Glasgow school gets international recognition for hybrid learning

A Glasgow school’s approach to home learning during the Covid-19 lockdown has earned international attention.

Glasgow Academy has been shortlisted in the ‘Hybrid Learning’ category at the Reimagine Education Awards, a global event streamed from New York, which rewards innovative approaches that enhance student learning outcomes.

Dubbed the ‘Oscars of education,’ the conference and competition is attended by top faculty from major universities including MIT and the University of Hong Kong, as well as EdTech start-ups and educational leaders.

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Why has it been shortlisted?

Glasgow Academy was nominated for its thinkfour concept, an online platform launched during the pandemic to support teenagers across Scotland to make revision and learning easier at home.

Through a series of four-minute online videos that distil complex ideas from across a range of subjects into easily digestible tutorials, the platform uses the science of learning to deliver carefully crafted explanations of complicated ideas in a way that pupils remember.

Open access and free to all secondary pupils in Scotland and attracting more than 37,000 hits in the first six months alone, the hugely successful resource offered a new approach to learning during one of the most challenging times in education.

The programme is now being extended with five new subjects due to be added to the platform – including Geography, French, Art, P.E. and Latin with a further 99 new tutorials.

What is the school saying?

Matthew Pearce, rector at The Glasgow Academy, said: “The success of thinkfour comes from its ability to align with the way modern teenagers consume media and retain information. Using video content, that is archived for access at on demand, we found a way to reach them at home in the event that face-to-face learning was no longer an option.

“The past two years have been extremely difficult for pupils, parents and teachers, and thinkfour fills a significant a gap in the market by combining the science of online learning with the experiential and emotional impact of working directly with a teacher.

“Its success is beyond what we ever imagined. We launched in early 2021 with eight subjects available and are pleased to now announce the addition of five more. To be shortlisted by the hugely prestigious Reimagine Education Awards, helps to increase visibility of the platform and allow more pupils to engage with it, particularly in the lead up to the prelim exam period.

“It has been a whirlwind experience so far, but we have only scratched the surface with how thinkfour can enhance Scotland’s rich education offering.”