About the ORBIT project
The ORBIT project promotes interactive teaching in schools – teaching that supports active learning. ORBIT illustrates pedagogical principles through concrete lesson plans and ideas. The materials are hands-on, they use actual lesson activities as building blocks, and embed theory within them. ORBIT makes this particular approach – a hallmark of effective teacher education – more accessible and tangible. There is also a significant focus on the use of ICT within mathematics and science teaching, offering pedagogical support where it is especially needed.
ORBIT is for formal HE teaching courses, for teacher mentors, as well as for the continuing professional development of teachers.
Its aims are
- to support learning in mathematics and science to fit well with the prioritisation of STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics).
- to ensure that existing and disappearing open educational archives, from HEIs and practitioners, are made available to the teacher education and school communities.
- to contribute to collaboration and OER synergy within teacher education in the UK and other countries
- to provide a substantial resource for initial teacher education courses, such as the HE-based PGCE for primary education; secondary mathematics or secondary science as well as school-based teaching programmes.
- The first objective is the creation of the ORBIT resource bank itself. We draw on content and technical expertise from a wide range of partners.
- The second objective is the creation of an open course book. A collection of materials has been collated into a self-contained open digital course book, with freedom to duplicate, re-use, and adapt content.
ORBIT developers and contributors
Bjoern Hassler and Sara Hennessy of the University of Cambridge Faculty of Education are the ORBIT project leaders. The resource bank and wiki were collaboratively developed and authored by an expert core team including Teresa Connolly (Research Associate), Caroline Jestaz (Project Manager), Simon Knight, Janet Blair, Roger Frost and Tony Houghton. A number of subject specialist teachers were also contracted to author, adapt or review resources and we are indebted to them too for their professional expertise. Other contributors to specific resources are acknowledged on the relevant pages. Damian Dadswell and Stephen Poole were our MediaWiki developers/designers along with Bjoern Hassler and Simon Knight.
We are very grateful to all those organisations and colleagues in the Faculty and externally who kindly donated their resources and in many cases their time and energy in adapting the resources, user testing the site and participating in our research interviews and survey. Julia Flutter and Teresa Connolly conducted the research.
Project brief at JISC: http://www.jisc.ac.uk/whatwedo/programmes/ukoer3/orbit.aspx and http://prod.cetis.ac.uk/projects/1084 (with related projects)
Twitter https://twitter.com/ORBITSTEM and hashtag #orbitstem
Faculty of Education: http://www.educ.cam.ac.uk/research/