Y Factor prizewinners 2008

A Schome team of teenagers entered the Y Factor 2008 competition, held at the Handheld Learning conference. The competition looks for young people who are ‘doing something innovative, different and interesting that gives their learning the “Y” factor’.

It proved very complicated to get the team to London, as they weren’t supported by a school, there was no more project funding, and the teenagers had to travel from all over the country. I searched for sponsors, and both RM and Sums Online generously agreed to fund part of the trip.

In addition, the teenagers had to put together and rehearse their presentation – and then present it together in front of a large audience in London on the first occasion they had ever met. On the day, Vibia presented from her school via Second Life, while Topper, Baso, Mars and Kit met up in London. They went home with third prize – lots of software, some of which they sold in order to send a cash equivalent to Vibia. Here’s part of their presentation

Schome Park has given its students a real chance to study History and Archaeology in new ways which are more engaging and interactive than those used in the classroom. As Second Life® allows people to build, script, and chat amongst other things, the History sessions have been able to build Roman aqueducts. Sizings can be used which can enable students to scale buildings so they can compare the size of these buildings to the height of people. This allows students to relate to how people would have felt seeing these buildings. The study of archaeology is a difficult process as once artefacts and material are disturbed they cannot be replaced, whereas in Schome Park this is possible. During the Archaeology sessions a shipwreck was recreated and ‘excavated’ amongst discussions including Henges and Pompeii. When the two sessions integrated for one meeting a Roman road was created and enabled each layer of the road to be removed allowing students to see how the roads were constructed. This unique way of learning breaks down the barriers of students and teachers. This leads to student run sessions which benefit many people as both children and adults can learn from each other.

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