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Collaboration at the Heart of the Modern Classroom

Promethean is proud to be one of the industry partners in the Modern Classroom

Posted by Hannah Oakman | April 10, 2016 | Business

True collaboration is achieved when students are working in groups or teams towards common goals. 

The learning environment plays a key role in encouraging students to work collaboratively, this includes the physical set-up of a classroom as well as the learning aids available to students and teachers e.g. access to technology. Technology facilitates collaborative learning; students can use education technology such as interactive displays to solve problems together. 

In order for a classroom to be functioning collaboratively, schools need to evaluate the learning environment in which the teachers and students work. The space, technology and pedagogy need to be working in-sync to achieve true collaboration… at Promethean we call this creating the ‘modern classroom’. This is a new approach to education technology that empowers teachers and students to transform how knowledge is created and shared, and extends learning beyond traditional classroom boundaries.

Alongside learning space and pedagogy, Promethean believes that technology is a critical key factor in creating the modern classroom. When used effectively to support teaching styles, it delivers a fast, easy route to learning which gives students a hands-on approach and means they aren’t limited by face-to-face and in-school lessons. Promethean also recognises the importance of developing technologies which both future proof schools’ investments, and support the evolution of the modern classroom.  

For instance, our award-winning learning platform ClassFlow, gives teachers a central point for lesson preparation, delivery, assessment and evaluation. Available free of charge ClassFlow is a cloud-based solution which enables learning to extend beyond the physical boundaries of the traditional classroom, supporting personalised learning through the integrated use of devices such as laptops, tablets and Chromebooks.

During traditional ‘lesson time’ ClassFlow can also be used to power front-of-class interactive displays, such as our latest range of ActivPanels. Designed to enhance the classroom viewing experience and interaction amongst students, the ActivPanel is available in a choice of full HD and 4K Ultra HD displays. The latest generation has focused on creating a display solution which specifically addresses the demand for Android functionality devices in classrooms. By incorporating an external and fully upgradeable Android device, the ActivPanel will keep pace as the demand for computer processing power increases – giving schools the ultimate in future-proofing and flexibility. 

Supplied with an ActivInspire Professional Edition software license as standard – which includes a wide range of advanced interactive tools – the ActivPanel provides access to a powerful teaching technology which supports the creation of a truly modern classroom environment.

Case study: The “Sala De Aula Do Futuro”, Dom Manuel Martins School, Setúbal, Portugal

This modern classroom began with a vision to build a classroom in Portugal that resembles the European Schoolnet (EUN) Future Classroom Lab (FCL) located in Brussels. Over two years, Carlos Cunha, Microsoft Innovative Expert and FCL classroom lead, supported by his networks investment realised his dream.

The ultimate aim is to improve the educational attainment in all three years of middle school, using inquiry-based learning methodologies in order to increase the motivation of students.

“We were facing a problem with the results of our students because regular teaching wasn’t giving the right answers,” Cunha explains.

“We really needed a space that is different from the regular classroom with rows of tables and chairs facing the blackboard. The future classroom is an open space divided into five different zones, where the students face different problems, different equipment and different technologies in order to answer a question posed by the teacher. It’s like project-based learning, but shorter. It’s enquiry-based learning.”

As well as reporting more engaged and excited students, the school has witnessed teachers more willing to collaborate with each other. The space supports cross curricula professional development, for example, mathematics and science teachers come together to explore the connection between a theoretical model and a practical application. Using data loggers and sensors allows teachers to reflect on their own pedagogical approaches and to plan their lesson content to enable the development of a truly integrated and interdisciplinary experience. 

To support schools in designing a modern classroom environment, Promethean has produced a free e-book which guides you through the process. Register for your copy by visiting http://bit.ly/etmodclassebook.

 

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