Digital Leader Testing
G&L has a dedicated team of Student Digital Leaders (SDLs) who take responsibility for liaising between students and teachers to promote and support effective and efficient use of technology at the school. They are invaluable in trying out new teaching and learning ideas, testing new equipment and offering their opinions on how to make the learning experience even better.
Our Year 7 SDLs were the first to try out our new mixed reality software as part of a one-off Geography lesson. During their Year 7 Geography Course on "Amazing Places", pupils look at the Geography of the local area in Hammersmith before then studying and comparing various other inspiring countries of the World. In this lesson, our SDLs were given the opportunity to use Google Earth on the Mixed Reality Headset to see if their perception of the new places they had studied was changed or enhanced. They started first by visiting the school or their own home in virtual reality (a very popular choice!), before then selecting a site in one of the "Amazing Places" they had studied during the course to visit. The Taj Mahal, Mount Fuji, Mount Everest and Tokyo were some of the exciting places selected by the students to visit for the first time.
As part of this activity, students were given instruction on how to use the hardware and software as well as time to get used to the new technology. They were encouraged to think geographically, considering what the technology offered beyond just watching a video or seeing a photograph. Many exclaimed on the scale of the places they visited and others were struck by how different the sites were from their expectations from photographs, maps and videos. The task was very popular with all the pupils, who felt it offered a very memorable and enjoyable addition to their existing studies. Several said it felt more like visiting in person and were delighted that they could visit sites like Mount Everest during a single lesson, when it would otherwise have taken them much training, money and time over the summer holidays! The task certainly captured their imagination and many wanted to continue well into break to visit other sites in the World they had always longed to see. From a teaching perceptive, it was a lesson that gathered a high level of engagement from the students and seemed to be one which would help to cement and augment their understanding of the places the visited. They were better able to appreciate the site, situation and function of the places the visited and gained greater cultural and geographical appreciation through their participation.
As part of the work the SDLs also captured their experiences in a series of videos, designed, shot and edited by them.