Written by Charlotte Brearley, BSD Education
A key aim for us at BSD is to help teachers bring real world applicable technology projects into their classrooms. Not only does this help prepare students for future life, but, importantly, it helps them understand the relevance of what they are learning. By building something real that can be shared with the outside world, students learn new skills and see the impact those skills can have. This increases engagement, inspires creativity and develops student ownership.
The ‘real world’ can be brought into the classroom in a number of different ways, but one highly effective option is to make connections with ‘real world clients’. Through this approach, students are given a brief and go through the design thinking process to fulfil the clients’ requirements. A great example of this can be seen at Riverside School, Ahmedabad, India where the students complete client projects across all grades.
This video shows one of these projects in action and highlights the impact this style of learning can have on both subject knowledge and ‘softer’ skills, such as collaboration, problem solving and giving and receiving feedback.If you have brought real world clients into your classroom, we’d love to hear from you! Please share your stories with us….
- What are the most interesting discoveries I made today? (It can be about global issues, applicable skills, themselves, new ideas, the community or others)
- What were some of the most challenging moments today? How did I overcome them? What did I learn from this?
- What useful advice did I receive from my peers?
News, teaching ideas and resources from the BSD Education Community
3 minute watchFind out how over 500 12 year-old girls show to enhance daily life by creating wearable technology at school
2 minute readWe got great feedback from you about our last article on transformative teaching, here is a tried and tested model you can follow to simply use a range of technologies to enhance traditional teaching
3 minute readRead this story about our experience that shows how teacher’s understanding of the subject that they teach is the critical link between technology and the real world
News, teaching ideas and resources from the BSD Education Community
3 minute watchIn this short video, Iain talks us through introducing coding and reimagining the curriculum at his school. Transforming Student Learning with Media: Iain Williamson Our Education Director (K-10), Eva, sits down with Iain Williamson, Head of Film & Media Studies and Media Literacy Coordinator at South Island School in Hong Kong, to catch up on how he transformed and maximised his students’ learning with real-world media projects. If you want to hear more about how Iain has done this and some of the brilliant outcomes get in touch.
HOW TO: Develop Communication and Collaboration Skills Using Coding Projects
1 minute readCoding projects, creating a solution or product are a great opportunity for kids to work together. They can to combine their complementary skills and think through whether what they are making is actually going to work for the end user. It won’t be successful without great communication and collaboration. Put this into practice by getting your students to address an issue in your school community using technology. This year we have seen students design a whole host of solutions including plant watering robots, ball tracking technology for the playground and a watch that has 8 functions for around the school (such as library book check out). As part of these projects students have to: 1. Engage with other students across the school to identify an issue as important 2. Determine who will do what and work together to create a solution 3. Request and act on feedback 4. Share what they have designed and built with others 5. Celebrate their success as a team Do you have projects that have helped build communication and collaboration skills? We always want to hear from you! Get in touch or tweet us @BSDEducation or #BuildSomethingDifferent
5 minute readOver the past year, in schools using the BSD online platform we have seen some really exciting interdisciplinary projects that have used technology to enhance learning. At one school, the Maths and PE departments collaborated to introduce statistics to their students in a new and engaging way. Rather than using unrelatable generic information, students built a simple data collection app with three buttons – successful pass, unsuccessful pass and goal. They then attended the school basketball competition and collected live data on their app which fed through to a Google sheet. Not only could they use this data to learn about statistics in their maths class based on something meaningful, they could also provide valuable feedback to the basketball team. A win for both departments. This is an excellent example of a project being driven by departments’ learning outcomes and enhanced by technology. Katie Martin picks up on this in her article for EdSurge, in which she asks the question “Are we willing to change our expectations for how and what students learn?”. She emphasises that technology in isolation doesn’t create a 21st century classroom. It is learning experiences and how technology is integrated into these experiences that give students the opportunity to develop important future skills. Learning outcomes, not products, must come first. Martin compares three different classroom settings to make this point. She finishes with ‘technology and access to information aren’t the most important factors in creating twenty-first century classrooms; teachers are.’ Something we absolutely agree with here at BSD Education. If you would like to hear more about this project or other interdisciplinary projects, get in touch.
- Using the Online Poster project (HTML and CSS) your students can create their custom webpage then share it on the web using our one-click launch button.
- Your students will enhance their ability to think about new ways of communicating content digitally.
- When your students share their projects with their friends, they can get feedback from and put it into action live, immediately seeing their changes online.
- Ideas for projects: Creating a poster about their work lets you reinforce student understanding of new concepts learned in Mathematics, Art or History class.
- How about their digital posters being the marketing solution to promote the next school play, the start of the sports season, or advertise after school activities and student clubs.
- Setting students challenges not only allows them to develop their subject knowledge far beyond a standard curriculum, but also brings out creativity, problem solving skills, intrinsic motivation and allows students to personalise their own learning.
- Embrace your role as facilitator. Guide the students through increasingly complex challenges and the results will astound you. Kids have big ideas. Teachers help make them real.