The feedback on Otto’s answer to Mary’s question about which digital portfolio to use with her students was tremendous. Clearly, it’s a topic on people’s minds. Here’s a thorough discussion of this including what ‘digital portfolios’ are and why you should be using them: By fifth grade, students have lots of school work that needs to be 1) saved for future use, 2) accessed from home and ...
The 'iPad Journey' continues at Spring Cottage Primary School with the introduction of 16 iPads in Key Stage 1, 16 iPads in Key Stage 2, both with a syncing/charging trolley, and 63 iPod touches for children in Year 6. With the iPod touches, iPads for both Key Stages set up, and Apple TV installed in each classroom, it was time for another staff training session, this time focusing on meeting the needs of a 21st ...
The London 2012 Games were a morale booster as influences from the powerful, universal Olympic values of excellence, friendship and respect spread and brought out so much goodness in so many people – from all walks of life and from all age groups. The performances of all those involved in the London 2012 festival of sport – Olympians themselves, the organisers, all those who designed the superb and imaginative venues, those who took part ...
DO Produce material for YOUR students to engage them outside the classroom. Generic content works as a starting point but students have greater faith in their own teacher’s input. Decide on a workflow solution and stick to it. I use Edmodo to set assignments and annotate responses. Students are happy with this solution as it is cross platform and supports learning with library and backpack resources. Set specific deadlines ...
Many teachers jump straight into teaching students code. They log on, load up the interface and start typing out lines of code. Those students, who can copy from the board, do so and are successful. For those students who can’t or who miss a part of the code, then the program fails and some students are just turned off, straight away. The key to enabling students to learn to ...
In school boards and districts around the world, teacher evaluations are becoming the norm. The hope is that by evaluating teacher performance, we can improve student performance. Yet there remains much controversy around teacher evaluations. How do you measure and rate teacher performance? Do teacher evaluations provide any real benefit to teachers and schools? And what about the students? The answer to these questions may lie in the motivation for ...

Learning with online badges

At the start of this academic year, we launched blogging across my whole school. We have a WordPress MU installation which is hosted by Creative Blogs and every class from Nursery to Year 6 has a blog. You can view my class blog at http://class5.htrblogs.net. I’ve blogged with classes before and know the benefits first-hand. I’ve used it for two years whilst teaching in KS1 and ...

16 great virtual field trips

I have searched long and hard for the type of virtual tour that immerses you in the environment. They’re harder to find than you’d think. Lots of sites promise ‘virtual tours’ and deliver pictures. Somehow, that doesn’t cut it. Finally, I have a list I can recommend. Some covers acres of land, some a single bone, but all are amazing. See what you think: 360 Panorama of the ...
After watching ‘Road to Glory’, about the inexorable progress of the Sky Pro Cycling team, it foregrounded the mantra of “The Aggregation of Marginal Gains” that is at the core of David Brailsford’s philosophy. In essence, it is the drive to perfect every controllable detail in the process of performance – the ‘marginal gains’ – with the result being a cumulative significant gain. Watching Bradley Wiggins in the Tour de France, ...

First lesson fun

First lessons can be great fun! Most pupils still look neat and tidy and possibly even eager to learn; they are at the very beginning of the honeymoon period and you still have a chance of making a great first impression on them. You are all rested after a long break and the marking has not yet piled up on your desk so you feel a little less stressed than ...
It is very easy to find a list of recommended apps for general or subject specific use. However, one of the iPads greatest strengths is its ability to help personalise learning for all. The following ideas are only a snapshot of the potential of the iPad when addressing the needs of each student (soldier). The Soldier ‘Quiet, obedient and consistent, the Soldier charges into every assignment and stops only once ...
When I started my blog three years and 657 posts ago, I wasn’t sure where to take it. I knew I wanted to connect with other tech teachers so I used that as the theme. Now, thanks to the 491,000+ people who have visited, I know much more about the ‘why’. It’s about getting to know kindred souls, but there is so much more I’ve gotten from blogging. Like ...
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