A DENSTONE teacher who created an innovative way for pupils to learn about history by solving a grisly Victorian murder has been rewarded for his lesson.
Jon Tyler, head of history at Denstone College, has become the latest winner of an O2 Learn Best Lesson Award and will receive £2,000 for himself and his department for his video Murder Mystery in Victorian England.
His winning video invites students to solve the actual murder of Lieutenant Bennett, who died in the service of Queen Victoria in 1838.
The film provides information about the crime and students use this to select from three potential suspects and identify the murderer.
Mr Tyler, who taught himself how to make the videos, said: “A grisly Victorian murder really helps to engage students in history and structuring it as a CSI style crime scene makes it entertaining and fun.
“Students get drawn into solving the crime and forget that they’re actually learning at the same time.
“Making video based resources is quite straightforward once you get the hang of it.
“You don’t even need a video camera you can create a film just using images and text. More teachers should give it a go.” Mr Tyler has tried out the video on his headmaster who managed to solve the crime and also his students Pupil Tom Phillips, 14, said: “I think it was really good because I was just trying to work out who the killer was at first, but after it had finished I found I had learned lots without even trying.” O2 Learn is a free, moderated video sharing website that invites teachers to upload videos of their best lessons.
It aims to create Britain’s biggest classroom by helping to connect all secondary students with great teaching. Teachers from across the country upload short videos of their best lesson and students can then watch and rate the lessons that are useful to them.
Each week the three videos that have been rated highest by students are shortlisted. A panel of experts review the shortlist and select a winner to receive the O2 Learn Best Lesson Award.
Gav Thompson, head of O2 brand innovation and creator of O2 Learn said: “Jon’s video is a testament to the high quality, creative and innovative teaching that takes place in classrooms daily.
“O2 Learn helps to connect as many secondary students as possible to great teaching like this.
“Teenagers are growing up in a digital world so there’s real value in teachers engaging with them online in a way that is relevant and fun.” Mr Tyler and Denstone College now have the chance to win one of the Annual O2 Learn Best Lesson awards with £80,000 of prize money available. The winner will be announced at a gala dinner in December.
As a thank you for uploading a lesson, O2 Learn gives each teacher a mobile broadband pack.
The lesson is available to view at https://www.o2learn.co.uk/o2_video.php?vid= 1655