Art teacher’s comments on Ambire

During the Opettajuus ja muuttuva oppimaisema Seminar in Oulu, I had the chance to visit Normaalikoulu, a high-school adjacent to the Oulu University. There, a student kindly walked me through the school and art teacher Laura commented on our prototypes.

Laura and I discussed our three reflection tools for learning. Laura told me that she tried to set up the Apple TV Airplay to display pictures of the drawings of her students on a large screen in the classroom in much the same way as Ambire proposes. As Airplay does not afford this, Laura is eagerly looking forward to the first working prototype of Ambire, in which the content of the student’s screens is sent to a large screen for everyone to see. Laura would like to use the tool for her students to get an ambient understanding of the different artistic processes, applied techniques and crafting strategies, while continuesly working on their individual pieces. Laura noticed that it is necessary for her students to loose their apprehension about sharing unfinished work, and speaking inspiration from others without considering “taking a peek” as stealing ideas. For her, Ambire could be a way to achieve this.

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Cycle 3 PD Analysis Started

The cycle 3 PD analysis stated. So far, we received summaries of PD workshops from 9 countries. Along with the scenario narratives, we printed the summaries and attached them to the usual wall for careful analysis.

From briefly reading through the document, it can already be said that the teachers have again mentioned interesting pointers towards challenges that the scenarios may present in the day-to-day classroom work. We are looking forward to analyzing the summaries more carefully in the following weeks and to designing software prototypes that adequately address these challenges!

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From Sessions to Tiny

Illustration of a mockup screen of the Tiny prototype

The prototype tool to support international, ad-hoc and serendipitous classroom collaboration moving forward. We call the prototype Tiny, because students can send, search, read, favorite and comment “tiny status messages” about school projects. No additional log-in will be required, and everyone can see the same content. Continue reading

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Cycle 2 Pilots

The Learning Stories and Packages of Learning Activities for the iTEC cycle 2 pilots have been delivered to the National Coordinators. This time, we offered the teachers two Packages of Learning Activities, from which they can choose to perform one. Along with three Learning Stories that exemplify how the packages could play out in the classroom. Continue reading

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Sessions paper prototype

Photograph of the Sessions paper prototype

Sessions, is a concept of a tool to support international, ad-hoc and serendipitous classroom collaboration. Based on the Focus Group sessions with teachers and students in the U.K., Italy and Austria, the concept was re-designed to better complement and support everyday classroom activities.

For example, instead of asking the teachers to organize and plan collaboration with other classrooms, the Sessions prototype is intended to support students to find collaborators on their own. Rather than long term collaboration, ad-hoc and coincidental cooperation between students of different classes is supported through search and commenting functions.

We are working on designing a prototype that better communicates the interaction and graphic design of the tool to the more technical oriented project partners.

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A more fun iTEC?

Anna is hanging out alone. Get read to join the PD hangout soon!

Don’t get me wrong, so far iTEC has been fun alright, but with a few organizational changes around the corner, there is room for suggesting more enjoyable ways of communicating and participating with teachers and students, spreading the word about iTEC, and collaborating with iTEC partners to accelerate the project results towards exposing even more creative future-oriented classroom prototypes. Continue reading

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Cycle 3 Scenarios are online

Take a look at the cycle 3 scenarios that were published to the iTEC WP3 wiki today.

All iTEC partners are encouraged to perform participatory design sessions with 2-3 scenarios of their choice. We will send the participating iTEC partners an instructional email about how to communicate their choices before starting their PD sessions. This time, also students are warmly encouraged to participate in the PD sessions. The guidelines for facilitation have also been updated and can be found on the wiki.

We are looking forward to your summaries. Enjoy!

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Piloting outdoor study project in Finland

In WP2 and WP3 we developed a number of scenarios of new ways of teaching and learning with new technology. One of them is the Outdoor Study Project (see the video below).

In one of the partner schools of the project, the Oulu Teachers Training School, they have a tradition to organize “camp school” for the sixth-graders with hiking in Lapland. This year the hike was also an iTEC pilot, precisely trying out some aspects of the outdoor study project scenario. Continue reading

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Focus Groups – Austria

Cooperative Learning room Photo: Reinhold Freinbichler

The third and last round of the cycle 2 Focus Group sessions around Europe was facilitated at an all girls school, the Ausbildungszentrum St. Josef in Salzburg, Austria on Monday. The session was held in German. The school is part of the European Network of Innovative Schools (ENIS) in Austria. Students of St. Josef recently designed an illustrative multilingual brochure for doctors and patients that presents essential phrases used in situations related to patient admission, symptoms, drugs and pharmacy etc. in German, English, Turkish and Croatian. The brochure was distributed in pharmacies and hospitals in and around Salzburg. It represents an inspiring example of online collaboration between students and experts to address societal challenges with hands-on activities. Continue reading

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Focus Groups – U.K.

In front of the Holmesdale Community College

Last week, two Focus Group sessions were performed at the Holmesdale Technology College in Kent, U.K., one with teachers and one with teachers and students. Holmesdale is an interesting school with a lot of opportunities for students to develop their design and technology skills. For example, the school offers one floor with facilities for engineering, textile projects and food design. Interestingly, the students are presented with a “learning-menu” of what they might learn by  participating in activities within a particular room. Continue reading

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