INNOVATION IN TEACHING
Hundreds of interactive mathematics video lessons, which have been mapped to Queensland’s new curriculum, have been placed online for teachers across the state by one of the nation’s leading Flipped Learning educators, Joel Speranza.
The Ormiston College Head of Mathematics has his own YouTube channel where teachers, students and families from across the world are able to access his mathematics lessons. He has also created hundreds of interactive mathematics applets for students.
The Advance Queensland Community Digital Champion was one of the first teachers in Australia to use Lightboard – which involves teachers writing lessons on glass, as if the teacher is writing on the camera lens the viewers are watching – in video lessons for students. He has also led the way for this method of blended learning to be used in classrooms across Ormiston College.
Joel’s innovative teaching methods have seen him named as one of twelve Flipped Learning Global Master Teachers, a Microsoft Innovative Education Expert, and this year, a finalist in the Australian Education Award’s Head of Department category.
Ormiston College Deputy Head of College Lee Catterall says Joel’s innovative practice has benefited students and colleagues worldwide.
“Joel Speranza is continually innovating in his classroom, his department, his school and in the worldwide education community. Joel understands that, through technology and innovation, you can have a much larger impact than just your own classroom. Joel tries to support all of these colleagues whenever he can,” Lee says.
“Joel has presented seminars, webinars, keynote presentations, and whole-day professional development around blended learning and the power of video in education. This sharing has revolutionised the way many teachers view their role in the classroom and how they can better support their students,” she says.
One of the most recent examples of Joel’s influence in Queensland was during the remote learning phase sparked by the COVID-19 restrictions.
“These teachers were faced with the dual challenge of a new syllabus and remote teaching. With this in mind, Joel created a website called https://mathsvideosaustralia.com/, with hundreds of maths videos mapped to the new Queensland General, Methods and Specialist syllabuses for all teachers and students to use,” Lee says.
Joel also created a video every day during the remote learning phase for Ormiston College staff called ‘Tech Tip Time’, which covered a necessary piece of professional development for successful online learning.
“This innovative, asynchronous approach to professional development allowed staff the autonomy they needed to upskill at their own pace,” Lee says.
The fact the number of Ormiston College students choosing to study the subject Maths Specialist has doubled, and that the number of female students choosing the subject has exceeded the number of male students for the first time in the school’s history, has been directly attributed to Joel’s innovative teaching practices.
The Mathematics teacher, who has taught in all schooling sectors, also regularly shares his work through a blog and social media channels, including Twitter.
Ormiston College Headmaster Brett Webster says Joel stands out as an effective leader because of his ability to bring others on board.
“He is always willing to share his knowledge with others and has showcased to the staff and broader education community,” Brett says.
“He embraces new and innovative teaching practices and as a result is always looking for ways in which to engage his learnings,” he says.
Congratulations Joel on being shortlisted for a TEACHX Innovation in Teaching Award.