Our Inspire Too suite fuses iPad and Lego to create an environment which is fully equipped to inspire and inform. As pupils approach Inspire Too, they are greeted by a larger than life Lego robot which is built in to the door itself. Inside the room, we have decorated the walls to look as if they are made from Lego bricks and pupil creations sit alongside large scale models built collaboratively both in lesson and in extra-curricular and reward clubs.
The classroom layout, curriculum and decor has been designed with iPad and Lego at its heart to inspire new learning experiences and to create memorable lessons. As with everything at Howard, iPad is a key part to not just the curriculum design, but the teaching practice as well. Marrying iPad with the creative potential and almost infinite possibilities of Lego has allowed us to think about STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths) and creative topics in a variety of different ways.
Inspire Too is virtually paper free and pupils receive, markup and hand-in work and assignments through Showbie. With its powerful audio and video tools we have been able to inspire all learners, from our most enthusiastic mathematicians to our most reluctant writers.
Being an iPad-centric learning environment, Apple Classroom is a vital tool for assessing pupil progress. At any time, any adult can call up a pupil’s device and check that they are on track with their learning. Examples of good ideas, or work can be shared with AirPlay instantly to the board, allowing for quick and meaningful learning discussions to take place.
Because of the creative nature of Lego and iPad, the Everyone Can Create materials get used in great depth in Inspire Too. Initially taught as discrete sessions using the detailed Teacher Guides, pupils are then encouraged to take the skills that they have learnt and use them on projects in other areas of the curriculum.
Pupils have integrated work on different camera shots and angles to enhance their writing and others have used their skills from the drawing sessions to raise the quality of the presentation of their work at the end of a history topic.
As a STEAM classroom, Inspire Too is heavily focused on computer sciences and coding. As prelude to the skills that will be developed in Swift Playgrounds, pupils use the Lego WeDo 2.0 robots to build and design models to solve real world problems. They code in context, troubleshoot, refine and revise ideas using Lego as the building blocks for their robots and block code as the software to power their imaginations.
The infrastructure in Inspire Too has also been designed around learning. Both end walls are equipped with a 4K Ultra High Definition display screen equipped with AirPlay capabilities. Pupils and adults can instantly AirPlay their work to the screens. They are used for group work and allow multiple adults to deliver inputs to multiple groups at one time. They can also used as interactive display boards, showing up-to-date learning content.
Using our iMac suite, Inspire Too pupils can test and refine potential building ideas using basic CAD (Computer Aided Design) software (Studio) that is based around Lego. They can build and design in a rich 3D environment and then produce high quality renders of their potential models. This also has the added bonus of allowing them to budget for a model - incorporating real world maths skills - and to change parts and bricks within their model without having to take a part a completed physical project. Working in this way prepares pupils for a potential future in computer-aided design and manufacturing industries as it familiarises them with the skills that they will need.