In Monday’s blog post, I introduced you to the first half of our all-star team of teachers coming to this year’s Innovative Education Forum in Berlin. I hope you’ll take a look at Amy and Jan’s work in more detail on the Partners in Learning Network.
Today I’d like to introduce you to David Rogers, who teaches geography at Priory School Specialist Sports College in Portsmouth, and Simon Horleston, who teaches at Howe Dell Primary School in Hertfordshire. Both Dave and Simon have technology-rich projects, but both of their virtual classroom tours call out the importance of student voice and learning – and using technology only as a tool to support that.
David Rogers – Pirates and Social Networking
David’s lesson introduces students to the concept of 21st century piracy and helps them put it into a context that is relevant to their world. Students begin by learning about piracy in the Gulf of Aden and how it affects consumers in the UK. They search for images and geographical information using Bing and connected to resources on the BBC to learn more about piracy today.
Students present their findings to others in the class, which may be typical in many classroom projects today, but David uses social media, including live feeds and discussions in Twitter and Facebook, to focus on effective – and safe and appropriate - online communication.
If you take a look at David’s VCT on the Partners in Learning Network, you can find much more information about the project, including blogs describing the work as well as BBC articles and Teachers TV stories that were done on the project.
Simon Horleston – Climate Change Challenge
Simon’s lesson is for upper KS2 pupils, and takes advantage of his schools unique environmental curriculum and focus to enthuse his pupils into taking responsibility for their world. Pupils used different forms of ICT to communicate their learning to others.
Simon put the world’s climate change and temperature differences in context by first getting pupils to measure the light and temperature differences in various areas of the school. This data, plus the results of pupils research into the climate on different continents gave rise to the central question for the project “Globally our climate is changing, but how is this happening and what is its impact?”
Pupils conducted research on the internet and chose their specific area of focus. They analysed data on energy usage and wrote a story that included their key messages on climate change. They created short movies and used other methods to present this message to the rest of the school and to the community – as well as to the International Climate Challenge conference in London.
Stuart and I are excited for Simon, David, Jan and Amy to share their work in Berlin in only a week’s time. Joining the Microsoft team in Berlin will also be Ollie Bray, who has been asked to conduct a workshop on Kodu (an exciting new visual programming language young people can use to create games) and using games in learning. Dave Garland from Saltash .NET will also be joining our team as a judge.
We hope you’ll follow our activities next week on this blog, and we also hope you’ll visit the Partners in Learning Network to learn more about the great work happening in schools around the UK.