Promethean World Interactive Whiteboards
ACTIVambassadors for ACTIVlearning
A Promethean/MirandaNet project
You can download an attractive brochure: 'Interactive Learning Communities' (PDF 940KB) about this project.
Promethean, leaders in interactive technology, are working with the MirandaNet Fellowship to make a difference to the education of learners.
These long-term partners are undertaking one of the largest worldwide studies ever, to evaluate the impact of Promethean's interactive whiteboard technology on pupils' achievement and on the transformation of the learning experience in schools.
Stephen Jury, Chief Executive Officer of Promethean explains that this project is designed to elicit new information about the power of the boards in raising attainment: 'Pupil accomplishment and performance will be measured at critical points in the schools' syllabus, analysing achievement in classes with interactive whiteboards and those without. It is important that this study is undertaken over a number of years so that a benchmark can be established and considered in the coming years. This is important research, which will evaluate the role of technology and in particular, interactive whiteboards, in the learning environment.'
MirandaNet Fellowship Researchers are investigating the achievements of a core ACTIV teaching community who building a knowledge base on line for other users. These practitioners, advisers and researchers are becoming teacher researchers by investigating specific links between classroom technology and achievement in their local context in China, Mexico and South Africa over three years. They reflect on their ongoing practice and publish their work for others. This mode of sharing experience is an innovative model for Continuing Professional Development in ICT called Action Research or Practice Based Research. The practitioners are being encouraged in these methods of learning: research indicates that this is the most effective way to ensure that teachers become confident users of ICT and take ownership of the effective deployment technology to enrich the learning process.
In this method MirandaNet Mentor-Fellows who are already expert Promethean ACTIVboard users in UK classrooms are supporting teachers in this action research study in. Five ACTIVambassadors in each country are working with their UK mentors. There are at least 600 learners involved, as well as universities and government agencies.
Three ACTIVprojects are under way in China: two in Beijing and one in Shandong.
The Beijing Academy of Educational Sciences (BAES) is seen as the innovative experimental educational institution funded by the Beijing Municipal Authority which overseas a region as large as Belgium. Results from innovations developed at BAES are fed directly into regional policy and purchasing decisions are based on this new knowledge. The BAES focus is on transforming teaching, learning and attainment in primary schools: an area where MirandaNet Fellows have already been running BAES courses. The Academy have selected thirty people from the Academy staff and pilot primary schools in urban and rural Beijing, who will participate in workshops and training sessions focusing on changing classroom teaching. The research will examine the impact of ACTIVboards on learner motivation, interests and academic performance and relate this to changes in classroom management and teacher praxis. BAES will produce training manuals and resources to support the project, which will integrate well into the Chinese system.
China is making English the official second language so it is pleasing that the other two educational institutions are exploring the use of ACTIVboards in language teaching. In Beijing Secondary School No. 50, 152 students from three Grade 11 classes (some 30% of the total of Grade 11) will use the ACTIVboards for their English lessons. The researchers will examine the attainment and achievement of those taught English through the medium of ACTIVboards, and the remaining 70% of Grade 11 taught traditionally. The investigation will examine all the language competences.
Shandong Agricultural University have also chosen to focus on the affordances of ACTIVboards for English language teaching and learning in the first year of graduate training when Improving English is vital for investigating global knowledge –a process which is now greatly facilitated in China through the Internet, so much of which is in English. The use of multimedia resources with flip charts is seen as a powerful language-teaching tool, with the ability to freeze-frame the video and then annotate the frame. Writing frameworks will also be developed in the flip charts to develop student performance. Students will then progress to the creation of flip charts and resources to support colleagues and pupils in Mexico through collaborative projects on the theme of World Citizenship. Links are planned with the British Council who already make extensive use of ACTIVboards and have a broad knowledge and experience of effective software.
This initiative is embedded in the Mexican government strategy to transform learning and teaching in state schools. In this context the Government is using ACTIVboards as major catalyst for change.
The three Mexican projects are in the Nuevo Leon province, of which Monterrey is the capital: the Antonio Martinez de Castro Primary School, Leopoldo Narranjo Primary School, and Simon Salazar Mora Primary School. All the ACTIVambassadors work in the evening sessions of the schools, and their projects examine different aspects of Citizenship. Because the Monterrey regional government and UNESCO are involved an overarching theme of Citizenship has been chosen which is central to the new curriculum.
