR codes http://www.classtools.net/QR/

What am I going to do now? Planning, of course 🙂 in order to put into practice all that I have learnt!

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3 thoughts on “Future Classroom Lab

  1. Instead of Prezi, why don’t you try Sozi? http://sozi.baierouge.fr/wiki/doku.php
    The concept is the same, but it can produce SWG files rather than Flash ones – more portable through platforms – an Open format and an Open Source tool.
    It has some limitations tough – no PDF export for example. But it comes for free (as in beer) and it goes for free (as in speech).

  2. Thanks for the suggestion! But it is something I have to install, isn’t it?
    Thanks also for the Free as in Beer and free as in Speech hint, which I didn’t know 🙂

    • Yes, Sozi is sort of a plugin for Inkscape, an open source vectorial tool. Multiplatform (Mac, Linux, WIndows) and free.
      I’ve tried both Prezi and Sozi. After the initial learning curve (1/2 hour), with the latter you can do whatever you want with your presentation, using free tools and getting an open result (file) to be used in a web browser. No fees, no hugly technology (Flash) etc.
      The only limit is your immagination.

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