Latest articles from the Innovate My School community.

For January, our content will be centred around the theme of The Hottest Edtech Trends. This is the technology that can help you engage struggling pupils, to connect with remote parents, to immerse learners in new, mysterious worlds.

“The right edtech can help schools in a multitude of ways,” says Tony Wild, founder and director Hottest Edtech Trends sponsor Meritec, creator of CPOMS. “From drastically saving valuable time, improving outcomes for children, streamlining communication between staff - anything that gets people excited enough to talk about it.

“Schools are realising for themselves that technology can be used to improve circumstances across all areas, and are keen to discuss and share knowledge about the latest trends between colleagues and contacts. If a company’s resource or device is being used in schools these days, it’s because of excellent quality and customer service.

“When seeking the right edtech for your school, be sure to ask around and see what others have been saying. In fact, you can do just that by checking out this month’s Innovate My School articles…”

Before the days of the internet, suppliers provided customers with large printed catalogues targeted through print advertising and mailouts. Thankfully, those days are long gone (expensive and wasteful) and suppliers can access any market. Traditional Conference furniture manufacturers can now supply quality furniture to Schools and Colleges at far lower prices than traditional education suppliers. Competition is the key, and traditional suppliers have been exploiting this lack of competition for ...
The Apple company and teachers everywhere are coming up with innovative ways to use the iPad. This small computer lets people save trees by no longer using pencil and paper. It streamlines meetings with parents. Better yet, it can make higher education cheaper for college students. Below are a few ways people are taking advantage of this relatively new electronic device. Textbook Replacement Oklahoma State University thinks that iPads can ...
Assessment for learning has been a major development in schools over recent years, with teachers being quick to embrace the findings of a number of leading educationalists such as Paul Black and Dylan Wiliam. Traffic lighting of understanding and learning is a popular technique which can be used by both pupils and teachers to provide quick visual and impressionistic feedback, whether during lessons or in the marking of pieces of ...
Politicians often remind us that we live in a modern world. A modern world, they say, requires a modern approach.The first statement - that we live in a modern world - is so obvious that one is tempted to accept the second as equally self-evident, when in fact it is not.The fact that a thing or idea is new or recent (which is all "modern" means) does not ...
Driving efficiencies to provide real cost savings will be top of every secondary school Headteacher’s agenda in 2011. Managing and monitoring pupil behaviour is often administration heavy causing it to be a common time thief for both teachers and non-pastoral staff. An effective way of easing this burden is to implement a well-designed robust IT system that can record, monitor, analyse and manage pupil behaviour. As teaching, learning and behaviour ...
Effective and positive behaviour management is achievable in every UK secondary school, through the combination of a well-designed robust IT system and properly supported and trained teachers. Sounds like a simple strategy, but putting a software system in place that enables a school to record, monitor, analyse and manage pupil behaviour effectively can be problematic. This article discusses some of the key considerations when procuring and implementing an effective behaviour ...
The education discussions, in the online space, are filled with efforts to find the appropriate role for technology in the classroom.  No longer are desktop and laptop computers the main focus; it is the new "kids" on the block, such as the iPhone, iPod and iPad, that have moved the discussion ahead at warp speed.  Mobile devices, no matter how excellent, are not an answer onto themselves -- ...
Are some schools confusing behaviour modification with punishment? Many schools use the system of ‘on report’ for managing individual pupil’s behaviour. This can take several forms, but the most usual is a card or sheet with the day’s lessons in a grid and a space for the teacher to make a comment or mark a grade and sign. Often there will be some sort of target set for ...
Several times, parents have asked our company, Niles Technology Group, the following question, "When tested, why do the writing skills of students always seem to be the lowest scoring?"  And each time, we reply with two questions of our own, "What made you ask? And, what does your school consider writing skills?"  The parents' answer to the first question is invariably the same - either on the SAT ...
Kaizen: The business philosophy implemented by the Japanese in order to improve productivity. They worked on the idea that, if everybody did their job properly, there was no need to stockpile anything. This meant they could lower overheads, reduce backlog and speed up efficiency and productivity.
In our last post, we discussed how to use apps more effectively and what to look for in a mobile app to achieve better memory retention and thus a higher learning acumen.  A couple of questions remain; what does an effective, study-enhancing app really look like and how would it function?
As a teacher, I pride myself on thinking outside the box. Rather than going down the traditional route, I often think of more creative ways to teach lessons.
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