design of educational facilities
The IADIS CELDA 2013 conference aims to address the main issues concerned with evolving learning processes and supporting pedagogies and applications in the digital age. There have been advances in both cognitive psychology and computing that have affected the educational arena. The convergence of these two disciplines is increasing at a fast pace and affecting academia and professional practice in many ways. Paradigms such as just-in-time learning, constructivism, student-centered learning and collaborative approaches have emerged and are being supported by technological advancements such as simulations, virtual reality and multi-agents systems.
The 1st International Conference of the Portuguese Society for Engineering Education (CISPEE) will take place in Porto on October 31st and November 1st, under the theme "Education in Engineering: Challenges for Innovation". Technically sponsored by the IEEE, IGIP, SEFI, ASCE, ABENGE, and the Portuguese Engineers Association, this event will be a key opportunity to gather - in Portugal - a number of national and international experts in the area of engineering education, under the topics of the present working groups of the Portuguese Society for Engineering Education, namely Engineering Ethics; ICT in Engineering Education; Continuing Engineering Education; Tools to Develop Higher Order Thinking Skills; and Mathematics in Engineering Education.
Task Furniture in Education - The research, design and development of innovative school furniture for classroom tasks, accommodating the latest technology and responding to new teaching methods.
Most task furniture in schools today is inadequate to meet the postural needs of students. With 88 million in full-time education in Europe alone and in the context of the proliferation of IT in the classroom and advances in teaching methods, posture, health and well-being of students is imperative.
The project emerges from ongoing and previous research undertaken in the Industrial Design Department at the National College of Art and Design, Dublin through its graduate school GradCAM and its international collaborators in the area of school furniture design and analysis. While there is a wide range of student task furniture available on the market today, most of it is inadequate to meet the postural needs of pupils and particularly in the context of the accelerating introduction of advanced classroom information technology.
European studies have found that 60% of school pupils experience back problems by the age of 16. The use of computers at home and in schools has changed the way that children and young adults learn, work and play. Yet, little emphasis has been placed on the health risks that arise from these changes in educational activity. The demand for appropriate school furniture is now urgent and in order to promote the health and well-being of future generations, the best possible school furniture is required. The introduction of European Standards EN1729 in 2006 has led to limited advances in pupil–centred furniture.
The aim of the project is to exploit the opportunity for knowledge transfer and new product development within a consortium of complementary researchers working in the field of Task Furniture in Education. ‘Task Furniture’ here refers to seating, desks and related items used by pupils in schools. The project is conceived and structured to research and develop new and innovative task furniture solutions addressing modern advances in teaching and learning, the integration of technology in the classroom and the postural implications for children and young adults in schools.
The initiative builds upon a strong foundation of the complementary experience and expertise in fields of research of the partners in TFE. In fulfilling the aim, it is intended to significantly narrow the gap between the known postural problems and the responses to them by the designers of the furniture currently available. Existing ergonomic research indicates serious long-term health problems being inflicted on children in our schools. This evidence only serves to highlight the corresponding deficit in design research that would examine creatively the potential for innovative, tested and proven, user-oriented furniture suitable for economic manufacture.
TFE commenced in January 2011 and run for four years. The total value of EU Commission funding is €1.33 million which will be matched by contributions from the partners. The project will be coordinated and led by researchers in NCAD in collaboration with academic and industry partners in Ireland, Germany, Portugal and the USA.
The OECD Centre for Effective Learning Environments (CELE, formerly OECD Programme on Educational Building) promotes the exchange and analysis of policy, research and experience in all matters related to educational building. The planning and design of educational facilities – schools, colleges and universities – has an impact on educational outcomes which is significant but hard to quantify. Building and running those facilities accounts for a substantial part of public educational expenditure in OECD countries.