If you stopped by our classroom, you would see a room filled with young children who are beginning their journey of learning about science. They would be learning about how science is addressed throughout the world, its future, its history, and the people who have changed this world we live in. You might hear a story that evokes interest and passion regarding the topic they would then chose to research. These stories are the impetus of the emotional journey through their personal learning adventure, and are told with a difference to usual classroom techniques.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) has the potential to revolutionise learning and enrich the classroom environment in a way that most teachers probably aren’t aware of. Whilst the technology itself isn’t new to education, it is yet to be utilised to its full potential. Too often, AI is perceived to be disruptive, or is employed to produce a specific outcome – better exam results being the obvious example. Teachers need to recognise that, actually, AI can slot effortlessly into normal teaching practice, and it can provide immeasurable benefits that go much further than simply ticking boxes.
Dekko Comics is an organisation who combine entertainment and education through comic stories, thus helping those who feel intimidated by the current systems and left disinterested in the learning process. With a roster of vibrant and engaging characters, Dekko Comics have proven popular, with both children and adults finding them a great way to engage with the lessons being taught.
Working in an inner city school, History is often seen to be very irrelevant to students and therefore boring. I remember my first ever A level lesson with my Year 12s in 2015, I asked them individually ‘Why have you chosen to study History?’ The common answer was “to study Civil Rights”. The problem was that Civil Rights was part of the A2 course, which meant that they would had to wait a whole year to be taught that particular module. Therefore teaching the Tudors to a class that just wanted to learn only about black history was hard. As a result I had to ask myself: ‘How can I engage them in a topic that seems boring and irrelevant to their lives?’
A cultural change requires a deep understanding of what a culture is and how they grow. When organizations embark on cultural change, they often do not recognize the culture they presently have. People create cultures. Some are deep-rooted and define everything that happens in the organization. Others are transient and shift with changing leadership and staff. To change a culture, one must have a vision of what that change would bring.
One thing that always interested me about History was the growing realisation that even the supposedly simplest and most straightforward facts are quite often shrouded in a mystifying narrative; a trail of sources that leaves the true story open to a range of opposing interpretations and outcomes. Whilst we may think we have answered all the questions and arrived at the correct conclusions about the sequences of events, a differing theory or discovery of a contradictory source can suddenly debunk the accepted.
I’m a theatre practitioner with a background in inclusive practice. Finding ways to create new communities through Drama, and making diverse groups of performers central to the process, has taken me on some great journeys: making theatre with teenagers in Finland, circus artists in France, playwrights in New York City and toddlers in Tottenham.
Forget Facebook, for which all your students probably already have accounts. In the social stratosphere there’s a new kid in town that has stolen the show from the likes of Facebook and Twitter, and that’s Instagram. Launched in 2010, this photo-sharing app lets users publish their own exclusively square snaps for their followers to ‘like’ and ‘share’, and it’s safe to say it’s been a big hit with the younger generation — with 53% of teens using Instagram on a daily basis.