Personalising the European classroom
The new personalised learning platform iClass is making waves across Europe. This EU-backed project, ran from 2004 to mid-2008, created a learner-centred ICT platform that enables pupils to take more control of the learning process. Lately the iClass platform has been demonstrated, tested and validated in a diverse number of European countries.
There was a time when the dominant thinking on education followed a ‘one-size-fits-all’ model. Today, an increasing number of educators recognise the individuality of learners, and the learning experience and education in many countries is beginning to centre more around the student, with the teacher’s role becoming increasingly that of a key facilitator. The ICT platforms can bring personalisation to formal education, as well as structural value to informal learning.
iClass has elicited a lot of interest across Europe, and it has been tested and evaluated in different countries. These hands-on trials stimulated much interest among both teachers and learners.
In a survey by European Schoolnet teachers who were already interested in child-centred learning saw iClass as a sort of ‘turbo charger’ for their educational philosophy. It also found that there is a lag between the development of a technology and widespread take-up because it takes time for policy-makers, education professionals and systems to adapt to new technology.
The system’s broad appeal came through in the testing phase, confirmed by the fact that a number of publishers and companies are developing or planning to develop educational packages customised for local markets based on the iClass platform.
The iClass project was coordinated by Siemens IT Solutions and Services in Belgium. The technical coordinator was SEBIT Education and Information Technologies in Turkey. iClass brought together 22 partners from 11 countries, including prominent universities and R&D institutes specialising in educational technology, school networks and international IT companies, such as Microsoft, Sun Microsystems and Intel.
The project website: