Futurelab: E-News February 2009

PEN Comment: There’s always loads of interest and learning to absorb with Futurelab News. Where do you look first?!

Fountaineers case study – part 2
The Fountaineers project engages pupils and staff in a primary school as co-designers of an interactive and programmable water fountain. This second research report continues where the first left off, following the installation of the fountain and considering how it begins to be integrated into the life and work of the school, and its impact on learning, teaching, roles and relationships. http://www.futurelab.org.uk/projects/fountaineers

Podcast: Reimagining the design of outdoor learning and play spaces
The latest in our series of podcasts is a 43-minute presentation on reimagining the design of outdoor learning and play spaces, given by Tim Rudd at BETT 2009. The presentation argues for a more rigorous alignment of capital investment programmes and wider transformational educational policies and initiatives, such as personalisation, Every Child Matters and the Children’s Plan. http://www.futurelab.org.uk/resources/multimedia/podcasts
Outcomes from roundtable discussion on informal learning
In October, as part of a project exploring the use of new technologies to showcase and support young people’s informal learning, we hosted a roundtable discussion with a mix of people from the education research, practitioner and policy sectors. The aim of the event was to probe some of the issues around informal learning, and to develop a better understanding of appropriate policy in relation to children’s ‘non-school time’. Outcomes are now available. http://www.futurelab.org.uk/projects/informal-learning-ideas
Government and Games
In December, Futurelab and the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR) jointly ran a one-day conference on Government and Games, focusing on the role that computer games might play in education, public services, and government policy. The aim was to assess progress and begin formulating new ideas for policy, business development and research to ensure that computer games are recognised as a distinct cultural form with a role in public services. A selection of video outcomes is now available. http://www.futurelab.org.uk/events/listing/government-and-games
Transforming schools for the future?
Toshiba, in partnership with Futurelab, has produced a collection of provocation papers to stimulate discussion and debate around the future and transformational aims of both the Building Schools for the Future and Primary Capital Programmes. http://www.futurelab.org.uk/resources/publications-reports-articles/other-research-reports/Other-Research-Report1214
Latest web articles
Latest web articles include: ‘Adventures in real life – the onward march of TrueTube’ by Merlin John, an interview with TrueTube’s editor-in-chief Erik van der Schaft; ‘The attention seekers’, in which Kim Thomas explores the potential for games to improve concentration; ‘The management of chaos: flexible learning in an inflexible system’, the latest in series of articles on learning platforms by Jim Fanning; ‘The rich heritage of democratic education’, an interview with Professor Michael Fielding (Institute of Education) by Kim Thomas; and Merlin John’s round-up of stories from BETT 2009. http://www.futurelab.org.uk/resources/publications-reports-articles/web-articles

Space4PL is an ambitious project funded by the DCSF that will provide schools with tools and support to re-design their spaces according to a clear educational vision. Partners include design consultancy DEGW, Edison Learning, architects Penoyre & Prasad, and Futurelab. The team will be talking to pupils, teachers and parents, identifying possibilities and testing actual design solutions to personalise learning. http://www.futurelab.org.uk/projects/space4pl/

Presentations from BETT 2009
At the BETT Show in January we gave seminars on a range of subjects, including Enquiring Minds, Beyond Current Horizons and Channel 4 learning tools. Copies of some of the presentations are now available to download (and one is available as a podcast – see ‘resources’ above). http://www.futurelab.org.uk/events/listing/bett-2009/presentations
Student engagement and learner voice – 18 March, Bristol
The Bristol Think Tank Workshop series (hosted by the University of Bristol Graduate School of Education, in partnership with Mouchel Management Consulting and Futurelab) brings together policy makers, researchers and practitioners to discuss key issues and challenges facing education and schools today. This event will focus on student engagement and learner voice. http://www.futurelab.org.uk/events/listing/student-engagement-and-learner-voice
New charter for 21st century education
We’re pleased to be partnering with the RSA, Paul Hamlyn Foundation, Innovations Unit and others to promote a new Charter for 21st Century Education. This Charter sets out the principles we jointly believe should inform the future development of education for young people, in which we include learning of all kinds, whether formal or informal, and whether offered by schools, colleges, universities, training organisations or elsewhere. Thousands of organisations, individuals and educational institutions have already added their signatures to the Charter. If you’d like to add your support for the Charter and keep up-to-date as it develops into practice, please visit www.thersa.org/educationcharter.

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