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CCL literature review updated

The updated CCL literature review (v.2- April 2015) takes into account new evidence published...

Second round of CCL pilots: 2nd Peer Exchange workshop

  Update on trends in education, exchange and creating own outputs The second CCL Peer...

Observation visits report and case studies available!

The "Exploring the creative use of tablets in schools" report summarising the findings...

CCL final webinar: recording and presentations

The main results of the CCL project were presented in a webinar on 4 June. The webinar recording is...

Interview with policy-makers: lessons learned from the CCL project

The CCL project partners share their views on the project's lessons learned.

News News
New scenarios for the CCL teachers

Since October 2014, CCL teachers base their experimentations with tablets on three scenarios. 

All three topics deepen aspects of year 1 scenarios that CCL policy makers found particularly relevant. The two new collaboration scenarios focus on particular aspects: how to assess collaborative work and how different schools can collaborative.

The third new scenario “Liberating Learners (independent learners)” builds on the experiences gained in the CCL pilots on how tablets can support personalized learning. The focus of this scenario is to promote the independent learning and thinking of students.

The process to develop the scenarios was the same as in year 1. In the initial workshop in May 2014, CCL partners developed a new set of Policy Maker Scenarios together. On this basis, CCL partners and lead teachers designed the three new Learning Scenarios during a workshop in June 2014. Feedback on the first year of the project fed into this process. The University of Minho (PT) developed useful support documents for each scenario, providing background on the pedagogical concepts and practical steps on how to implement them in the classroom. These support documents are available on the CCL website.

The lessons learnt from both project phases will be presented in the observation report and during the final conference in March 2015 in Brussels.


What changes are necessary to enable innovative teaching with tablets?

Policymakers involved in the CCL project talk about changes necessary to enable innovative teaching with tablets, based on the experiences during the first round of CCL tablet pilots.


Experiences from the first year of tablet pilots

The first cycle of the Creative Classrooms Lab pilots and a new cycle started in May 2014. The project partners from Belgium, Italy, UK and Austria tell their experiences from the first year of the project.

Free webinar 16 Sep - The wonders of 1-to-1

Microsoft Webcast 16 SeptemberMicrosoft Educast will organise a webinar on 16 September on "The Wonders of 1:1: How devices can empower and enhance student learning".

Author Pamela Livingston started researching 1-to-1 in 2004 when she was running a laptop program and researching a book. She’s kept up with developments through two editions of her book “1-to-1 Learning: Laptop Programs That Work” plus writing, blogging, tweeting and visiting many schools in the U.S. and internationally. Join in a conversation on 1-to-1, “Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) and more. In addition get a sneak peek into the IT Academy program’s road ahead.

Register for the webinar here

Workshop on tablets as assistive technology 21 Oct

Workshop 21 October: tablets as assistive technologyDo you want to learn more about the benefits tablet computers offer to students with special educational needs (SEN)? Join the workshop "Transforming the Classroom: Tablets as Assistive Technology" on 21 October 2014 in Brussels open to teachers, policy-makers, teacher educators and industry suppliers.

The workshop aims to identify tablet activities for SEN students, on the basis of first evidence available from research, thematic case study videos with concrete examples from the SENnet project (Special Educational Needs Network) and first outcomes of the Creative Classrooms Lab project. 

To register for the workshop, please send an email to: Further details about the workshop and registration will then be sent to you.

CCL teacher Lisa Cowell - Winner of the LEP "Innovation in technology" Award

Lisa Cowell AwardedCCL teacher Lisa Cowell has led the way in highlighting the use of technology in schools. On 1 July, she was awarded with the Lancashire Evening Post (LEP) Award at the Charter Theatre in Preston for her pioneering work.

Her school, the Penwortham Priory Academy, is one of only 21 schools across the UK taking part in the Tablets for Schools project, which is an initiative formed to campaign for the use of iPads in education. The award also rewards her very successful participation in the CCL project. “She is one of just five teachers in the UK to be part of The Creative Classrooms Lab – bringing together policy makers, teachers and technology suppliers to develop the way tablets can support new learning and tacking methods.” (Lancashire Evening Post)

The “Innovation in technology” Award is to celebrate a teacher who practices and embraces new technology within the classroom in a way that has a beneficial impact on school life for pupils and/or the way teachers plan and execute lessons.

Sponsored by Preston’s College and BAE Systems, the Lancashire Evening Education (LEP) awards showcase and celebrate the very best students, teachers, schools and employees in the area of Lancashire. It is a way of recognizing that there are more things going on in the schools in the area than just preparing youngsters for exams – and officially celebrates the achievements that are being made in the education sector on a daily basis.


