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Great Danes, and the education that make them leaders

With its unstructured spaces and digitised teaching materials, Denmark’s Ørestad High School looks nothing like most schools of today – and everything like the schools of tomorrow.

Great Danes, and the education that make them leaders

When French President François Hollande visited Denmark in 2014, the Ørestad Gymnasium was part of the official itinerary, and the students were only too happy to show him around.

A futuristic high school that uses a combination of radical architecture and digital systems to make sure the kids of today are prepared for the work of tomorrow, the Ørestad Gymnasium has become a must-see for visiting dignitaries and educators alike.

On a recent visit to Australia, Ørestad Gymnasium’s principal, Allan Kjaer Andersen, discussed how what used to be a normal high school with average kids has become a template for student-led learning, preparing them for jobs that don’t even exist yet.

“In a traditional classroom we have the teacher doing most of the talking and the students sitting in rows and listening to the teacher and answering questions from him or having a classroom discussion,” Andersen explains. “We don’t have walls, we have tables where the students can work in groups or individually.

“The teacher is kind of a coach, helping the students to meet their challenges. Students work by themselves but are helped by the teacher, and we use technology to empower this modern form of classroom leadership.”

There’s a lesson to learn for every industry in the way the education sector is using technology to boost learning outcomes. Discover how technology is inspiring the workforce of tomorrow.

Transcript

Allan Andersen
Principal, Ørestad Gymnasium
Copenhagen, Denmark

Ørestad Gymnasium is a rather new school and it was built with open learning spaces.

We try to combine student-activated teaching in open learning spaces with use of technology. We couldn’t do what we are doing without technology.

In a traditional classroom we have the teacher doing most of the talking and the students sitting in rows and listening to the teacher, and answering questions from him or having a classroom discussion. In the open areas we don’t have walls, we have tables where the students can work in groups or individually.

So what we are doing there is organised teaching where the teacher is kind of a coach helping the students to meet their challenges.

So if the network is functioning, the teachers can find out the rest, so that’s really the most important technological thing right now for us, having a network with two or three connections for each student – that’s what the network has to be able to handle.

I think what we are – are doing, is mirroring the modern workplace in a way, you can’t – in the labour market today you – you can’t do without collaboration.

The only thing you can’t do at my school is traditional teaching – it just doesn’t function, it’s built for something else, it’s built for collaboration and it’s built for being active yourself and not just receiving messages from a teacher.

We call it “tomorrow today”, that’s the vision of our school. We want to make the society and workplace of tomorrow alive today in order to make them – give them competencies to be citizens and workers in the modern society, so that’s what it’s all about for – for me.

There’s a lesson to learn for every industry in the way the education sector is using technology to boost learning outcomes. Discover how technology is inspiring the workforce of tomorrow.

Find out more

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