The Spirit of Endeavour: Encouraging creativity in our schools

The film First Man is well-crafted and an exciting watch that features excellent performances and realistically depicts the preparations and risks associated with the launch of the Apollo 11 mission to the moon. To a certain extent, the film is less about the events of the mission and more about the pressures, dreams and realities of the spirit of endeavour during the cold war within the backdrop of the race between the Soviet Union and USA to conquer space. Throughout the film, the theme of mortality is explored both within Neil Armstrong’s own immediate family and within the broader context of the NASA team preparing for their mission.

Watching it made me realise how similar the story of the Apollo missions are to LGfL’s Space Adventures  which takes learners through the different stages of a mission from pre-launch preparations, to inflight challenges and eventual return back to earth. It features support for the Science, Literacy and Maths curriculum with a whole section created by Max Wainewright mapped to the Computing curriculum.

Virtual Reality is used to provide learners with the part of the mission on the moon where the intrepid astronaut Tazz is required to mine the raw material Dysprosium, a mineral prized back on earth for use in the construction of our smart phones. Our partners at Inspryo recently provided an update to our new KS1 AR resource Significant People; it now has a VR element – a Lunar VR experience which places you in the space suit of Neil Armstrong and allows the viewer to explore the surface of the moon and view the experiments that were completed during that first expedition to the moon.

Within the Space Adventures resource, there are many opportunities for learners to explore issues of mortality, morality and environmental issues through poignant video content and through the unique narrative created by award winning author Cath Howe. It has been fantastic to see how the resource has captured the imagination in schools recreating the spirit of adventure and endeavour.

The Polar Exploration in the Heroic Age of Scientific Discovery produced in partnership with the Scott Polar Research Institute covers similar themes of Scientific exploration on the limits of human knowledge and understanding within the context of the time. The extraordinarily primitive equipment is often a revelation to our smart phone generation of learners in schools today. Exning Primary School used their recent investment in Chrome books and Class VR headsets to recreate their own polar landscapes to demonstrate their knowledge learned.

As LGfL launches its bold partnership with Adobe to provide the Creative Cloud Suite of professional creative tools to schools, we hope that teachers and learners will accept our very modern challenge and aim to pioneer in the way that many of our hero’s from the past did through their own creative endeavours. There are plenty of support opportunities on offer via the LGfL training portal to equip teachers with the required insights and skills with the Adobe tools. Related to the Moon landing… our introductory course on Photoshop ‘Get started with Imaging’ at the Adobe Education Exchange is about the Apollo 11 moon landing.  The course covers the teaching basics of Photoshop with the project ‘I was there when…’ and shows how you can put yourself into a historic photo.

We want our learners and teachers to explore their own creativity in ways no one has previously, to inspire each other through their own creative adventures and focus on the issues that affect and concern them, be that climate change, politics, self-image or storytelling though images, video or sound.

By continuing to work with world class partners, LGfL hopes to help create a new spirit of creative endeavour in our schools and lead the way in what can be achieved through creative, collaborative thinking and self-expression.

We would love to see the work you with Adobe tools in your classroom via our Twitter or Facebook pages.

B.Usher, LGfL Content Manager

 

 

 

 

 

The THIRD Live broadcast with STEAM School

Our third LIVE broadcast with STEAM School featured Milky Tea and aired on Tuesday 25th June at 2pm.

Creating a Video Game with Susie McBeth – hosted by Jade from STEAM School:

Milky Tea is a UK based Game Development and Animation Production Studio which was established in Liverpool in 2005. The studio designs, develops and publishes digital content for some of the globe’s biggest brands including NFL, Sony, Kraft, Bose and Toyota. The studio is renowned for its work in the UK on the Lloyds TSB ‘for the journey’ advertising campaign between 2007 – 2013 and is currently working on their latest game, HyperBrawl Tournament, currently in pre-beta and scheduled to be released on Steam and Nintendo Switch 2019.

The interview took place with Susie McBeth of Milky Tea with Jade Parkinson-Hill, the creator of STEAM Schools. She asked a number of questions including:

What skills and experiences did you have before you started your career in video games?

Tell us about your job in the video games sector?

Tell us about Milky Tea’s latest game – Hyperbrawl and what makes the and what makes the game so special?

How should young people prepare for careers in video games?

During the broadcast, @LGfL schools who were watching live, were encouraged to tag in @thesteamschool and use the hastag #generationtech to share their thoughts. During this live broadcast Cheam Common Junior, part of the LEO Academy Trust, asked a couple of questions via Twitter as shown in the screenshot below:

The winners of each of the Generation Tech Challenges will receive £250 prize money for their school’s STEM budget and we are looking forward to some of the entries being shared and the winners announced on our fourth and final broadcast.

We hope that all the pupils and schools who have taken part in the pilot study have enjoyed the experience and that the people who have been interviewed have opened their eyes to possible career paths they could follow using technology.

LGfL hosts a number of resources that pupils can experiment with from AR, VR and Mixed Reality resources, AppMaker to Busy Code (in Busy Things) and J2Code  in the J2Toolsuite to name just a few. Below is our ‘Explore Geography – Augmented Reality’ trailer.

‘KS1 – Significant People and Events – Augmented Reality’ trailer:

For more like this, visit the AR VR Channel on LGfL TV . It offers a unique insight into the latest developments in both Augmented and Virtual Reality from those leading the development within the schools sector.

If you have taken part in a Generation Tech Challenge or indeed have participated in the STEAM School pilot study, please do let us know by posting on LGfL’s Twitter or Facebook.

