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.
Apple have produced a series of ebooks to help teachers integrate apps into their daily classroom practice. The Apps in the Classroom series is inspired by Apple Distinguished Educators, and each book contains a collection of activities that allow students to utilize a particular app to demonstrate their learning.
Hearing solutions company, Conversor has launched a new brand for its voice recording apps and edit suite family of products. The Notetalker website uses a simple user interface to share their innovative recording solutions. These apps allow students to record classes, with the ability to bookmark or tag important information with a simple bookmark or a text description. The software is easy to use and organise, and both filenames and folders can be made or changed at any moment. With these features, Notetalker apps are particularly useful for SEN students.
Take a step back to a time during your childhood, while sitting at the kitchen table with a stack of colouring pencils and paper. Even if you weren't a fantastic artist, your confidence and rapid response to having a go at coming up with a creative idea was probably higher than it is now. Why is that? Simple, it's called fearlessness, otherwise known as confidence. We built dens, designed Lego worlds, used food packaging to build cities, our imagination was on fire.
When thinking about what we would like our students to be able to do, the above definition really appeals to me. I believe that in preparing our learners for the real world, which is competitive and often challenging - we should also be teaching them how to (in the words of the dictionary definition) create ‘meaningful ideas, forms, methods and interpretations.’ We don’t want our students to be passive consumers of digital or analogue culture, I want them to be involved in shaping it.
Plenty of teachers use Google apps in their classrooms, but is Google Classroom as widely used as it should be? Kings Monkton Private School teachers Adam Speight and Fiona Thomas explain how it’s been innovating their classroom this year.
In 2006 Google introduced a product known as Google Apps for Education to the world. This product became a game changer, as schools no longer had to stick with using the traditional Microsoft Office Suite; there was now a free variable alternative product available to them. Zoom forward to 2014, and Google have once again transformed the world of Education. This latest initiative comes in the format of a virtual learning environment (VLE), and is known as Google Classroom. Furthermore, it is free to anyone using Google Apps for Education. This product weaves together both Google Drive and Gmail, so it is a tool which helps teachers organise classes, provide feedback, save time and improve organisation so that the learning experience is fully enhanced.