Extract from today’s feature in the Guardian on how technology is revolutionising classroom learning.
The use of technology in schools marks an increasing convergence of the classroom with children’s home lives.
Gareth Ritter, a teacher at a Willows high school in Cardiff, has begun using motion capture technology to harness his pupils’ enthusiasm for playing games.
In Ritter’s music lessons, children wave a conductor’s baton to move icons of instruments to the right place in an orchestra, represented virtually on a computer screen.
The same technology can be used to teach biology or foreign languages, by having students virtually moving parts of the human body to the right place or matching up lists of words in English and French, Ritter said.
"A lot of the kids in my school play Call of Duty. If they fail a level they won’t give up, they’ll keep doing it. We’ve got to bring that [enthusiasm] into the classroom.
"One young lad [I taught] was a boy soldier in the Congo. I could see he had a passion for music. Now he’s going to study music at university. Technology has changed his life – it’s switched him on."
The use of interactive technology in the classroom has been accompanied by a move towards more flexible testing in exams that can be tailored more closely to individual pupils. The exam board AQA revealed last year that it was planning trials of an interactive exam that would generate harder or softer questions according to how a candidate performs.
As part of the gaming in education showcase area on our stand at BETT 2012, Gareth will be showcasing how Kinect has helped revolutionise teaching and learning within his classroom. Come and watch him demo his innovative application on stand D30/D40.