Fraserburgh South Park Primary in Aberdeenshire has been using the new Discovery Education Espresso service to create engaging learning experiences for every child. In an interview with Futurescot, primary six teacher Nicole McLean explains how the daily learning platform provides exciting digital content, time-saving resources and useful tools for teaching.
How does Espresso improve teaching on a day-to-day basis?
I’ve been using Discovery Education Espresso for several years and it definitely makes my job as a teacher easier. It gives me all of the content I need for lessons, such as videos, quizzes and activities. Best of all, it’s all in one place. I don’t need to look elsewhere for resources which saves me time.
How is the platform navigated?
I really like the new Discovery Education Espresso platform. The content is displayed very clearly and it’s easy for teachers and pupils to navigate. There’s a new search function which is simple to use and great for finding resources for topic work. There’s also a good variety of timely content, covering a whole range of topics from Fairytales to World War II. And I like the fact that you can filter this by curriculum level.
What kind of resources are available?
Espresso has lots of great digital resources and I use these to support my teaching, especially in maths and literacy. The videos introduce new concepts, while the quizzes and games consolidate learning and check for understanding. The grammar and punctuation videos are especially good. Recently I used these to teach about speech marks and my primary six class were very engaged. The video helped them to grasp the different rules and learn how to put these into practice.
How do pupils access Espresso?
Each child has an individual Espresso login, which makes for easy access. They can also log in quickly with QR codes, which they really enjoy using. I like the fact that each video has a follow-up activity such as a quiz. We often complete the quizzes as a whole class on the whiteboard. The children then try the quizzes independently on their tablets.
Can it be used outside the classroom?
Espresso’s activities are ideal for homework. I often set a quiz that follows on from our work in class. It’s a fun way to consolidate learning and much easier than creating a homework sheet and thinking of questions from scratch. Quizzes are more appealing for children and easier for parents to supervise at home too.
Why do kids enjoy learning with Espresso?
Our pupils love Espresso and not just because they enjoy online learning. The content is engaging and lots of fun. They love the quizzes, seeing their scores and the fact that there aren’t too many questions. They like the video content too. Sometimes they’d rather watch a video on the carpet than listen to a teacher’s explanation. And the videos are pitched at the right level for each age group.
How can the platform boost students’ confidence?
Espresso has some great primary maths resources. The activities allow teachers to differentiate learning and help pupils to progress. With calculation, for example, the activities are set at different levels, so the pupils can move on when they’re ready. I can see their progress, and the pupils can too, which helps them to build confidence. Everyone starts at the same level but can challenge themselves by moving on.
Why would you recommend teaching with Espresso?
Discovery Education Espresso is very easy to use. I like the variety of content, all linked to one subject and all in one place. This is a big plus for me. You can log in quickly and find what you’re looking for. I also like the fact that it’s easy for pupils to use. They can see the difference between the learning at each level, and navigate from one to the next. Above all, they enjoy using Espresso. They’re having fun and learning, which helps them to stay engaged.
View the Discovery Education Espresso service and access a virtual demo here.