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.
Tablets have become very popular in schools over the past few years mostly due to their multi-functionality, such as the ability to have a camera and the internet on the same device, among many other things. Apps have also played a big part in their popularity and there have been a lot of apps that help lessons be more engaging. As well as using iPads to make the classroom more interactive, they have also been used to help SEN students. One area that I have been focussing on in particular is how tablet technology can help students who are visually-impaired.
The Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) and Samsung Electronics UK and joined forces to develop and launch a new app which is set to inspire a whole new generation with Shakespeare’s work. RE:Shakespeare aims to transform the way pupils experience the work of Britain’s most prolific playwright, in and out of the classroom.
What is excellence and how do we achieve it? How can we take the secretarial out of excellence? You may have heard of Ron Berger and Austin’s Butterflies, showing the stages a boy goes through to create an excellent drawing of a butterfly. It’s an uplifting clip, reminding us how we need to teach our students the drafting process in the pursuit of excellence.
The evolution of technology has brought with it numerous benefits. Education, in particular, has experienced a multitude of these benefits as technology continues to reach a variety of learners in many different ways. Silicon Valley has, in fact, been turning its attention to education more frequently. Technology education reached $1.87 billion last year (a 55% increase). So what does this mean for teachers?
Over the last 100 years in teaching, how much has changed? Could you take a teacher from 1915 and drop them into a modern classroom? Apart from the strange haircuts and unfamiliar clothes they’d barely notice the difference, because the majority of school is still lecture driven. The teacher stands at the front, disseminating knowledge to the students. Now undertake the same scenario but with a surgeon. Bring a surgeon forward 100 years and it’s a different story. In a modern operating room our time traveller would be overwhelmed with sights and sounds. This is because technology has revolutionised surgery.
What are the essential resources for the supply teacher? Sharon Wood, founder of National Supply Teacher Week, takes a look at her absolute favourites.
On supply, normal rules don’t apply. You may be left a set of plans, fully resourced, for the day. Or you may turn up with five minutes (10 minutes after you received the call to go) before the children arrive, to an empty desk, a missing laptop, and no password for the photocopier. You don’t know that the children have some work to finish off in any spare five minutes. You need to make sure that the children are fully occupied and engaging with their task to help minimise fuss and poor behaviour. You may be warned assembly is a 9:30 sharp, only to arrive and discover that it has been cancelled for today. In short, you need help! From five minute time fillers, to whole session activities ideas on the hop, apps are an essential tool for supply teachers.