Latest articles from the Innovate My School community.

All throughout February, our content will be centred around the theme of The Disruptors. These are the visionaries, stories, tactics and resources that will ensure your school stays ahead of the curve.

“Engaging students of any age is hard,” says George Hammond-Hagan, CEO of Studytracks. “From the start of anyone’s educational journey all the way to the end, there’s a battle - internal and external - for their mind’s attention.

“This is why disruptive teaching methods are important. The educators included in this month’s theme are ones who have shown that they will do things a little differently to get the result. Personally, my own path has led me to using music to power teaching and learning. Music creates an environment that we’re instinctively attuned to, as it modifies our mood, opens our mind, demands attention and transforms anywhere into a focussed sphere of influence. The brain is ‘hacked’ by music."

Don't let your teaching and learning grow stale.

Every classroom I've been in has rules. Some are phrased as a positive statement: "We are good listeners". Others are more clear cut: "Don't rock on your chair". Teachers view these as the backbone of their classroom. Their proverbial rod of iron, so to speak. In one class I went into they had a full display board of rules. Fifteen of them. In my opinion, that's way too many. As ...
This past January, Apple came out with a slick new free app for OSX as part of their initiative to permanently establish themselves into the world of academia. With the popularity of the iPad selling at a ridiculous rate, Apple followed through with Steve Jobs' vision of digital interactive textbooks. The iPad is the device to do it too. Apple ushers in iBooks Author - an app for MacBooks and ...
I know summer just started. You’re relaxing, reading the stack of books that collected on your nightstand, planting the flowers you were supposed to take care of in April, but, well, teaching came first. Bookmark this page and when you’re ready to look at some teacherly resources, come back. I’ve collected 89 great resources to make your job easier - everything from grading rubrics, online quizzes, audio books, ...
Let’s face it, there is little doubt that tomorrow is going to be electronic, and that's an exciting thought… or at least it should be! For this very reason, many educators are striving to embrace technology. Their students are growing up in an ever-changing technological world and, as educators, we need to keep ahead, be innovative, and integrate technology effectively and securely into the curriculum. Technology helps to motivate ...
From a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) programme to a 1:1 iPad initiative, there are a number of options available to schools when embracing new technology in the classroom. Consequently, it is becoming common for school leaders to purchase one device to trial in the classroom before making any real financial commitment. As the iPad is currently the ‘class leader’ in education, there are many educators who have found themselves with ...
As the use of social media in education increases, so does the argument for and against. The purpose of this article is to try and take a balanced view of both sides of the coin and also to look at some of the reasons why schools won’t engage using social media.  In order to achieve this, Matt Britland and Alan Mackenzie have collaborated, with Matt looking at the curriculum ...
We are constantly making decisions, some of which are pretty routine but several can have significant, far-reaching effects on our lives and the lives of many others. Sometimes there is plenty of time to think through a matter but there are also occasions when split-second decisions are required – and one of the factors affecting our choices are our VALUES. The strapline of The Decision Education Foundation is “Better Decisions – Better ...
Have you noticed what's happening in your child's school? Technology. There's rarely a lesson taught, be it math or science or health, that doesn't include some form of technology to enhance its message, increase its reach, improve its communication. If you haven't been in the classroom lately, drop by this week when you pick up your wonderful student. There's likely to be a Smartboard (or some sort of interactive screen) ...
When students have access to their own Internet-connected devices at any time, both at home and at school, maths instruction has the potential to be revolutionised. Here are three great innovations available to maths instructors in 1:1 classrooms: 1. Expanded Differentiation 1:1 technology allows for extreme differentiation, even individualisation, of both the type of content each student is working on and the tasks each student is asked to complete. Instead of all working ...
In recent literacy lessons I have been exploring the potential of the iPad to motivate children to write for different purposes. One ongoing target in our school is the emphasis on boys’ writing, so the theme here is going to be how one app has been used to encourage boys to write with confidence, in an appropriate style, and with a strong level of knowledge. Having collaborated with David Andrews ...
Careers Education, Impartial Advice and Guidance, Work Related Learning and Enterprise are all subjects when done well require input from employers. Previously there has been a plethora of organisations who were placed to be that link between education and employers, EBP’s who could put on a Careers Fair, Dragons' Den or Work Experience programme to meet the needs of the school. Sadly, in many cases they have gone, and ...
Perhaps the biggest challenge for myself as an English and Media Studies teacher, and educators more broadly, is the constant fight against the steady decline of reading ability, and the capacity for reading for pleasure, that we find each year in our schools. Without wishing to sound like a jack-booted CBI spokesperson (who seem to exist only to reduce corporate taxes and demonise the state education system), there is undoubtedly ...
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