Glow Science - Twig World
Lights, camera action! Can lessons be as exciting as the movies? Well, thanks to more than 800 free videos available to use on the Twig website, school children can both grasp complex scientific concepts while enjoying short, content-rich films with Hollywood production values.
That's the principal behind the launch of Glow Science last year by Education Scotland and its partners Twig World – a Scottish company that is becoming a growing force in providing multimedia educational resources.
Such is the success of Glow Science that Education Scotland has renewed its licence with Twig World for another three years of providing free access to video teaching packages to support teachers throughout Scotland. Free to all Scottish teachers, the Glow Science resource has now been upgraded to the full Twig resource – including over 200 brand new films on maths and human geography.
Twig World, has grown quickly over the past four years and now employs nearly 50 employees at its state-of-the-art digital production facility in the west end of Glasgow.
Former primary teacher Inta Bakewell is Twig World's Head of Education Division and said multimedia is the perfect medium to help engage children in their learning.
She said: "There's a real 'wow' factor with these videos and they create a sense of wonder which helps to engage children in the subject and how it relates to the real world.
"Our videos are not a rehash of old educational films – our three minute films are bespoke products carefully crafted to meet the needs of teachers and the CfE.
"Teachers tell us they bring the subjects to life and are the ideal way to introduce science subjects to children."
Science teacher Iain Houston from St Joseph's College in Dumfries agrees and that's why he's happy to act as the physics specialist on Twig World Lead Advisory team. He's used more than a 100 of the videos in his lessons so far and finds them a valuable and flexible resource.
He said: "I like the Twig videos as you can easily fit them into your way of teaching. Even though they are only three minutes long it's surprising how much information is in them. I either use them to launch a science subject or play the film at the end of a lesson to recap, but sometimes a discussion in the classroom will raise another related subject and to explain this I can quickly access and play a relevant video, then carry on with my original lesson.”
The Twig resource on Glow contains videos and teaching support material for biology, physics, chemistry, earth sciences, maths and human geography – and the content for each film undergoes a rigorous development process as Patricia Kemp, Twig World's Head of Online Services, explained: "We consult with educational experts from around the world on the different curriculum requirements of a particular subject so we can understand the scope involved. We then develop the content in partnership with our team of specialist science teachers from around the UK and draw on video resources from the best film archives around the world, including the BBC, NASA and CBS, to develop a fresh and exciting approach to the subject."
As well as high quality of the video and its associated teaching resources, Twig World has also ensured the website is easy to use.
Patricia, who was Head of Online Services for Education Scotland, added: "We have developed a simple 'mind map' approach to finding a subject on the website and we've ensured that all the content is matched to key learning points for over a dozen curricula to provide a meaningful learning experience.
"We also encourage feedback and teachers are starting to swap best practice ideas on how they use the resources.
Accessibility is another important issue to the success of the resource. Twig World has employed all the best practice on disability access on the site and continue to develop the platform while ensuring the rich multimedia content can work on low-tech systems.
It's not just teachers who are impressed with the quality of Twig World's video resources – the company recently won the BETT Award – the 'Oscar of the education world' – and an Education Resource Award for the 'Best Secondary Resource or Equipment involving ICT'. The company is also in talks with international distributors to market its science resources to other countries and it is now developing a new range of films to aid teachers in mathematics.
Inta added: "Teachers are always under a time pressure to prepare lessons – but these videos and supporting teaching notes, diagrams and images provide all they need to engage children in subjects and concepts that can be difficult to grasp."
Win Prizes for your Class with Twig
Twig on Glow is offering the chance to win equipment for your classroom.
Over the next three weeks, Twig is releasing a new film every day to preview our new Animal Kingdom topic.
This content will be available exclusively to Scottish teachers and is sure to engage learners of all levels.
Visit the site www.twigonglow.com every day to review a new film and be automatically entered into the prize draw.