Jesus Gomez is the ACTIVambassador at Antonio Martinez de Castro School. He is using the ACTIVboard in a project that links literacy, storyboarding and Citizenship with improving moral values of pupils who belong to street gangs and often lack positive role models. The ACTIVboard will become a stage on which a variety of narratives can be constructed: comic books, reading campaigns, posters and dramatic productions.
At Leopoldo Narranjo School the ACTIVproject is on global citizenship themes. Fabiola Araiza Rodriguez is examining the impact of the ACTIVboards on the motivation and attainment of pupils who have no previous experience of IT. The impact of ACTIVboards on teaching and learning the subject of Citizenship in students from a low socioeconomic status will be evaluated, as well as wider issues relating to pupil learning and conceptual change. The project involves 179 pupils.
The ACTIVproject at Simon Salazar Mora Primary School is led by Yazmin Garza. Her investigation is focused on ways in which the ACTIVboard can contribute to pupil learning in history. As an ACTIVambassador in her school she is keen to change attitudes towards the teaching and learning of History, and use it to consolidate literacy. As she says, “We study history to know the past, to understand the present and to change the future. In this way, we can change our teaching methods and to develop a global citizenship education.”
In South Africa this ACTIVproject matches well with the national outcomes based curriculum where the emphasis is on ACTIV learning. The e-Learning Institute, based at Pretoria University, is managing the two schools in the Johannesburg area of Gauteng Province. These two schools are independent schools, which are using the project to ensure effective outreach in to the community and into Township schools.
At Auckland Park Preparatory School two ACTIVambassadors are working with the whole school, supporting a range of curriculum projects, as well as implementing their own case studies.
Gail Rossini has just completed a project with a Grade 1 class. One class worked through a reading book in the conventional manner while the other did the same work using the ACTIVboard. Grade Six pupils were involved in gathering evidence of the Grade 1 pupils’ sight word vocabulary, both before and after the lessons. A questionnaire also completed to find whether the comprehension of the two groups differed. Again the Grade Six pupils were involved with the Grade Ones and pupils were tested on a one-to-one basis. The initial results show that those who interacted with the ACTIVboard had better scores. This study will expand its scope during the year.
The second ACTIVproject at Auckland Part Preparatory School is led by Gill Barnard and involves Grade 6 pupils, whose involvement with the projects has already been mentioned. Their specific work is based on data handling and interpretation of information relating to Conservation. A range of the ACTIVboard tools are used to enable pupils to visualise and transform data.
The second school, St. Mary’s, Waverly, is examining the impact of ACTIVboard technology across the curriculum. Jenny Ketley Is the ACTIVambassador within the school, and she has trained and supports most staff. Exciting projects underway combine sound, video and text in the teaching of poetry and plays, images and video for teaching human biology and images of the pupils themselves for hockey coaching. St. Mary’s is also working with colleagues from a range of local schools in its outreach programme.
At the forthcoming workshop in Cape Town, July 8 & 9, colleagues will be presenting their work and developing their projects. Links will also be strengthened between the countries in preparation for international projects.
Another three countries will begin this action research in 2007 and then every two years after that as an ongoing study. The plan is to create a knowledge base online that shares international teachers' ACTIVboard experience and resources in all curriculum areas which will be a great support to potential users as well as celebrating the achievements of expert users.
Visitors to the MirandaNet website will be able to follow the progress of this ACTIVboard project by following the link to Promethean Ambassadors. Teachers will even be able to advise on best practice in implementing and using this interactive technology. An ACTIV community of users will have an internal online link to exchange ideas, newsletters and invitations; to present at conferences and seminars; as well as opportunities to publish and use the World Ecitizens environment.
- Press Release about this Project, January 2005
- Interim report on the findings, October 2005
- Fuller report from March 2006
Details of the work that MirandaNet undertook from 2002 - 2004, funded by Promethean, can be found on the the MirandaNorth web site. This builds on earlier work, which is reported in detail on the Interactive Whiteboard Project page.
These Case Studies will be updated as the project continues.