The Next-Lab Project (Next Generation Stakeholders and Next Level Ecosystem for Collaborative Science Education with Online Labs) is a European research project focusing on the introduction of inquiry-based science education (IBSE) in schools. It has started on 1st of January 2017 and is the main sponsor of the Go-Lab Portal continuing the successful Go-Lab initiative.
The philosophy and technology of Next-Lab base on its previous project Go-Lab, and will continue its mission of promoting innovative and interactive methods of teaching science in primary and secondary schools across Europe. Next-Lab will expand its target group by also addressing younger students in primary education and by involving not only in-service but also pre-service teachers making efforts to align the project with teacher training programmes in different countries.
The open authoring (Graasp) and sharing (Golabz) platforms, which have their origin in Go-Lab, will be enhanced with new features required by teachers and students. For example, the collaborative creation of Inquiry Learning Spaces will be supported, giving teachers the possibility to jointly create cross-curriculum learning scenarios. Furthermore, the students will be able to work collaboratively on their learning and research projects. Finally, learning apps enabling students to acquire 21st century skills as well as a tool to create ePortfolios will be available.
In the last week of January, the project kick-off meeting of Next-Lab was held in Cascais, Portugal. The project partners discussed the overall strategy of introducing IBSE and implementing the Go-Lab Portal in 30 European countries, the design of future teacher training activities and support, as well as the upcoming technical developments in the Portal.
The Next-Lab project is launched in the context of the European Union’s Horizon 2020 programme and will last for three years, coordinated by the University of Twente in the Netherlands.