CCL teacher interviews - tablets uses, benefits and themes

The teachers in the Creative Classrooms Lab project talk about different uses and benefits of using tablets for learning and teaching. They also talk about personalisation, flipped classroom and assessment.



Observation blog opened!

Creative Classrooms Lab observation visits in eight countriesThe Creative Classrooms project is looking at the use of tablets in 45 schools total in eight countries. In the summer 2013, the project's policy-makers met to create four different learning scenarios around four themes: Personalisation, Collaboration, Content Creation and Flipped Learning. There has also been a national workshop with the project teachers in each country to begin to look at how to develop the learning scenario into a learning story. Following on from this, each teacher has then developed their own lesson plans.

In March 2014 Diana Bannister, University of Wolverhampton, started her journey to undertake the observation and documentation of innovative practice in these schools. During the visits in the schools, Diana is looking into different points and questions, for example: How lessons are run? What applications or additional tools are used and how? How students are arranged to work in groups? What kind of assessment the teacher uses? How students record their own progress and how does the teacher gather this evidence?

Diana's observation notes are available in the Observation blog: follow the blog as it will provide interesting insights into these classrooms and teaching practices using tablets.

Peer-exchange workshop for teachers - feedback, exchange and creativity

CCL peer-exchange workshop at BrusselsThe first Creative Classrooms Lab peer-exchange workshop for 23 teachers was organised in Brussels on 6-7 March 2014. The teachers were invited to the workshop to (1) give feedback, (2) to exchange and (3) to be creative. The participants represented all 9 CCL countries/regions. In the following are available some key points put forward by CCL teachers.

(1) To give feedback

Advantages working with tablets 

  • Motivation: Tablets trigger both students’ and teachers’ motivation.
  • Creativity: Tablets allow for the students “to do ‘the work’ and show their creativity”.
  • Responsibility: Students feel more responsible when creating a specific digital product to be shown to other students.
  • Personalisation: Tablets allow the teacher to prepare different tasks and different parts of a topic for each student according to his possibilities. Each student is engaged, as everyone learns according to his/her learning style.
  • More student centered teaching: With tablets, the lessons were more student centered, not teacher centered.
  • Greater variety of learning experiences: Students have access to a greater variety of learning experiences that include and extend beyond the traditional education settings and benefit from increased community involvement in students’ learning.

Challenges working with tablets

  • Assessment: Creativity is great. But it is a challenge to evaluate all the different outcomes of such a creative process.
  • Time: It takes time to explain new tasks using the tablets. Preparations of tablet activities before the class can also be time consuming.  It takes time for teachers and students to learn how to work with tablets and apps.
  • Technical issues: In particular in the beginning, teachers deal sometimes deal with unforeseen technical problems they cannot solve by themselves.
  • Students’ focus: Some students find it difficult to differentiate between core activities and side topics.

CCL Learning Stories to support tablet experimentations

The CCL teachers based their tablet experimentation during the first round of pilots on the first set of CCL Learning Stories. During the workshop, they were asked to provide feedback:

  • General Feedback: In general, teachers found the Learning Stories and support document helpful. “The idea of 7 model types of activities can be easily followed”, one teacher commented.
  • Level of detail: On the level of detail required for the CCL Learning Stories to be useful, opinions were divided. While some teachers prefer the learning story just to be a “frame” with not too many details, others would have welcomed more examples for each activity and adding learning goals/ outcomes.
  • Challenges: For some teacher, time and curriculum restrictions made it difficult to complete all steps of the learning story.  

(2) To exchange

In the session “Learn IT from Me”, each teacher demonstrated one app/tool or skill to the other teachers. Teachers generally appreciated this possibility to exchange knowledge. Please find below a small selection:

(3) To be creative

During the session “Creative Wisdom”, CCL teachers were asked to be creative: In groups, they created reflections on the CCL Learning Story they had worked on. The teachers proved that creativity is not only a title to the project: They created videos, comics, mind maps and even a game to reflect on their Learning Stories. The last task for CCL teacher was to create a digital postcard and to post it on the CCL Facebook group. This postcard was to summarize & reflect with others.

CCL postcard

Postcard created by CCL teacher Andreja Pečovnik Mencinger (Slovenia)      


Observation visits in Belgium - 10 conclusions

Creative Classrooms Lab project - Observation visits in Belgium schoolsBy Jan de Craemer, Assistant to the Director at Flemish Ministry of Education, Belgium

Last week, I made a 700 kilometers long Tour of Flanders to visit the Flemish schools who are participating in the Creative Classrooms Lab project. What I saw were very dedicated teachers and headmasters trying to make the most of their educational technology. Here are 10 observations I made from the school visits.

