Video Confession 13 – “The Innovation Zone”
In this video confession you get a quick look at the small “Innovation Zone” at the Hammersmith site of EHWLC. The teacher Jay briefly describes the project which the students are working on.
Education has a challenge in attempting to meet the calls for more active and collaborative teaching learning methods. The “innovation Zone” was set up almost two years ago to offer a space to experiment with new teaching and learning methods.
The room provides 20 individual round tables with attached seats which can be moved around the room and combined in various ways to offer arrangements for collaborative work. The room also provides mobile IT resources – 24 wireless student laptops, webcams and audio visual equipment plus the obligatory e-board.
The objective of the room is to provide the resources and opportunity to develop new teaching methods from role play and simulation using prompts and video recorders through to group project work.
One of the more innovative developments that have taken place in the “innovation Zone” is the Apprentice project for new HND business students. Instead of formally teaching the students for the first two weeks of the course the students form into groups of four and work through developing a product which they present to teachers and other students at the end of the two week project period. Last September the college created and set up Google groups for the students but we quickly found out that this is something they can do themselves – indeed many suggested using their existing on-line presence in Facebook and email. Next September we will ask the students to set up their own on-line collaborative method – saving the college time and making the exercise more active and interesting for the students .
In the video the teacher Jay describes how the class of HND business students have been working on collaborative projects to survey the business potential of locations for setting up a small business – the outcome is to create a multimedia evidence pack about the locations to present to the class. The students work in groups and use audio and video equipment on location; they use the laptops in the room and make use of Web 2 systems like Google groups to collate their material.
The work carried out in the room is extremely interesting and inspirational but I would like to do more.
– I would like to see how these techniques apply to other groups and subject areas.
– I would like to develop other similar areas linked in with staff development. For example a pair of adjacent rooms – one room for staff teacher training and development and one room for actual teaching – both rooms with teacher support.
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