Latest articles from the Innovate My School community.

For November and December, we’re bringing you Leading The Way, a series all about being an effective school leader. We’ll be publishing articles on the likes of staff wellbeing, school communities, curriculum planning, CPD and networking. Then there’s the case of edtech, which offers schools a variety of challenges and opportunities.

“To state the obvious, technology is now fully embedded in our lives,” says edtech specialist Terry Freedman. “It therefore stands to reason that a school in which technology is not part of the very fabric of the place is likely to be seen as somehow not quite part of the ‘real world’.

“Being a technology-rich school is no longer merely a ‘nice-to-have’ - it is essential. Put simply, why would anyone stay in an environment in which their job is made harder because of the lack of time and labour-saving software, if they have the choice of working in a better-equipped school?”

With this in mind, enjoy these amazing articles, which are powered by edtech solutions provider Groupcall.

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Until writing this article, I had assumed that Halloween in America and in the UK were very similar. However, it has been brought to my attention by Mr. Cain, the editor of Innovate My School, that “Americans make British Halloweens look massively understated”. This fills me with a bit of pride. It is my hope to shed light on American Halloween in education by using bits of my own experiences ...
Despite all the educational changes that have happened since I started teaching History just under a decade ago, one thing has remained a constant. Source analysis is the hardest component for students to understand. This is part of my ‘why’ in that I do not remember any lesson in Secondary, A-level or degree that asked me to develop my ability to use sources. This may be me being incredibly disingenuous, ...
The above is me after one of our training climbs - tweets intact! In my last post, on virtual reality, I wrote about how I could fly over Chicago or climb high mountains effortlessly. All you needed was Google Cardboard. Well, what do you do if you want to document a real adventure?
Young children learn through their imaginations. They experiment with the world and people around them through role play and creative activities. While this is often done individually in playtimes and at home, schools can also harness the power of creative play in classrooms to develop well-rounded pupils.
At the latest British Educational Suppliers Association (BESA) and Publishers Association Conference, Nick Gibb MP highlighted the importance of high-quality curriculum resources, citing results from the annual PISA reports, which showed that high-performing countries including Singapore and Finland, make far more use of textbooks in the classroom. The UK, on the other hand, has a thriving edtech market. So how can teachers utilise the combined power of the textbook and ...
The standards of a pupil’s literacy should, in my opinion, be not only measured by how adept they are at reading written texts, but also their ability to read media texts, too, especially in this case film. However, when the 2016 Programmes of Study for English were published, all mention of film, indeed of most media texts, had vanished and instead we were handed a throwback curriculum full of, well, ...
One thing that always interested me about History was the growing realisation that even the supposedly simplest and most straightforward facts are quite often shrouded in a mystifying narrative; a trail of sources that leaves the true story open to a range of opposing interpretations and outcomes. Whilst we may think we have answered all the questions and arrived at the correct conclusions about the sequences of events, a differing ...
Around five years ago, a colleague suggested I set up a teacher account on Twitter. I was reluctant at first, anxious about the implications of having an open profile as a teacher. Now I am a self-confessed teacher tweep, using Twitter for free CPD, connecting with colleagues around the world, sharing good practice and organising events for teachers. I also have a class Twitter account, which I’ve used to ...
Today, I visited Chicago, a beautiful city. I also climbed Zermatt in Switzerland, and later took part in a study on sharks swarming over a wreck in the ocean. My equipment was quite simple: a smartphone, two little lenses, some cardboard and an elastic. Pretty simple, but ingenious. A virtual reality experience through Google Cardboard.
I’m teaching the new GCSE English specification for the first time this year and I’m not going to lie, I’m pretty nervous about it. The rest of my department have had a year to get to grips with it all and fine tune it, so while I’m getting what I can from them, I also need to make it work for the students in front of ...
Growing up in a small Kent village as I did, I experienced the wonders of the countryside and the fresh open air. I was lucky that almost every day I spent playing in fields, climbing trees, kicking a ball and experiencing the sights, smells and feel of the great outdoors. In turn, my children and their friends all were able to do the same, always out and about in puddles, ...
Forget Facebook, for which all your students probably already have accounts. In the social stratosphere there’s a new kid in town that has stolen the show from the likes of Facebook and Twitter, and that’s Instagram. Launched in 2010, this photo-sharing app lets users publish their own exclusively square snaps for their followers to ‘like’ and ‘share’, and it’s safe to say it’s been a big hit ...

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