This year’s “ART Award for Innovation in the Effective Use of Technology in Teaching” was sponsored by John Taylor & Co. and won by Lisa Clarke from Combe Raleigh in Devon. Lisa has been the lead person in training a new band of ringers for this three-bell tower in a small village near Honiton. Though the number of traditional bells available is very limited, Lisa has exploited the possibilities offered by simulator technology to the full. Starting with a home-made sensor and “Beltower” software, she has developed the facility to include a second, heavier bell and, crucially, introduced a large screen monitor. The 20-inch screen allows learners to use the images of ringers to develop ropesight alongside honing their listening skills while ringing with other “perfect” (virtual) ringers. The learners taught this way have found it an easy transition to ringing competently with other (real) ringers. At the end of each ringing session Lisa has used the software’s capabilities to review the performance (striking) of the learner. Three learners have been taught this way in the last year and all are now ringing for service and one has already rung a quarter peal.
Lisa is also heading up a restoration and augmentation project which will shortly see the rehanging of the original three bells, the installation of a further three to create a ring of 6 and the construction of a ringing gallery in the tower.