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Learning outside of the classroom

James Symons, CEO at LocknCharge, explains why it's time to break the barriers and teach outside the classroom

Posted by Lucinda Reid | December 05, 2016 | Outdoors

As children, we spend most of our young adult lives inside the classroom.  In fact, in England, primary school children in state schools currently spend 635 hours in the classroom each year.  In the United States, this number is even higher, as children spend 1096 hours of time spent learning.  However, the amount of time spent inside the classroom compared to the amount of time spent learning outside of the classroom significantly differs. There are lots of ways children can learn outside of the classroom environment, such as in the playground, in conservation areas or on school trips.  We ask, how much time is spent learning outside of the classroom?

An Ofsted report as back as far as 2008 found that when planned and implemented well, learning outside the classroom contributed significantly to raising standards and improving pupils’ personal, social and emotional development in schools.

All of the schools and colleges surveyed in the report provided exciting, direct and relevant learning activities outside the classroom. Such hands-on activities led to improved outcomes for pupils and students, including better achievement, standards, motivation, personal development and behaviour. The survey also found examples of the positive effects of learning outside the classroom on young people who were hard to motivate. So, why do schools find it hard to implement lessons outside of the classroom?

Barriers that can limit successful learning outside the classroom are funding, health and safety, and organisation. Teachers often have a lack of understanding and training of what is required from learning outside of the classroom, or are nervous to implement such a scheme where it is not already in place.  However there is support for schools if they know where to look.

There are several organisations that are dedicated to providing support and guidance on learning outside of this environment, such as The Council for Learning Outside the Classroom. This is the national voice for learning outside the classroom. They believe that every young person (0-19yrs) should experience the world beyond the classroom as an essential part of learning and personal development, whatever their age, ability or circumstances. There are many providers who will support schools in organising trips, providing teaching assistance or products that make learning outside of the classroom easier.

At LocknCharge we have long understood the everyday challenges faced by teaching staff and schools, and the fact this is very much related in many cases to time and resource.  All of the products we manufacture and supply overcome many of these challenges in the features they exhibit, and this is no different with learning outside of the classroom. 

From feedback taken from teachers and school staff, we understand that mobile devices are important in learning outside of the classroom and have developed our range of carrier carts and baskets as well as our modular products that are truly portable with baskets. These baskets make device deployments faster and safer, so that teachers and IT Administrators can focus on creating an engaging learning environment. 

Carry On charging unit

Our ‘Carry On’ charging unit is the first ultra-mobile charging station which allows you to carry five devices, together with all the charging hardware and cables in one neat and compact unit. Teaching, working and learning anywhere just got a lot easier.  From field trips to moving throughout the campus – devices can easily be transported and leveraged for learning. Being both lightweight and durable, the Carry On protects all devices to make sure they arrive at their destination charged and safely. 

There is no doubt that learning outside of the classroom has its barriers.  But the success of learning outside the classroom depends very much on the leadership of the schools and colleges. The best practice occurs when leaders support the staff with robust planning and systems that promoted safe, exciting and well integrated learning.

For more information, visit the LocknCharge website.

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