Big Ideas and the Big Buddha

This is no holiday for the Teachers. We make them work hard, but we make sure they have a truly rewarding experience at the same time. Today, the groups of teachers went on IMG_2604their assigned field trips. I joined a lively group, sent to the Po Ling Monastery on Lantau Island. You can see our route here. My GPS tracker, at last, worked. You can see how we travelled by bus to the base of the mountain on Lantau. At that point, we took the cable car up the mountain -- it was either that or a 6-hour walk! It took 15 minutes to reach the summit, this was a great opportunity for the Team to bond and find out more about one Team Photoanother. From here it was a short walk to foot of the 630 steps to the Big Buddha, a huge bronze statue. It is a very impressive sight, as you can see from these photos.

The purpose of this visit was not only to give the teachers an experience of Hong Kong, but to give them a context on which they could base the learning project they needed to create.The return journey began with loads of enthusiastic conversations about how they might create a project around such an experience. But this was put on hold as a game of ‘wave to perfect strangers in the cable car opposite’ ensued.

Only the Innovative Teachers Network could bring together teachers from countries like Nigeria, Indonesia, UK, Canada and Ireland and in 24 hours have them sharing and enjoying each others company. After some lunch, the group met and planned their activity. This prompted great debate; there were so many great and innovative ideas, that there was a danger the project would become so huge it could never be completed. But, the group, who call themselves ‘Baby 5’, after the term used by our tour guide, produced a simple project plan which they will implement in their respective schools when they return home. The group have set up a community on the UK Innovative Teachers Network and will use this to communicate and share ideas and resources. When they have finished they will produce a Virtual Classroom Tour, so that other teachers will be able to recreate their project.

The teachers are looking to produce a collaborative and activity that involves using still images to tell the story of a person that their pupils aspire to be. Pupils will ask questions of each other about their choices. At the end, all pupils will list the characteristics they feel best represent the ideal global citizen .

I am really interested in how the Innovative Teachers Network can support such a collaborative activity, taking place in place in 5 different countries. I will keep you up to date on their progress, and will challenge you with this question: If you had the chance to work with teachers from across the world, what sort of projects would you undertake? I would be interested to know.


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