SchoolNet South Africa: ICT in the Classroom Conference – for all those who missed our talk

Frederic Kastner, Programme Manager for The Virtual School and Malik Adam Wilson, Creative Manager for The Virtual School were invited to the SchoolNet Conference in South Africa to talk to over 600 teachers on the Open Educational Resource Movement, how it’s changing the world of education and how teachers from everywhere can get involved.

The talk also includes the OER Organisations around the world creating free educational resources for everyone – Khan Academy, Coursera, The Virtual School, Udacity, Siyavula, TED-Ed and Bread Bin.

As always, it would be great if you could leave us your feedback or if you simply got in touch if you can think of a way of collaborating with us around Open Educational Resources, no matter where you are around the world! We need the help of animators, designers, teachers, NGOs and charities, governments and higher education institutions, as well as social enterprises, to get spread engaging, localised Open Educational Resources around the world.

Tweet at us with the hashtags #oer, #schoolnetSA:
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Young Designers for Global Educational Equality: Introducing our new team

Dear followers of the Virtual School,

We are coming to the end of one of the most exciting weeks in the history of our young programme. The Virtual School has just been reinforced by six fantastic young designers, with origins from the different corners of the earth – exactly what we were hoping for to form a team that will produce free learning resources for a global audience.

In this video, they are giving a fun intro to themselves – and are getting over their initial shyness in front of the camera. What ever happens, they will have to get used to being filmed: besides publishing the free Chemistry videos that the new team will create, we want to give our followers the story behind the scenes – and that is because these ultra-talented deserved to be lauded for giving their time to our education for all cause.

The only thing left to say? Watch out for the great videos they are going to produce! =)

The Virtual School is getting fired up for its new project: The Chemistry Journey

Dear friends of the Virtual School, our team has an update on the progress being made on hiring teachers and designers for the Chemistry Journey – our new project with the goal of creating 300 new Chemistry videos.

Further news: an exciting conference coming up in July in South Africa.

Matthew Tosh Interview | Working with The Virtual School

With The Chemistry Journey about to begin we chat to Matthew Tosh, a teacher who will be working with Fuse EDU and the Virtual School initiative.

Matthew Tosh has experience of presenting science shows for Teachers TV, teaching Chemistry and Physics and is now providing explanations for the Chemistry Journey. We ask him about his teaching and motivation in this exclusive interview.

Celebrate Darwin, the evolutionary revolutionary!

On February 12, 2013 we celebrate Darwin Day, 204 years after the birth of biology’s revolutionary scientist. Darwin is best known for promoting scientific naturalism over theology combining a number of disciplines to create his theory of natural selection.

Although 19th Century Darwinism came to represent a whole host of revolutionary philosophies around evolution, Darwin himself is famed for establishing that all species have descended over time from common ancestors. Want to learn more….check out our video!

At the Virtual School we are revolutionary too: we are aiming to democratise access to the highest quality learning by revolutionising how education is developed and delivered. In a similar vein to Darwin we’re blending a number of disciplines to explore a new way of creating free engaging high quality mobile education. Revolutionaries stick together so let us celebrate Darwin the launch of our DARWIN DAY 2013 MUSIC VIDEO!

Check out Evolution Revolution and let us know what you think!

A Molar Success!

Last week our Bonnie Tyler vs. Avogadro mash-up Molar Eclipse of the Heart hit the 6,500 views mark and we couldn’t be happier! A big thanks to all the followers, tweeters and bloggers who shared the video. If you missed it you can check it out below.

It may be another year til the next Mole Day but that’s no reason to stop learning. If Mole Day has brought out the chemist in you, head over to our growing chemistry channel HERE.

In the meantime, you can be sure that we’ve got plenty more musical goodness up our sleeve. Stay tuned!

Hello Seville!

As Luke explained in an earlier post, this September saw The Virtual School welcome a fresh group of creative interns to the team as part of Project Murillo. In partnership with the EU’s learning learning program Leonardo Da Vinci, the project allows the team to work on The Virtual School whilst taking part in various creative communications internships around Seville.

We’re looking forward to introducing you to the whole gang soon. In the meantime, take a look at the beautiful city in which we’ll be working!

Photographs by Amy Tomlinson, Stu Hardy and Kimberley Faria

2nd Generation Murillos


A black and white Russian film is playing from a vintage TV in the corner, it’s accompanied by smooth jazz on the radio and I have an empty cup by my side that used to contain my second cafe con leche of the afternoon. I’m a little wired, to tell you the truth- I’m not one for dosing myself up on caffeine in the UK, or even inhabiting cafes. But just one week into life as a Sevillian (a pun I refuse to tire of) I’m a changed man. We’re here to embrace the culture, and I plan on greeting it, siestas and all, with open arms.

My name’s Luke, I’m 23 and I’ve never been outside Europe before. I hadn’t ever been to Spain until we landed in Seville’s airport nearly a week ago. Actually that’s not true: we did once take a wrong turn on a family holiday in the south of France and we think we may have crossed the border accidentally. We’re not sure, but for all intents and purposes, this is my first Spanish experience.

I have little idea what I did to deserve the opportunity to be here, but I won’t question it for fear of being thrown on a plane and promptly sent back home (apparently it’s flooding in York right now, Seville is admittedly a little rainy today, but I can’t be accused of bringing the weather with me!)

The opportunity to join the Virtual School’s program for me came by chance through a friend- and it took next to no time at all to convince me to fill in an application. The aims of the social enterprise, to democratise education by providing free-to-access educational videos created by specialists and enhanced by creative visualisers is one I’m definitely behind. After a few workshops in London to get to grips with the software, workflows (and colleagues of course!) we hit Seville and I’m currently working on a key knowledge video on Periods and Groups within the periodic table. It’ll be on the platform soon- so I hope you enjoy it!

Over the next few weeks I’ll hopefully share a few entertaining stories that crop up about the people, the placement and the experience as life as a second-generation Murillo. Oh, and a little about me: I only really started learning Spanish on the plane. I feel that my ability to play charades, at least, can only benefit from this experience.

A luego!

Just a Taster…

Now the EU Leonardo da Vinci Programme has finished, our time making great educational videos must also come to an end. But it’s been a fantastic experience that none of us will ever forget. To work in such a creative, dynamic and collaborative team has been a dream and the videos couldn’t help but reflect this.  You’ll find a little taster of what we’ve been up to below

The ‘Murillos’ are all now on their way conquering the educational media world in their own way. As for me, I’ll be managing the next group in Seville. With backgrounds in all aspects of media I can’t wait to see what they create. To say I’m excited would be an understatement.

Watch this space…

Malik Adam Wilson