A former Derby headteacher is harnessing the power of vlogging to help teachers drive up standards by sharing lessons with other schools across the UK.
Paul Rose left his role at Ridgeway Infant School, in Littleover, to pursue his idea to create a way for schools and professionals to use technology to engage students and for staff to share teaching methods.
He came up with the idea for an educational version of YouTube which allows teachers to securely upload short videos which can be used by other schools looking for innovative or specific ways to teach.
More than 30 schools across the UK have already subscribed to YouTeachMe and the company has achieved Commonwealth Export Champion status allowing it to be shared abroad. It is currently being used across Malta as part of a pilot study.
Mr Rose said: “There are half a million teachers all trying to do the same job, so it made sense to create a platform where visual tutorials can be shared in a safe environment.
“Children absolutely love YouTube and they learn very visually. We all remember the excitement of a big television being wheeled into the classroom and today’s technology is just as exciting for youngsters, but much more personalised through the use of iPads or tablets.
“YouTeachMe allows teachers to search for, watch and use videos made in other schools, then send video content directly to pupils - basically sharing best practise so that everyone benefits.”
“If you have a teacher trying to teach science to a class of 30 pupils they are likely to be faced with a wide range of abilities. So, teachers can search for different ways to teach the same topic and perhaps give one tutorial to a group of special needs students and a completely different version of the same experiment to more able students.”
A number of education specialists have agreed to supply content to YouTeachMe including Trevor Dixon, a maths specialist who writes questions for SATS papers and has written study guides and workbooks for Harper Collins and Letts.
And sporting videos have been supplied by Derby City School Sport Partnership and David Tee, a PE specialist who has toured the world representing England Age Groups in cricket.
Through the platform teachers can follow users whose content they have found particularly useful. But unlike YouTube videos are not rated or commented on.
YouTeachMe also allows video sharing with parents, so it is useful for sending out information, achievements and performances without sharing the content on the internet where it could be viewed by anyone.
As a result of this, parental engagement has gone up by 75 per cent at a special school in Loughborough.
Mr Rose added: “In 2015 UK schools spent a quarter of a billion pounds on computers – so it’s vital that this investment is used efficiently. You couldn’t use YouTube in schools because it simply isn’t safe to do so, there is so much content which isn’t suitable.
“But YouTeachMe is a closed community which will allow students to access some of the best teaching material in the country.
“I am getting incredible feedback from the schools who have signed up for the scheme so far. There are some very passionate and committed teachers out there and sharing their enthusiasm and talent with a larger number of pupils can only be a good thing.”
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