IUIECA Show -Lightning Excellence Centre Exhibit: The Classroom Connector

“Lightning Excellence Centre Exhibit Adds Educational Value to Trades in Cork” proclaims the headline in the May issue of “The Irish Times”. The article suggests that the Academy of Lightning Excellence is exhibiting a display at the Airport Marriott hotel in Cork.

The IUIECA exhibition has been on display for a couple of months now at the Clare County Convention Centre in Lucan. Now it’s on its way to the Portobello Road exhibition space in Cork.

The exhibition itself, which is part of the upcoming UISCEA Trade Show, has been well received by the visitors who have visited it so far. It’s certainly an interesting display, with some interesting exhibits that you can see and be surprised by. However, one question that has occurred to me is: “What is all the fuss about a Lightning Excellence Centre Exhibit?”

In fact, a Lightning Excellence Centre Exhibit is an excellent way to bring a high school or college classroom to life. I’ve seen several class rooms which have been used as laboratories and where students have created unique exhibits about something, used other technology to tell their story, and taught one another through hands-on activities.

What better way to let students have fun while still learning while they’re doing extra curricular activities? Most classrooms are boring, dull, and full of nothing but text and paper, right?

Well, if you’re not using a Lightning Excellence Centre Exhibit to inspire your students to add life to their classroom walls, then you’re missing out on a huge opportunity to engage your students in active learning. You can actually use the exhibits at your trade show to turn classroom walls into interactive exhibits!

An example of an interactive exhibit that I recently witnessed was a small group project between students from two different schools in the US. They were teaming up to create an electronic event log on a Macintosh computer in order to demonstrate the differences between American and British time zones.

This project is a perfect example of how not to teach. In this case, the students had to wait a week before they could log in and log out. So, they used their laptop to create a “live” event log for the British time zone, a full day ahead of the American time zone.

When they logged in, they watched a six-minute video of how British time is dependent on American time. Then, they went online to the British time zone, to log in, and watched the same video again.

Next, they went back to the American time zone, logged in, and watched the same video again. Then, they logged out of the British time zone and went back to the American time zone and repeated the process.

Because the students worked together on this project, they accomplished a lot more than they would have if they had just done one Lightning Excellence Centre Exhibit. In fact, they learned a lot more about time zones are dependent on each other and learned how to work in online event logs as well as offline in a classroom setting.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that it’s a good idea to create an electronic event log during a Lightning Excellence Centre Exhibit. But the interactive exhibits I mentioned above are a great way to connect a class room with its environment through the use of exhibits.

IUIECA Show -Lightning Excellence Centre Exhibit: The Classroom Connector
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