“We can pay our debt to the past by putting the future in debt to ourselves”
John Buchan, Scottish Writer, 1940.
As we travel the world, evangelising our message #EducationMatters – the idea that everyone has the right to access opportunities to learn, spark their thinking, and grow their potential, people often comment on our deeply engrained values. We are a small company, and so it’s no surprise that we work very closely with our colleagues and clients, but it had never really occurred to us that our values shine through quite so much. We suspect that is very much down to the passion of our Director Stephen Reid, who infuses every meeting, workshop and presentation with his energy and his genuine belief that we can make a difference in the classroom.
We thought it might be worth taking a closer look at the values that drive us and what we do here at Immersive Minds. You see one of our driving beliefs is that in a world that is so connected, where we can chat to astronauts on the international Space Station at the click of a button, that there is absolutely NO reason why some children should still not have access to opportunities to learn. There are lots of reasons for this, and in the interests of keeping it light, we won’t go into the politics here. Whatever the reasons, we believe that technology offers us some of the greatest opportunities to extend learning to places and people that might otherwise miss out. That may sound like we’re talking about faraway places, or impoverished, less developed countries. And that may well be the case, but there are also learners who experience disparity in learning opportunities right here in our own backyard.
What could we possibly do to remedy global disparities in education provision? Well ok, reality check, maybe not that much! Instead we consider what we do have the power to do. We created our 'Pay It Forward’ series after connecting with local teachers to find out how we could be of service. We asked them what about their priorities in Digital and STEM learning are where we could make a difference. Pay It Forward is the result – a set of interactive lessons and guidance for teachers who need a little bit of support in bringing their digital education to fruition. The series includes our digital lesson guides that you can check out in our web portfolio. We delivered these alongside free on-line ‘Get Started’ CPD hang-outs that took teachers through how to use the guides to get started in the classroom.
We have also been working with organisations like DigIt! 2017 who want to help us ensure that the educational resources we develop are open source and freely available to all educators. Our Crafting the Past series can be downloaded and used to teach a whole range of curricular areas, with an emphasis on cultural and built heritage.
We partnered with Microsoft and undertook the development of two in-depth, online courses in ‘Creating a Maker Space’ and ‘Problem-Based Learning’, both of which are freely available on the Microsoft Educator Community website.
We’re delighted that our guides have been helpful to the teachers we designed them for, and we will continue to seek ways of bringing more open resources to the education community. We’ll make sure to advertise our sessions and resources widely so watch this space!