“When I stood in front of a class for the first time, all the memories of my childhood teachers came flooding back to me. I was so thankful for them, as teachers and now as role models.” – Paul Watkins, UK
Ysgol Bae Baglan
Port Talbot, Wales, United Kingdom
“A student said to me, ‘I’m never going to let anyone tell me I am too young to make a difference!’” Paul Watkins tells us. “This was after a 12-hour Skype Learn-a-thon I organized last summer, where pupils travelled the globe meeting inspirational guest speakers and partaking in some amazing virtual field trips. Over the course of the year I came to learn and appreciate how powerful a tool Skype in the Classroom truly is.”
For Watkins, Skype in the Classroom has been a transformation tool, transporting both students and staff to entirely new worlds through virtual field trips and more.
“This year, as part of our school’s enrichment program, I have established a Skype Club (@YBB_SkypeClub). Running open-door sessions at lunchtime where we play Mystery Skype and then virtual field trips after school, we introduce pupils to the world that they are part of, helping them to realize that they also have an important part to play in it – whilst developing essential life skills. These sessions are also used to introduce staff to Skype in the Classroom, in a fun, relaxed way, where they can see its impact firsthand.”
About Paul Watkins
- Blog URL: https://spwatkinsblog.wordpress.com/
- Educational background: Having worked in the IT industry, I made a change of direction, taking up a post with a well-known UK charity as an IT Project Manager. Managing an IT training center, I facilitated IT courses for disengaged young people and community groups. Through this, I discovered a love of teaching. At the end of the project, I decided to return to University and qualify as a teacher. Over the last 11 years, I have been an IT teacher, Head of IT Department, Peer Mentor Coordinator, Head of Year (Pastoral Leader) and even a soccer coach.
- Favorite Microsoft product, tool, technology: Surface/OneNote/Skype in the Classroom
- What is the best advice you have ever received? Surround yourself with those who bring out the best in you and never be afraid to fail because we learn through it.
- Website I check every day: www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football
- Favorite childhood memory: The summer I spent in Australia with my aunt when I was 14. Amazing experience.
- Favorite book: Peter Kay “The Sound of Laughter” – I couldn’t stop laughing aloud, it drove my wife ma