This is a must watch!
Hello! So it has been an incredibly busy first semester at Strathclyde! So many exciting things have happened, from course work to CPD to placement and so much more. I will be taking sometime to blog over the holidays, as there have been some really interesting things that have been going on!
Now, you may have seen in the news this past week that the University of Edinburgh has joined ‘Coursera’ which offers free online taster courses. (See here: Edinburgh University hails online ‘milestone’) I read this on the BBC news website, and had also by coincidence been looking at Edinburgh’s website and saw this. If you haven’t already – definitely look into it!
The concept of “e-learning” is not something that is unheard of now – in fact it is something that has huge benefits and is promoted. Originally I had not given it much thought. I had watched a video on TED (and I advise you do the same, see the video below!)
Initially, I had thought “wow, that sounds really good”, a really great way for people to engage with the best academics and courses across the globe. E-learning takes full advantage of global communications in the 21st century. After looking at the Coursera website – it seems utterly fantastic! I have not completed any courses yet; however have enrolled into an ‘Introduction to Philosophy’. (There is a reason for this, which I imagine I shall touch on in a blog to come!) It is a 7-week course, it is completely free and you do not require any previous qualifications. For this specific course it states that you will require 1-2 hours of your time a week. This whole idea seems fantastic, and I know I am only a student teacher – but I think it is an image of what education can be. People can chose to enrol in different courses spanning a range of subjects – they have chosen to – they want to learn! For me, the philosophy course seems completely manageable on top of my current studies and other daily commitments. It is something that you can pursue in your own time. It seems fantastic, I think.
So, check this out, and keep an eye on similar developments. I don’t know what the quality of this will be, as I haven’t yet started the Philosophy course yet, however, the concept is fantastic, and I imagine that it will be a very stimulating and a worthwhile educational experience. E-learning is not everybody’s ideal way of learning, however I think it will be interesting to see how this concept continues to evolve over the next few years.
Also, I would like to end this blog, by bringing it back to the classroom. Why am I and others doing this? Well, for obvious reasons, it helps broaden my own (and others’) knowledge of different subject areas, topics of interest. Resources like this encourages ‘life long learning’ – people want to learn and have full choice in what they chose to learn about. Is that not one of the many things that teachers would like their pupils to be in their class – intrinsically motivated?
A couple of weeks ago I attended a CPD session with the company ‘TWIG’. If you don’t know much about TWIG, definitely check them out: it would be great for teachers in both primary and secondary schools. TWIG have been developing a new resource called ‘TigTag‘ and it is something that quite frankly looks brilliant. It is aimed for a younger age group: middle – upper primary school. The resource is not yet complete, but there is a brief demo available online, and I believe this should be launched within the first few months of 2013. The CPD session was to provide TigTag with some feedback and give people the opportunity to interact with the resource. When it is complete I think it will be fantastic.
TigTag compliments Curriculum for Excellence, and is really child friendly. It has a simple and efficient user interface – which always helps! There are also a wealth of truly excellent resources on it. Whilst I know there have been some challenges with GLOW over recent months, TigTag (and TWIG) are great resources for teachers’ own knowledge and teaching and children’s learning. Much like mentioned in Peter Norvig’s video on TED, this online resource also gives room to incorporate a flipped approach in the classroom, such as the mini clips on the website. Children can lead their own learning and build on each other’s learning experience, they could form their own questions and quiz the class. You could do an integrated approach using langauge and science and explore the short videos, the content and also the technicalities of how it was made? Why is it informative? What is it that makes it interesting?
I really do like this, it gives a lot of room to experiment as a teacher, and there are so many ideas that you can adapt to suit the stage and specific needs of each of the children in your class. Coursera and TigTag are 2 really exciting resources that I have come across over the past couple of weeks – have a look, they might not be your cup of tea, but they just might be!
Hello everyone. I want to draw your attention to an event that Vivienne Smith at the University has organised. It is entitled ‘Read to Inspire’. Vivienne has run the event twice over the past 2 years, and they have always had a large audience, all of whom are enthusiastic about reading and teaching language and literacy in the classroom. I am now in my 3rd year of the B.Ed. course and have attended the both events since I enrolled at Strathclyde.
These events are completely fantastic, they inspire you, they encourage you, they give you practical ideas and tips to implement in your classroom, and you develop a deeper understanding of the authors, their books and the thought behind their books. Previous Read to Inspire events have had very high profiled authors, and this year is no different!