 

 

 

 

Our First LIVE Broadcast with STEAM School

Many of the LGfL community have signed up to take part in the STEAM School pilot project this summer term; the Liverpool based Steam School is connecting students directly to Liverpool’s most forward thinking entrepreneurs through a series of live broadcasts.

Schools taking part are invited to submit questions for the broadcast, interact LIVE and compete in a ‘Generation Tech Challenge’; the winner of the challenge will receive £250 prize money for their school’s STEM budget.

Tuesday 11th June marked the first of four broadcasts. ‘Exploring Virtual Reality’ was an interview with Clemens Wangerin from vTime.

During the broadcast, schools watching live, were encouraged to tag in @thesteamschool and use the hastag #generationtech to share their thoughts. In addition, Clemens told the viewers about the company’s free app (available on iOS and Android) called ‘vTime XR- The AR & VR Social Network’ (he said it was amazing with a VR headset but could also be used without – in 2D or augment modes).

The creator of STEAM Schools, Jade Parkinson-Hill hosts all the broadcasts and asked Clemens a number of questions including:

Can you explain the difference between AR, VR and XR?

How do you think you people should best prepare for careers in tech and specifically virtual reality?

What do you think are some of the most exciting applications of mixed reality technology?

What do you love most about working in a dynamic tech company?

Here are some screenshots of the live event:

At the end of the live broadcast participating schools were set their first Generation Tech Challenge. Use your log in details to remind yourselves of this:

It is not too late to sign up to this exciting pilot project; visit lgfl.steam-school.com.

Below is a reminder of the upcoming LIVE broadcasts. The next being “Creating a Tech Toy” on Tuesday 19th June at 2pm.

LGfL TV has undergone something of a makeover recently; the aim being to ensure you are able to find relevant video clips with greater ease. There are a number of clips regarding STEAM School on there, so do investigate. Below are a couple to showcase what you can watch:

What positive impact is there for schools who take part in Steam School?

How does Steam School promote gender equality?

If the live broadcast has whet your pupils’ appetites for mixed reality resources, do remember that LGfL host many mixed reality resources. Visit the augmented and virtual reality portal on LGfL (as shown below) and click on the images to find out more. Then why not explore some of these resources during the last term of this academic year?

Remember if you do use any of our mixed reality resources, or take part in the pilot study, let us know by posting on LGfL’s Twitter or Facebook.

 

Explore Geography resource is Highly Commended at GA Publishers’ Awards

 

We are delighted to announce that our Explore Geography resource produced in partnership with Inspyro has been awarded a Highly Commended award at this years prestigious Geography Association Publishers’ awards.

The judges felt that this was a visually engaging resource which would provide the ‘wow’ factor for KS2 or KS3 students and a way in to exploring complex processes and concepts. Overall, a professionally produced resource which has the potential to engage a range of students.

 

Explore Geography aims to demonstrate Geographical concepts that are studied at KS2, KS3 and KS4 in a visual and interactive way making use of the latest technology.

The National Curriculum for Geography at all Key stages states that: A high-quality geography education should inspire in pupils a curiosity and fascination about the world and its people that will remain with them for the rest of their lives.  This statement is at the heart of this resource, Augmented Reality can help convey a complex concept like no other technology and Explore Geography does this with 9 different concepts.  We believe in blending technology seamlessly into the learning experience, ensuring that when technology is used in the classroom, it enhances pupils’ learning whilst still providing the engagement and wow factor.

The ‘Active worksheets’ have the AR triggers embedded so they can be printed out and distributed to students to support group or individual investigations. They cover a range of topics and concepts within both the KS2 and  KS3 curriculum and are perfect for using to cover specifications of the GCSE curriculum with students.

Spinning Planet looks at the Coriolis effect and is an interactive 3D model of the globe with students able to observe Hurricanes, Cyclones and Typhoons in action across the globe. With a Divided Planet, an interactive 3D model of the Earth enables pupils to examine lines of longitude and latitude alongside the tropics and Equator, these can be switched on and off and highlighted, something you are just not able to do on a physical globe or diagram.

 

Urbanisation triggers a mini app allowing pupils to control and view the effects of over time of urbanisation with a focus on key urban development variables and ‘tipping points’. Pupils can hypothesise about  urban growth and can develop a deeper understanding of how the development of a sustainable urban environment has to be carefully balanced. Enabling group discussions around what happens to an area as it becomes urbanised. It also enables pupils to explore what kind of developments take place and how it affects the population, the environment, the economy and the social structure.  Our Changing Climate tackles an incredibly complex subject matter of climate science through an interactive mini app that is triggered which allows pupils to see the effects of climate change to this point and then model the possible outcomes on certain elements such as temperature and sea level over time, something again that more traditional methods of teaching can not convey.

You can watch a walkthrough of the video below:

The Explore Geography resource features context based resources that are a blend of clear and concise information and cutting edge Augmented Reality technology on the same page. A teacher guide is provided with instructions for activities the class can complete, or the resource can be used as a starting point with teachers developing their own lessons around them.  The free Geography ActivLens Augmented reality app for ioS and Android brings the information sheets to life with videos, audio, 3D models and animation.

‘The Explore Geography resource is designed to help students and teachers understand a range of fundamental geographical principles and ideas that some students find difficult to grasp. For example, seeing the water cycle in 3 dimensions really helps explain the inter relationships between each element. It is no longer necessary to have to use abstract descriptions such as ‘along the corridor and up the stairs ‘ when teaching grid references as the app shows live how grid references work when applied directly to a OS map. We commission resources that harness the power of modern technology to benefit all learners and help all children achieve their full potential. We are delighted that the Geographical Association have recognised the quality of the resource we produced with Inspyro to help achieve this aim.’

Bob Usher – Content Manager LGfL