The classroom will not become an amusement park

Future learning environments will combine various facilities and services, contact teaching and digital tools as well as online and mobile platforms for work and study.

Future learning environments will combine various facilities and services, contact teaching and digital tools as well as online and mobile platforms for work and study.

– The future classroom will not become an amusement park, despite the technological tools available. Technology is not used at school for entertainment but for education – to support teaching and learning, says Professor of Educational Psychology Kirsti Lonka.

Lonka heads the World Design Capital Helsinki 2012 project entitled Engaging Learning Environment (ELE), which aims to create inspiring learning environments for teacher trainees. The idea is to acquaint prospective teachers with the tools used by their future students, who may be characterised as digital natives. Also being created is a vision for the future classroom.

Future learning environments will combine various facilities and services, contact teaching and digital tools as well as online and mobile platforms for work and study. The ELE project integrates pedagogical and psychological knowledge as well as technologies that support active and engaging learning.

Technology cannot replace teachers

– Technology is a tool for learning and teaching. A group of students needs a teacher or tutor to function well. Inspiring learning also requires an inspiring facility. School can be fun, Lonka says.

Many fear for the future of textbooks. Rest assured, they will not disappear but be incorporated into the concept of blended learning.

– Smart Boards and iPads can be used to discuss in an inspired and inspiring way what students have read at home the night before, Lonka describes. Models for inspiring learning environments have been sought from schools in Espoo (Koulumestarin koulu) and Oulu (Oulujoen koulu), among other places.

– The idea is to hook students into learning. Shy students are also more likely to ask questions when a tablet computer is used, as it involves putting ideas first, instead of the person who articulates them, Lonka points out, adding that such learning is highly empowering and promotes students’ motivation and wellbeing.

New tools for learning and teaching must be developed continuously. Although a newly created learning environment inspires us today, we may condemn it as outdated as early as tomorrow.

ELE – New learning environments in teacher education »»

World Design Capital Helsinki 2012 »»

Comment on Facebook »»

Text: Mari Peltonen
Photo: Ari Aalto
5.9.2012
University of Helsinki, digital communications


News of the month »»
News archive »»
University of Helsinki