What is the main ingredient that makes a great lesson? I’m not talking in the realms of inspectorate rhetoric. We all know as professionals that we need our pupils to make progress in each lesson, and we are not oblivious to this fact. I mean those lessons that you regale other teachers with because you have a real sense of pride in what occurred. The ones where all the pupils were switched on, and the learning flowed as smooth as Frank Sinatra-branded honey!
A west London school has energised their Science lessons by using an interactive textbook. The Heathland School in Hounslow has begun using IntoScience, an immersive and highly engaging interactive 3D environment which brings the theory of science to life. It is aimed particularly at pupils aged 12-16 (KS3-4) and covers all fields of the subject. IntoScience was developed by Mathletics creators 3P Learning.
“I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.” - Confucius
1. It is a fun experience!
As an Early Level teacher, I see the benefits of active learning. It is a fun way of getting the children to engage in a subject without them thinking its work. It is an organic process; not always planned and possible to be confidently led by the children themselves.
Manchester-based edtech experts Computeam have been working with archeologist Dr. Diane Davies and the London Grid for Learning to immerse pupils in the Maya civilization. The company’s library of augmented reality learning resources, specifically those looking at the Mesoamerican civilization, won them a prestigious Primary Digital Content BETT Award in London last month.
Teaching can be a strange thing, you can plan a lesson to within an inch of your life, you can create resources and finely tune the learning objective, but sometimes some of the best lessons can be those that you didn’t plan or even create an objective for. This is one of those lessons. It was our termly celebration day, where parents are invited in to share their children’s work from the term, and we had just come to the end of the sharing with an hour still left of the day. I had a class of expectant parents with little to do. “Right,” I thought, and pulled a bit of gamification out of the bag.
Today I saw something amazing! I watched in awe (and travelled with) a group of 30 students to the moon. Crystal clear, fully immersed and wandering the craters, with colleagues and children next to me sharing their excitement. I am, of course, talking about Google Expeditions. If ever there was a positive retort to the relentless technology bashing in the online world, this is it. Not the visual experience. Not even the chance to see something that most of us will never truly experience in our lifetime. It was the awe and wonder created through the digitally convergent experience. It has been many years since I’ve seen the spark in the eyes of EVERY child in the room (after they’d removed their Google Cardboard glasses, of course).