Today, educators need to focus on increasing students’ high technology knowledge without creating negative attitudes (Delone & Biles, 1991; Heller & Bower, 1983; Hodas, 1993; Sheingold, 1991). Educators must understand that one of the strongest impacts on the educational process is that student’s attitudes affect their educational focus; thus, making the use of technology a positive experience for students is essential for its successful incorporation into a teaching strategy (Delone & Biles, 1991).

In order to create effective classroom environment and to have effective classroom management, a teacher should try different teaching strategies, methods and approaches. The previous participation of Drujba School in Sofia in Erasmus + with the project entitled “Effective Classroom Management” had a great impact in school communities. Our school in Plovdiv aims to continue and enlarge the impact of the previous contributions with another project application entitled “ICT in Education and Innovative Approaches”. Utilizing ICT’s versatility and adaptability to create interactive learning environment with different teaching strategies increase students’ knowledge and ability, improve students’ attitudes towards technology in particular and learning in general, and increase their willingness to use what they have learned.

Branching out from the theories of Piaget, Bruner, and Vygotsky, constructivists initially saw the computer as a tool that would allow students the opportunity to discover and learn through active experience and to gain problem solving skills (Roblyer et al., 1997). The use of various media sound, graphics, video, and graphs can present a single concept through various yet simultaneous avenues, providing access to information through a variety of learning styles. Technology can allow students to view the concepts through simulations, putting students in control of situations they would seldom be allowed to experiment under any other circumstance (Grabe and Grabe, 2001).

The use of ICT in the classroom as a teaching tool is crucial for a teacher. The engagement and knowledge building of students is fostered when they are given the opportunity to interact in a physical and mental way in the learning environment. Further, student’s excitement in demonstrating a skill or ‘operating’ the interactive boards and technologies boosts their self-esteem and builds confidence especially in science and technology and aids them to work independently at a later time. Admittedly, learning becomes more effective and enjoyable when learners experience the subject matter by touching and moving objects and seeing the materials from different points of view. The collaborative nature of ICT in the interactive learning environment, where the students are grouped, is highly effective for productive active discussion and questioning.

ICT and innovative approaches become an essential component of every classroom because they:

– can be used with different learning approaches. Students can use the interactive boards` screen and learn by touching and marking at the board, audio learners can have a discussion and visual learners can observe the teaching on the board

–  improve classroom management

– have visual advantages

– develop academic and communication skills

– enhance flexibility, interaction and sharing in the instructional process

– provide online information & tools

Through this project we aim to help our school staff to enable a quality environment that is conducive to learning and all-inclusive, encouraging students to succeed by setting high expectations for them. Ideally, this transforms a classroom into a community of motivated and self-directed learners.

After having conducted a Needs Analysis we concluded that the aims and objectives of this project responding to our institutional and individual staff needs are as follows;

1. To create a more dynamic, modern, committed and professional environment inside our school, ready to integrate successful practices and new methods into daily activities, planning strategically the professional development of staff in relation to individual needs and organizational objectives

2. To support the professional development of our teachers/staff with a view to innovating and improving the quality of teaching

3. To reinforce the capacity in developing student-centered pedagogical approaches, and appropriate student assessment methods

4. To provide better quality of teachers’ work and activities in favor of students

5. To increase motivation and satisfaction in teachers’ daily work

6. Raise awareness among our staff on Erasmus+ and other EU Projects opportunities

The rationale behind this project is that ICT and Innovative Approaches in the learning process will reinforce classroom management abilities of teachers and will increase student achievement and class performance. It will help to create a positive learning atmosphere in our school with innovative character.