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Thursday, 16 July 2015

Samsung Virtual Exchange


Young learners from the Isle of Portland Aldridge Community Academy recently took part in a ‘virtual school exchange’ with AnEui Middle School in South Korea. The virtual exchange saw children from the Portland Academy's Osprey Quay Campus visit the ‘Samsung Digital Classroom’ in the IPACA Sixth Form Centre. While there they used Google Hangout video conferencing technology to speak to fellow learners in South Korea.

Academy Director for Change and Innovation, Mr Gary Spracklen explains, 'This is another great example of how we are using technology to engage, innovate and inspire learning at the Isle of Portland Aldridge Community Academy'. In preparation for the video call, learners were given a Samsung Galaxy Active Tablet. Mr Spracklen explains how, 'the learners used the device to record their thoughts around the topic of ‘ Portland sports’. This included the sport they enjoy participating in at school, sport they do outside of school and the sports they enjoy watching. In particular, learners were keen to celebrate their own personal sporting achievements and the rich watersport heritage that we have here on Portland!'

Speaking about the video call, Minje Sung from the Samsung UK Citizenship team said, 'The IPACA learners were most surprised by the long hours the students in South Korea spend at school (07:30am to 20:30pm) and the fact that many students have to walk a long way to get to school'. However, Minje believes, 'it was less about the difference, but more about understanding there are so much more in common'. He highlights how, 'during the call there was a bit of a problem with the sound where the voice from UK side didn't travel to Korean very well. However, the IPACA learners had no problem starting to write questions and showing answers on the Galaxy Tabs in front of the camera as if nothing was wrong. Of course - children are naturally agile and creative in finding a solution!'

The Virtual Exchange is just one way in which the Isle of Portland Aldridge Community Academy and Samsung UK are working together. In May, the two organisations officially opened a new community learning space - The Samsung Digital Classroom - in the IPACA Sixth Form Centre at Victoria Building. The new Digital Classroom is a multi-use space that supports a wide range of digital learning activities, not only for IPACA students but for all age groups, including toddlers, parents and senior citizens. Samsung equipped the classroom with a range of resources, including some of their latest mobile, wearable and interactive technologies and it is now being used for exciting opportunities such as the 'Virtual Exchange'.

A link to the video call recording can be seen below or by clicking the following link -