Drones, robots, chat-bots and virtual reality are all part of learning at one Logan college, where an innovative school leader uses artificial intelligence and cutting-edge technology to enthral students and prepare them for future. Canterbury College (CC) Director of Learning and Innovation James Jenkins works with students and teachers to steep them in exciting new ways of teaching and learning. CC Head of Secondary Tamara Roth says students are using drones to study Geography, virtual reality to explore ancient civilisations in History, and are using robots and augmented reality to learn Japanese under James’s leadership.
“James is always looking for the next project that will interest and excite students at Canterbury,” Tamara says.
“He believes in preparing students for a world that is rapidly changing by equipping them with 21st Century skills,” she says.
“Working with Junior School teachers all classes in 2018 visited the Digital Hub where James ran lessons on robotics, drones, augmented reality and 3D printing. Even our youngest learners are now aware of these technologies and how they work.” As a Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert James attends and presents at conferences nationwide. Later this year he is presenting sessions on using digital tools across the curriculum at the Leading a Digital School conference. Last year he led a project which saw all CC teachers become Microsoft Innovative Educators. James has visited innovative schools including schools in Japan and the United States of America over the past two years to help ensure the college is providing the best possible 21st Century education for their students. “James’ pedagogy includes skyping with experts, using augmented reality and virtual reality experiences to help explain concepts using Microsoft Hololens, and engaging students in artificial intelligence using chat-bots,” Tamara says. “Students in James’s class keep their notes in digital notebooks, where video, audio and images are collated, along with handwritten work,” she says. “James works with teachers across the college to help them integrate digital technologies and other innovative ideas into their lessons. Most classes now use OneNote effectively and teachers are using tools such as Flipgrid, Paint 3D and Sway regularly in their classrooms.” James, who runs CC’s Digital Hub, has also worked as a Chemistry and Biology teacher and Head of Department. Congratulations James on your nomination.