No matter what subject you teach, whether PE or quantum physics, communication will be part of your daily routine. As part of the English curriculum, the teaching of speaking and listening is mandatory. However, this does not always happen. Too often the group work, drama and presentation skills play second fiddle to reading and writing because, at the end of the day, reading and writing skills = exam passes and group work is a pain in the ass.
What is the Golden Triangle in education, and how can it aid school / parent communication? Dave Waddell explains.
If you’ve never heard of what many an educational establishment’s marketing material calls ‘the golden triangle’, then you will certainly know what it is. Each corner is theorised as representing one of a given school’s three stakeholders: child, parent and teacher. Linked up, they constitute that triangle, the lines of which are imagined as channels of communication. It is ‘golden’ because it is seen as being both ideal and benchmark, which when in fine working order makes for a happy, purposeful and child centred learning community.
Many schools across the country have invested in tablet technology, but are they using them to their full potential? Research indicates that used correctly, tablets are fantastic learning tools and can really inspire students and aid teaching. A potential barrier to tablet technology being fully utilised in schools is the complexity of storing and moving work and sharing finished pieces between students and staff.
For any tablet technology to be successfully used, it needs to be beneficial to learning and student achievement, and must be simple to use both by teachers and students. Any apps need to seamlessly integrate into the learning environment and curriculum so they don’t detract or become an additional “chore” which impinges on everyone’s time. One new app and software tool which fulfils this criteria is TrilbyTV, which is being launched at BETT in January, 2014.
Having worked with many children over the years I repeatedly observed that the use of good quality ICT enhances teaching and learning in all subject areas. They are often motivated to learn not just how the software and equipment works but also the topic in question.
Some areas that I am interested in researching are primary science education and the role that new technologies offer to help children’s understanding and knowledge of this subject. I’m also interested in using ICT to motivate disaffected learners, software design and evaluation and can new technologies support children with learning difficulties, both moderate and severe.
Following a request on Linked In for suitable apps to help autistic children communicate, I thought I would gather together some of the suggestions here.
For many educators the professional experience can be a paradoxically lonely one. Teaching is all about communication and relationships, they spend most of their time with large groups of people, yet their position is unique and in many ways isolating. They spend class time as an ‘other’ in a large group of peers, conceptually if not physically alone, and when the classes leave and the work of planning and assessment begins they are often physically alone as well.
The personal implications of this are obvious but there are professional implications as well. In an isolated situation is is hard to develop and progress in what you are doing, as the impetus to do so must come entirely from within, and the models and ideas for next steps must be created from nothing or very deliberately sought out. Why else are so many teachers eagerly communicating through platforms such as twitter, blogs and other social media? Developing on your own is hard, and truly moving forward often requires the ideas, encouragement and challenge of others.
Photo credit: Naparazzi
The iPad camera has so much potential in classrooms, however the camera app itself is limited in its features. With his experience of using video apps with students, Nik Peachey lists the best ones for enabling teachers to add annotations and commentaries to recorded video, and use video for creating journals, storytelling and speaking practice.
One of the great things about mobile devices such as tablets, iPads and phones is that most modern devices have good quality cameras and microphones built in.
This opens up a really wide range of potential for communication and speaking practice that used to be such a struggle to organise on older laptops and desktop computers.
App developers have also been quick to exploit the potential of this powerful tool and in this post I'd like to look at some of the tools that have been created and how they can be used for language development.
For the past year I have been trialing the use of Facebook groups in school, to see if they improved communication with some of our students.
I have finally written a brief report on my findings. These include surveys given to teachers and students, as well as some recommendations for next year.
Click the 'Read More' button below to download the report from Matt's blog.
My school is an IB school. We follow the philosophy that to educate students requires an international understanding of the world, people and ideas. Part of the curriculum requires fifth graders to participate in an Exhibition where they use knowledge accumulated over six years of education to communicate their ideas on a global issue such as displacement, global warming, lack of education, pollution, world hunger, and limited access to fresh, clean water.
Last year, the fifth grade team asked me to brush students up on Publisher/PowerPoint/Word skills so they could construct their presentation. This year, I'm taking a different approach by encouraging students to think outside the box in communicating their ideas. We're spending six weeks studying and teaching each other some of the amazing online communication tools that offer motivating and inspirational ways to share thoughts.
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