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Best use of itslearning awards 2011: the winners are…

The Best use of itslearning awards 2011 received nearly 50 entries from across Europe. We’re pleased to announce the two winners, who will both receive an iMac and Canon LEGRIA HF G10 video camera for their school.

There were some fantastic ideas, including innovative ways to use video to teach vocational subjects and a great way to motivate language learners. But after careful consideration, our panel of judges settled on these two winners.

Flipping the classroom: Anne Cathrine Gotaas, Sandvika Further Education College, Norway

This flipped classroom concept is simple: students study the theory at home and use classroom time to put their newly gained knowledge into practice. Anne Cathrine delivers flipped classroom teaching to her students by creating videos, animations and other resources and adding them to the relevant itslearning course.

Best use awards
The Best use of itslearning awards 2011 were open to any teacher who uses itslearning. The winning entries had to demonstrate a use of itslearning that engages students, raises student achievement and is easily transferable to another teacher. The judging panel was made up of four people:

• Russell Prue, ICT Evangelist, Author & Broadcaster
• Alastair Cameron, Senior Learning Strategist (itslearning)
• Trond Skeie, Training Manager (itslearning)
• Arne Bergby, CEO (itslearning)
The videos are embedded into a test and students must answer one or two questions after watching the video. The student will then see if she has understood the video or if she has to watch it again. This technique also means that Anne Cathrine can see which areas have caused problems for her students – and she can prepare her classroom lessons accordingly. She can also track which students have watched or read the materials and which haven’t.

Improving behaviour among disaffected students: Dee Kerwick-Chrisp, Greys Education Centre, UK

Greys Education Centre takes the students that other schools deem too hard to teach. With these students, encouraging good behaviour is usually vital to successful learning.

Once a week, every student meets with a teacher to set their behaviour goals, which are then added to the student’s individual learning plan (ILP). Then, at the end of each lesson, the class teacher refers to the student’s ILP before assigning the student a behaviour grade (using a 1-5 scale that only reflects good behaviour).

Any student with an average above 3.2 for the week can enjoy a free lesson – and the student with the best score gets a certificate. This reward system has proven extremely successful, with students competing with each other to get the best score. The student’s weekly behaviour report is also printed out and sent to their parents – and the reports are sometimes used as evidence that students are adhering to court orders.

Great ideas for teachers everywhere

“The decision was extremely difficult and we’d like to thank everyone who entered for sharing their great ideas with us,” says Alastair Cameron, one of the judges. “We’re really pleased that there are so many great teachers doing great things with itslearning, and I hope that teachers around the world will benefit from reading about and seeing their ideas.”

You can see all 12 entries (each with a description and video) that made the shortlist on our global website.

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