October 2015: Teacher’s app aids schools teach evolution


AN APP for iPads designed by a teacher at Haslingden High School is now being offered to other schools to use.

The school introduced iPads Minis for students in May 2014 and in January this year became an Apple Regional Training Centre offering courses to other schools and colleges.

Biology teacher Paul Ridgway, who is also Head of Year 7, is an Apple Distinguished Educator and was successful in securing a place on an Apple training course in the Netherlands.

He said: “There were tens of thousands of people worldwide who applied to be an ADE, for just 450 places and I was lucky to be picked.

“I spent four days in Amsterdam and got to listen to speeches delivered by Pulitzer prize winning photographer Bill Frakes and famous conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen about how they use this technology in their work.

“As part of the course we had to design an app or create a text book. The app I created was how to teach GCSE evolution using an iPad and I was really happy when it was picked by the course organisers to be offered free to others.

“Going on the course taught me an awful lot and that has helped me in my new position in school, as Research and Development leader, helping colleagues to use iPads to enhance teaching and learning.

“It was an amazing experience; I got to meet lots of other people and was able to bring new ideas back to school.”

He hopes to be picked for further courses – the next would be at Apple in America.

Mr Ridgway runs training courses at Haslingden High School on iPad usage and has also been at Thorn Primary School in Bacup helping Year 4 and 5 students learn about this technology.

He is also a Showbie Ambassador; Showbie is an app used in school whereby students can complete assignments, staff can mark this, providing feedback on how students can improve their work – all electronically.