Online challenge seeks out state’s best teachers

Online challenge seeks out state’s best teachers

In 2012, high school maths teacher Eddie Woo set up a camera in his classroom to film maths lessons for a seriously ill student.

After posting the videos to YouTube, the videos went viral. Today, his ‘WooTube’ channel has more than 530,000 subscribers and more than 30 million views worldwide.

Now the NSW Department of Education and Teachers Mutual Bank are looking for five inspirational high school teachers in NSW to create a new dedicated YouTube channel to inspire students in much the same way as WooTube has.

Launched on Monday, the joint initiative, called ‘The Learning Edge’, will provide what NSW Department of Education deputy secretary Murat Dizdar called a “fantastic opportunity to showcase teaching talent from across the state”.

“Teachers shape the character, calibre and future of an individual each and every day. Our teachers are the support network that ensure our young people connect, succeed and thrive in their educational journey,” Dizdar said.

“This initiative is about highlighting the exceptional work done by secondary school teachers and giving them the skills, the tools and a platform to share their expertise beyond their physical classroom.”

The five teachers to be chosen will take part in a unique hands-on workshop with an e-learning expert to develop their content curation skills so they can share their lessons and teaching methods with a digital network of students and teachers.

They will also receive a $2,000 hardware and software package to enable them to produce their own e-learning content.

Teachers Mutual Bank general manager, Alan Waugh, said the bank was keen to ensure The Learning Edge highlighted the excellence evident daily across the state’s public schools.

“Teachers Mutual Bank has been supporting teachers’ dreams for more than 50 years, and we wanted to give them a platform to show their creativity in the classroom to the world,” Waugh said.

“Technology has given educators a new way to reach and engage with their students and this search will harness the power of digital platforms to provide strong learning outcomes for all students.”

Teachers can nominate themselves and submit a short video outlining why they chose to become a teacher, and how they inspire and innovate to make their subject more engaging for their students.

Peter Davis is an example of one of NSW’s innovative public-school teachers whose Software Design (TAS -Technology and Applied Studies) students were propelled beyond the classroom and onto an international stage when they took part in a global robotics challenge to code for the NASA Space Station.

“We have so many fantastic teachers and it’s great to be able to provide them with a bigger platform to share their expertise more broadly,” Davis said.

“I invite any teacher who loves what they do to submit an application because it really is a chance to make a difference,” said Davis, who teaches at Normanhurst Boys’ High School.”

The Learning Edge teacher search is open to all public secondary school teachers across NSW and runs until 24 May.

A panel of judges from Teachers Mutual Bank and the NSW Department of Education will determine the five recipients.