The Value of Edtech in Media and Film

A little bit about us

At The Ravensbourne School, in Bromley, Kent, we are a mixed comprehensive with over 1450 students. Priding ourselves on achievement, we look to develop the individual talents of all of our students. The school aims to equip students with the skills, confidence and self-esteem to be successful in modern work places.

Teachers at The Ravensbourne School strive to be forward thinking, innovative and creative in their teaching methods to create engaging classroom environments and a sense of community in which everyone can thrive.

Why we entered

The school Media department offers a wide range of vocational and academic courses in Media and Film related subjects, and in the past few years has proved a very popular area of study of students. The department gives our students the opportunity to learn and develop creative skills which will broaden their employment prospects.

Both staff and students in the department are aware of how digitally mindful we need to be and how teaching and learning should reflect this. The Promethean Grant gave us an incredible opportunity to update our front of class technology, and the digital and creative elements of the competition were perfect for us to fit in with the curriculum. Creating the entry taught the students lots of practical skills, had real world value and they had a lot of fun in the process.

We knew that winning an ActivPanel would allow us to do so much more with technology in our lessons. From a teaching perspective especially, it would make it much easier to demonstrate complex concepts to the whole class rather than in small groups or one-to-one.

What winning means to us

The ActivPanel has transformed the delivery of Media lessons at our school. To have reliable technology in the class with so many capabilities means we are constantly trying new things and making our lessons more interactive.

Even with the simple everyday use of ActivCast to show presentations and word documents on the panel, it has made a profound difference to teaching. The pinch zoom function and scrolling on the ActivPanel makes a huge difference. Being able to perform these functions at the front of the class rather than sat behind a computer enhances teacher-pupil interaction, making lessons far more open and engaging.

Screen captures are also very useful in Media lessons, but more importantly the ability to be able to annotate them with information about lighting, exposure and various media codes. With YouTube clips the frame is frozen and the video behind pauses while you make the annotations. Multiple students can come up to the ActivPanel at the same time and make annotations simultaneously, which is great for group work and pupil engagement. We can then save these to the library and revisit them whenever we like, or display them on the ActivPanel.

Down to the more technical detail, having several accessible HDMI ports on the side of the ActivPanel allows us to connect the department camera and project the display onto the panel. We are able to brilliantly demonstrate a range of concepts including lighting and the impact over exposure can have on an image. Before we would have to split the class into very small groups and gather around the camera, now a full class can see the camera display all at the same time.

It’s extremely important to have up-to-date technology in school that allows pupils to practise skills that will boost their employability. It is inevitable that when our pupils leave school nearly all of them will be using technology at least to some extent in their careers.

After hearing about the innovative ways we are using the ActivPanel in our department, Promethean invited me to the education technology show, Bett, in London, to show visitors and delegations the ways in which we are using the technology to enhance the delivery of the Media curriculum at The Ravensbourne School. It was wonderful to have the opportunity to share our ideas and demonstrate the value edtech brings to creative subjects.

Budgets in creative subjects are being squeezed across education and the Promethean Grant has given us an amazing chance to upgrade our front of class technology. We are exploring new and creative ways of learning every day.

Simon Morrell, Head of Media, The Ravensbourne School.

Would your school benefit from a Promethean ActivPanel?

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