Ludlow Junior School is a medium-sized school with an above-average proportion of disadvantaged pupils. Focused on raising literacy levels, staff introduced various strategies including TA-led intervention groups and restructuring the library to introduce Accelerated Reader. However, the resource that generates the most excitement in the classroom, and which all the pupils want to talk about, is ebook website Fiction Express.
Today I saw something amazing! I watched in awe (and travelled with) a group of 30 students to the moon. Crystal clear, fully immersed and wandering the craters, with colleagues and children next to me sharing their excitement. I am, of course, talking about Google Expeditions. If ever there was a positive retort to the relentless technology bashing in the online world, this is it. Not the visual experience. Not even the chance to see something that most of us will never truly experience in our lifetime. It was the awe and wonder created through the digitally convergent experience. It has been many years since I’ve seen the spark in the eyes of EVERY child in the room (after they’d removed their Google Cardboard glasses, of course).
Education charity Into Film, in partnership with its main funder the British Film Institute (BFI), have launched Teaching Literacy Through Film, a new, free online course running from 25th January 2016. The MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) is the first of its kind in teaching literacy through film. Running over four weeks, the flexible course led by film education experts from the BFI and Into Film, and will examine the debate surrounding film as a vehicle for teaching literacy, alongside recent evidence demonstrating significant improvements in children’s reading and writing through use of film texts.
Technology and innovation is at the heart of Sandymoor School, a Microsoft globally recognised Showcase School in Runcorn, Cheshire. As a teacher of Computing at Sandymoor, I have always been interested in how the use of technology can be embedded within teaching and learning to create a 21st century learning design.
EduKit, an online platform set up by youth workers and parents, is now allowing teachers to post and review recommendations on programmes that they have used or seen and considered beneficial. This feature will, for the first time, allow teachers to be able to share their views on which programmes were most engaging for pupils and, crucially, had the most meaningful short and / or long term impact.
I love music and regularly use it in my classroom (I have written a couple of Staff Room blogs about this). I love the impact it can have on your children and the mood of the class, want to soothe them, play some chilled classical music or Spanish guitar music, want them to get ready for learning then use Don’t Stop me Now for a wake up shake up.
In order to make the most of pupil voice and collaboration, TrilbyTV are working with schools to help them share video content created on any device, getting teachers sharing more and enhancing engagement with the school community. Following the successful launch last year, and with several schools utilising this innovative tool, owner-company Trilby had some tremendous feedback. The ease and intuitive nature of the product means there is no need for IT support to manage allowing students to take ownership, and teachers to keep in control.
To make the most of today’s Ada Lovelace Day celebrations - which recognise 19th century mathematician and writer Augusta Ada King, Countess of Lovelace - Code Club have created some fun and engaging resources for schools to use. For many, 13th October is an annual celebration of the achievements of women in Science, technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM).
Duolingo is one of the most popular language learning app out there, It is completely free and is part of an ambitious project to translate the web. It’s certainly is a great app, but it is also highly underutilised. In this article, we will go over a few useful tips teachers can use to help their students learn and practice Spanish using Duolingo.
What’s better than the Amazon Prime Sale and Black Friday? Twitter! When I first joined Twitter I didn’t realise its full potential. I followed a few sporting heroes and a couple of celebs but did not realise the use it had, especially as educators. It wasn’t until I offered to edit the Numeracy Shed for Rob Smith that I started to follow other educators and take part in educational chats. As my following and followers rose, the benefits and potential for learning using Twitter grew. In fact I’d say it has been one of the single most influential things in my teaching in the last 18 months, and continues to give me fantastic ideas and resources. It has opened up avenues for me that otherwise would not have been possible.