It's about InterActive learning
Press release issued: 16 March 2004
The UK's largest-ever project exploring how information and communication technology (ICT) can be used effectively to improve teaching and learning in schools, from primary to post-16, will be showcased at Bristol University on March 17.
Funded by the Economic and Social Research Council the £1 million, two-year project entitled, 'InterActive education: teaching and learning in the information age', is part of the national Teaching and Learning Research programme.
The event on March 17 called 'It's about InterActive education' will showcase the InterActive research project and its results. It will be opened by Professor Eric Thomas, Vice-Chancellor, and will take place from 3 to 7 pm at the Wills Memorial Building, Queen's Road. The event is free and open to anyone interested in how investment in new technologies is affecting teachers' teaching and children's learning, in and out of school.
Based in the University's Graduate School of Education, the project is designed to bridge the divide between research and practice. At its heart is a unique partnership between university researchers, teacher educators and teachers who are working together to find out how ICT can be most effectively used to improve learning.
Ten schools and colleges from Bristol and South Gloucestershire and over 50 teachers were partners in the research. These came from primary, secondary and further education with teachers of English, maths, music, history, geography, science and modern foreign languages taking part.
A central feature of the project was the use of video footage that had been recorded to study the realities of teaching and learning in classrooms and computer rooms. The project also explored the learners' perspective through surveys and interviews. Young people's out-of-school involvement with new technologies was further studied with the co-operation of a number of families who took part in home-based case studies.
Professor Rosamund Sutherland, Head of the Graduate School of Education at Bristol University and a co-director of the project, said: 'Using ICT to enhance learning involves more than just having the equipment and meeting the technical challenge - though that is important. The process is far from straightforward.
'Teachers remain central to their pupils' learning but they themselves have a lot to learn and consider if the potential of new technologies is to be fully exploited to transform learning. They need time for this and to be supported in ways like those developed by the project which have proved to be effective.'
'It's about InterActive education' includes:
- Displays by the subject teams of work done over the past two years.
- Examples of research evidence on video - real classrooms, individual and group learning closely observed and analysed.
- Demonstration lessons by teachers and pupils from the project.
- Demonstration lessons by teachers from the project, which visitors can be part of or watch.
- Opportunities for visitors to talk to people from the project and play with some of the software used.
Short keynote addresses throughout the event by well-known speakers from the world of teaching, learning and new technologies:
- Professor Andrew Pollard, Director of the national Teaching and Learning Research Programme and Visiting Professor in Education at Bristol University.
- Professors Rosamund Sutherland and Peter John, Co-directors of the InterActive Education Research Project.
- Professor Angela McFarlane, leading figure in work on ICT and education, currently researching computer games and Professor in Education at Bristol University.
- Professor Guy Claxton, internationally known for his innovative work on and research into learning processes and Professor in Education at Bristol University.