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.

Thursday, 11 July 2013

Shy or meticulous: what does your handwriting say about you?

You may be giving away more than you think, how you write can indicate over 5000 personal traits. From the size of your lettering, spacing and shapes of letters to the dotting of your i’s and crossing of your t’s. Graphology, the study of handwriting and more specifically the analysis of a writer’s personality, characteristics and abilities, can even be used to find out if someone is lying or revealing underlying health ailments. 

Have a go; you might be surprised by what your handwriting says about you.

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Seven ways to become a more connected educator

Are you constantly on the lookout for new ways to integrate technology in your classroom(s)?

Or are you hoping to become a more effective, digitally-focused educator?

If you answered ‘yes’ to either of the above questions then this will certainly be of interest. We’ve trailed through several key research reports, endless numbers of advisory blogs and taken on board the suggestions of our educational partners to bring you the must-know habits that make for an effective and connected teacher.

Whether you’ve got extensive experience in delivering e-learning initiatives or are just getting to grips with the growing digitalisation of teaching and learning, this set of tips will help you.

Monday, 1 July 2013

Could a longer school day raise student performance?

Could a longer school day raise student performance?
Eleven years ago, a school in Massachusetts was on the verge of closure. It was failing to meet the annual progress targets expected of it by the district and state.

According to their Director of Instruction, they had some of the lowest performing test scores in the city and a declining enrolment of new students.

They knew something had to be done so, between the senior management team and established course leaders, they agreed on an expanded learning programme which would see the length of the school day extended.