Head of Digital Learning and Innovation
The Springfield Anglican College
When Laura Bain was teaching in the United Kingdom, she had her first taste of classroom technology. This set her on a course of discovery — exploring the ways that technology can transform education.
“The defining moment for me came when I witnessed disengaged and low-performing students suddenly motivated and enabled to produce amazing learning outcomes with technology tools,” she shares. “I remember thinking, ‘this is what I want for my students all the time.’. From this point onwards I became an advocate of technology in education. I love exploring the exciting ways that it can revitalize practice and open up a world of possibilities for students.”
Bain, who attended E2 in Paris, now uses a wide range of tools to empower her students – from Paint 3D to Minecraft: Education Edition to FlipGrid. And she’s particularly excited about the learning enabled by Windows 10 and Office 365 Education.
“The dynamic tools that are native to Windows 10 empower students to create so many exciting products,” Bain says. “Pairing with touch-enabled devices and an active stylus enables students to interact more naturally with tools.”
Students love digital ink! There is something about it that just works for them. Here you can see students inking onto video on #surfacepro in the photos app for their #ozobot projects. @MSAUedu @MicrosoftEDU #MIEExpert pic.twitter.com/oXodM2jQF9
— Laura Bain (@larubain) August 2, 2018
“In the past year I have had a lot of fun with students exploring 3D creation using Paint 3D and Minecraft: Education Edition,” she tells us. “Using the 3D viewer (in Windows 10) to see creations layered into the real world or taking the file and using a 3D printer to print out these creations is so powerful for learners. It means that they can bring their ideas to life!”
A2: Some of my first #AR and #VR work has been with #minecraft this year. Here are some student builds we exported and then viewed using the #mixedrealityviewer in Windows 10. Many potential uses here! @MSAUedu #MIEExpert @PlayCraftLearn pic.twitter.com/bMpXkx0Oxb
— Laura Bain (@larubain) August 5, 2018
“FlipGrid is a hit with our students and teachers with their day-to-day learning, but it has also been wonderful connecting with our Gridpals in New York City. Further connecting with authors and other schools on Skype in the Classroom has opened the world up to our students.”
Yr 5 students participated in #skypeathon today with @adrianhanson and the children at Roxbury Primary. We each shared about learning and played a fun guessing game. Students proudly showed off our native bee hive. @MrsMegEllis @samanthahutto19 #tsaceduchat #MIEExpert @MSAUedu pic.twitter.com/VZYjLsApuq
— Laura Bain (@larubain) November 13, 2018
As an eLearning Coordinator and now Head of Digital Learning, Bain knows that championing technology in the classroom and promoting change has its challenges. She sometimes finds it hard when others do not have the same enthusiasm for new technology and change that she has, and she’s happy to share some of her hard-earned wisdom about transforming education.
“When I first started out, I thought I could change everything overnight and became really disillusioned when things were not happening as fast I would have liked,” she tells us. “Some of the best advice I received has come from many different peers and mentors over the years and it has helped me understand more about change culture and coaching others:
- Celebrate and recognize small steps – forward is still forward. What is small for me might be huge for someone else.
- Think of yourself as a bus driver and take the people with you that want to get on the bus. Others may hop on the next time the bus loops around or may join the journey later on, but don’t wait at the stop for people that are never going to get on.
- Lead the change yourself. So many teachers do not think they have the power to change things, but it is amazing how much power teachers can have and how much of a difference they can make from their classrooms.”
About Laura Bain
- Educational background: Trained as a Primary School Teacher, taught in public, private and international settings. Discovered an affinity for educational technology while teaching in London.
- Favorite Microsoft product, tool, technology: As a teacher and lover of organization – OneNote. As life-long creative – Paint 3D.
- Website I check every day: Twitter
- Favorite book: Harry Potter – for whenever I need to reconnect with some childlike wonder.
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