The Microsoft Partners in Learning European Forum will be taking place in Moscow from 22nd March, an inspiring and thought-provoking opportunity to share some of the most innovative uses of technology to support learning throughout Europe. We’re looking forward to learning from some of the best keynote speakers and workshop leaders. 4 awesome teachers will be representing the innovation that is going on in classes throughout the UK and you were introduced to Louise and Jennifer in the last blog post. Today it is a pleasure to be able to introduce our other innovative teachers who will be joining us in Moscow. Why not follow their adventures and what is going on throughout the week on Twitter – the hashtag for the event is #MSPIL.
Jo Debens – Space Explorers: Space Creators
Jo is the second innovative teacher from the same department in a school, Priory School in Portsmouth, to be attending the European forum – an amazing record! Her colleague, David Rogers (Welshman, Geographer) presented his work at the event in Berlin last year, so I’m sure he has been able to give her lots of tips in her preparations for her adventures in Moscow. Jo’s project has involved giving pupils a real voice about changes to their school. The project involved lots of teamwork and developed students’ communication skills, as well as their confidence when presenting their ideas to adults. They evaluated the existing spaces around their school, taking into account how others may view the surroundings, how the spaces were being used and recording their findings in a variety of ways, including digital cameras, Flip video cameras and voice recorders. Students prepared their findings in a range of ways to share with others, using tools such as Microsoft Autocollage, MovieMaker, Office 2003, Photosynth and Wordle. They then developed their own plans for an improved school environment, using free online tools and software to develop their own designs for a school environment, and prepared a scheme of work for other students. They were able to share their suggestions with a range of people including local councillors, governors, architects and designers.
Gareth Ritter – Interactive Learning Resources By Pupils For Pupils
Last, but by no means least, the final member of this group of teachers who are having such an impressive impact in their schools is Gareth. Gareth is a music teacher from Wales and as we know, we have a long tradition of innovative teachers from this part of the UK. Gareth has been using technology to motivate and enthuse his upper school pupils, with them preparing resources to help younger pupils with guitars, drums and keyboards, as well as supporting the work of the school radio station, Willow Waves. The project proved exceptionally engaging for learners who had previously had problems with school and the success rate in their GCSE music and music technology was 100% A*-C. The enjoyment of the pupils was evident in how they continued with the project at home and how they took responsibility for their own learning. They used a wide range of tools, such as Microsoft Songsmith, Autocollage, Moviemaker and Windows Live Spaces, as well as the plex add in for PowerPoint. The students even used a wii remote control when delivering their PowerPoint Plex presentations! Tools are now being used by other teachers in the school, they’ve been shared with other local schools and the videos that the children have made are available to the wider music teaching/learning community through Gareth’s website.
I’m sure you’ll join me in wishing these four innovators an enjoyable and fulfilling trip to Moscow – watch out for updates about the event on Twitter and this blog!