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BETT 2022:  A Window to the World– Inspiring Teachers and Learners

As Bett 2022 approaches, Dale Lawson previews his session on digital learning technologies.

Digital technologies can bring lessons to life

After many roadblocks, BETT is finally around the corner! This year, I have been granted the opportunity of speaking in the Teaching & Learning Theatre about how digital content can be used across the curriculum, and I am looking forward to sharing my ideas with you.

Digital technologies are becoming increasingly common within the classroom, and the use of video, imagery and digital text can transform the landscape of teaching while enriching learning. With the title of ‘A Window to the World – Inspiring Teachers and Learners’, my session will take the audience on a journey, that shows how I use digital content to bring lessons to life, from the conceptual stage of planning, through teaching and learning and into assessment and feedback.

Historically, video was used very simplistically in the classroom:  a film was shown and then students answered questions. This surely does not still have a place within the 21st Century learning environment? Teaching with video is about discussion, response and conversation, alongside the more obvious transportation and inspiration that digital can provide. 

When it comes to creating engaging and equitable learning experiences, video is a powerful teaching tool. It enables children to see and grasp complex concepts. And at a time when school trips are curtailed, it brings the outside world into the classroom.  

As a school, we use Discovery Education as our daily learning platform, and I’ll be using this as my lens for exploration at BETT. Looking at how teachers can choose the right video, I will be investigating how they can also extend its basic use through  interactive tools such as Discovery Education Studio – which empowers  teachers to share content with pupils directly. This provides pupils a voice whilst also assessing their video response and observation. Creating a two-way learning process like this is vital in  a modern, digital learning environment. 

It is worth highlighting the importance of preparing learners for the future, and teachers must remain innovative and engaged with the changing world. It is easy for us to stick with content we are comfortable with but it is equally important that we embrace new tools. Technologies such as Augmented Reality allow us to glimpse what’s next. Bringing lessons to life in 3D, Augmented Reality, or AR, enables pupils to fully participate in the learning process. New apps such as Sandbox AR take this further, giving pupils a dynamic ‘maker environment’ where they can create their own life-size virtual worlds. From Ancient Egypt, to the surface of the moon, students can ‘step inside’ learning like never before. With new apps like Sandbox AR, the future of digital technologies in education is looking bright. I’m looking forward to exploring it at Bett. 

Dale Lawson will be speaking in the Bett Teaching and Learning Theatre with Discovery Education on Friday 25th March at 1:20pm.

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Year 4 teacher at Westclyst Community Primary School, Exeter.

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