The Blogspot of the British delegation

Dallam School, Cumbria, UK

Greetings to all our European partners and friends

Introduction

On this page we would like to share some of the interesting and exciting projects and activities we have undertaken as part of the Erasmus+ Mobility Program – an EU funded project named Explore, Experience, and Enhance Technology, or ExExEnTe for short. The goal of the project is to enhance the learning experience of all of our students by focusing on how technology, course content and teaching skills can combine to provide a better learning experience. Through the program we have been partnered with five other European schools from Germany, Italy, Lithuania, Spain and Turkey with the German school of Comenius-Schule Mönchengladbach the lead school for the project.


ExExEnTe logo project

Our students created a variety of different logos for the project as a whole focussing on the themes and aims of the project – exploring how technology and learning different ways of teaching can benefit learning. The project is about sharing knowledge and experiences across our schools.

Our winning entry that shows icons of learning, the project name, the countries involved and the nice project motto.

Visiting an important business in the local area

Cumbria is a rural county in England. The area is known for its pastoral farming. Close to Dallam School is a dairy farm. The farmer showed and explained to our students the many ways in which technology has a part in modern dairy farming. Watch our short video below.


Recycling robots

Students got creative designing robots using recyclable materials. The classroom was filled with cardboard and plastic, highlighting the impact of waste on the environment.


Humidity meter of soil

In this project, Jack, Luca, Isla and Chris had responsibility of taking care of a chilli plant but they had to do it using technology.

The students installed a resistor meter in the chilli plant pot to measure the humidity of the soil in the pot. Using coding, the students had to program the monitor to set the boundaries of acceptable humidity levels for the chilli plant to help them to ensure the plant received the optimum level of watering for it to thrive.

Here’s how things started…

Looks like things went well!


Careers of the future

Our students considered how technology impacts jobs now and what might happen in the future. Students researched ‚machine learning‘ and how at Ocado, machines were being used to pick products now, instead of people pickers. Jobs for humans are now moving towards maintaining the technology to do jobs that used to be done by humans.

Robotics – using the Braccio brand, students were able to build and programme a robotic arm.

“I enjoyed the problem solving aspect of programming and then seeing the results of the arm moving.”

Chris, Year 11
Robot arm
Programming robot arms to do repetitive jobs

In considering how jobs are constantly changing because of advances in technology, it is not all about getting a job done in a different way. Students had a presentation from a Cyber Security Manager who works at the University of Cumbria. This is a job that would not have existed previously. Many jobs that our students could end up doing in the future may not even exist yet.

The Erasmus project enabled students to explore different worlds and environments through virtual reality. Obviously, students were interested in jobs in immersive game design in virtual worlds but the same technology and ideas can also enable students to start thinking about what other possible applications there could be for VR as part of a job in other sectors, i.e. medical world, architecture design. Virtual reality is a major advancement in technology that can impact jobs in all sectors and students also thought that it could be a good way of trying jobs and making job training better.

It would be good to use the VR headsets in a job in medicine.

Isaac, Year 11

TPACK

A key principle of our Erasmus project is to show how technology impacts on learning. For our (virtual) mobility we had, educational consultant, Carmel Bones do a presentation for teachers on TPACK.

Here are the lesson plans comparing how different the topic of ‚leisure‘ was taught to Year 8s.


Where am I? project

During the Lithuania mobility visit we completed a Padlet task called ‚Where am I?‘ The project involved adding co-ordinates to an online map to highlight points of local interest and cultural information.

To make things personal, and things you wouldn’t see in travel guides, we added:

  • Our school
  • Arnside, the nearby estuary which has great views and wildlife
  • A local park to have fun in
  • A beautiful church which has two pubs nearby that do great food
  • The Lake District National Park
  • Places for good dog walks.

Click here to view the online map


Voki videos

Communication across different languages can be tricky and even if you know some of the language people can feel self-conscious trying to speak in a foreign tongue. The project aimed to provide an easy way for participants to introduce themselves to each other. Using the Voki web 2.0 tool, students created avatars for themselves and then used the avatar to create a video so they could tell other participants something about themselves.

Click here to go to the online platform to view Voki videos.

This activity was undertaken as part of the Lithuania mobility


Sound of fruit

Using Arduino software the students used their musical creativity and coding skills to produce a melody from the electronic sounds emitted from the different fruits conductivity.


QR code t-shirts

Students had lots of fun colouring to create their Quiver character and then there was amazement (from students and staff) when they saw the simple 2-D image transformed into a 3-D moving image.