1) Support from headmaster is crucial. A clear vision supported by the headmaster is key in all the schools. Without their vision and support the achievements in the 5 schools would not be possible.

2) To have at least one member of the team who is co-ordinating the policy is equally crucial: I underline the importance for schools to have the human resources called Philip, Jan, Robert, Kris and Marc. Schools should be very grateful to have such excellent teachers or ICT-co-ordinators running around in the teachers’ room. The potential is huge and people like them should get all the chances and support. The risk is that they are or become lone wolves. What will happen if they leave school or retire? Will their work be sustainable and spread enough among the whole school team? This risk is clearly higher in some schools than in others but mainstreaming school policy & practice is concern in each of the schools.

3) What struck me is that all ICT-coordinators provide in-house in-service training and lots of support themselves. This system seems to be far more effective than large scale general ICT-courses. But this approach requires a lot of time and effort from the ICT-coordinator. Most of the schools had a system where the ICT-coordination is divided between a technical and a pedagogical co-ordinator. This has obvious advantages but also risks. In one of the schools the self-reliance of some teachers seemed rather low because the ICT-coordinator was constantly available to help them with small technical problems.

4) 1:1 use was deliberately not a choice of CCL-schools. CCL-schools go for a deliberate, dosed and step-by-step introduction of tablets. Tablets were integrated mostly in an experimental way. Rather than a giant technological shift towards mobile learning, tablets are entering classes in a gradual way or as a mobile class for experimental use (which is good to my opinion!). Teachers are testing them out, exploring different didactical uses.

5) Making learning gains is done by the didactical setting rather than by the technology. Learning gains are determined by the combination of didactics, quality of resources, pedagogical skills of the teacher, pupils learning style and curriculum. The use of tablets – like any other technology - must be based on a pedagogical vision and not the other way around.

So there is still much opportunity for innovation, change and new practice. The value added of a tablet precisely lies in its mobility and in the app-wise integration of multimedia. Tablets have the possibility to support collaborative ways of learning such as peer learning, group-work, project work, etc. (Note: as a precondition, these approaches require trust and believe in pupils). Some nice examples of such an approach we observed in Ieper. Tablets are also powerful tools for using multimedia apps for information and media literacy skills, creativity etc. These offer possibilities which go far beyond using worksheets and digital textbooks. We saw some nice examples of using the Morfo-app for language learning.

Disadvantage of tablets is that the added value ONLY lies in these 2 features. Some of the practices we observed were in fact extensions of very traditional methods. There is no real point in doing the same traditional things with a tablet. Furthermore a tablet is not handy for written assignments and distracting when having “traditional” lessons. One can ask for instance if a PC or laptop is not a better tool for making powerpoints than a tablet. The next stage after the experimental introduction will be to think carefully about pedagogical methods. Only such a critical review of own practice can make the difference between an engaging and interactive education (versus a controlling and more rigid way of teaching).

Creative Classrooms Lab project - Observation visits in Belgium schools6) If teachers use technology for learning, they should assess with ICT at the end of their didactical process as well. I was positively surprised that tablets were used for evaluation and assessment, and in one case even for examination in all of the schools.

7) Teachers are struggling with the content-issue. A lot of time and effort is being put in the creation of own content, assignments, i-books, worksheets, etc. And also in finding and selecting apps. There is a clear role for publishers, not (only) to provide digital methods but to create smaller assets based on their methods. Teachers reported a need to exchange information and experiences about useful apps. It is a waste of time to have every teacher on his own looking for the same didactical apps. Repositories like are helpful but even those collection are large and teachers prefer apps that have been used and tested by their colleagues. Probably the best approach is to work with a limited number of good working apps.

8) Given this last observation I found it rather strange that most schools and teachers have not yet used the didactical scenario provided within the CCL. The pedagogical scenario (“Content Creation”) is something teachers are not familiar with but could be very helpful to structure and review their tablet-practice. A lot of teachers view a scenario as something that comes on top of all the rest instead of as a guideline or as a tool that can help them shaping their lessons with technology. That was particularly interesting since most of them were in fact creating content or having their pupils creating content. We will have to promote better the value of working with didactical scenarios and discuss further the reasons for not using them.

9) Visiting the CCL schools we also had a view of what will probably be the next big thing: Bring Your Own Device. Lucerna College supports BYOD already. Although the other schools are not ready yet for a full support of BYOD, it is clearly something they think about.

