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Pelars is a European research project, to observe and reflect on how teachers, pupils and technologies can mutually support each other in practical learning of certain subjects. Pelars aims to specifically measure the impact of ICT in education of Science, Technology and Mathematics subjects.
The knowledge society has led to the evolution of learning methods. However, the majority of formal education still follows the same patterns, both in class structure, furniture, tools and teaching methods. In this sense, Pelars proposes to develop new work scenarios, where both assessment elements and methods to obtain data are introduced.
Pelars is divided into three phases:
- Firstly, Pelars observes teacher practice and teaching institutions.
- Secondly, the project iteratively experiments, designs and tests work scenarios stemming from real inspiring teacher practice. This phase includes designers and design researchers, who create electronic components and interactive learning kits, along with specialists in mobile learning and physical environment (furniture and interior design), or pedagogic experts and associates for curricular design.
- Finally, interactive design resulting from the second phase, are completed with a test of the systems proposed by Pelars, in real classrooms, workshop environments and educational environments.
Within the Pelars project, Citilab participates in the design of equipment, the validation of models for colleges, in the backup to final conclusions, and in the dissemination of results at European level.
The deployment of Pelars has a very clear final goal: to improve the education of European youth. It is based on the premise that knowledge of own learning processes of science, technology and mathematics subjects contributes to teachers and pupils improving jointly. For this reason, the main goal is to provide empirical data on the impact of ICT in education.
The creation of new work scenarios for teaching scientific-technical subjects, with the backing of technology that can analyse them, plus testing by users, provides quantitative data and objectives, that can be used in adapting curricula, educational policies and pedagogic methods.
Within the framework of the Pelars project, sets of ‘tools, processes, furniture and technologies (kits, electronic system and classroom sensor systems), have been designed and tried out. These help teachers and pupils themselves, to understand what is happening in learning environments of science, engineering and mathematics, in schools, colleges as well as in universities.
Citilab has collaborated with secondary schools in the furniture prototyping phase to develop technological processes. It has also collaborated in the use of Arduino tools tomonitor the activity around this furniture, and in the display of collected data, in order for them to be useful for users. The result of this work has been the publication of the report ‘Iterative Prototyping Feedback — Highschool‘ .
The Pelars project is ultimately addressed to European youth and school children: sixth-form students and teachers, universities and interactive designers. Therefore, with the aim of constructing a consortium based on a topical structureand targeted at achieving an interdisciplinary network of excellence, Pelars is initially formed by twelve European partners from ten different countries. These partners form the consortium of the project, and have been selected for their specific knowledge and skills in the fields of the project.
The consortium includes:
- Seven universities: (UB, UCV, DTU, NCAD, sssa, MAH, and LKL)
- Three companies (CIID, ARD, and Perca)
- And two non-profit organizations (ENoLL and CTL)
All these partners are from ten different countries: Germany, Denmark, Spain, Ireland, Italy, United Kingdom, Romania, Sweden and Switzerland.