Thank you to everybody who came to our Teachmeet on Thursday the 30th of May! #TMStrathclyde I thought it was a great event, the presentations were faboulous and many thanks to our sponsors. Over the coming weeks we will get the videos sorted and have it docmented on our website.
I wanted to let you know of upcoming Teacmeet events local to Glasgow! There seem to be too many and it’s getting me confused, so here are some easy dates for your diary!
1. #TMTablet (I think @Don_Iain) is organising this. It will take place on Tuesday 4th of June, starting at 6pm and ending at 8pm in the High School of Glasgow Library.
2. #TMAbAyr I have to say, though it seems abitious, it is definitly different! This Teachmeet is taking place in both the University of Aberdeen and the University of the West of Scotland (Ayr Campus). I will be heading to Ayr for this! It takes place on Thursday 6th June! If you can’t make this event, it will be broadcast online via live stream.
3. #TMGSF13 Glasgow Science Fair Teachmeet, taking place in the Kelvin Building at the University of Glasgow on Wednesday 12th of June.
If you click on the HashTags for the events above it will take you directly to their wiki pages where you can sign up! Hope to see some familiar faces there!
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!
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!