There are many, many examples of how technology is helping engage and inspire young people in schools today. Some of the best we profile on the UK Schools blog, via our ICT Break Twitter feed, and on the RM Education case study site. But today, we look at how technology is helping to support young people's learning outside of the school gates.
In fact, for these young people, it's the majestic arch of Wembley Stadium that welcomes them as they use The Learning Zone at Wembley Stadium. Rajan Anand, Manager of The Learning Zone at Wembley Stadium, explained the mission statement to me early today:
to provide opportunities for young people to develop positive attitudes to learning, increase their confidence and self-esteem and achieve their educational potential using sport and entertainment as a stimulus.
The Learning Zone Experience
Each visit is a mixture of educational activities and inspirational walks inside this iconic landmark.
The Learning Zone is equipped with a multitude of desktop computers, laptops, digital cameras, camcorders, Lego Mindstorms (Robotics), Lego mechanics and renewable energy kits, scratching desks, X-Box's, arts and crafts materials, a kitchen and a lot more. The Community Connect 3 network, supplied by RM Education, provides a controlled environment that is easy to use, to manage and to share resources.
A range of courses, fun days, new initiatives, workshops, exhibitions, conferences and celebrations are common place. Every experience is tailored to the specific needs of individual groups and with direct access to the inner workings of the stadium; each visit is a mixture of educational activities and inspirational walks inside this iconic landmark.
What Do Visitors Think?
Pupils learnt about how to use ICT, maths and English in a real life setting and their confidence back in the classroom was really apparent. Education does not just exist in the classroom. As educators we teach the skills that all children need to go out into the world. The Learning Zone reinforces this and provides a learning experience for children in a vibrant and exciting atmosphere.
We picked children that we thought would benefit from a confidence boost and who would not have these experiences anywhere else and were thoroughly glad that we sent them. I attended a session and was blown away by what the children were doing. Designing stadiums, writing music, making promotional material – all fantastic things for children to be immersed in. The children that went have seemed to show an increased interest in learning at school, the experience seemed to inject new life into their attitude to study.
I have had so much fun; I really want to come again. Can I come back? I am going to miss all the fun activities on the computers.
RM Education is proud to have supplied the technology at The Learning Zone @ Wembley Stadium.
For further information, visit The Learning Zone at Wembley Stadium web site or contact the Centre Manager, Ragan Anand at Rajan.Anand@TheFA.com