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Better Ways Change Needed

School in the Cloud in action – Isle of Man school

Teacher Helen Moyer implemented Sugata Mitra’s Self-Organised Learning Environment (SOLE) in Williston School, a primary school on the Isle of Man.

Schools on the Isle of Man have much greater freedom than English schools, not needing to follow a curriculum and not being assessed by a body like Ofsted. The school has been working towards children owning their own learning and have explored the use of new technologies and pedagogical approaches, including Philosophy for Children.

“We’re pushing boundaries all the time and the difference SOLE has made has been incredible,” says Helen. “It’s created a level of curiosity and an ability to share their learning collaboratively which is nothing short of amazing. It’s like the love of learning has been re-ignited within them.”

Helen talks about the challenges and solutions that arose in implementing SOLE in the classroom. One such challenge was the number of high needs children, dyslexia and autism being particularly prevalent. She implemented a solution suggested by another SOLE practitioner, of focusing a class around researching dyslexia and autism. They learnt that a lot of children think very differently from each other. “At the end of the SOLE they were valuing their input in reflection time and it completely changed the dynamics of their friendships,” explains Helen.

“It’s had the most profound effects and now the class is not hierarchical – instead they say ‘I’ll take a bit of your brain and yours and let’s use the internet as well’. It’s definitely given them ownership of their learning.

Read more about the implementation of SOLE in a classroom.

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