Stevenage teacher set to inspire pupils with new technology and the wider world

School teacher Rachael Coultart flew to Chicago after she was recognised as a digital pioneer in the

School teacher Rachael Coultart flew to Chicago after she was recognised as a digital pioneer in the classroom. - Credit: Archant

A primary school teacher who attended an American summer institute after winning a competition for being a digital pioneer in the classroom has returned bursting with ideas for pupils.

Rachael Coultart, computing subject lead at St Nicholas C of E Primary School and Nursery in Stevenage, was selected to attend the Discovery Education Summer Institute - a professional development and networking event which took place in Chicago this summer.

One of just nine UK teachers chosen to attend, Rachael was selected after impressing judges with her enthusiasm for using digital technology to boost pupil learning and achievement. The teachers explored the latest digital technology, heard from inspirational teachers and networked with colleagues.

Rachael said: “It was an amazing, once-in-a-lifetime experience that I’ll be drawing inspiration from for a long while to come.

“I have come back with a whole heap of resources and, most importantly, contacts from all over the world.

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“We are now looking at how our schools can link up, like through mystery Skyping - one classroom Skypes another and the children have to work out where in the world the other classroom is by asking questions.”

She added: “Parents worry their children are spending too much time on computers, and this may be true if they are just looking at YouTube clips, but the creative power behind some of the technology is incredible, and it’s this we need to harness. It’s exciting times for children.”

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Discovery Education provides digital content to UK schools. Now in its 11th year, the summer institute was held at Loyola University.

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