06 SES 08, Future Classroom? Integrating Media and Changing Environments and Patterns
One of the dilemmas in preparing the teachers for 21st century is the persistence of physical learning environment inherited from 19th century, both in today’s schools and in teacher education institutions. In order to innovate the patterns of teaching and learning, the student teachers need various opportunities to experiment with alternative approaches during the initial teacher education. In software engineering, the experimental virtual spaces for testing new software prototypes without affecting the stability of existing systems are called “sandboxes” (West & Gloudon, 2003). We argue that initial teacher education would be more relevant for 21st century schooling if student teachers would be provided both physical and virtual sandboxes for didactical experimentation. This paper describes an attempt to create and implement such didactic sandboxes in Tallinn University, Estonia.
In several countries, there is a long tradition of "practice schools" - the schools affiliated with teacher training institutions, used as a space for trying out innovative educational practices, but also for experiential learning of student teachers (Levine 1992, Darling-Hammond 2005). There is no such tradition in Estonia, where the practical placement of initial teacher education students could take place almost in any school around the country. Now the situation is changing with the support of ESF-funded Eduko program, as the main teacher education providers plan to set up innovative teaching and learning spaces for didactic experimentation – not in pracitce schools, but within the teacher education institutions.
Tallinn University established in January 2013 the Centre for Innovation in Education (HIK). The goal of HIK is to develop teacher education by addressing the most important challenges in Estonian schools and education in general, by using innovative approaches for development, testing, and dissemination. HIK is the environment in which an innovative idea or product is invented, tested and disseminated in cooperation with scientists and practitioners from different fields. Here, 8 subject didactics laboratories offer special classrooms, equipped with latest achievements of ICT, as it is used in teaching specific subjects (languages, history, and natural sciences). The aim of the didactics laboratories is to provide an interdisciplinary space for design and implementation of different innovative educational projects and to support the elaboration and deployment of contemporary teaching forms, methods, materials and technologies.
This paper presents the design of these classrooms, which leans on the concept of integrative learning, where content is generated and shared in order to support students’ and teachers’ creativity. To open teaching/learning for different challenges and scale up the innovation, HIK offers the open learning environment through the new eDidacticum portal and cooperation with city museums, theatres and innovative start-up companies in the field of lifelong learning. This paper focuses mainly on the design of physical and virtual environment for two general didactics labs, which can be seen as prototypes for 21st century classroom.
Baxter, G., Sommerville, I. (2008) Socio-technical systems: From design methods to system engineering. International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, 1-33. Darling-Hammond, L. (ed.) (2005) Professional Development Schools: Schools For Developing A Profession. NY: Teachers College Press. Frydenberg, M. (2012) Aligning Open, Physical, and Virtual Spaces in the CIS Sandbox. In: Tatnall, A., Ruohonen, M., Ley, T., Laanpere, M. (eds.). Open and Social Technologies for Networked Learning (91 - 100). New York: Springer Verlag. Levine, M. (1992) Professional Practice Schools: Linking Teacher Education and School Reform. NY: Teachers College Press. Sandoval, W. A., & Bell, P. (Eds.). (2004). Design-based research methods for studying learning in context. Educational Psychologist, 39(4). Scacchi, W. (2004) Socio-Technical Design. In : The Encyclopedia of Human-Computer Interaction. Yorkshire Publishing Group, Yorkshire Tammets, K., Pata, K., Laanpere, M. (2013). Promoting Teachers’ Learning and Knowledge-building in the Socio-technical System. The International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, 14(3), 251 - 272. Teitel, L. (ed.) (2003). The Professional Development Schools Handbook: Starting, Sustaining, and Assessing Partnerships That Improve Student Learning. Thousand Oaks: Corwin Press. University of South Carolina (2010). Technology Lounge Dedicated at Thomas Cooper Library. Reflections. USC. West, R., Gloudon, J. (2003) User-Level Sandboxing: a Safe and Efficient Mechanism for Extensibility", Technical Report, 2003-014, Boston University. Wheeler, S. (2009) Learning Space Mashups: Combining Web 2.0 Tools to Create Collaborative and Reflective Learning Spaces. Future Internet, 3-13
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