One of the country’s leading education experts has hailed a Derby inventor’s innovative online lesson-sharing platform after seeing first-hand how it has boosted teaching at a city school.
Ty Goddard, who is co-founder of the Education Foundation, described Paul Rose’s online product YouTeachMe as “an extremely powerful educational tool” during a visit to the Royal School for the Deaf Derby, which has started using the system to help its students to learn maths, drama and music.
Mr Rose, the former head teacher at Ridgeway Infant School in Littleover, launched YouTeachMe last year to enable teachers to film their own lessons and share them with other colleagues and pupils via the internet.
The system, which has been adopted by 30 mainstream and SEN schools across the UK, has already been nominated for a number of awards but and picked up its biggest accolade this year when it was named in the EdTech50, a list of the country’s best people, projects and products which are using technology to shape and improve the education sector.
Mr Goddard is also director of EdTechUK and spent a day in Derby this week to see how YouTeachMe was being used at the Royal School for the Deaf, in Ashbourne Road, where maths teacher Cathie Birch has filmed a number of videos featuring herself teaching maths using British Sign Language.
She told Mr Goddard how the system was proving valuable in helping students to reinforce their understanding of what they have been taught in lessons because they can view the videos when they are studying outside the classroom – which is a huge boost for young people for whom BSL is their first language.
She said: “It’s very early days at the moment but the system is really helping the students because it gives them a visual learning aid that they have never been able to access in their own study time before.
“Other teachers have asked me about it because they are starting to see the benefits of YouTeachMe. The potential for the system in this school and elsewhere across the wider industry is massive.”
Mr Goddard said: “We have already recognised how far-sighted YouTeachMe is and how its focus on improving schools right across the educational spectrum will help professional educators to do their jobs.
“However, it’s only when you see it in a school or educational setting that you really understand it and Cathy’s description of how she is using it to build her own education community shows the potential of YouTeachMe.
“It is proving to be an extremely powerful tool in this school and I have no doubt that it will prove itself to be an extremely powerful tool in other schools as well.”
Mr Rose has spent seven years developing the system and there are now 2,500 videos online, with its users able to follow contributors whose content they have found particularly useful.
He has secured a Commonwealth Export Champion status, which means he can share the system abroad, and says the next step will be to make Cathy’s videos accessible to mainstream audiences – and for mainstream videos to be signed for deaf audiences too.
He is also preparing to launch a version of his product for parents, called YouTeachMeToo.
He said: “I got a glimpse of what the system could do when what the system could do when I was working in London recently and I watched a video that Cathie had just uploaded of her teaching her class through BSL.
“Although the content wasn’t accessible to me as a non BSL-speaker, I felt quite emotional because I recognised how much thought and good practice had gone into the video and I thought ‘wow’.
“I got someone to provide a voice-over and when I watched it again I got a glimpse of what it must be like for someone who is suddenly able to access information that otherwise would not be available to them.
“I’m extremely honoured and very proud that YouTeachMe has been included in the EdTech50 and delighted to be able to show Ty the impact it is having first-hand.
“There are still very many developments in the pipeline but the numbers of subscribers and uploaded videos is being added all the time, and so it’s wonderful to see a project that I have worked on for so long starting to realise its potential and have a significant effect on people’s professional development and learning.”
For more information visit www.youteachme.co.uk
Picture shows: From left, Paul Rose, inventor of YouTeachMe, Ty Goddard, director of EdTechUK and Cathie Birch, a maths teacher at Royal School for the Deaf, who has been using the YouTeachMe system with its students.
Notes for Editors
YouTeachMe is a simple idea – enable education professionals to create and use quality videos in their teaching then use the power of the internet to make these videos available for others to use in their teaching too.
Targeting learners with focused videos designed to support or challenge them will accelerate progress. Enabling teachers to watch and use others’ videos creates a supportive network of professionals improving their practice together.
The site has unique features. Teachers are able to create sequences of videos and push these out to children and parents through individual pupil access. School staff can link with colleagues in their own school to easily share resources and are encouraged to join wider professional networks.
YouTeachMe was developed by former head teacher Paul Rose, who recognized the need for a product which would help teachers to develop their skills and abilities whilst saving time and money – and without adding to their workload.
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