British astronaut, Tim Peake, became the first Brit to take part in a successful spacewalk, after travelling into space on 15th December 2015. He frequently documents his experiences at the ISS space station by posting videos online and speaking via satellite. On 2nd February 2016, following a successful broadcast on Christmas Day, he answered questions from school children as part of an effort to educate children about space.
Tim took time out from his daily scientific tests and space station chores to speak with school children at the World Museum in Liverpool. Over 300,000 children got to see the 20 minute session, which was projected live onto classroom white boards across the country.
The children asked a range of questions including “What can you see out of your window?”, “Why doesn’t space have gravity?” and “What’s your favourite button on the ISS?”
Tim even got the chance to play ‘space ping pong’, using a blob of water and special waterproof paddles to demonstrate how liquids stay intact in the weightless atmosphere of space.
The session proved a huge success, inspiring and educating thousands of children across the country. The event showcased how technology and education can come together to enhance learning experiences for children.
You can see all the action from the day on the #CosmicClassroom hashtag, take a look.
The value of technology in the classroom is increasingly being recognised in UK schools as a great tool to enhance the learning experience. Many schools are enthusiastic about the potential of enhancing traditional teaching methods with innovative technology. Figures show an upward trend in the amount of time children are exposed to ICT in the classroom. In 2014, 50% of children used technology at school, and this number is expected to rise to 58% by 2017.
In 2015, the OECD conducted a report which found that there was no positive correlation between using technology and exam results. They also suggested, however, that this may be because schools failed to take full advantage of the technology available in the classroom. As a result, children were not being equipped with the skills appropriate for today’s connected world.
Many, such as technology writer Marc Prensky, have argued that a new approach needs to be taken to using technology in the classroom. Rather than focusing on products in the market that simply act as aids to teach the existing curriculum, we should start focusing on high tech subjects (such as coding) that will equip children for tomorrow’s world of work. This is supported by the latest work force survey finding that when hiring “two-thirds of businesses believe tech knowledge is key”.
We are hosting our Annual Education and Technology Conference on 2nd March 2016 in London. The conference will explore how we can bridge the gap between the technology on offer and the skills base of those who have to utilise it. The agenda is now available online, including confirmed speakers. Don’t forget ONECPD members can take advantage of 10% off by using their introductory discount code.