Further to my previous post regarding new research from O2 Learn, they have published a very interesting think piece called “Review of Revision Practises and the value of Video Lessons” which is well worth a read. Some really interesting points at a particular pertinent time in the school year as we are preparing students for the public exam.s
New Research from O2 Learn – “Too little too late – school pupils fall short of teachers’ revision advice”
O2 Learn (www.o2learn.co.uk) is an innovative education initiative designed to celebrate the UK’s finest teaching and create a lasting learning resource that can help young people achieve their ambitions. Teachers are encouraged to upload and share videos of their best lessons on the e-learning hub. The ambition is to build Britain’s biggest classroom online, giving young people everywhere, from all backgrounds, access to inspiring teaching.
O2 Learn has conducted three surveys with parents, pupils and teachers about revision patterns and also some desk research into revision best practice, memory and learning styles. Some of the main findings include:
- Students generally are falling short of teachers recommended time spent on revision. The teachers surveyed, suggested starting on average six weeks in advance and studying on average 8 hours per week (7.7) totalling 46.2 hours. This is 7 hours more than is currently being achieved by students.
- Parents play a far greater role in their children’s revision today with well over three quarters of parents (86%) actively involved. This compares with more than half of adults (58%) who had no involvement at all from their parents in their revision.
- Teachers receive very little formal guidance in relation to how to support students with revision.
Young people are developing different learning styles from previous generations due to a greater use of technology. Despite this, just one in three (32%) young people use online study guides and only one in ten (12%) is turning to online video to support their study.
- Teachers also identified a number of benefits that resources such as online videos and video clips deliver including:
- The ability to watch them more than once (82%)
- Seeing things being explained (68%)
- Being able to pause, rewind, fast forward (68%)
- The fact that they’re free (59%)
- Video resources, such as O2 Learn, that combine verbal and visual information could be ideally suited to young peoples’ learning styles. Research suggests that multisensory learning brings particular advantages for memory.
Experts believe that the parental support that students receive now needs to be matched by adopting a more varied mix of revision methods to be truly effective.
Sir Mark Grundy, the Executive Principal of Shireland Collegiate Academy, said: “There has been research for a number of years highlighting how people learn in a multi-faceted way. The multiple intelligences models have existed for some time, but the resources to support this blend of styles have not been available – until now!
“In the last few years Learning Platforms have evolved and are now capable of acting as the glue to stick resources together and as importantly to present them at precisely the right time. Most students need a framework to support their revision and resources which present the same ideas in many different ways.
“By putting the O2Learn resources in your learning platform and delivering them to students this has to help our students to achieve at higher levels.”
Gav Thompson, creator of O2 Learn, said: “As we reach the heart of the revision period, at O2 Learn we want to make sure that young people and their parents are taking advantage of the unprecedented range of online tools and resources now available to make learning easier and more efficient.
“Teachers and experts are agreed on the value of online learning to complement more traditional methods. Whether its pupils wanting to tackle a tough question in an accessible way at all hours, or a parent looking for an easy way to help their child revise interactively, the value of digital learning is clear. Our research today shows that we are in danger of missing an opportunity to bring revision to the next level and I want O2 Learn to play as big a part as possible in helping that happen.”
SMART notebook 11 is due to be launched this Spring and it looks like there are some exciting new developments, including the ability to add widgets and work with web pages within a notebook page (as well as much more!)
The video below outlines what we can look forward to!
If you haven’t been to the O2 Learn site for a while, you might not know that their awards are back and they are awarding £2,000 every week! Last years campaign was very successful and to date O2 Learn has over 1,000 curriculum focused lessons available and has delivered over 25,000 hours of teaching. They have also awarded over £300,000 to schools and teachers for teaching excellence. The winning video from last year’s campaign They are continuing to help everyone connect to great teaching by creating Britain’s Biggest Classroom via teacher-created content.
This year, they are thanking every UK teacher who uploads a video lesson to O2 Learn with a free mobile broadband pack. They’re also introducing a weekly Best Lesson award, giving you the chance to win £2000 for you and your school department every week .
To date, O2 Learn has over 1,000 lessons available. All of which are curriculum focused and checked by their “Learning Champions”.
They have also recently introduced ‘Related Video’ functionality to make it even easier to find the lessons that are useful to you.
The competition works like this in 2012:
1. Secondary teachers upload a short video of their favourite lesson to O2 Learn and receive a free mobile broadband pack
2. Thousands of students across the country watch and rate the lessons that are useful to them
3. O2 Learn award prizes to the best lessons every week.
Entrants have to be O2 learn registered, 18 or over and they must meet eligibility criteria as set out on the O2 learn website.
The video are organised according to different curriculum areas making it easier for teachers and students to find videos relevant to their studies. The videos are also quality assured by educational experts.
So for full details of the awards go to the 02 Learn site.
