Students and staff at ORT Marseille are enjoying a well-deserved summer vacation having ended the year with exceptional Baccalauréat results and an official designation as a Pioneer Digital College.
The pass rates in its matriculation streams varied between a ‘low’ of 92 per cent and highs of 100 per cent. But the school is not resting on its laurels: ORT Leon Bramson was among the top 25 per cent of schools selected for extra support under the Ministry of Education’s €125 million Digital Colleges and Education Innovation programme.
Its success means that it will start the new academic year with a fifth of its students and their teachers receiving new tablets and educational software.
“We are really happy about this because we want to experiment with the flipped classroom model and in so doing help our students to fully realise their potential,” said ORT Leon Bramson’s Chef de Projets, Vanessa Simon-Zeitoun.
The “flipped classroom” reverses the traditional learning environment by providing students with instructional material, such as online lectures, to study at home before applying their knowledge in class by solving problems and doing practical work under the guidance of their teacher.
Teachers will be trained in this method and more tablets will be given students in other grades in waves over the next three years, confirming our entry to the digital age.
Ms Zeitoun added that the flipped classroom style of learning, which is more personalised and less didactic, may help to better prepare children for the 21st century working environment which is more collaborative, creative and mobile.
The French government’s financial investment and pedagogical support enables schools to overcome the “digital divide” which can stymie innovation of this kind, where students from underprivileged backgrounds may not have access to computers and other necessary technology outside school.