Since September 2014, KS2 students and staff from the WOW Zone out of school learning centre in Wythenshawe have participated in the Global Partners Junior programme. The programme, run in association with the New York mayors office sees students from over 30 global cities meet weekly to collaborate on a shared curriculum that encourages learners to use technology in a creative way. Students from the WOW Zone have completed over 50 hours of learning based around this years central topic of sustainability. They have researched, discussed, designed and created action plans around this theme to directly impact upon their local and global communities in a positive way.
As part of the project, students have designed sustainable homes using the Home Design 3D App, explored and built worlds using Minecraft Edu, assessed their own impact on the environment using Commit2Act and pledged to make changes to improve their impact score. Students have been lucky enough to communicate and collaborate with peers from around the globe including those from Toronto and Sydney via web chat, FaceTime, Skype and letter. All of the work created has been shared using a password protected website meaning that students have not only learnt more about their own city but have been able to draw comparisons with others too.
One of their biggest successes to date saw students presenting their ideas about how to make the building that houses the WOW Zone more environmentally friendly. They created Keynote slides showcasing their research, suggestions and plans to the manager of the centre regarding recycling and measures they would like to see implemented. As a result the centre manager has pledged to purchase recycling bins and encourage all staff to ensure that they contribute positively to the centre’s sustainability.
Along their journey, students they have used Apple Macs and iPads to creatively record and transform their ideas. This technology has enabled them to adapt the curriculum and really be creative! Their multimedia presentations and other examples of their work can be found on the WOW Zone YouTube channel.
Students are currently researching urban gardens and are looking forward to visiting a local Geo-dome before the programme comes to an end in May 201