Date: January 9th
Time: Afternoon (Time and Venue TBC).
Mairi Hedderwick (Author of the Katie Morag books)
Eleanor Updale (You can find out more information on Eleanor’s books by clicking here.
This is a free event.
It is fantastic this year that there are two authors that appeal to the early years through to the upper school.
Take my word for it from one student to another – these events are completely worthwhile. I have hugely benefited from these events, they have prepared me for some placements and I would advise anybody who is working in the primary sector to attend! The event is also open to staff. Use the hash tag #ReadToInspire on Twitter! I shall hopefully see you there!
Teachmeet Strathclyde – A New Beginning
Date: Monday 29th October
Venue: John Anderson 325, John Anderson Building, University of Strathclyde
Address: 107 Rottenrow East, Glasgow, G4 0NG
Time: 5:30 p.m. until 8pm
In light of the closure of the Jordanhill Campus at the University of Strathclyde, and the integration of the School of Education with the rest of the University, we have decided that the theme for this specific teachmeet will be ‘a new beginning’. We feel this is appropriate, as it echoes the current changes within Scottish education today, (such as recommendations implemented from the Donaldson review and the recent implementation of Curriculum for Excellence across the whole of Scotland). The hash tag on twitter for this event will be: #TMStrathclyde.
For those who don’t know, a teachmeet is a free event for all those interested in education, learning and teaching. Teachers at any stage of their career or training, education advisors, support staff, local authority staff, and all those working in Scottish Education are welcome at the event, the more the merrier!
Learn something new; be amazed, amused and enthused. This is an informal gathering of those curious about learning, teaching and education. Anyone can share great ideas they have trialed in their classrooms, learned about, ask important questions or simply sign up to take part in learning conversations.
To sign up and come along, follow the link below and add your name to the wiki. If you would like to present, then please feel free to add your name and presentation to the list!
Welcome back! We hope you have had an excellent summer, are well rested and ready to get involved in some CPD!
To new students entering the School of Education at Strathclyde University – welcome. We hope you will enjoy and relish the time that you spend here.
We also wish all education students the best with their transition from Jordanhill to the John Anderson campus. While the John Anderson campus will offer students and staff a range of exciting opportunities, resources and experiences, I think I speak for everyone when I say we will not forget our memories of Jordanhill: the experiences, the community, the stunning campus, the outstanding academic staff and librarian staff and others – some of whom are no longer with us. Most of all, the laughs will be missed. However, most importantly – the passion and the hard working ethic of staff and students coming to the newly revamped city centre campus will continue to build the excellent reputation that the Strathclyde University School of Education has – we will remember Jordanhill and continue to work just as hard, embrace change and take advantage of all opportunities available to us.
Our new executive committee is almost complete and will be announced shortly. The president and vice presidents have been hard at work, planning some interesting and beneficial CPD for student teachers and the wider education community. More details will be posted shortly on our website and advertised on our Facebook and Twitter.
We are hosting a welcome drop-in event in the Education Resource Centre (Curran building, level 5) on 3rd October where you can come and sign-up for this year. A year’s membership costs only £3 and you will be the first to be notified and given the opportunity to sign up to events. We will be there from 1pm – 3pm, so come along for some freebies and to meet the committee! You will also have the opportunity to provide any feedback from last session and suggest ideas for topics you would like covered in our events. This can be done anonymously in our suggestion box, which is now available in the Education Resource Centre.
We hope to see as many students there as possible.
All the best with your studies for the oncoming academic year!Omar
Having recently carried out a survey specifically for teachers and publicising it via social networking sites (mainly on Twitter). I found that I had student teachers, teachers and others involved in education contributing from around the globe.
This entire experience has really unlocked the potential that Twitter (and social networking in general) can have throughout the world and how it can aid, impact and connect different communities and be used for different reasons. Everybody uses Twitter for a different reason.
It is for this reason that I would be very much obliged if you could fill out the poll below. If you are a student teacher, teacher or involved in education in any other way and use twitter to network with others in education - please vote!
Many thanks for your time!