10) Conclusion: CCL-schools can be proud of themselves, should keep up the good work but must remain critical about their practice in order to take it to a next step on the ladder of opportunities. They now need to pass tablet use beyond the experimental stage. Didactical issues must be carefully evaluated. The good news is that another round of scenario building is coming up. These scenarios can and should provide help and support to streamline tablet-use across all CCL-schools.

Webinar - Using tablets outside of schools

Using tablets outside of school - Webinar 5 MayOne of the major advantages of tablets is their small size and mobility. Many teachers have already started exploiting this by taking the tablets outside of school for field excursions, school trips, observation visits, etc. Two teachers will tell their experience on using tablets outside of school and share the tips on how to take the best out of this activity and how to avoid the problems.

The webinar is open to anyone and held on Monday 5 May at 17:00 (5PM) CEST (Brussels time).

Challenges and solutions for teaching with tablets

Creative Classrooms Lab - challenges and solutions for teaching with tabletsWhat kind of challenges teachers and schools using tablets for teaching face? Also, what kind of solutions they foresee to overcome the obstacles and challenges? In their third postcard the Creative Classrooms Lab teachers have been reflecting on challenges and possible solutions of different aspects of teaching: Organisational, Content, Sustainability, Assessment, Professional Development and Resources.

  • One teacher writes about challenges with content: One of the most difficult things about implementing a flipped classroom scenario is to focus the tablets on the learning the teacher intends to happen. It is easy to be distracted by various apps and to experiment with different things.
  • Another one wrote on organisational challenges: During our work with the tablets a class managment problem occured. The less motivated students are more interested in the free access to the Internet, the opportunity to engage in the activities behind teacher‘s back. We don't have a program for class management.
  • On sustainability, one teacher wrote: The number of tablets in school allows for the continuity of the project with one class, however it would be important to extend it to other classes of different grades.

Also, luckily many solutions and suggestions also exist:

  • We should try to become students again and take up a “playful” attitude in our approach to new technologies within education. Attending specific training courses and sharing with our colleagues the knowledges and experiences thus acquired can help us win the educational challenge that we are facing.
  • To organize a school’s event to show the results
  • More experienced students could play the role of tutors with new ones
  • Staff members have provided an internal conference for our staff including various workshops on the use of the tablets and how they can impact on learning in the classroom (with the chance to experience the tablets from a student perspective in the classroom).
  • Pupil and teacher feedback is crucial. We have introduced a lot of peer (teacher) classroom observation. We also must ensure that we regularly liaise with the national qualification authority.


A CCL school student hits the news with his nuclear fusion

Priory pupil Jamie Edwards, 13, has built the reactor from scratch with help from school, and has now taken the world record off American, Taylor Wilson, who was 14 when he became the youngest ‘fusioneer’ in 2008. The Penwortham Priory Academy is taking part in the Creative Classrooms Lab project, through Lisa Cowell, the Director of Learning and Teaching at Penwortham.

Jamie began building the reactor in October 2013 in an under-used science laboratory at school and finally completed the task on Wednesday (March 5), making two atoms of hydrogen smash together to make helium – a nuclear fusion. “It is quite an achievement,” said Jamie, who was in a race against time to make the reactor before he turned 14 on March 9. Read the full story in the special edition of the Penwortham Priory Academy newsletter

Read more here:


How to engage and inform parents on the use of mobile technologies in schools?

Many schools wonder how to best involve and inform parents on different activities linked with the use of ICT in schools. Three teachers involved in the Creative Classrooms Lab project, Lisa Cowell from the Penwortham Priory Academy at UK, Hannes Thomas from the NMS Jennersdorf at Austria, and Simona Granfol from the Highschool Gimazija Jožeta at Slovenia, shared their experience on how they have engaged and involved parents on the use of tablets in their schools. If you could not join the webinar on 3 March you can view the recording and the presentations here.

iPad orchestra on the stage

Around 600 students and other guests enjoyed a 1.5 hour classical music concert composed of the Haydn Academy Orchestra, the “iPad Orchestra” and students from two local schools, iNMS Jennersdorf and BORG Jennersdorf. The concert, entitled “See with your ears” was realised in collaboration among the orchestra, students and their teachers.

The iNMS Jennersdorf is part of the Creative Classrooms Lab projects, and provides a wonderful example of how technology can be used in versatile ways and to support students’ creativity. 

Find more pictures and videos at the iNMS Jennersdorf website.

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