Misuse of the internet

The internet and technology pervades most aspects of everyone’s life these days – keeping in touch with people, making friends, shopping, completing homework and watching films. It has made life much easier in many respects but because it is linked to so many things it is increasingly important that children understand the dangers that can be associated with internet use, for young people this particularly relates to social media and sharing information. In this project, students researched the ways in which technology can be misused and then they came up with 8 rules to help keep safe online.

Watch the video here


Chatterpix

As an activity on the Turkey mobility visit, we created the following videos.


Web-based games

Learning through the pandemic and lockdowns has changed significantly. Use of online quizzes has grown exponentially. As part of the Turkey mobility students had a go at making their own quizzes. On our virtual mobility visit our students enjoyed having a go at the Turkey quiz.


Lectures

With the increasing importance of the internet we ran a series of lectures about the following topics.

  • Account security: passwords, gamertags, social media
  • Communicating respectfully: communicating online, email, collaborating on documents, gaming and social media, digital footprint
  • Cyberbullying: what is it?, identity theft
  • Recognising and reporting: inappropriate content, know who you’re talking to, reporting abuse

Sieve of Eratosthenes

Students were first taught how to find all the prime numbers using an ancient method in mathematics call the Sieve of Eratosthenes – watch video here. They then used a coding programme to find them using technology.


Robot dance

View second robot dance video – https://youtube.com/shorts/7E9tssRSnqs


Online dictionary


Italian mobility visit

It was wonderful to travel to Rome to visit our friends at the Istituto Comprensivo Marina di Cerveteri. The mobility group enjoyed working together on projects and seeing the cultural sights, sounds and tastes of the region. Here are a few social posts that capture some of the activities.

I really enjoyed discovering new things about other people’s cultures as well as about the historic and present day Rome. I learned a lot about what Rome is like and how the schools work in Italy. My favourite thing about the entire trip was how I was able to meet new people and find a way to communicate despite the language barrier. Thanks!

Iona Finney, Year 10

Click here to read our travel blog about the mobility visit.


Lithuania virtual mobility visit

Obviously, it would have been fantastic to meet our fellow Lithuanian participants in their own country but it wasn’t possible with the COVID pandemic.

Spain mobility visit

In November 2021, three students and three staff from Dallam travelled to Spain to take part in our Erasmus + Learning Mobility programme. We attended IES Marta Mata School in Salou, along with delegates from Turkey, Germany, Lithuania, Italy and – of course – Spain. With the main focus being the topic of technology, our group took part in several interactive sessions, learning new technological skills such as programming Arduinos so that we could play music by touching fruit!

The first day was spent in Barcelona, visiting the Parc Guëll and the Passeig da Gracia – after a breakfast of churros con chocolate of course! We then travelled to Salou, where we met up with all the other delegations for dinner that night.

Tuesday, we attended IES Marta Mata, and learnt about the history of the school and the town from the Spanish delegates. We also took part in a team Kahoot, which we are proud to say we won (well, if you discount the local Spanish team!)! Then we moved on to using codes to unscramble secret messages, a bit like GCHQ employees do when deciphering secret messages. The afternoon activity was the aforementioned Arduino workshop, where our group successful managed to create a circuit using fruit, a circuit board and programming language. After a very late lunch with the group (at 3.30pm!), we then enjoyed the new coastal walk to the North of Salou, admiring the Mediterranean sea views.

Wednesday was a day trip with the group to Barcelona, where we undertook a walking tour of the Las Ramblas area, followed by a visit to the university – home of the Mare Nostrum Super Computer. The building was three storeys high, and the entire location was dedicated to the one computer. None of us had ever seen a computer so big! After our tour, we went to the Sagrada Familia cathedral, which was quite simply stunning.

On Thursday we spent the morning in a Lego robotics workshop, using Lego, electronic circuits and programming to build and move our own robot. The students learnt how to construct and instruct their own device and managed to make a functional robot by the end of the workshop. We were then invited to the Salou town hall to meet the Mayor of Salou, and were given a lovely bag of souvenirs from the town. Finally, there was an afternoon visit to the local city of Tarragona, an ancient Roman city, for a wonderful tour of its world-heritage sites.

Due to the reduced number of scheduled flights, we had to leave on Friday, heading back to Barcelona airport just after breakfast. All of us had had a remarkable trip, and had learnt so much about different technologies. As one of our students said,

“It was a pleasure to go on this trip: the food, the people, the visits, and most importantly the experience were all amazing. There were so many interesting, fun, and unusual activities during the week, and I enjoyed learning about and using so much different technology. Thank you Erasmus+ for the opportunity – I wish I could go again!”

Archie de Silver – Year 10

Erasmus corner

Here’s our Erasmus corner where we’ve been celebrating all the activities we’ve done as part of the Erasmus+ programme and the wonderful people we’ve met at our partner schools.


Questionnaires

Students were asked their views on using technology for learning.