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NSW’s most inspired teachers coming to virtual classrooms

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A geography teacher from East Maitland, a visual arts teacher from Condell Park, and a mathematics teacher from South Grafton are three of five educators who are on the path to becoming ‘classroom pioneers’ after being chosen from a statewide search to find NSW’s most creative digital educators.

The Learning Edge, a joint initiative by Teachers Mutual Bank and the NSW Department of Education, launched in May in a bid to find extraordinary teachers inspiring students beyond the classroom, and equip them with access to digital experts, tools, and training to engage whole new audiences online.

Some of those digital experts include leading content specialists from YouTube, with Google Australia supporting the project by hosting the five teachers at its Sydney headquarters for an exclusive workshop, to upskill and help build their presence as engaging online educators.

The five recipients of The Learning Edge teacher search are:

  • Nayomi Gribble, Visual Arts teacher, Condell Park High School: Nayomi brings robotics and visual arts together to encourage students to work in a 21st century context. She currently creates her own YouTube tutorials which allow students to become active learners.
  • Emily McLachlan, PDHPE teacher, Chatswood High School: Developed a ‘Run Around Australia’ PDHPE challenge at Chatswood High which, through the use of technology and social media, is now implemented in more than 60 schools.
  • Holly Millican, Mathematics teacher, South Grafton High School: with a mission to make maths fun, Holly uses games, team-based learning and interactive techniques to better engage students.
  • Sam Coburn, Geography teacher, Maitland Grossmann High School: began using online tools and digital when based at an isolated school in outback NSW and now has her own YouTube channel, Geography Explained, which she uses to further her student’s learning beyond the classroom
  • Jonathan Kim Sing, Mathematics teacher, Galston High School: uses games, interactive learning and demonstrations to bring maths to students.

“To work with YouTube and potentially extend my influence as a teacher on students’ lives is a once-in- a-lifetime opportunity,” PDHPE teacher Emily McLachlan said of her win.

“Public high school teachers in NSW are already using digital technology. The two other vital ingredients are collaboration and creativity, as teachers serve many important purposes, none more important than sparking joy in learning.”

Teachers Mutual Bank General Manager Alan Waugh said organisers were thrilled to see such a strong groundswell of interest in the project from teachers, parents, and principals who want to see digital skills in their schools.

“The extent to which NSW teachers went to record their video entries for this competition showed that many are already going the extra mile for their students, utilising digital platforms like YouTube to create and share their lessons and bringing their insights from the physical into the virtual classroom,” he said.

NSW Department of Education Deputy Secretary, School Operations and Performance, Murat Dizdar said The Learning Edge has worked to showcase teaching talent from across the state.

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