Thursday, 8 August 2013

Social media in the classroom: too risky?

Social media in the classroom
There are now more than 500 million users on Facebook, half of whom log on every day. Social media has transformed the way that people communicate with their friends, share their experiences and plan their lives but it’s also created new challenges and special problems for schools.

Teachers face the risk that their private lives might be exposed or that students may use the sites inappropriately.

Yet some schools are already harnessing the power of Facebook and Twitter to excite students about education.

We thought we would assess this by considering whether the pros outweigh the cons of using social media sites in education, particularly now that social media is such an integral part of students’ lives.

Thursday, 1 August 2013

40% rise in students with private tutors

Private tutoring vs. online alternatives
As the summer break gets under way, reports from the BBC and The Guardian suggest that parents will be turning their attention to hiring private tutors for their children.

The Guardian’s tuition report, released in April 2013, revealed that in the past year all of the private tuition businesses polled experienced a significant growth in the number of students applying, with some recording a rise of over 40 per cent.

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Twitter gives shy students a voice

Distractions seem to be everywhere, with students of younger and younger ages having access to internet-enabled devices, even when they’re in the classroom. But for many ICT evangelists, mobile technology is not inhibiting students’ focus in class but instead helping to raise engagement and enhance teaching and learning.

Enrique Legaspi, a middle school teacher in Los Angeles is one such proponent. After attending a seminar in San Francisco on the uses of social media, he began to trial examples of real-world best practice within his own classroom.

Thursday, 25 July 2013

Apps that support your flipped classroom

Apps that support your flipped classroom
Flipping the classroom remains one of the hottest topics in education right now so we thought we’d bring you our top five most recommended apps and web tools to support you along the way.

Most of the apps listed have been selected for their relevance, usefulness and time-saving attributes − recommended by teachers who have introduced flipped learning into their classrooms.

Nearly all of the apps listed are free or offer schools a free trial to test whether the resource is suitable for their set of students and style of teaching.

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Five best Google tricks to impress your friends

Five best Google tricks to impress your friends

Skewed vision, gravity loss and even playable guitars . . . before you start getting worried about what the heat has done to us, let me explain. We’ve been playing, uh, I mean working, long hours to bring you our top five favourite quirky Google ‘Easter Eggs’ which you can access simply by searching online.

Thursday, 18 July 2013

‘Gender balance in UK schools needs to change’

Gender balance in UK schools needs to change

If a recent report is anything to go by it would seem that male teachers are heavily under-represented, particularly in UK primary schools. The findings have led to a call from Education Secretary Michael Gove for an increase in the number of teachers from a ‘wider variety of backgrounds’.

Over the last few years teaching staff made up entirely of women have not been uncommon in England. A recent review found that on average, for every 10 teaching roles within primary schools, only one of those positions will be taken up by a male teacher. However, by September 2013 Gove intends to raise this so that one in every three positions will be taken by a male teacher.

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

4 things to know before flipping your classroom

Flipped learning is gaining momentum in more and more learning institutions around the world. Our e-learning consultant, @Chris_Hendon, a specialist coach in alternative pedagogies, has been advising on just how far schools have progressed in recent years.

Yet column inches and advice blogs tend to concentrate on the pros and cons, and advantages and disadvantages of the flipped classroom approach, and few have documented any real empirical evidence from UK contexts and case studies.

This seemed like a challenge to us and so, with the help of our flipped learning coach, we followed a school in Kent to assess their experiences, reactions and findings as they set about integrating flipped learning.