Journal posts Journal posts

Whole School Change using Technology is Perhaps Scientific

My final Link Observation Visit planned at this stage of the project was to Simono Dacho School in Klaipeda. This is a “Basic School” providing education for approx. 1000 students...

Decision, Precision and Transparency across the School for Systemic Change Using ICT

Tourismusschulen, Bad Hofgastein , Salzburg has approximately 320 students aged 14-19 years. Whilst this school is different to many “mainstream” schools, it is a private school,...

Collaborating more - with less individual devices, and making time for the plenary.

The second visit in Portugal is ESCOLA BÁSICA PARQUE DAS NAÇÕES School. Built in 2010, the school stemmed from the Expo 1998 and is very much part of the changing landscape and growing...

Involving your students and making the most of learning beyond the lesson time.

Eça de Queirós has been identified as the Advanced Secondary School in Portugal for the LSL Project. Set in an area surrounded by high rise apartments and largely lower socio-economic status; this...

Active Learning in Ieper Across the Curriculum is Building Opportunities for Whole School Innovation and Change.

MS Ieper school is ten minutes walk from the main town square of Ieper where the Menin Gate is situated. This is a middle school with approximately 189 students aged 12-14...

Creating digital content; interactive textbooks; analysing spaced learning and flipped classrooms.

  My second visit is over an hour by aeroplane from Bologna to the ‘heel’ of Italy in Brindisi. (the climate is completely different and the sun is shining!)   ITIS...

Addressing the innovation culture and learning with tablets.

  Leaving the small village of Ingrandes, we head almost 3 hours across France by car to the second destination, just outside Poitiers . Surrounded by a technical landscape of modern...

How Are You Interconnecting Learning Spaces and Technology? A School with a Zoo and Three Kangaroos

A tour of Gymnazium Teplice in the Czech Republic leaves me slightly stunned; there seems to be something different around every corner. I am greeted by two students who are keen to show me...

Inspiring design ideas in different learning spaces

  At Broadclyst Academy , one of the other dominant features was the different types of classroom space available and it soon became apparent that over the years, the head teacher and the team...

First Stop - Shireland Collegiate Academy, Sandwell, UK

Although I’ve been to Shireland several times before, I think the immediate observation for most visitors must be the celebration of cultures and faiths that exist as one. Shireland...

Observation visits Observation visits

Link observation visits schedule 2013

  • UK: 12 June and 27 June
  • Czech Republic: 16 September
  • Finland: 23 September
  • France: 30 September
  • Norway: 14 October
  • Italy: 21 October
  • Cyprus: 11 November
  • Belgium: 18 November
  • Portugal: 13 January 2014
  • Ireland: 20 January 2014
  • Austria: 27 January 2014
  • Lithuania: 10 February 2014
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Decision, Precision and Transparency across the School for Systemic Change Using ICT

Tourismusschulen, Bad Hofgastein, Salzburg has approximately 320 students aged 14-19 years. Whilst this school is different to many “mainstream” schools, it is a private school, but it must be emphasised that the teachers are employed by the Ministry of Education. The school belongs to the Chamber of Commerce. There are three main courses that the students can choose at the school including, Skiing, Tourism and Hospitality Management. However, the students also study other aspects of the curriculum too.

A tour of the school shows large, bright classrooms with standardised equipment and other specialist areas. Most classrooms are equipped with an interactive whiteboard and a dry wipe board at the side. (Though there are different types of IWB in school.) In the training kitchen, the students are cooking leek and potato soup. There is also a hospitality training restaurant where the students can practice their new ‘silver service’ skills on school guests. (This is one school dinner I am looking forward to!)
At the side of the school just 2 or 3 minutes walk up the path is The Grand Park 5* hotel, this is integrated into the planning for the school and provides the base for the student training. Essentially, this means that the students do their training in a real life hotel. It is encouraging to think that the students are immersed into dealing with real customers. The students undertake training in restaurant service, kitchen food preparation, bar service and the hotel reception. 
  • Do you work with a local business?
  • Do any of your courses give the students the opportunity to work in a real work setting?
  • What other ways can you work with a business in school?
  • Have you shared the use of technology with a local business?
This also makes me wonder just how often other schools engage directly with business.  On a personal level, I always feel this is something that could be explored much further by schools and it would be good to hear of any successful examples. @DianaBannister or  #lsl_eu
For some students, the school day at begins at 5.45am. This is because it can take up to one hour to drive to the destination for the lesson – the mountains. Thankfully today skiing is not on my timetable, but it soon becomes clear how technology is helping to ensure that students and staff are able to access their learning both on site and off site. This can be particularly important as the students may be in various locations throughout the winter. Each teacher can create their own customised view on the school learning platform. The materials for the courses can also be assigned to individual students at different levels. The coaches are also able to update information live and students welcome the immediacy of this information. The school also uses Sprongo, this is a video platform that allows students to analyse their performance.
The school introduced the use of  two years ago, and it has been a continuous process to integrate the system into the everyday working life of the school. It would seem that the role of the principal headteacher has been instrumental in ensuring that all staff are fully trained and realise the potential of the technology.  The learning platform has been developed by Austria and some of the regions have made it free for their schools to access.
  • Do you have a virtual learning environment in your school?
  •  How many of the teachers use the VLE?
  •  How can you improve the use of your VLE?
  •  How do you encourage the parents to access the VLE?
The decision for the whole school to adopt the learning environment appears to have begun to develop some system wide transparency. The electronic register is directly linked to the calendar and this means that it is easier to know whether students are in school or out on location. The teachers feel that communication across the school has improved because it means that the teachers can contact the students more readily. It also means that teachers can communicate quicker about student progress. In the hotel, the mentor for the students can also access the student profile and add feedback about the training. This school has focussed on each teacher providing the students with access to materials. However, at present these are still created by teachers individually. One of the next stages will be to see whether the teachers collaborate to produce digital content. 
Today’s lesson with lead LSL teacher Silvia Listberger is about the success factors of a tourist destination. It begins with a presentation from one of the students who has prepared a PowerPoint presentation about Lech as a tourist destination. He is keen to involve his classmates and the audience. At the end of each section, he has put a slide called “Who’s First?”  
He asks the students to find the answer from their own device and then put up their hand.
In the classroom, many of the students have their own personal device; this includes everything from mobile smartphones, tablets, iPads to netbooks, laptops and Macs. 
The students like being able to “race” to find the information. The student has missed the opportunity to use the technology to collate the data. 
On the dry wipe board, the teacher asks the students to do a SWOT analysis of LECH as a tourist destination. One of the students then takes a photo of the drawing to be placed on the VLE for all students to access. 
The teacher then asks the students to identify the success factors for Lech as a tourist destination. The students consider the different seasons and the types of offers available for various potential clients. The students readily search the internet using their own device. The students are also able to find supporting information.
 Two students collate the main points from each of the groups and then put it together into a whole class Prezi. The students also show a video from YouTube about Lech.
  • If you work in a business and read this, I have seen some good examples of equipment being refurbished and reused by schools – this may be one way in which you can help your school?
  • Are there opportunities for businesses to support the sponsorship of equipment in schools further?
Finally, I must mention that lunch was prepared and served by the 3rd grade students on the day of the Link Observation Visit and by the 2nd grade on the day of the National Focus Group. This gave me a chance to see for myself how the students’ hospitality skills are nurtured. The students worked incredibly hard and the whole experience was delivered with perfection. I loved the Sweet Frog drink!
Next Stop: Graz 3.5 hours by train from Bad Hofgastein.