Technology outreach wins award for ACS International Schools

Graeme Lawrie receiving his award from Helen Konstantopoulous

ACS International Schools wins award for Digital Technology in Learning Initiative at International School Awards 2020  

ACS International Schools has won the Digital Technology in Learning Initiative award at the International School Awards 2020, in recognition of its technology sharing project.

The project, pioneered by Graeme Lawrie, Partnerships Director across the four schools in Cobham, Egham, Hillingdon and Doha, features technology outreach boxes also known as ‘tech boxes’. To date, an ACS team including staff and students has visited over 200 schools with a technology outreach box which includes state-of-the-art equipment such as virtual reality headsets, digital cameras, a green screen and even a five-foot-tall robot.   

As part of each session, ACS students, aged 13-14, work with teachers ahead of the visit to plan lesson activities which form part of the class curriculum and find innovative ways to embed the technology box. Teacher training sessions run by Mr Lawrie also form part of the project, allowing him to share his technology experience with other local partner schools.  

Mr Lawrie commented: "Our tech boxes are like a portable technology library, allowing local students across the county to experience cutting-edge equipment from their classroom. As part of our visit, ACS students will demonstrate and train staff and students on how the technology in the box works and then the ‘tech box’ is left with the school for two weeks to continue to use. “One of my favourite sessions was with a local primary school, which was studying pirates. ACS students programmed the robot with relevant material including pirate rhymes, songs and jigs ready to assist with the lesson." 

It isn’t only the visiting primary school that benefits from this outreach, but ACS students learn valuable, future skills ready for the world ahead: social skills of planning alongside teachers, talking to and teaching younger students, digital fluency, technology use, self-confidence, empathy, and a range of soft skills.  

The awards attracted 255 eligible nominations from international schools in 40 different countries which were presented to an independent judging panel of 11 highly experienced international educators.

The awards, which were hosted by ISC Research on 20 January in London, recognise outstanding initiatives being delivered in English-medium international schools around the world. Entry categories include school wellbeing and safeguarding, supporting students as future-thinking innovators, inclusion, pathways to higher education, digital technology in learning, and ethical values education.

Leigh Webb, CEO of ISC Research, said: "There are some quite exceptional international schools implementing truly outstanding initiatives. ISC Research is very proud to host the International School Awards which help to recognise and raise awareness of some of these very best initiatives. All initiatives have to demonstrate to the judges evidence of strategies that enable the initiative to be shared with other schools. Many congratulations to all the award winners."