Monday, 26 April 2010
Reading the news recently I saw the news item about teacher Chris Orr, stranded in Alicante due to the volcanic ash scare, worrying about his 'A' level students. Showing initiative he found an internet cafe and continued to lead his normal 'A' level revision lessons by Skype. Obviously the school played ball and trialled it to see how well it worked. The answer? - it worked well.
The real test is, of course, the reaction of the students. The video clip confirms that, as we all would have predicted, they just took it in their stride. This is their normal technology, they are 21st Century learners. Students just accepted it and quickly realised that it was no different to like having their teacher there. What they did do was appreciate the effort he made to support them. It is very commendable.
Whilst it is great to see this commitment, it is may be surprising to some that this story has made the news. Many schools all round the world are using Skype quite routinely to support lessons already and more are beginning to use it each week. Far more are seeing how someone, anywhere in the world, can drop into lessons for some input, or to share their working. Some schools are doing joint lessons... the whole approach to using technology to enhance learning is changing. The quicker we embrace this appropriately, the better.
Also, it's great to see a really positive story about education at the moment!