Top educator, Katie Boothman from Saltash.net school will present her community project, The H.I.T squad at the 8th Partners in Learning Global Forum (Prague). Katie’s project has developed leaps and bounds since picking up an award at the European Forum this year; for outstanding use of technology to support learning outside the classroom.
Check out her candid interview, where she explains details of the project and more importantly the inspiration that lies behind such a fantastic educator.
What is the project about?
The ‘H.I.T. Squad’ is a talented group of students from saltash.net who embrace new technologies to connect and engage communities and learners across all generations. Primary schools, secondary schools and local residents have benefited from learning resources created by the Squad in their on going mission to share the past with the future. This project has been recognized by English Heritage as a sustainable project which they are now helping to facilitate and grow at a national scale. At the heart of the project are three core elements; cross phase learning; building community links; and inspiring a love for history.
What was the inspiration for your entry? What inspires you as an educator?
This project is one which is evolutionary in nature and therefore the inspiration for it has altered as the project has developed. Originally this project was put together in order to help Saltash.net’s history department develop through the use of student voice, to help create 21st century learners. However, as the project has grown we have found that engaging learners of all ages has become the genuine inspiration behind the Hit Squad.
As an educator, I am inspired by the energy of the pupils I teach and this is the driving force behind the project. I have a passion for learning, whether this is in the area of history or not. I see it as a golden privilege that should never be shunned, as an educator I wish to share this passion and drive for learning. I see the technology as the tool through which I can do this.
Why did you start using technology in your classroom?
I have always used technology as a teacher, starting off with the basic web 2:0 tools such as xtranormal. Ultimately I love to play with the technology as I am a bit of a geek and therefore whenever I hear of something new I like to see if there are ways that it can be a valuable learning tool in the classroom.
What do you hope to get out of the Global Forum?
I hope to gain a wider understanding of the latest tools so that I will be able to develop new innovative learning resources for the classroom. I am also excited to see how current technologies have been deployed in schools from around the world, and develop opportunities for the Hit Squad to scale the fundamentals of the project to schools globally.
Katie will present her project to over 500 education policy makers, education experts and press, school leaders and teachers and compete for one of the 18 Global Innovative Education Awards. Please join us in wishing Katie the best of luck for next week.
Staying connected: We will be blogging from Prague, however for instant news and engagement please follow Microsoft Partners in Learning on Twitter (@MicrosoftPIL) and use #PILGF and/ or join the Partners in Learning Facebook page.
This is such an exciting project with amazing far-reaching effects. It has created such a buzz at saltash.net and in the wider community and the best thing is how it joins people of all ages and situations in an incredible learning journey. This really is a community project, but not just in Cornwall - this should go global! The values, ethos and technologies encapsulated by this project have inspired my own teaching practice and I'm sure will inspire many other educators who are dedicated to facilitating exciting, innovative and valuable learning opportunities for all. I can't wait to hear of the future success of HIT squad. Go Team!
Katie's use of technology in the classroom combined with her infectious enthusiasm for learning is inspirational for all aspiring teachers. Katie is generous with her time in helping others develop excellent ICT solutions.
I think the work of the HIT Squad is truly inspired. Cross generational partmerships across our local community form part of our Single Equality Scheme objectives for the next three years. The way in which the HIT Squad is engaging with the elderly residents of Saltash is proving mutually beneficial for young and old alike. It shows the power of technology to bridge the 'generation gap'.