Future Classroom Lab: a meeting place to think about the school of the future

In Belgium there is a space where politics and industry work together to rethink learning spaces. Welcome to the Future Classroom Lab!

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Automated English translation - (sometimes hilarious) mistakes can creep in! ;)

In Belgium there is a space where Ministries of Education and IT suppliers work together to rethink learning spaces. welcome to Future Classroom Lab!

The 5e France-Quebec e-education conference was held from November 7 to 10, 2016, in Poitiers in France and in Montreal in Canada, with remote relays throughout the French-speaking world. The École branchée attended, from Montreal.

One of the round tables, entitled Transforming Educational Organizations ... with the Smart Classroome, was moderated by Ms. Jacqueline Bourdeau, professor at TÉLUQ. Ms. Bourdeau discussed with Mr. Fernando Gamboa Rodriguez, Professor, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (Mexico) and Ms. Patricia Wastiau, Senior Advisor for Research and Studies within the European Schoolnet, (Belgium).

During this round table, it was notably about the project Future Classroom Lab, from European Schoolnet.


A demonstration space for the classroom of the future

Future Classroom Lab - a work in progress of reflection on the human-machine cognitive partnership, a door to “the intelligent class”.

Our Future Classroom Lab is a collaboration between the European Schoolnet, the education ministries of some 30 countries and several IT service providers. These ensure both the financial independence of the project and a sustainable platform.

Future Classroom Lab d'European Schoolnet
Click on the image to visit the project site and view an image of these learning areas!

Concretely, it is a meeting place to think about the school of the future. Opened in January 2012 in Brussels, Belgium, this “laboratory” has six learning zones, well defined by their different colored carpets, allowing visitors to live various experiences.

Creation area

The equipment of the Creation area allows the planning and production of multimedia creations: green screen, high definition video camera, audio recording equipment as well as various software for video editing, animation, streaming.

Interaction area

The Interaction area has the following equipment: interactive whiteboard and its open educational resources, interactive response system, mobile devices such as laptops, tablets and smartphones, as well as classroom management systems. In short, all the equipment that promotes interactive learning is available to visitors to jointly participate in the creation of lessons.

Presentation area

In the Future Classroom Lab, students benefit from a place specifically dedicated to the presentation of their work, Presentation area.

Search area

In the Search area there are sensors and data loggers, microscopes, robots, three-dimensional models.

Collaboration area

The Collaboration area offers the following equipment:

  • interactive whiteboards
  • collaborative table with projector
  • mind mapping software
  • brainstorm board / wall

Autonomous learning zone

A final zone allows schoolchildren to carry out activities ofautonomous learning :

  • informal furniture
  • portable devices
  • audio devices and headsets
  • paper books and e-books
  • games (analog and digital)

An abundance of technologies ... but pedagogy above all

Technologies disrupt education systems. As a result, the smart classroom requires new dynamics, a variety of educational strategies, and spaces that are not necessarily connected. It is by keeping this in mind that the intelligent class is being built, as much in America as in Europe.

For all the speakers at the round table presented at the e-colloquium, it is important to avoid the misuse of digital technology, and all agree on the importance of basing activities on pedagogy.

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About the Author

Ninon Louise Lepage
Ninon Louise LePage is a pedagogue and museologist who recently came out of premature retirement to be reborn as an educational designation. She has taught at the Université du Québec à Montréal and the Université de Sherbrooke in science education, in addition to working at the Canadian Heritage Information Network as a museology consultant. She also writes for our French friends at Ludomag. She also invites all interested to contact her so that she can talk about you, your students, your school and your particular experiences in digital and computer education.

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