At the end of July, I was lucky enough to spend a week with some of the most inspiring teachers and leaders in the world as we learnt from and shared with each other in Berlin. The five days were busy, with early mornings and late nights, but I came away with so many new and inspiring ideas. The highlights of the week for me were:
1) The Showcases
Similar to a Teachmeet format, but with much stricter time restrictions, ADEs from across the world had 3 minutes to showcase the difference they were making. Every showcase was outstanding, and they highlighted how technology can, when used in the right way make a real difference to learning.
2) VR and 360 filming
One of the showcases, by Sarah Jones, sparked an interest in VR and 360, an area that I have only really started to look into with a Google cardboard viewer. In fact, when my office partner came in one morning to find me using the viewer, he suggested I shouldn’t leave the office with it for the sake of my reputation! However, it is clear that this is a growing area, with immersive experiences that can be used to bring learning to life, creating empathy and understanding. If you want to find out about life in a refugee camp,for example, VR/360 can take you there by removing the barrier of the screen.
For more of an expert’s view, Sarah’s TED talk can be viewed here:
I am keen to learn more, and hopefully start some filming in school. Ideally, I would love the boys to start creating their own content, but first I will need to learn more myself. Hopefully, I’ll be able to visit Sarah at Coventry University next term to start the ball rolling.
3) Pedagogy Toolkit
This year we were asked to suggest projects and interests to see if other ADEs would be interested in working together on it. My project, to create a Multi-touch book that highlights how technology can unlock key pedagogical practices that are proven to improve outcomes was selected for collaboration in Berlin. Seven teachers, from 4 different countries will now be writing this book alongside myself, and we hope this will be published to the iBook Store in the new year. This promises to be a really good resource for explaining the ‘why’ in using tech in the classroom.
4) The expert labs and workshops
This year, we had advanced sessions available, and I was able to learn a lot more about video editing, creating HTML widgets for multi-touch books, music creation in Garageband as well as advanced presentation techniques. These workshops were amazing, and have really helped to develop my skills.
5) The collaboration
This year, a room was set aside fro ADEs to collaborate. This is by far the most important aspect of Institute as you get to discuss ideas, plan projects and learn from people all over the world. Institute is inspiring beacuse of the people you meet, and the discussions you have. I look forward to these continuing into the new school year.