It was a cool and bright Saturday morning and the magnificent Blended Learning Plaza at GEMS Wellington Academy – Silicon Oasis was buzzing with teacher trainees as they moved from one session to another filled with curiosity and purposefulness. The event was TELLAL’s ‘Teach Best’ conference, organised to give the teacher trainees an opportunity to experience the power of collaborative and peer-led learning in action.
TELLAL approached Asha Sanjay, the School Engagement Lead – Digital Transformation from the GEMS Innovation, Research and Development team, to facilitate one of the sessions around the GEMS Digital Ecosystem. “I invited some of our digital ‘super-users’ across schools to share their expertise and they readily accepted!” explains Asha. “Their brief was to share their experience with the digital ecosystem and the workflows they designed within it to maximise student engagement and learning. The focus for this session was on Fusion-My learning.”
The sessions began with Luke McHale (Secondary Lead for Fusion at GEMS FirstPoint School – The Villa) demonstrating the impact of turning learning spaces into websites designed to engage and interact, whilst leveraging existing tools to create independent pathways for his students to work at their own pace.
He was followed by Matt James, (English teacher and KS2/KS3 coordinator at GEMS Wellington Academy -Silicon Oasis) who shared best practices using the feature rich Home Learning tool in GEMS Fusion, especially for personalised learning and how one could use it in conjunction with Mark Books to capture and share data easily. He led the teachers through the student experience as well and emphasised the continuous online interaction between the teacher and students.
Bala Sadasivan (Academic Supervisor, The Millennium School – Dubai) concluded the session by unleashing the power of the Forums tool within Fusion. She demonstrated how she and her colleagues use Forums extensively to run surveys, collect feedback from parents and students, and to create self-marking quizzes. “Data can be seamlessly captured within the Mark Book, customised to our needs” said Ms Sadasivan.
She captured the teacher trainees’ feedback using Forums within Fusion to demonstrate how this function has encouraged conversations around topics in class and captures the thoughts of the reticent student as well. “At GEMS, each day is a part of our learning journey,” she continued. “Training for the TELLAL Teach Best conference gave me an opportunity not only to share my best practices with young aspiring teachers, but also to enhance my own skills through interaction with other trainers.”
“It was quite an interactive session, as playing around with the guest teacher login helped in gauging the actual capabilities of Fusion and how we could use it to improve student learning. Such expressions are an indicator of how the impact peer-led sessions inspire adoption of education technology best practices across the groups. On the other side, it was fantastic to see how the three teachers responded to this experience,” concluded Asha.