My Bett Takeaways – 2017
For years teachers have tried to find engaging and appealing ways to get students to revise material. From a faithful mnemonic and dodgy acronym to wallpapering their room with flash cards and post it notes.
Not all techniques suit every student and often attempts to get ‘down with the kids’ often lead to embarrassing laughs from the teenage audience. However, the team at Studytracks have bought something new to the table with curriculum specific lyrics carefully crafted over smooth tunes in the genres that students can ‘get down’ with. No nursery rhyme rhythms here, but slick beats and killer hooks.
I certainly think that this will be appealing to Year 10 and 11 students at my school who want to reenergise their learning in a culturally relevant and satisfying way.
So will 2017 be the year for VR? Speculation about the integration of virtual reality into the spheres of everyday entertainment and education has been stirring for the past five years, with 2015, then 2016 penned as the revolutionary year of a breakthrough for affordable, accessible and purposeful solutions. I think that 2017 could be that year, with an unignorable rise of VR gaming leading up to Christmas; 360° functionality on Facebook and YouTube; apps such as BBC sport 360°; and the sale of Pudsey Cardboard headsets for Children in Need all pointing towards a shift in production models and consumer desire.
After taking part in Google Expeditions Pioneer programme, creating my own VR and 360° content using CoSpaces and ThingLink 360°, I went to Bett really looking for a practical classroom solution. The current drawbacks to using VR in a school or classroom setting are that you either need to get students to bring in their own devices from home or you have a model where you ask staff and parents to recycle their old mobiles so that you can create your own class set of VR headsets in some sort of Cardboard net.
Most schools have a blanket ban of mobile phones, and with good reason, so the first option is often a non-starter. Students can use their iPads to experience VR and 360° content, although they do not get the full immersive experience.
ClassVR have a solution that solves these issues and helps teachers manage the VR devices easily. They can use a website to manage the content on the headsets and the all in one device allows the students to use them easily, without pressing the wrong button or having mobile phones slip out of a cardboard casing. Any apps and content can be controlled by the teacher and contextualised.
We have a bookable immersive space at our school to take our students on a alternative learning experience. I think that ClassVr could work in the same way, where students will have a more memorable learning experience for those lessons where the teacher really wants to engage them, in order to improve the retention of information. As we hope to be a pioneer school for ClassVR, I hope to blog more about this in the future.
Innovate My School
It’s always a pleasure to work with Innovate My School, as the team are always so keen and
passionate about changing education. The online magazine has turned into more of a community of likeminded, collaborative and forward thinking educators over the past two years and has provided me with great ideas for my school and classroom. Their #innovationbursts are a great way of getting hints of snapshots of great ideas in education. I did mine on Kahoot! as I believe they are doing a great job of transforming classroom all around the world with a great interactive idea that students love. Check out my video here: bit.ly/2kLXJaw