Last updated: 13.03.14

Harrow School using virtual environment to share learning

The use of virtual learning environments in schools is becoming increasingly widespread across the world, with institutions now looking for new and innovative ways to incorporate technology into the education process in order to inspire students and enhance their experience and opportunities. The possibilities for doing so are endless, and a recent project undertaken by Harrow Way Community School has helped to emphasize this.

Forty-nine of the school's Year 7 students were taken to the Winchester Science Centre and Planetarium for an interactive session as part of their STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subjects studies, with teachers aiming to make use of technology in order to boost the children's learning capacity.

Using the school's iPads, students were split up into groups and tasked with making a video to explain and explore the themes presented at the Winchester Science Centre and Planetarium's interactive exhibitions. These were then uploaded to the school's Virtual Learning Environment, allowing all other pupils at the school to experience them and share in the knowledge acquired by those who were on the trip.

Speaking to the Andover Advertiser, science teacher Rachel Atherton commented: "The purpose of the video exercise was to ensure that students understood both the workings of their chosen exhibits and that they could also articulate this understanding by explaining the science behind each one."

By making use of the school's Virtual Learning Environment, Miss Atherton says that teachers have devised a way of "sharing further this learning amongst the school community."

She also explained that projects like this have the potential to not only help students engage with the subjects being covered, but also to open their eyes to the ways in which this material relates to the wider world, thereby enabling them to formulate life plans and ambitions, such as studying these subjects at a higher level or even pursuing a particular career path.