PS PLEASE NOTE: The continent of “Australia” is a mistake and should in fact be Oceania. This error can not be corrected as the poll has started. Please assume this option to read ‘continent of Oceania’. Apologies for the error. (The final results will also show what countries the votes have originated from). Thanks again for your time, Omar
Over the past few months I’ve been coming across the term ‘Learning in the 21st Century’, on twitter and my interactions with teachers and others within education. So, as a result, I felt I would do a blog to look at what I think it is, involves and explore some ideas, to give the readers of this blog something to go away and think about. This is a vast topic, not one that I can cover in a blog post, simply because I am no expert, also I think learning in the 21st Century has certain principles and methods, which will vary amongst practitioners.
I will post a few videos below this! Please watch them (you might want to get a mug of tea).
A presentation by Jane Thomson, Lecturer at the University of Strathclyde (@JanieT56 on Twitter). This was a presentation on Digital Literacies and learning at #TMStrathclyde in October 2011.
So where are we after all of this?
Though there are so many things from these videos that have gotten me thinking, I will outline 3 ideas that have occurred to me.
1. The importance and relevance of technology in the 21st century
Technology has become an integral part of our society. It has the potential to empower people. A classic example of this would be the use of Social Networking in the #ArabSpring. The entire world saw millions of people unite and with technology they were able to do things – things that wouldn’t have been considered 10 years ago. Overthrowing governments, dictators and trying to evoke change. Technology and its developments allow people, of all ages and backgrounds – to participate in society.
It is important to feel, think and see the relevance of technology in the classroom.
“Our children are living in the most intensely stimulating period in the history of the earth. They’re being besieged with information and calls for their attention from every platform – computers, from iPhones, from advertising hoardings, from hundreds of television channels…”
- Sir Ken Robinson. (2008, June 16).
It is our duty and responsibility to ensure that we enable children to participate in this rapidly developing society. We teach children how to write, why do we do this? Should we not also teach them how to be digitally literate? It’s just another form of communication. Communication being the thing that drives mankind (in my opinion). Communication is at the heart of everything; clubs, communities, educators, children, adults, space stations – everything.
If your interested in language development and communication and ‘learning in the 21st century, watch this video:
2. Classroom Format
Why do we make children learn in rooms, with desks, and they sit at them. They do get PE and outdoor learning is encouraged. Yes learning can be active and fun – but why tables and chairs all of the time. I’m still exploring this ‘concept’. I find it interesting. I look back to my school years (which weren’t that long ago!) and remember getting so bored – not because I did not enjoy the lesson or the learning, but because I would be sitting under a desk and chairs for a substantial amount of time in a week. I came across this article a while ago. If I’m being perfectly, honest, it was the images that made me think about it. Have a look, you can find the article: School Without Walls Fosters A Free-Wheeling Theory of Learning. It just got me thinking about this. We aren’t living in the industrial age anymore and we encourage children to take learning into their own hands and to overall, be responsible citizens, successful learners, confident individuals and effective contributors. By no means am I saying that children should not have a ‘structure’ in school. However, it is interesting to think how this ‘structure and format’ of schools and the ‘typical classroom’ can be altered.
For the majority of the time, why do teachers go into staff rooms at break and lunch times. (I know this is not the case for all, I’m just generalising). Why is it, that the two: adult and child must have different social environments for the majority of the time? I know each must, and there are times for it. I understand that pupils must socialise with each other and develop social groups etc, likewise, staff in schools need a break too. It is an interesting concept.
This idea of the teacher being the person who leads the learning and who controls what happens. Why don’t we relinquish more, not all, of this control to the children we teach? In combination with some of the other ideas explored in this blog, children can go and Google something if they want to find out about it. Children are using things like ‘FaceTime’ and other social networking to communicate with each other and people around the world.
One of the things I love with teaching Drama, is that what comes out at the end, is a result of what the pupils want to explore. Give a stimulus to start an idea rolling and let them complete it. This is not an area that I can say I have ‘researched’, though it is something that I have been thinking about and have reflected on from my own educational experiences and placements where I have been ‘the teacher’. Not just in Primary Education. It is evident in Secondary Education and even Further Education. We have to empower children, young people and adults to adopt the mindset of ‘I can‘ do something. If you have this mindset, and say ‘I can‘ then you will.
Communications in the 21st Century allow us to seek knowledge from people who we would dream of meeting. It is no wonder that Social Networking is growing and is as ‘successful’ as it is – it’s a tool. A tool that can be used to empower people, breakdown hierarchy and allow people to participate more effectively in society.
So, that’s all for this blog! I realise that a few of my ideas are still a little ‘scattered’ – this has been my thinking process over the past few months. So, please feel free to join me! Comment or tweet @OmarKettlewell!
