TEACHER IN RESIDENCE

Rooms with a view

Croatian Future Classroom

I was very happy to receive an invitation some time ago by my good friend Arjana Blazic to attend the opening of the Croatian Future Classroom. It was her initiative to embed this Future Classroom in her school in Zagreb. In times of economic recession it is not easy to make the necessary investments for education. But with the joint forces of teachers and school board, the government and commercial partners the new classroom could be established.

As a representative of European Schoolnet, I gave a speech at the grand opening last Wednesday and I told the audience that I was happy that the idea to build this classroom in Zagreb got its inspiration in the Future Classroom Lab in Brussels. Less than 2 years ago European Schoolnet built on its premises in Brussels a classroom for the future with the help of commercial partners. It is a place where different stakeholders can meet to share and experience ideas to reshape the future of education. From the very start, the centre has been very successful and almost on a daily basis it hosts events for students and teachers, policy makers and political leaders, and also industrial partners.

I am really convinced that these new flexible classroom spaces where technology gives an added value can bring change to education. For students it offers an environment to build a wide range of 21st century skills. It offers the context for learning activities that focus on collaboration, ICT literacy and creativity. It gives the opportunity to encourage critical thinking and inquiry based learning. When you stick to traditional frontal teaching as the only model for educational interaction, you will not be able to create the necessary shift of the educational paradigm. This type of environment will appeal to more learning styles and to a variety of competencies. It will give more winners in the classroom.

The Croatian Future Classroom will not only be important for the students but also for the professional development of the teachers. It will inspire teachers to connect to networks and virtual teachers’ rooms of other innovative teachers outside this school.

The grand opening was attended by students, teachers and guests, but also by some virtual visitors. A group of teachers coming from different parts in the world were present by means of a video conference system.

I am quite sure that Arjana Blazic and her colleagues will make the Croatian Future Classroom into a lighthouse, a lighthouse for innovative education, a lighthouse that has an impact on the school but also on the rest of the country.

More information: Traveloteacher (Arjana Blazic)

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