On Friday the 26th October, the project team for the DET Seed Grant, Entrepreneurial Futures: Tracking the impact of tech schools and 21st century employability skills on students, teachers and school communities in northern and western regions, hosted a professional learning event ‘Learning in the Tech School’ which was held at the Banyule-Nillumbik Tech School, in Greensborough. The event attracted some 60 participants, teachers from schools associated with the Whittlesea and Banyule-Nillumbik Tech Schools, pre-service teachers from RMIT University and industry representatives (e.g. DET, VIT, and higher education providers).
The broad intent of the event was to enable stakeholders to experience hands-on learning, including scoping a design and building a prototype, and then ‘making a pitch’ for this design to all participants. The morning session, a design challenge to design a lamp for 4 to 11 year-olds, was skilfully led by two of our MTP pre-service teachers, Matt and Jess.
- How can we make a lamp with personality so that children feel like they have a companion reading with them?
- How can we make a lamp that is portable and energy efficient so that children can read a book anywhere they might go?
- How can we make a lamp enabled with technology so that children with reading difficulties can enjoy life long reading?
- How can we make a lamp that can be attached to multiple objects so that children can take it with them when they live in more than one home?
Feedback from the event has been outstanding:
“How impressive are the pre-service teachers.”
“Simple ideas help scaffold thinking and open minds to thinking big … so many possibilities.”
“This process is significant and I think it will be really great if we could transfer it into our school. I feel like we do it in bits and pieces all over the place so it needs to be whole school, much more integrated. As teachers in secondary schools it gets very hard to get this happening.”
“The process of innovation is one that needs to be fostered in our students to be 21st century learners and the understanding that all ideas can be workable and improved and that’s true innovation”.
Project Team: Marc Blanks and Skylie Massingham (Tech schools), Patricia McLaughlin, Kathy Jordan, Alison Lugg, Belinda Kennedy (RMIT)