Pupils at Shiplake College have been actively encouraged to write on the wall in recent ICT and Computing lessons. No, this is not an elaborate technique to allow pupils to let off steam, but instead a valuable new learning tool. Head of ICT Mr Balderson has re-decorated his classroom with special paint, turning the wall into a giant whiteboard. No longer confined by borders, students are able to visually express thoughts and ideas during lessons.
The new wall is accompanied in the classroom by a oval meeting-room style table, providing a perfect environment for group work and discussion. Replacing the rows of desktop computers often associated with ICT classrooms, pupils now bring their own mobile or tablet devices to lessons. There is also a plasma screen synced via ”Apple TV’ to the teacher’s laptop. This display method is far superior to a projector as it is entirely flexible (able to display presentations, websites, photos of videos) and there is no need to reduce the light in the room.
Ahead of their impending mock exams, Sixth Formers have been using the whiteboard wall to create revision ‘mind-maps’, which is certainly more fun than reading from a textbook! Mr Balderson commented: “We have certainly moved on from the traditional ‘chalk and talk’ methods of teaching. It is important to embrace modern technology in the classroom, especially in a technology-based subject. I thoroughly enjoy teaching in this classroom as there is so much scope for imaginative lesson plans, and it is clear that the pupils enjoy the opportunity to learn in an active way.”