Classroom 3.0 – an experience at Instituto dos Pupilos do Exército

futureclHave you ever heard of efficiency consultants, 3D food chefs, urban farmers, psychologists and plants therapists, experts in nano-weapons, avatars designers or Nano-doctors?

Probably not because these are professions that do not yet exist but that could employ millions of people within two decades.

In a recent article, Thomas Frey, executive director of the Da Vinci Institute, revealed that in result of high technological progress, by 2030 more than two million jobs will disappear, giving way to new occupations. For example, the drones or car without a driver will create new air and road traffic experts

In this great transformation, the role and responsibilities of teachers in an education process, is more than ever crucial. In addition to the transmission of knowledge, it is up to these educators, increasingly, to provide future generations with the twenty-first century skills.59d0bf55e3c8a770903fcba6a65bec3e

And indeed, in the past few years’ teachers develop activities involving pupils in the learning process by promoting collaboration between peers, self-regulation abilities, capability to solve real problems, and the use of ICTs. This concern has brought my attention and I am betting on this. This past year, along with the teacher of Natural Sciences, Maria Alexandra Gonçalves, we wanted to challenge ourselves to promote activities in order to meet these goals. This is the reason why we created “xTreme Classroom” project: we wanted to take the classroom to a next level, through the use of technologies such as internet, tablets or coding. We developed a set of activities in which the teacher should guide the students’ work in the classroom, giving them feedback of the progress tasks and promoting them the discussion in groups.

In mathematics for example, we make the use of applications such as Geogebra to explore geometry and other apps to explore concepts and math relations. It is intended, by manipulating these interactive software that they will be able to develop and take pleasure in discovering more about the new technology. Simultaneously, the teacher accompanying the different working groups launches improvement suggestions and fixes possible issues. Something that has also aroused the curiosity of the youngest, has been OneNote, “the best digital notebook” (see more). This app keeps the classes structured and organized by tabs and pages. Students can integrate information (text, vídeos, imagens) and create notes. Teachers can give real-time feedback and corrections in class. This is a very important aspect, since we can provide immediate feedback for improvements. Students see it and can accept or discuss these suggestions. Furthermore, this project integrates coding in the process of learning, which gives the possibility for students, through games, to develop their logical and deductive reasoning. In this case students work with Kodu and participate in the worldwide initiative One Hour of Code with Minecraft (see more).

 

Finally, we get out of the classroom and study math relations outside. With Surface (see more), students discover Thales theorem and discover the height of different objects. They were engaged in discovering how to build a kite, create a project, a prototype and finally the kite itself. Challenge and engage them with math concepts in real life situations is the meaning of learning.

 

In Natural Sciences classes, Alexandra Gonçalves and myself, also adapted the technology for schoolwork by using Skype in the Classroom  as an example (see more). To do this, we just needed a webcam, speakers, computer and internet connection. The aim is to demystify the concept of class as a closed space, but to create the idea that we learn everywhere. There have been classes, that without leaving the school, the pupils were able to interview experts from Lisbon Zoo about animals in danger of extinction. In addition, students can ask questions and do researches on the subject, while they end up developing communication and dialogue skills.

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Instituto dos Pupilos do Exército is a Microsoft Associate Showcase School (see more).MIE Expert Email Signature-with-photo

 

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