Sunday, 6 November 2011

It's been a long time...

It's been a long time, due to lack of access to ICT outside of work, Ofsted, buying a house and having a heavily pregnant wife, but I thought it was time to unleash a little blog on you all again. This is another little catalogue of ideas, resources and articles which have caught my eye on Twitter and made it into my favourites list.

I'll start with this absolute pearl from @jamieportman - a resource which I'll be looking into using with my department as a way around out school's slightly creaky VLE. I can see a huge amount of potential for both staff and students on this site.

Next, a few for the English teachers out there, over coming their intrinsic fear of anything not made of paper (I'm allowed to say that, I am one!). First, this video on teaching grammar, an engaging resource based on gaming and this APP resource, all from @tesenglish.

@sccenglish posted this list of websites for English teachers, which I have already dipped into myself.

@dailydenouement posted this excellent blog a while ago, which may be of help if you are trying to digitise a few reluctant staff, or even those who are willing but unsure where to go and what to do.

If you fancy a longer read, @web20classroom posted this fascinating and detailed article about meta-cognition - thinking about thinking.

Finally, one from @SirKenRobinson, retweeting the work of @mambjo, exploring the impact of video games on learning.

Hopefully, someone, somewhere will find some of these links some use! And, it goes without saying, you should follow all of the people mentioned above. Twice.

Sunday, 11 September 2011

Some links.

Below, you'll find a few links to fantastic ideas which I've saved up on my twitter favourites in the last few months. I've tried to give credit for ideas to those who deserve it, and apologise if I've failed at all.

Happy browsing!

  1. Interesting stuff from @literacyadviser on his travels Down Under, including links to innovative individuals regarding multi-modal and digital literacy.
  2. From @CreativeEdu 's blog, @ReTeach10 on how Twitter has developed their work.
  3. Something I'm sure all teachers (learners?) will love - engaging, learning sessions for CPD from @neilringrose
  4. This link was tweeted during a #UkEdChat by @PivotalEllie about using praise. Always good to get this going and build those positive relationships early in the year.
  5. Never seen visible thinking? You have now, thanks to @whatedsaid.

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Some quality resources for teachers...

The purpose of this blog is to collect a range of resources which I find on twitter. For those of us who are newer to teachnology ed-tech and less confident with the internet in general, I want to get all of that information and create a blog which can act as a library for ideas and other blogs. It can be overwhelming sifting through the information available, so I hope to make it a little easier for some to follow. I always try to credit the people who created the work - apologies if I fail to do this. Let me know and I will rectify it.

These blogs and other articles are a few favourites I have saved up recently from the fantastic people on twitter, including @briankotts @CreativeEdu @mtonus @ianaddison @edteck and @wjputt

These people are all well worth a follow - as well as this the hashtags #edchat #ukedchat and #edtech are vital.

A powerful piece about a learner's needs, from their perspective. (thanks to @CreativeEdu)

I love Hip Hop and its culture and I love this video. www.hiphopgenius.org is the site that supports this although it is a work in progress (thanks to @sirkenrobinson via @briankotts).

Thanks to @russeltarr for various uses for wordle.

Attaining excellence, thanks to @wjputt.

Lots of e-learning info, regularly updated, thanks to @scoopit via @mtonus.

Project based learning myths debunked thanks to @edteck.

For those who work in EAL / ESL heavy schools, thanks to @tombarrett.

And finally... a superb summer reading list for 10 - 14 year olds from @literacyadviser.


Thursday, 9 June 2011



I've created this to see what happens... Anyone got any information about their experiences using YouTube within schools? Is it something that can work, or should I give up the ghost?

Feedback on here or via twitter is much appreciated!

Monday, 6 June 2011

Sunday, 5 June 2011

The Digital Revolution.

For many of you reading this, the digital revolution will be well underway. It might not even feel revolutionary to you anymore; you may have been online in the days of Netscape, or even introduced BBC computers to your school way back when.

For others, this will not be the case. Like me, you might have been at school in the nineties, and just missed out on meaningful ICT teaching, dismissing computers as for geeks, and not even being aware of the online world until much later. It may just be that it has passed you by. For many, this brave new world of digital technology and online networking may seem frightening, a world of specialist language and technical skills hidden from the common person.

Clearly, the future, and indeed the present, is digital. As a teacher, I see the pupils adopting technology without a pause, be it BBM, twitter or online gaming. Indeed, many show much more skill at finding work to copy and pass of as there own than they do at researching and learning independently.

This is why we MUST keep pace with the change.

We cannot be left behind; this will merely alienate the young people we teach, and make our pedagogy increasingly irrelevant and, sadly, boring.

I joined twitter about 14 months ago, for a laugh. One day, I stumbled across #edchat. Soon after, #edtech, and then, #ukedchat. I followed inspiring teachers and educational professionals, and saw the potential. Tentatively, I began to try new things. In my position as Literacy Leader I began a whole school blog to showcase the writing of our pupils. This was a first step, but a minor one - it's controlled by me, not the pupils, therefore lacking ownership. Since then, I've used Inanimate Alice, successfully engaging a class, who produced some outstanding work relating to that fantastic text. I've read a lot, and contributed, when able, to Thursday night's #ukedchat discussions.

But so what? What difference is that really making to my work, and, most importantly, to my pupils?

Recently, I became Head of Department. It is my intention that the digital revolution will not just be televised in my department; it will be blogged, vlogged, wiki'ed, VLEd, google doc-ed, Moodled and more. I've started a weekly blog for my fantastic team, slowly inculcating them with information from my online PLN. That's just the first step.

Now, I need your help. I'm sure there are others like me who lack confidence with teachnology in general (teachnology was a typo, but I'm leaving it in, and copywriting it!) but want to use it, and want to engage their learners on a level that inspires and challenges, preparing today's learners to be adaptable, innovative leaders, who aren't scared of technology, and aren't reluctant to adopt new forms of communication, fitting them confidently to their needs.

I want to hear your ideas on using technology, on embedding it with cautious professionals and fearless children. I want to know how you have used google docs, or a wiki; I want to know how you have got pupils using mobile technology and gathered pupil voice in a cunning, enjoyable way. I want to share your ideas with other who are cautious about this confusing world, and somehow (I'm not sure how, to be honest) make this accessible for all - not just the tech-savvy.

I'll be posting queries and questions through my twitter account and asking questions on here, and would really appreciate your thoughts and ideas.