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.
Schools are all under a significant obligation to provide certain information on their school websites these days. This is a bit of a problem for lots of schools in itself. The reality is that schools have to compete more and more on every level and having a website that is fresh, modern and regularly updated is key to your success.
Often enough, having the device is only the beginning of the opportunity. Pittsburgh-based writer Kayla Matthews gives her top seven for your perusal.
It's the 21st century and our new generation of learners is extremely tech-savvy. With a wealth of information literally at their fingertips, why not gear them in the right direction and make them life-long learners? After all, learning isn't something that just happens inside the classroom. In fact, students should be expanding their minds and challenging their logic and reasoning skills constantly. What better way to do it than through their mobile device?
Children have been using screens in school for ages. However, today’s teachers are able to really take advantages of mobile devices, with many schools fully embracing 1:1 learning. Los Angelean journalist Tara Heath takes a look at how teachers can work with parents in order to help find the right balance when it comes to screen time.
It's not a secret that many of your students spend a lot of time watching television or playing games. The newest apps are prime conversation at lunch, and the latest downloadable content is the talk of the playground. Football can become a distant memory when someone mentions Minecraft.
Both teaching and marking can take up a huge amount of a teacher’s day; the latter, in particular, especially tends to eat into supposed ‘free time’. Here, Manchester-based primary school teacher and blogger Amy Kingsley discusses one app that’s been invaluable for her literacy lessons.
Over the last academic year, Explain Everything has fast become one of my top educational apps for applying pupils’ speaking and listening skills across the curriculum. As a busy primary school teacher, I have never been an avid fan of the daily marking marathon and would much rather spend my time planning engaging lessons and creating resources.
Teachers who have been entrenched in their classes for years still seek out innovative edtech to assist their work. Educators moving to a new environment, therefore, are likely to want to know about what’s available for their specific needs so that they can get a running start. Hot on the heels of his Media teacher’s iPad piece, Mike Gunn discusses the best technology for supporting new teachers.
Being a new teacher can be daunting. To be honest, even when you've taught for many years, a move to a new school can make you feel almost entirely like a beginner again. The nature of teacher is that students listen when they respect you, and rarely before that point. Your job as the teacher is to establish high expectations, behaviour boundaries, and what I used to call ‘the deal’: "You guys work hard, and I'll make your learning worthwhile and engaging".