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Tech-savvy pupils showcase how virtual reality is making a difference in the classroom

Amaya Romulus, Tilda Lowrie-Albrow, Joe Yupa, Nabel Adan, Doudaa Mothashami from St Judes & St Pauls

Amaya Romulus, Tilda Lowrie-Albrow, Joe Yupa, Nabel Adan, Doudaa Mothashami from St Judes & St Pauls

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Hundreds of Islington primary school children shared their own virtual reality projects with their peers and education experts this week, using equipment crowdfunded by their school communities.

Pupils and teachers showcased their tech creations at the borough’s sixth annual Celebration Of Computing, demonstrating how Islington is at the forefront of technology teaching. The event at the Emirates stadium saw pupils guide others through virtual worlds, including some they had coded themselves.

The VR equipment needed to experience virtual and augmented reality in the classroom, including iPods and headsets, was purchased using crowdfunding platform Rocket Fund, which allows schools to fundraise in the local community. Currently, 10 schools have purchased the equipment, meaning lots of Islington pupils are able to learn how to harness the latest technology and use code to write their own programmes.

More than 500 pupils from 45 Islington primary schools came together for the Celebration Of Computing on Thursday, showcasing their digital projects and creations, which also included a doorbell for people with hearing impairments, programmed using tiny micro:bit computers. Other students brought along robots, drones and game simulations designed, built and programmed at school, as well as demonstrations using “green screen” technology and films they had produced themselves.

More than 25 tech industry leaders including Google, Microsoft and the Institute of Imagination also attended the event, exhibiting the latest developments in education technology.

A panel of judges, which included the Mayor of London’s first chief digital officer Theo Blackwell, were impressed by the variety and quality of projects on display, demonstrating how Islington’s computing-focused curriculum is coming to life in the classroom.

Cllr Joe Caluori, Islington’s executive member for children, young people and families, said: “Our annual Celebration Of Computing goes from strength to strength, showing how our schools are leading the way in ed-tech – and this year is no different.

“I was really impressed to see how Islington children are developing skills to get a head start in the tech world, from programming their own robots to gaining experiences they wouldn’t otherwise have through virtual reality.”


Pupils from Ashmount School with their doorbells for the hard of hearing

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Sara Mouzoun, Vanessa Mendonca, Ridua Ahmed, Cith of London Academy Highgate Hill

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