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The European School in Woluwe-Saint-Lambert, Brussels, is the largest of its kind; it has 170 classrooms that accommodate approximately 3100 students. In 2015, the school entered into collaboration with i3-Technologies to embark on a major project to refurbish all classrooms with i3BOARD interactive whiteboards. The ambitious project will be completed by 2022.

Goodbye chalk and obsolete whiteboards!

The digital era is changing the face of education. Interactive whiteboards are gradually replacing classic chalkboards all over the world. The European School is no exception to this trend. It invested in interactive whiteboards several years ago. However, these have become obsolete as they have failed to keep up with the rapidly changing technology. The school is still struggling with old-fashioned chalkboards as well. Frank Charlier, IT manager at the European School, explains the struggle: “First of all, chalk dust gets everywhere: in the air, on people’s clothes, on school equipment... It creates a dusty environment which is harmful to health and highly bothersome for people with allergies. But that’s not all. A chalkboard attracts other dust particles like a magnet, which means it requires cleaning 24/7 with specific cleaning equipment. It’s very time-consuming!” 

Something for everyone

The European School has a multi-cultural teaching staff of 300 people with different nationalities, ages and technical talents. Of course, some teachers are more reluctant to drop the chalk than others. The school opted for the i3BOARD because it has a versatile i3Duo surface which is perfect for every teaching approach, whether it’s traditional or digital. You can either write with a standard whiteboard marker, a pen or your finger. The i3BOARD automatically adapts to each unique teaching style. The European School also invested in i3LEARNHUB – a platform for creating and sharing lessons – to help teachers create digital lessons. The software allows them to instantly create their own lessons or search the integrated i3Community for ready-to-use lessons which are created by teachers all over the world.

Same products, different approach

At the European School, both primary and secondary teachers use the i3LEARNHUB software. However, there is a big difference between the course content of primary and secondary education. Primary education provides students with general knowledge, whereas secondary students delve deeper into subject areas. Of course, this requires teachers to adopt a different approach to i3LEARNHUB. Yvonne Gavican, a primary teacher, has been an active i3LEARNHUB user for over a year. She prepares her lessons at home, saves them in her personal i3LEARNHUB library, and opens them on the i3BOARD in class the next day. The i3Community offers her plenty of inspiration to create unique, interactive lessons for her students, so they’re more actively engaged in class. She often uses the integrated web browser to complement her course content, for example to show English spelling patterns or to play sounds. The software makes her teaching life much easier and has become an essential tool for her lessons.

Mauricette Decamp is a secondary math teacher who has been an active i3LEARNHUB user for a while as well. She imports her course materials in i3LEARNHUB at home and adds digital notes on the i3BOARD in class. When she saves her lessons and exports them, the notes are automatically included in the lesson files. These can then be easily shared with students who are absent, so they can keep up with the course and complete their assignments. i3 products have definitely made it easier for teachers at the European School in Woluwe-Saint-Lambert to integrate technology in their lessons as they make the transition to digital teaching. By 2022, all of them will be familiar with i3-Technologies.

Source: Case study European School Brussels
February 2017