How Education Technology could change the game for struggling schools
In his annual report, Ofsted’s chief inspector has raised concern over the standard of UK secondary schools. 170,000 children are now taught in secondary schools that are deemed inadequate – Ofsted’s lowest category – which is 70,000 more than in the previous year.
Teachers are under more pressure than ever before. Managing a class of thirty or more young people is a huge task. Add to that the fact that some pupils will have English as an Additional Language, some will be disadvantaged by their background, and others will have Special Educational Needs, and it’s understandable why teachers and schools are working harder than ever before to help their pupils to reach their full potential.
Visible Classroom, Ai-Media’s ground-breaking professional development tool for teachers, can support them in this. Visible Classroom helps hard-pressed teachers think critically about their methods and find ways to improve their practice.
Professor John Hattie, a man described by the TES as “possibly the world’s most influential education academic”, and his colleagues at the University of Melbourne worked with Ai-Media to develop the tool in a pilot with thirty teachers funded by The Education Endowment Foundation
Visible Classroom uses speech-to-text live captioning to support teachers, allowing them to reflect critically on their performance, and increasing engagement with students. Transcripts of teachers’ speech during lessons are made available, along with detailed, personalised feedback on their practice from the University of Melbourne.
It also transforms the learning experience for students, as their teachers’ words are streamed directly to tablet devices or interactive whiteboards during class in real time, giving them a second chance to pick up vital classroom content.
Dominic Hughes, the Deputy Head Teacher of Springwell Junior School in West London, has seen first-hand the power of Visible Classroom to help teachers with their continuous professional development:
“I'm delighted to support our teachers’ professional development by putting in place the Visible Classroom CPD tool in their lessons. Our teachers find using the technology helps them to identity aspects of their teaching they want to work on, improving their focus on their pupils' learning, all without the pressure of a formal observation.”
Visible Classroom’s potential was recognised at this year’s Bett Show, where Ai-Media was singled out by an expert panel as one of the top ten start-ups among the Futures group. The Futures area of Bett hosted a select group of Education Technology (EdTech) pioneers providing the most innovative technology solutions to today’s classroom challenges.
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Background to the pilot can be found here: http://www.ai-media.tv/visible-classroom-technology-education
Professor John Hattie is a professor of education and director of the Melbourne Education Research Institute at the University of Melbourne, Australia, and author of ground-breaking study Visible Learning. Prof. John Hattie and Visible Classroom was recently featured in the TES: http://news.tes.co.uk/b/opinion/2014/10/08/hattie-39-teachers-must-see-their-impact-to-believe-it-39.aspx
Ai-Media is an Australian and UK-based social enterprise that provides high quality speech-to-text solutions for broadcast, government and education clients. The Company’s Ai-Live internet captioning service was supported by Commercialisation Australia. Using a microphone on the original speaker, the spoken words are sent live to a trained stenocaptioner or “re-speaker”, who uses software that converts speech into text that is sent back over the internet to screens read by the client in the originating classroom or meeting room. Learn more: www.ai-media.tv
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