Welcome to the Future’s Future
Shaftesbury School has partnered with leading technology companies to deliver a fresh, innovative and inspiring approach to learning.
If you were given a blank canvas to create the most amazing learning space, what would you do?
We have created an experimental future classroom, bringing together technology, educational research and high-quality teaching.
The learning space has been set up to allow for collaboration, innovation and expression of ideas. It looks and feels very different from a traditional classroom – there won’t be any desks, instead there will be clusters of chairs and whiteboards for students to work on. The classroom has 10 large writable surfaces, inspired by the creative working spaces of Lush cosmetics and Google. The aim is to create a space that merges the best in pedagogy with warm technology, so students thrive in their learning.
Epson, the main sponsor of the Future Classroom has made Shaftesbury School an ambassador school. Alex More is the project lead for the new ‘classroom of the future’ and Epson are committed to providing state-of-the-art technology to ensure educators can innovate. The new classroom is equipped with an Epson projector, SMIT visual board as well as speaker/document cameras. We are also using Mozaik 3D software to bring 3D animation to life. AR (Augmented Reality) will be part of Phase 1 with VR (Virtual and Mixed Reality) planned for Phase 2. The classroom opens in October 2020.
So what will this Future Classroom provide?
- A unique teaching space for innovative teaching
- STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art & Maths) Lab
- Experimental Class of Tomorrow – case study programme focusing on 5 big issues.
- Video and recording arena – complete with green screen, a portable lightboard, multiple cameras, tripods and microphones, and a 360 camera
- CPD space – allowing teachers to share ideas, explore new pedagogies and technologies, provide training and welcome visiting guest speakers
- A digital yoga studio – to support the wellbeing of staff, with state-of-the-art projection and a high-quality sound system
What will lessons be like in the Future Classroom?
Here’s an example 60-minute lesson:
The First 30 – Creating New Knowledge
Prior to arrival students will receive a learning task to engage with. We will be using a flipped learning model which is a culmination of 3 years of research at the school, led by Alex More. The learning starts outside of the classroom with an interactive lesson objective designed to set the scene, delivered via an IIyama 42-inch touchscreen monitor. Upon entry, students are given a lanyard with access codes designed to unlock learning experiences within the lesson. Every lesson starts with a DNA (Do Now Activity) to engage students and assess knowledge. A Catchbox – which is a soft microphone students can throw and project their voices through – will be used by the teacher to question students at the start of each lesson. Students will be standing, moving around the space, and writing down ideas to express their thinking.
Direct teacher instruction comes next – the teacher shares new knowledge. The Epson EB-1485FI allows the teacher to present videos, visuals, screen captures, slides and 3D Mozaik models via 120 inch projection. The Epson projector works in tandem with SMIT visual whiteboards to create high-resolution images, amazing sound and boasts some unique features, such as a 4-spilt screen option allowing the teacher to present 4 media forms on one screen, a resizable and moveable whiteboard area, varied backgrounds, space for 6 people to write on a single screen with interactive pens and options to resize images using your finger to drag and drop anywhere in the room. Epson have also provided document cameras so student work can be captured and projected from anywhere in the room.
The purpose of the first 30 minutes is to work on new knowledge.
The Last 30 – Embedding knowledge
Students are given creative freedom to explore the concepts taught in the first 30 minutes. This will be done by group tasks where students adopt roles as team leaders, explorers, architects, scribes and speakers, all leading into a presentation of their ideas to be graded by the teacher. Students will work in collaboration using AR (Augmented Reality) and VR (Virtual Reality) to help conceptualise the learning. The teacher will be on hand to coach, advise and guide the learning towards the final presentation. At the end of the process, student notes will be captured via a Ricoh Theta 360 camera which will be uploaded as recap notes to an online platform for future learning and recall.
In the age of technological accelerations, the environment has been carefully designed with the future in mind. Students will learn people to people interaction to develop a sense of their own why. We believe that making the learning so visible will inspire students and help drive innovation at the school.
Our Technology Partners
Epson, the main sponsor of the Future Classroom, commissioned educator and blogger Ross Morrison-McGill (@theteachertoolkit) to create ‘The Cheap Seats’ report. The report examined the classroom environment and highlighted facts such as 40% of teachers perceived a correlation between children being unable to clearly see the screen or display, and lower exam and test scores. Nearly 8in 10 teachers surveyed said that having more interactive and collaborative technology would help to engage pupils. The compelling report paved the way for delivering the Future Classroom concept, and Shaftesbury are pleased to be leading the way.
Catchbox have donated a throwable, soft microphone which will enable students to share and answer questions at pace throughout the lesson.
Atlas Elektronik are key STEAM partners and will be involved in working with our students in the STEAM lab in the classroom. Atlas have supported us through workshops, interviews and providing keynote speakers for events.
SatComms Innovation have funded our STEAM work as well as the digital lanyards and new signage. Colem Engineering have worked with our students to provide opportunities to visit Goonhilly Space Station, The Eden project and Airbus, Portsmouth.
We would also like to thank:
Hugh Symons – Touchscreen
BioTech – Plantwall
The project as it Evolved