For nearly two decades, the Harry Potter novels have inspired students to crave a learning environment like Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Educational technology, coupled with a student-centered and project-based learning, allow a modern school to inspire our students just as completely as the world of Harry Potter.
Purpose & objective
This poster presentation is to inspire administrators and teachers to visualize the way many trends in education and education technology may be utilized together to create a thoroughly modern and connected school.
Hogwarts is a fictional school based on magic in the series of novels by J.K. Rowling detailing the adventures of adolescent wizard. The Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry is the setting for the adventures of Harry Potter and his friends as they move through grades that would roughly correspond to the secondary school years of U.S. public schools. While immersed in the tropes of medieval alchemy and the British boarding school system, Hogwarts employs several methods and models currently the subject of much study and research.
Students are involved in a great deal of Project Based Learning. Students in Potions classes are given assignments to make potions and test ingredients. The Defense Against the Dark Arts classes actually battle monsters and evil charms. Herbology classes meet in the greenhouses and work with the plants being studied. Students are given actual tasks to perform with both constraints on the final product and freedom to experiment in the process.
While all students are required to use magical technology, the students are allowed freedom to find the technology best suited to their interests and strengths. Students employ a variety of familiar animals, as well as wands of widely varying construction. To equate this to modern educational technology, it could be said that Hogwarts is not only a BYOD school but embraces heterogeneity of platform.
The students at Hogwarts take the same battery of classes for most of their time at the school. But students are grouped in houses according to their strengths and interests. While parents and students may think a student’s strength lies in one house, the student’s aptitude is the final arbiter of the house. This allows a student to thrive according to their abilities, while still receiving sound instructions in basic skills.
These are but a few examples of many of how Hogwarts emulates a modern connected and innovative school. These examples may be easily demonstrated to other educators in a lighthearted but forward looking poster presentation.
Arthur C. Clark’s third law is “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” Hogwarts is, of course, a school immersed in magic that enhances communication, facilitates research and permeates every aspect of the work day. By looking at the institution of Hogwarts, with its innovative student-centered and project based curriculum, and replacing the magical elements with technology, modern school administrators and curriculum specialists can develop models and visualize how these forward thinking elements could be integrated into developing and existing programs.
The main board would be used for explanations of the innovative, student-centered and project based programs that are demonstrated in the in the book.
Images relating the magic centered instruction of the Harry Potter novels and technology based instruction will be displayed electronically. Due to copyright issues, the images of Hogwarts will be created to resemble the imagery of the Harry Potter series rather than use film captures.
A supplementary website and handouts will be created to reinforce the parallels between programs and methods at Hogwarts and real world programs.
Primary in all media used will be the themes of “How do I empower my students and engage them?” and “How do these ideas and technology fit together in a modern school?”
There are many articles and sources for the creative school and curriculum designs as well as the implementation of technology (magic) portrayed in the Harry Potter series. The articles and sources below address the previously mentioned topics of project based learning, BYOD, platform agnosticism, and student directed curriculum.
Buck Institute - http://bie.org/
Bell, S. (2010). Project-based learning for the 21st century: Skills for the future.The Clearing House, 83(2), 39-43.
Chen, C. H., & Chan, L. H. (2011). Effectiveness and impact of technology-enabled project-based learning with the use of process prompts in teacher education. Journal of Technology and Teacher Education, 19(2), 141-167.
Chang, L. C., & Lee, G. C. (2010). A team-teaching model for practicing project-based learning in high school: Collaboration between computer and subject teachers. Computers & Education, 55(3), 961-969.
Daniel, J. (2010). Mega-Schools, technology and teachers: Achieving education for all. Routledge.
Jubien, P. (2013). Shape Shifting Smart Phones: Riding the Waves in Education. Canadian Journal of Learning and Technology, 39(2), n2.