Mission to Mars Launches at Fife College

Tuesday, 12 June 2018

School teachers and education staff from across Fife were inspired to take learning and teaching to a new dimension by taking part in a Mission to Mars iPad event at Fife College’s St Brycedale Campus, Kirkcaldy, on Tuesday, 5 June.

School teachers and education staff from across Fife were inspired to take learning and teaching to a new dimension by taking part in a Mission to Mars iPad event at Fife College’s St Brycedale Campus, Kirkcaldy, on Tuesday, 5 June.

The ‘Mission’ was a joint partnership event between the College, XMA, Apple, and Fife Council which aims to look at new ways of learning using iPads, apps, and other digital technologies, which will benefit pupils across Fife.

With over 100 delegates on board, the Mission launched after welcomes from Dorothée Leslie, Vice Principal: Academic Strategy at Fife College; Depute Provost of Fife Julie Ford; and Carrie Lindsay, Executive Director of Fife Council’s Education and Children’s Services.

After a ’Ready For Launch’ chat by Andrew Jewell, XMA Business Development Manager, the delegates made their way to four training zones to discover how iPad (along with various other technologies including 3D printers, drones, and green screen) can assist teaching and learning in any subject.

Many Fife schools, both primary and secondary, are already benefitting from iPad learning, and it is hoped that the Mission to Mars event will be the first of many similar workshops to enhance and widen knowledge and learning for staff while showcasing the latest and most exciting tools for schools.

Dougi McMillan, Director: Faculty for Creative Industries Fife College, said: “The College was delighted to host this fantastic event in partnership with XMA, Apple, and Fife Council. The event was truly out of this world, and the tools and learning showcased were both innovative and powerful.

“In today’s fast moving and technological world it is vital that those responsible for teaching our young people and students are up to date with the latest learning and teaching methods.

“We were very pleased that some or own staff and students were able to take part and benefit from the event.

“With the launch of our digital strategy recently, we are committed to playing our part to share knowledge and work in partnership with schools and other organisations to enhance digital learning. Mission to Mars is an excellent example of this, and also ensures we are in line with the wider Scottish agenda to encourage innovation, lead change, and reap economic rewards.”

Andrew Jewell, Lead Learning Consultant at XMA, said: “Mission to Mars is an inspiring digital learning event for all teachers. The event takes a very contemporary context of a mission to the red planet. The day is designed to deliver powerful professional learning techniques with iPad, develop key skills to take back to the classroom, while having a whole lot of fun!

“It has been a privilege to be able to bring this free learning experience to the schools of Fife, allowing their teachers to bring back ‘out of this world’ tools and ideas to the classroom. As an organisation, XMA are committed to enhancing student learning through the use of technology and are striving for our Mission to Mars events to reach as many teachers and students across Scotland as possible.”

Depute Provost, Julie Ford, added: “I was delighted to see some of the innovative tools and techniques our teachers can use to help with learning and teaching in the classroom. Our job in educating young people today is not only to equip them with the knowledge they need to live today but the skills they will need in order to live in the future.

“I want to thank all the staff who took time out of a busy week to come along today. Their enthusiasm to share knowledge and experience and also learn from others was a credit to them and their schools. They understand the importance for all of us to continually improve our own skills so that we can better prepare our children for their future.”

After the workshops, delegates enjoyed case study presentations. Mark McPhee, Curriculum Manager: Digital Technologies at Fife College, offered an insight into how the College’s Digital Technologies team are working in partnership with Fife Council to develop learners’ essential digital skills through computer modelling and animation, computer games, digital design and web and mobile apps development.​​​