Thursday, 30 May 2013

How to implement a 'Bring Your Own Device' (BYOD) scheme

'Bring Your Own Device' (BYOD) scheme
As schools throughout the UK struggle to keep up with the costs of digital learning technologies many are initiating their own Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) programmes, encouraging students to bring their own tablet, laptop or smartphone device with them into class.

Generally speaking, there are three main reasons why a school would adopt a BYOD scheme: 
  1. Student familiarity
  2. Bridge between formal and informal learning
  3. Cost savings
Yet while digital learning and the prospect of students bringing in their own devices is gathering increasing exposure and support there is also growing concern that BYOD programmes are further expanding inequalities between low and higher income families as well as encouraging new forms of bullying.

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Facebook privacy: Only 9% of students are 'concerned'

 Facebook privacy: only 9% of teens are 'concerned'
Teens are sharing more information about themselves on social media sites than they have in the past, but they are also taking a variety of technical and non-technical steps to manage the privacy of that information. Despite taking these privacy-protective actions, teen social media users do not express a high level of concern about third-parties (such as businesses or advertisers) accessing their data; just 9% say they are “very” concerned.

Thursday, 23 May 2013

Flipped learning: key criticisms explained

Flipped learning: key criticisms explained
In our previous blog posts, flipped learning has been a topic that's gained immense interest, but it has also been one that has split opinion.

While many believe the flipped approach will transform the future of education, others see it simply as a way of replacing an hour-long classroom lecture with an hour-long video and with little emphasis on interaction.

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Wikispaces classroom – simple, social, student engagement

Many teachers approach social media tentatively when it is presented as a classroom resource. The prospect of students contacting you on your personal profile, the lack of control and moderation of messages and issues of online (cyber) bullying are reason enough. But while we ourselves share these concerns and have posted articles helping teachers to use social media safely in the classroom, our attention was drawn to altogether different social media networking space that some of you may already be using to great effect.

Launched in 2005, the social writing workspace Wikispaces Classroom is an online platform developed solely for the education sector that is gaining more and more support from teaching professionals throughout the world, with more than 14 million individual users.

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Prepared for your exams? what to do before, during and after . . .

If you’ve got a big exam coming up it’s easy to panic and worry about it, particularly if it’s the night before.

Here are some easy tips to help you manage your nerves and get you prepared for the exam(s) ahead.

Friday, 10 May 2013

Taking teaching tips from Sir Alex

Taking teaching tips from Sir Alex Ferguson

In the ruthless world of Premier League football, many managers find their experiences of top flight football to be precariously short.

That fact alone would make Sir Alex Ferguson’s quarter-century an extraordinary feat but, after announcing his retirement on Wednesday evening (9th May), many pundits and sports commentators have hailed his decision as marking the end of an era.

Ferguson’s longevity is far from the most compelling reason for this. Within his 27-year stint as manager of one of the most successful clubs in world football, he led his team to 13 major titles and was the first manager to win the treble in the 1988−89 season.

Shortly after the heroics of the Champions League final – which saw Ole Gunnar Solksjaer and Teddy Sherringham pull back a 1−0 deficit against Bayern Munich in injury time, Sir Alex Ferguson became only the eighth manager to be knighted for his services to football.

Today, Manchester United is one of the wealthiest and most widely supported clubs in the world.

Commenting this week, Prime Minister David Cameron hailed Sir Alex as ‘a remarkable man in British football who has had an extraordinary, successful career.’

At the end of a reign so sustained and successful it is easy to forget how hard-fought the initial victories were and how unlikely their domination that followed was.

Outlasting prime ministers, archbishops and even popes, Ferguson turned the fortunes of a side that hadn’t won a league title in the two decades prior to his appointment.  But what can we learn from his charisma, drive and zeal as a manager, or more so as a leader and trainer?

While many first consider the lessons to be learned from a business sense, there are also tips that we as educators can draw from Sir Alex Ferguson’s departure.

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Detention: making the most of a negative situation

Detention: making the most of a negative situation
Detention – a dull but necessary form of punishment? Or an opportunity to restore relationships with pupils?

Should detention be a punishment?

Writing lines and colouring in squares on a sheet of graph paper may be unproductive and fail to deal with the root cause of a student’s behaviour. Does the student enjoy it? Does the student want to be in this position again?

For some schools, detention is about detaining a student, punishing them for undesirable behaviour – a part of a school’s sanction whereby a negative behaviour is met with a negative experience.

In a recent interview on Teachers TV, Geoff Barton, Head Teacher at King Edward VI School, remarks on his school’s policy, ‘Run on a Friday afternoon, for an hour between 3.45pm and 4.45pm, students sit individually at desks and face the front of the class in which a large clock ticks loudly. It is not a pleasant experience and as a result detentions have gained notoriety among the pupils.’

For Geoff Barton, if a student has been misbehaving or truanting then there should be a sanction that is not simply an opportunity to catch up on homework or coursework.

Friday, 3 May 2013

Tips on taking control of the classroom

Teacher tips: building presence and authority
You may be an NQT in your first teaching position or possibly a Year-1 teacher responsible for your first form class. Whether you’re just starting out or have a few years of experience behind you, feeling nervous is more common than you may think.

Building a presence in your classroom and exerting authority may not be something you’re used to. And developing a style that is authoritative but approachable may seem like a challenging prospect.

‘While you should be firm, it’s important not to be distant, a bit of warmth doesn’t go amiss,’ explains Julian Stanley, Chief Executive of the Teacher Support Network.

To achieve this balance you will have developed your own techniques and classroom strategies but here are a few that our teachers’ network has recommended.

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Kent school flips their classrooms (video case study)

Kent school flips their classrooms
For a school in Tenterden, Kent, integrative classroom technologies have a significant role in supporting their personalised learning agenda.

Homewood School and Sixth Form Centre is a forward-thinking school that aims to make the learning process as flexible and intuitive as possible for its learners.

Focused on applied learning and dedicated to the continued innovation of its teaching and learning strategies, Homewood formed a digital curriculum partnership with LearnersCloud.