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Classroom of the Future
Xor Systems has worked closely with the Science Museum, London, for many years. As part of that ongoing relationship, we became involved in the Science Museum's collaborative project with Bedfordshire Local Education Authority. This project was part of the overall 'Classroom of the Future' , a £13 million nationwide project, funded by the Department for Education and Skills. The overall aim of this ambitious project was to enhance and inspire existing designs for learning environments.
Xor has been involved throughout the project, providing expertise on computing, electronics and gameplay. We helped build the first research prototype and provided a number of Puppeteers for the final installation in the three schools. We have been delighted to be involved in a fascinating and ground-breaking project.
Each of the stimulating and challenging environments has been designed to encourage learning and interaction through play. They are complemented by brand new classrooms designed by Sergison Bates which have been similarly developed in association with staff and pupils and feature innovative spatial, lighting and acoustic properties designed to maximize their potential as educational spaces, as well as state of the art IT and audio-visual infrastructure.
All of the interactives are powered by solar panels and wind turbines. These constantly provide power to charge a battery; the units are then powered from the battery.
Xor's Puppeteer was an important part of the Science Museum's final installation, because they wanted the combination of powerful computing with low energy requirements.
The picture (right) shows the pole holding the power supply. The pole has instruments providing readings as to how much power is being generated and used. This provides additional opportunity to educate children on the generation and preservation of power.
Xor's Puppeteer is ideal in these circumstances, running happily from a fluctuating and variable power supply, but still providing full processing power. One of the games involved distributed processing, with two Puppeteers networking together, working collaboratively. The use of Java as a development programming language made the implementation easier.
Xor Systems Ltd 01285 582998
Science Museum, London, www.sciencemuseum.org.uk
The world’s first outdoor MP3 jukebox, a solar-powered speed reaction game and stunning wind-powered interactives have been installed as part of a groundbreaking scheme set to revolutionise the way children learn and play.
Three pioneering classrooms and the innovative interactive playground devices have been officially opened by School Standards Minister David Miliband on 12th June 2003.
The projects at three Bedfordshire schools were developed by Bedfordshire County Council in association with the Science Museum and Sergison Bates architects. The projects are part of a prestigious national scheme, run by the Department for Education and Skills, called Classroom of the Future.
The outdoor interactives are specially designed to incorporate learning and play, and were developed by the Science Museum in conjunction with the children and teachers at each school. They are part of a project to challenge the traditional relationships between indoor and outdoor learning environments, and the perceived barriers between play and lesson time.
Classrooms of the Future are created around a concept of how physical space can positively develop learning and raise educational standards. The challenge is to remove the existing barriers often found within conventional classrooms and move towards a new environment for learning and to provide experiences that will both motivate and challenge learners based on current research into learning. The aim was also to select the most appropriate applications of modern technologies to be used.
Each new classroom has been built alongside existing buildings at the three schools, and has been designed in each case to create new spatial opportunities for learning, in combination with the new equipment.
David Miliband said: “School buildings that are imaginative and stimulating inspire learning. We want every pupil to benefit from 21st Century buildings and facilities that will also be a source of pride and a practical resource for the community. The lessons learned from these pilots such as Bedfordshire’s highly innovative project will help shape the design of schools in the future.”