Secondary school pupils
developing e-learning for
In 2003, I decided to train as a secondary
school IT teacher, excited by the possibilities
technology held for engaging students who
may not otherwise be interested in education.
The reality of the bureaucratic school system
soon kicked in, however, and I found myself
consumed by target-setting, lesson
observations and behaviour management
A pivotal moment came when I started
teaching at a tough London academy. I was
covering a Yr 11 lesson and the boys simply
didn't want to work - they were all watching
something on one of their phones. It's not
easy to argue with a bunch of big streetwise
16-year olds, so I gave up disciplining and
asked what it was.
It turned out to be a video of the school play
that one of them had filmed, edited, added
special effects and uploaded to YouTube.
And we were teaching them PowerPoint! No
wonder they weren't engaged.
I realised back then that the curriculum was
simply too constricting to allow the type of
creativity students are capable of, so started
running computer clubs to try and offer them
My current school is Ark Helenswood
Academy, a girls' secondary school in
Hastings, UK - an area with a high level of
deprivation and unemployment. In October I
asked Wes Atkinson at software company
Appitierre, if he could give me some Evolve
logins for students to work with in an elearning club I was setting up. I'd been using
Evolve myself for a while and felt they would
pick it up quickly.
Computer Science and Maths
Ark Helenswood Academy
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