West Calder High School in West Lothian received funding to create its Inspired Learning Plaza — an open-plan collaborative learning space to promote integrated and blended learning. The purpose of the space was to encourage pupil ambition and inspiration around the way they learn, largely relying on technology to make it possible.
A technology taster for the new school
The Inspired Learning Plaza was a pioneering learning environment concept that would be a test-bed for the new high school, currently under construction and due to open in 2018. The school wanted to fill the space with cutting-edge digital tools that would inspire pupils across all age groups and learning abilities.
West Calder High School turned to Promethean, a leading provider of educational technologies and forward-thinking ActivPanel screens, to help them shape outside the traditional classroom.
“The West Calder Inspired Learning Plaza is to prepare pupils and staff for learning and teaching in a different environment. Each faculty in the new school will have an inspired learning space with high Wi-Fi coverage, plus lots of cloud-based, embedded digital tools.” Laura Compton, Education IT Manager at West Lothian Council.
The school wanted to create an inspiring learning space by populating it with integrated technology. This plan hinged around using the interactive flat-panel screens from Promethean for a seamless learning experience.
A need for inspiring design and seamless technology
The design was undertaken by Deanestor Scotland, who wanted to experience the technology for themselves to gain a holistic overview of how the interactive space would function. Ramsay McDonald of Deanestor Scotland admitted the ActivPanels truly captured the imagination of his team, and integrating them into the space was simple thanks to their flexible methods of installation.
The school needed a seamless solution that would mirror all devices and apps, so it wouldn’t be restricted by a specific software or operating system. It wanted the pupils to have the facility to use any device or software, and encourage self-management and responsibility for their own learning. ActivPanel’s adaptable and multi-use technology was the ideal solution for the flexibility the school required.
What’s more, the ActivPanel has an external Android operating device which can support a Wi-Fi hotspot for up to five connections, facilitating a wireless vision for 100% high speed coverage.
“We needed something seamless and intuitive that would sit easily on the school’s existing network. The Promethean ActivPanel was by far and away the closest to our requirements.” Laura Compton, Education IT Manager at West Lothian Council.
A flexible, creative space for collaboration
In addition to the Promethean interactive technology, the space includes wipeable walls, tabletops and room dividers, so they can be written and rewritten on by students and teachers, promoting creative and flexible learning. Moreover, most of the furniture is moveable, creating a adaptable space that can be reconfigured as needed.
The Promethean ActivPanels are an important element of the new Inspired Learning Plaza, but it is not the only critical element. It’s about the wider experience of the space, and how future-proof technology can be integrated for learning. It’s about how the pupils interact with each other, and with the technology. The Promethean panels are the cornerstones of the experience, facilitating interactive and collaborative learning techniques for everyone in the school.