iPads bring history to life for Glasgow pupils during Covid
When Scotland went into lockdown and schools moved online, teachers across the country were faced with the prospect teaching remotely for the first time.
Scott Anderson, a history teacher at Castlemilk High School, turned to his iPad in a bid to keep his lessons interesting.
Located in one of Glasgow’s most economically disadvantaged areas, the secondary school was part of the city’s push in 2019 to get a free iPad into the hands of nearly 50,000 youngsters. The £300 million project saw every pupil from P6 to S6 given their own device to keep.
After learning how to use video editing software iMovie and music creation ‘studio’ GarageBand, Anderson created self-narrated virtual lessons featuring archival photos, sound effects and video clips that his students could access digitally anytime.
“During the lockdown period, the remote teaching became slightly repetitive so I think it’s good to vary the teaching style,” says Anderson. “iPad and its built-in creativity apps made it so easy for me to do that quickly and virtually. And to be honest, I would certainly say the pupils are outshining me in the technology department now.”
Inspired by the success of his virtual lessons, the teacher set his students the task of creating their own podcasts in which they discussed various history topics.
In his podcast about women fighting for the right to vote, 17-year-old student Ben Mawson recorded himself walking around at home wearing hard-soled shoes to evoke the idea of women marching. When talking about the tactics they sometimes employed, he added the sound of glass breaking.
“Over the lockdown period, watching these videos and making these recordings was much better and much more exciting than just going over our notes,” says final year student Carris Kenna, 17. “And because everyone had their own iPad, you were always connected to your teachers. You could contact them anytime if you needed help, and it made me feel like we were all a big family.”
Five years ago, 20 per cent of Castlemilk leavers went on to higher education. This year, in the midst of the pandemic, it has risen to 50 per cent.
“The students each having an iPad isn’t the only reason that’s happened, but without iPads, none of it could have happened,” says Castlemilk’s head teacher Lynn Gibson. “During the lockdowns, I was worried — how do we keep them safe and make sure they’re okay. An iPad was the tool that enabled us to keep that contact going and support them as they planned for the future.”
Both Kenna and Mawson are now planning to study history at university in September.
“My goal is to become a history teacher,” says Mawson. “And after seeing what Mr. Anderson has done, it’s definitely a system I would use in my own classes when I get to that point. It really helped me and it gave me some ideas about how I could help future generations.”
The pandemic has taught me how to share more – and I feel a better leader for it
As a young professional starting out in the tech sector 30 years ago, I thrived on the fast pace,constant change and demanding workload. I lived in London, Singapore and Australia…
We need to shout about our successes. Liz Fletcher on celebrating women in biotech
Throughout my career in biotechnology and life sciences, I have seen many women leading ground-breaking research studies in their fields of expertise. Yet, and I include myself in this, we…
Getting the best out of patient data is key to unlocking future health benefits in Scotland
It is important that clinicians’ voices are heard in the consultation around Scotland’s new health and care data strategy, which closes this week (12 August). Busy GPs like myself are the trusted…
How motherhood helped me be a better leader
Consider this an open letter to anyone I have worked with before I became a mother and before I fully understood how being a parent is actually a prized asset…
‘We cannot achieve our goals without entrepreneurs’ – Kate Forbes on vision for new ‘tech scaler’ network
From the very start of my ministerial career, I have had responsibility for the Scottish tech sector – and I can still say what I have said from the start,…
Finding a role in cyber was ‘tough’ for Cheryl Torano. Now she’s determined to help other women join an under-represented industry
When I decided to upskill to change careers at the age of 30 and dive into the digital world, I knew I would be starting out at the bottom of…
Why innovation and marketing are the perfect partners to make changes that matter￼
With the rapid evolution of traditional marketing and the appearance of digital marketing, technology and innovation has become part of any marketer’s life without the need of working for a…
Transitioning to a four-day week – CEO’s vow to strike a healthier balance in the workplace
I came to Scotland nearly 20 years ago from Ireland, with no contacts but a lot of determination. While Ireland will always be my home, Scotland has given me amazing…