Go-Lab: Global online science labs inquiry learning at school


Go-Lab (2012 -2016) creates an infrastructure (the Go-Lab Portal) to provide access to online laboratories run by research centres and universities worldwide.

These online labs can be used by universities, schools, instructors, students and lifelong learners to extend regular learning activities with scientific experiments, giving students a real experience of research work.

The Go-Lab Project offers a federation of remote laboratories, virtual experiments, and data-sets (together referred to as "online labs"), as well as facilities for teachers to embed these online labs in pedagogically structured learning spaces. 

Go-Lab provides teachers with pedagogical and technical plug (ease of integration), play (ease of use), and share (ease of consolidation) methodologies and infrastructures. The Go-Lab environment will:

•        Allow teacher to create dedicated learning spaces;

•        Provide access to resources supporting the development of realistic and engaging classroom activities;

•        Facilitate networking and exchanging these activities through an online community.

Go-Lab's resources come from large scientific organisations, universities and research institutions, as well as from dedicated companies. Go-Lab offers these lab-owners to easily plug their real experiments online and construct their virtual didactic counterparts. 

To further support teachers in using online labs, Go-Lab offers workshops to introduce online virtual experimentations and remote laboratories as well as inquiry-based science teaching techniques. 

Basic information

Country: Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Estonia, Greece, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, United Kingdom

Coordinator: University of Twente, Netherlands, www.utwente.nl

Programme: FP7

Project Acronym:

Target groups: education authorities, researchers, secondary school students, teachers, trainee teachers

Topic: Astronomy, Biology, Chemistry, Earth science, Electronics, Engineering, Environmental sciences, Materials science, Maths, Physics, Technology

Start year: 2012

End year: 2016

Url: http://www.go-lab-project.eu

Contact person: Ton de Jong, University of Twente, a.j.m.dejong (at) utwente.nl

The project's approach promotes a reversal of school science teaching pedagogy from mainly deductive to inquiry-based methods, which is more likely to increase students' interest and attainment in science. The direct interaction with science reflects a fundamental pedagogy of the Go-Lab project to provide learners with personal and direct experiences they can build upon in their own ways.

In the first project year, the Go-Lab Project offered Visionary Workshops for teachers, providing information about the project and access to online laboratories (including hands-on sessions) and pedagogic scenarios to be used in teachers' practice. The workshops also aimed at collecting feedback from the teacher community on how to best integrate their requirements in the Go-Lab infrastructure.

In its second and third year, the project will continue to offer Visionary workshops plus  Practice Reflection Workshops that focus on concrete learning scenarios to integrate the use of online laboratories in school practice. The fourth year's Summative Workshops will evaluate the implemented scenarios.

The list of all workshops organised is available on the project's website: http://www.go-lab-project.eu/workshops

The workshops are part of the large-scale pilots to validate the pedagogy and tools developed by Go-Lab. The pilot teachers and schools are selected following a call for teachers.

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