Do you remember that one teacher who inspired you, who you thought was really ‘cool’?  Did it make the subject more enjoyable and engaging?

Attention spans are getting shorter and old-style teaching is not working and technology provides the innovation we need.

There are a lot of young teachers who have grown up with technology and these teachers can be the ones that inspire today’s students.  Technology, especially used with project focused learning, can provide excellent engagement with students.  Technology is the tool to bring subjects to life and embed the knowledge into their young brains.

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Currently 3D printing, when understood in all its wonder, is the top resource exciting teachers and bringing their lessons to life.  For a long time, price has been a big barrier to schools having their own printer but with prices having come down significantly, they are much more affordable for schools now.  Websites such as Thingiverse even have full lesson plans for most subjects including history, science, art and manufacturing.  Teachers can personalise these plans and bring a different dynamic to their teaching.  Children can print all sorts of items that they can touch and examine in detail making the learning process much more memorable.  3D printers also bring industrial manufacturing into the classroom!

Children absolutely love robots. Getting them building a robot covers so many areas such as design, construction and of course coding and programming.  Drones are also popular and what better way of introducing children to the science of how things fly.

Virtual reality is a resource that has amazing potential and gets great engagement from children.  Schools could ask parents to donate old smartphones, buy some google cardboards and have the capability to deliver lessons that include VR resources for the whole class for less than £100.  Just think how much fun history would be if the children could get a gladiator’s eye view of the Coliseum in Rome simply by donning their VR headsets.

Child using VR headset

AI is already impacting society in general and has the potential to make a great contribution on the education front.  With AI each child could have a personal ‘tutor’ to guide them on their personalised learning path.  With all the furore about university tuition fees AI could be utilised to deliver a distance learning programme at a fraction of the current costs. Think of it as the Open University for the 21st century.


Casey Farquharson, founder and owner, The I.D.E.A.S. Bus

Casey Farquharson

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