Chris Henderson is the final teacher accompanying us to Vienna later this month for the European Innovative Teachers Forum. Chris is from Saltash.net Community School, which you've heard us talk about many, many times at this point. Dan Roberts (aka, the 6-foot chicken), our award winner in Hong Kong is also from Saltash, and he has been directing many CPD activities involving the Innovative Teachers Programme at Saltash over the past several months. Stuart has also visited Saltash on more than one occasion to help lead CPD workshops that have introduced many teachers to our technology and programmes. (Why am I the only one that misses out on these trips to the ocean in Cornwall?) Chris clearly took advantage of this new learning in his Virtual Classroom Tour on Interactive Revision Strategies.
Chris is co-head of Science at Saltash, and his VCT arose from a need to help his pupils discover new revision techniques and strategies in science -- with the hope of finding one that worked well for each as an individual. Students today are the same as students throughout time; very few actually enjoy studying for an exam or other assessment. Chris hoped to use new technologies to further motivate and engage his pupils in revision.
Chris started by guiding his pupils in a revision strategy brainstorm and then took them on a modern-day "show and tell" exercise using Photosynth and Deep Zoom. Chris had taken hundreds of photos of his classroom, with various chemistry experiments underway. (You can see his classroom at right.) The students were then asked to tour the Synth and Deep Zoom images and develop questions about the experiments they saw. They answered questions developed by their classmates and then began to create their own revision resources.
What made this project interesting to us was the way it centred on the individual needs and interests of each pupil. And the pupils seemed to react positively to this as well, showing a lot of creativity in the resources they produced. One group created a song about the process, the project and the topic they were studying. They then sent this song to their classmates' mobile phones. I'd say these were pretty motivated students...
Check out Chris's great VCT here on the Innovative Teachers Network.
Stuart and I will be back to our regularly-scheduled programming in this blog for the next couple of weeks. After that, we'll be blogging LIVE from Vienna, and we hope you'll be able to hear from Chris, Mandeep, Ollie and James as well.