Belgian première: Barco’s Collaborative Learning Platform helps put secondary school students in front of the classroom, instead of their teachers

Kortrijk, Belgium, 24 March 2016 – Flemish Education Minister Hilde Crevits inaugurated a unique education innovation project at RHIZO Lyceum OLV Vlaanderen in Kortrijk. The secondary school installed Lab 21.0: a classroom of the future where advanced technology, innovative furniture and a collaborative teaching style work together to foster student-centric learning. Barco equipped Lab 21.0 with its Collaborative Learning Platform, which combines Barco’s Education and connectivity solutions, to enable classroom collaboration and wireless content sharing.
School 21.0, as the school’s larger education innovation project is called, was initiated by a group of forward-looking teachers. Project coordinator Tim Vuylsteke: “The school decided to set up a notebook project, yet we wanted to step it up a bit and build Lab 21.0 – a ‘future classroom’, inspired by European Schoolnet’s Future Classroom Lab.” The RHIZO board of directors agreed, tasking the project group to team up with third-party business partners. Barco’s collaboration classroom at the Kortrijk KULAK University convinced the secondary school to get Barco on board.

Exchange information and interact
Lab 21.0 is composed of six different ‘active learning’ spaces, which all feature one or more central displays. Barco’s Collaborative Learning Platform will help teachers and pupils easily put information from their laptops or handheld devices on those displays and then collaborate interactively. In the first months, the pupils in Kortrijk will use tablets provided by the school. However, they could also bring their own laptops (MS Windows, Apple OS X and Linux) or mobile devices (iOS, Android) and swiftly connect these to the system via the campus Wi-Fi. Barco’s Education solution ensures that the content from any device is displayed with just one, single click. “The connectivity with whatever device, as well as the simple user interface make the Barco platform just perfect for our students and teachers,” said Tim Vuylsteke.

Rethink education
Besides the Barco technology, the set-up and innovative furniture of the classroom, created by Ocular, further foster collaboration. “Ocular builds interactive audiovisual experiences for museums, visitor attractions, etc. The core of our business is to invite people to explore, discover and experience, in order to learn. We believe that that approach works just as well in education,“ explained Nicolas Vanden Avenne, Ocular’s General Manager. “We were really delighted to help this school rethink education and to join forces with Barco – whom we’ve known for years – on this innovative project. Everyone is so happy with the result that we’ll be installing another collaboration classroom with Barco in the near future.”

Share information and insights
Wim Barbaix, Business Development Manager Education - Collaborative Learning: “Today’s technology really has the power to disrupt the traditional model of learning. Our platform perfectly illustrates how easy it can be to drive collaboration and convey knowledge in schools. In 2015, we initiated our first successful pilot projects in educational institutions. We’re delighted to also help secondary schools, like RHIZO Lyceum OLV Vlaanderen, install a whole new way of learning and teaching, to make it more active, engaging and fun for everyone involved.”

A source of inspiration
Educational technology has indeed reached a level of maturity, enabling its rollout in all types of education. In Belgium, academic research institutes like KU Leuven, KULAK and iMinds, schools, government and enterprises are now eagerly joining forces to tackle this challenge. A good development, if you ask Lyceum OLV Vlaanderen in Kortrijk. Headmistress Franceska Verhenne: “Thanks to the ergonomic furniture, the Barco technology and our new vision on learning, Lab 21.0 will be the ‘educational innovation hub’ that we had dreamt of. We’ll use it for interactive lessons, research and experiments, but also as a meeting-place for colleagues and peers, where we can demonstrate our new approach. We really hope to inspire everyone here and in the wider region to teach 21st century skills in a whole new way.”

More information

For more information visit our dedicated 'class room and auditorium' web page. 

About Barco
Barco, a global technology company, designs and develops visualization products for a variety of selected professional markets. Barco has its own facilities for Sales & Marketing, Customer Support, R&D and Manufacturing in Europe, North America and Asia Pacific. Barco (NYSE Euronext Brussels: BAR) is active in more than 90 countries with about 3,300 employees worldwide. Barco posted sales of 1.029 billion euros in 2015.

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