Creating the Future Classroom: Evidence from the iTEC report

Cathy Lewin and Sarah McNicol have just completed the report ‘Creating the Future Classroom: Evidence from the iTEC report’.

iTEC (Innovative Technologies for an Engaging Classroom) was a four-year research and development project funded by the European Commission involving 26 partners: ministries of education (MoEs), technology providers and research organisations. iTEC aimed to transform and scale-up the use of technology in learning and teaching in compulsory education. Through iTEC, educational tools and resources were piloted with some 50,000 students in 2624 classrooms across 20 European countries.

Evaluating the impact of iTEC Learning Activities in schools

Over the four years, the evaluators gathered the views of teachers and students (some 1,488 were surveyed), national coordinators and policy-makers through surveys, interviews, focus groups, case studies and observations. The results were collated under three headings in the final evaluation report.

How did the iTEC approach impact on learners and learning

  • Key finding 1: Teachers perceived that the iTEC approach developed students’ 21st century skills, notably independent learning; critical thinking, real world problem solving and reflection; communication and collaboration; creativity; and digital literacy. Their students had similar views.
  • Key finding 2: Student roles in the classroom changed; they became peer assessors and tutors, teacher trainers, co-designers of their learning and designers/producers.
  • Key finding 3: Participation in classroom activities underpinned by the iTEC approach impacted positively on students’ motivation.
  • Key finding 4: The iTEC approach improved students’ levels of attainment, as perceived by both teachers (on the basis of their assessment data) and students.

How did the iTEC approach impact on teachers and teaching?

  • Key finding 5: The Future Classroom Scenario development process was viewed as innovative by policy makers, teachers and stakeholders, but further work is needed.
  • Key finding 6: Teachers and coordinators perceived that the Learning Activity development process has potential to develop innovative digital pedagogies in the classroom, but further work is needed.
  • Key finding 7: Teachers perceived that the iTEC approach enhanced their pedagogy and digital competence.
  • Key finding 8: Teachers became more enthusiastic about their pedagogical practices.
  • Key finding 9: Teachers stated that they used technology more frequently; it was systematically integrated throughout the learning process rather than reserved for research or presentations.
  • Key finding 10: Teachers were introduced to digital tools they had not used before; some were more favourably received than others.
  • Key finding 11: Teachers collaborated more, both within and beyond their schools, a process facilitated through the online communities.

What is the potential of the iTEC approach for system-wide adoption in schools?

  • Key finding 12: Awareness of the iTEC approach is growing in educational systems, and there are signs of widespread uptake.
  • Key finding 13: The scenario-led design process can support mainstreaming of innovation, provided the process is refined.
  • Key finding 14: The library of scenarios, Learning Stories and Learning Activities was viewed by policy makers and teachers as a valuable output of iTEC to support system-wide classroom innovation.
  • Key finding 15: In countries in which iTEC aligns closely with national policies and strategies, the iTEC approach is likely to be adopted and to influence future practices.

To read the report click on the link below:

MMU1748%20iTEC%20Magazine%202014%20AW (dragged)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *