Summary of Interim Findings

This report is about the interim findings of the Classe21 project and the following represent a summary of findings.

  • Findings showed that school management is concerned about security issues of equipment. Rectors were of the belief that burglar proofing of the allocated classes for the Classe21 project was necessary.
  • The number of educators interested in this project varied from one school to another. Educators from all subject areas and age groups were involved.
  • Teachers’ training and demo classes:
    • A total of 124 educators from the five schools who attended the training session on 21st century skills showed their appreciation of the project. During informal discussion with educators, most of them agreed that 21st century skills should be integrated in classroom lessons.
    • Educators easily grasped the key interactive features of the tablet and the classroom management system during hands-on training.
    • The demo classes allowed educators to follow how Classe21 could be used to integrate technology in lessons and infuse 21st century skills among learners.
    • Assessment using the Quiz feature of the CMS was among the most popular component of the class demos as it generated immediate feedback of students’ responses.
    • Wireless connectivity is essential for educator laptops to seamlessly connect to the 40 student tablet in Classe21.
    • The student desks in Classe21 provided versatility in sitting configuration of students. For example students could be paired or clustered in groups for collaborative lessons.
  • During students’ training it was noted that they had no difficulty in using the tablets and the CMS
  • Educators’ survey on use of ICT:
    • All educators owned at least one digital device, laptop/PC and smartphones being the most popular. This indicated a high penetration of ownership of ICT devices amongst educators involved in Classe21.
    • They were also active participants of existing social networking sites.
    • Although a majority of educators acknowledged that they owned a laptop/PC, only 60% of them postulated that they used ICT in class.
    • 73% of educators were of the view that ICT was important for their own development and learning, 72% found that technology is a ‘very important’ tool for search of digital learning resources and 73% agreed that ICT is ‘very important’ to prepare students to live and work in the 21st century.
General Information

Name of the project: Design and experimentation of digital classroom for 21st Century in secondary schools

Organization name: Mauritius Institute of Education

Project Leader(s): OOJORAH VICKY AVINASH

Contact Details:

TEL: 4541033
FAX: 4675161
E-MAIL: aoojorah@mie.ac.mu

Project Start Date: 2016

Project End Date: ongoing

1. project description

Classe21 consists of a whole ecosystem: hardware, software, virtual environment and physical layout that will provide a whole range of creative and collaborative options which in turn will yield in new teaching and learning patterns. The research is based on how digital tools can be used constructively and creatively in Classe21 to foster critical thinking and collaboration among students. Through Classe21, the project team engages in crafting a powerful vision and process of digital tools integration for all educational stakeholders. This study will explore the instructional possibilities for augmenting and even redefining teaching and learning in the 21st century.

Aims of the project

  1. To promote innovative and creative pedagogies through the use of digital tools
  2. To develop 21st century skills, namely collaboration, communication, critical thinking and creativity by incorporating digital tools in the school community.
  3. To empower educators as 21st century facilitators.

Objectives of the project implementation in secondary schools

  1. To design and experiment with digital classroom environments
  2. To support critical thinking, creativity, communication and collaborative skills (21st century skills)
  3. To monitor student engagement and motivation with digital learning experiences
  4. To develop higher order thinking skills and deeper learning among students
  5. To build a community of innovative and practicing educators by up skilling them through empowerment
  6. To support educators plan, execute and evaluate teaching episodes that use digital technologies
  7. To adapt innovative teaching practice and classroom learning experiences geared towards student’s construction of knowledge.
  8. To devise learning scenarios that support specific learning goals
  9. To experiment on how digital technologies support learning to organize digital educational resources for easy access
2. Research questions

The research questions that will be examined in this study are:

  1. Is there a significant difference from learning that pertains to factual knowledge and comprehension of the concepts while using Classe21?
  2. Is there a significant difference in achievement of students in Classe21?
  3. How far Classe21 contributes in developing communication skills?
  4. What types of critical thinking activities can be used for pedagogical purposes in a digital environment?
  5. What is the impact of Classe21 on collaborative learning?
3. Research team

Dr V.A. Oojorah,

Mr H. Rajcoomar,

Mr A.S. Bullee,

Ms S. Panchoo,

Mr N. Meunier,

Mr V. Roocha,

Mr M. Ujoodha,

Mr K. Sheoraj,

Mrs P. Naseeven

Dr A. Pultoo

4. milestone progress report

Project Monitoring Report for this period:

Beginning: January 2018

Ending : Ongoing

5. Activities undertaken during this period:
        • Purchase of 5 routers and 5 repeaters
        • Purchase of 5 pigeon holes
        • Purchase of 10 teachers tables
        • Purchase of 5 teachers chairs
        • Purchase of 5 sign boards for Classe21
        • Purchase of 25 kensington locks for securing laptops at school
        • Purchase of 200 student tables
        • Purchase of 200 student chairs
        • Configuration of routers and repeaters
        • Configuration of laptops
        • Installation and uninstallation of apps on tablets
        • Installation of software on laptops
        • Activation of CMS on tablets and laptops
        • Visit to School and configuration of teachers’ and students tablets for automatic connection to the router installation.
          • Port Louis North State Secondary School (Zone 1)
          • Bon Accueil State College (Zone 2)
          • France Boyer de la Giroday State Secondary School (Zone 3)
          • Sir Abdool Raman Osman State College (Zone 4)
          • La Ferme College (Rodrigues)
        • Design and printing of Classe21 stickers for routers
        • Design of plan schema for installation of router in classroom
        • Design of form for the loan/transfer of equipment to school
        • Design of survey forms for collection of data for the research (refer to annex)
        • Transfer of the following equipment to all 5 schools:
        • 1 router
        • 5 laptops
        • 40 tablets
        • Preparation of all pedagogical resources for the training sessions
        • Educators’ Training:
          • Port Louis North State Secondary School (Zone 1)
          • Bon Accueil State College (Zone 2)
          • France Boyer de la Giroday State Secondary School (Zone 3)
          • Sir Abdool Raman Osman State College (Zone 4)
          • La Ferme College (Rodrigues)
        • Demo Classes and on site Pedagogical Support:
          • Port Louis North State Secondary School (Zone 1)
          • Bon Accueil State College (Zone 2)
          • France Boyer de la Giroday State Secondary School (Zone 3)
          • Sir Abdool Raman Osman State College (Zone 4)
          • La Ferme College (Rodrigues)
      • Students’ Training:
        • Port Louis North State Secondary School (Zone 1)
        • Bon Accueil State College (Zone 2)
        • France Boyer de la Giroday State Secondary School (Zone 3)
        • Sir Abdool Raman Osman State College (Zone 4)
        • La Ferme College (Rodrigues)
      • Collection of questionnaire data from educators on use of ICT
Introduction

The 21st century has seen a rise in the increasing importance and pervasiveness of digital technologies across many spheres of life. This has resulted in greater demands being placed on educators to use digital tools in their practice to facilitate more flexible, personalized and relevant learning opportunities. This is not without challenge, be it at the micro level (individual teachers trying out new technology-supported initiatives in their practice) or the macro level (systems and policies that encourage or moderate digital access within educational institutions).

The purpose of this study is to examine the impact of innovative and creative pedagogies in the classrooms of tomorrow. It intends to integrate technological, cognitive, pedagogical and organizational aspects that will adequately prepare schools, educators and students as a community to thrive in this information age. The digital classroom for 21st century in secondary schools, branded as Classe21, intends to be a concept classroom for innovative pedagogies and is expected to equip schools with tools that are required to succeed in imparting 21st century skills to the digital natives. Implementing such a learning environment will be made through proper hardware, adequate support to educators, and a robust technological environment to sustain the initiative. The ecosystem put in place attempts to provide a whole range of creative and collaborative options which is expected to yield new teaching and learning patterns.

This study aims to promote innovative and creative pedagogies through the use of digital tools. The research team believes that introducing Classe21 will fundamentally enhance and enrich the learning environment by providing learners with opportunities to develop 21st century skills.  Furthermore, active and collaborative learning experiences facilitated by the Classe21 are expected to contribute to the creation of a knowledge-based student population. They are thus more likely to become productive and informed citizens in a constructivist learning environment where teachers acting as 21st century facilitators engage with learners. Additionally, through Classe21, this study seeks to shed light on the most efficient way to integrate technology in teaching and learning processes on a relatively diverse community. The results can bring forth fresh perspectives regarding changes in learning patterns and pedagogical approaches through 21st century skills which are required for digital citizenship.