TeachMeet365/5 is coming to Jordanhill!
Wednesday 29th February
Sir Henry Wood Building, University of Strathclyde
To find out more or to sign up, you can check out the Wiki by following this link!
TeachMeets are well established, informal events, all about creating opportunities for educators to share practice, discover new ideas,network and be inspired. Anyone can get involved, share great ideas they’ve trialled in their classrooms, ask important questions or simply take part in learning conversations. All are welcome.
TeachMeet365 is an idea about bringing people together in small, local groups to talk, listen and ask (or answer) questions. There will be no huge audiences in big halls, live video streaming on the internet or sponsors to deal with; just small groups of educators sharing with each other.
It tends to be one of the most dreaded things that student teachers must come to face and overcome – teaching maths.
In the second year of the B.Ed. programme at Strathclyde University, there is no maths provision, as this is an aspect that is deeply covered in your first year. In first year you also acquire the knowledge on how to go away and learn for yourself. While coming into B.Ed. 2, it dawned on me – I will have to teach maths to an upper school class on placement in the coming year! Quite nerve-wracking!
Knowing that others would be in the same position, and taking into account the fact that no initial teacher education institution can teach a teacher everything they will ever have to know - I decided to set up a maths focus group.
The purpose of the focus group was to work collaboratively, to share different pedagogies, resources and ideas, with the aim of developing our own practice and confidence when teaching maths.
After the first couple of sessions, we decided to set up a hash tag (#StrathMathBEd2) on twitter to share resources and connect with the wider education community.
This is something that has played a benefit to many people, and the resources shared – I hope, have inspired people and given them ideas when teaching maths.
So, that was the rationale behind #StrathMathBEd2, I just want to share some of the resources that have stood out for others and myself in the group (and beyond!).
1. Times Tables in 10 Minutes
Watch this – I bet you can list off the 17 times table now!
The group found this video to be excellent. Why?
- It was engaging and interactive.
- It was OKAY to make mistakes and that environment was established at the start.
- The numbers each had an association with something (a movement/ phrase). Which made it easier to remember.
- Each of the numbers were put on the number stick individually, and the different methods on how to get to that number were explored.
- Afterwards, StrathMathBEd2 were able to answer any multiplication of 17 up to 170, despite it not being in the video. (e.g. What is 17 x 8? = 136 (that’s the one she can’t remember!)
This website is rich with ideas and resources. There are also some excellent online CPD opportunities and materials – all you have to do is sign up (free of charge) and take part!
It is a really interesting report and I’d recommend you read it if you have time!
3. Another report that is definitely worth a read, is Good practice in Primary mathematics published by Ofsted in November 2011.
- Ofsted – Good practice in primary mathematics report – summary
- Ofsted – Good practice in primary mathematics
The report is contemporary – it looks at issues and the actually practicalities with teaching maths. Both documents are available for free download from the Ofsted website and the URL is:
4. Here is another video – an excellent way to teach fractions – recommended by @ajcorrigan.
(I can’t display the video here! You will have to follow the link – please do so!)
It, like the multiplication video, speaks for itself!
What the group loved about this video, was that:
- The children clearly understood fractions.
- The way in which the teacher hosted the lesson, accommodated for children of all different levels, everybody could be involved and perform at their own pace and level.
- The teacher was able to observe how the children were coping with the work with the white ‘show me’ boards.
- The chidden were able to apply their knowledge and were able to visualise the cups and different processes with the two different tables. This was also evident when they started to use cards.
5. I would also suggest the following 2 books:
- Haylock, D. (2010). Mathematics Explained for primary teachers (4th Edition ed.). London: SAGE Publications.
- Hodgen, J., & Wiliam, D. (2006). Mathematics Inside the Black Box. London: GL Assessment.
6. A lot of other resources and ideas have stimulated from other websites (see below).
- Primary teaching resources
- BBC Website
- “Great Maths teaching ideas” Web page: 1 & Web page: 2 - via @Maths_Master.
- ICTmagic – via @JanieT56
There are many many many more! So, feel free to follow #StrathMathBEd2. If you have any resources or different ideas you would like to share – tweet them or comment below!
Lastly, I would just like to say thank you to the group of people who have participated throughout – you can’t have collaboration without people!! Also, thanks to the wider education community for suggesting resources, articles, ideas and just general tips and opinions. It is great – get involved if you are not!