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NSW’s most engaging teachers to feature in new education channel

The Eddie Woo phenomenon demonstrated what’s possible in the classroom when teachers are passionate about what they teach and use technology to engage students. The Cherrybrook Technology High School teacher earned worldwide attention when he created his highly engaging YouTube channel, WooTube, in 2013. The maths tutorial channel now has over 500,000 subscribers and, as of April 2019, has been viewed by more than 30 million people worldwide.

Taking a lead from Mr Woo, the New South Wales Department of Education and the Teachers Mutual Bank are asking secondary public school teachers to submit a three-minute video explaining why they became teachers and how they inspire and innovate to make their subject more engaging. Called The Learning Edge, the competition will select five exceptional teachers and showcase their work on an educational YouTube channel. The selected teachers will also receive expert instruction on how to deliver digital content and a $2000 software and hardware package to help them create e-learning packages.

NSW Department of Education’s Murat Dizdar said the competition is a brilliant opportunity to share the great work teachers are doing across the state.

“We should never lose sight of the fact that our teachers routinely go above and beyond what is required of them to come up with innovative and forward-thinking teaching practices that resonate with their students,” he 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.”

One of the state’s most innovative teachers, Peter Davis, is urging teachers to take part in the competition. The head teacher of technology at Normanhurst Boys High School accompanied his students on a global robotics challenge that culminated in them reaching the final round and controlling robots on the International Space Station.

“The key thing about teaching is relationships and teachers can have the ability to transfer those through the screen to ensure knowledge is retained and students have the ability to go back to look at it again,” Mr Davis told the Sydney Morning Herald. “Students are usually engaged with that relationship when it’s more than notes on a blackboard.”

Teachers have until May 24 to enter the competition online. The winning videos are expected to be available by mid-2019.

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