Keen to continuing researching the use of new technologies in supporting students learning, I am particularly keen to look at the technologies which they are already familiar with including smart phones. Having entered the world of the iphone a couple of years ago I have since seen a huge growth in the number of students with some kind of smart phone. Although I have been aware of QR codes for a while I have never stopped to consider their potential uses in education until stumbling across some articles whilst doing some research for my AST role.
So what are QR codes?
A QR code is a barcode like logo which can be scanned by smart phones, tablets etc. These codes can contain a variety of information which they direct the user to once scanned, including weblinks and text.
There are already a variety of interesting articles on the use of QR codes in education:
QRC101 is an excellent resource site focusing on the use of QR codes in education with a whole series of links to articles, videos and presentations. There is a huge amount of information here and I have only just started exploring it.
I also found this very interesting ‘critical’ overview of QR Codes and Education (http://itbabble.com/2011/09/03/qr-codes-and-education/) which sparks debate and questions the value of QR codes and whether they are gimmicky rather than adding to the educational value. A very interesting read and something I am keen to respond to more when I have tried it for myself.
So where do I go from here?
I am keen to start trying out QR codes in the classroom, but don’t want to ‘force’ them into all my teaching so I am going to start with just a focus on the VI form and thinking about how I can use the codes to help the students connect more with their
learning and encourage them to read around the subject more. As a starting point I
have done the following:
(i) Year 12 – are currently working on river features along the course of the river and are going to be constructing A3 sheets for the Upper, Middle and Lower course with
detailed notes and diagrams on the formation of the associated features. QR
codes already embedded on the sheets links to photographs of the features.
These will also be used for homework to encourage students to describe features
from a photograph.
(ii) Year 13 are looking at the sustainable management of rainforests and tomorrow’s lesson will focus on looking at a range of strategies that can be used. It is important that the students become more critical and start to evaluate the strategies and QR codes have been embedded in the notes sheets that will be used in the lesson to a
range of articles providing different points of view on a number of management
I have also created an interactive display for my Year 11 form’s careers board with details of VI forms and colleges with QR codes providing direct links to prospectuses and websites from the display itself.
Other more general ideas to explore for the term ahead:-
- · Interactive Geography in the News Wall display – pictures and headlines of major geographical news stories with associated QR codes linking to online news video clips, websites and further images.
- · Interactive Revision Guides – to help ensure students have a fully integrated and interactive revision programme at GCSE. Current revision guides updated to include QR codes with links to the online resources, specific podcasts and where relevant model answers to exam questions.
- Further Extension links in presentations used in A’level lessons to encourage students to undertake further background reading.
- · Use of QR codes on information posters around school (thanks to mrjmutton for this idea)
A working list which will hopefully be updated as inspiration strikes!
There are undoubtedly a number of issues I am going to need to consider. What about students without smart phones? Am I getting over enthusiastic about something that will turn out to be just gimmicky? Or will it genuinely provide another way of encouraging students to interact and connect with their learning? I look forward to finding out!
You may remember the feature I posted in Nov 2010 announcing the new O2 learn website, an innovate education initiative designed to celebrate the UK’s finest teaching and create a lasting learning resource to help young people achieve their ambitions. The website encouraged teachers to upload and share videos of their best lessons, with the aim of building Britain’s biggest classroom online and to give all young people, everywhere, from all backgrounds, access to inspiring teaching.
02 learn is now getting ready for the national final! Of all the teachers to have uploaded videos onto the website throughout the past year, judges have whittled it down to a shortlist of the best eight videos and you can now vote for your favourite on the O2 website. The public vote in conjunction with a judging panel will decide the winning teaching and school. The voting deadline is midnight on the 28th September and you have one vote! The winning teacher will receive £50,000 and their school £100,000. There alre also large monetary prizes for the second and third places.
Gav Thomspon, creater of O2 learn, said: “O2 learn celebrates the UK’s finest teachers and shares their great teaching with as many students as possible. We want to create a long-lasting, valuable learning resource for young people verywhere. The finalist videos are testament to the high quality, creative and innovative teaching that is happening in the classrooms all over the country.”
Danny Nicholson has recently published a new blog post on his Whiteboard Blog, called “Ten Twitter Tips for Teachers“. Danny has written a short guide to Twitter for Teachers before, but as the name of his recent post suggests, here he provides 10 quick tips for people interested in getting started with twitter.
I often hear people being quite sceptical of twitter, but this is usually before they have actually tried it! I have been using twitter for about 3 years now and have found it invaluable for professional development and the reciprocal sharing of ideas and links with fellow educationalists not just from the UK but around the world. Give it a go and be amazed by the links and professional development opportunities it opens up. You can soon find people with simillar subject specific / pedagogical interests who you can follow!
Educational Use of Twitter
This blog post by Steve Wheeler of Plymouth University considers the use of Twitter a as a teaching tool – it includes an interesting “top 10 uses of twitter for education”. There are many other ideas and links to suggested ways of using Twitter in education on the EmergingEdTech website here.
A collaborative online book on Twitter for Teachers is also a growing resource for teachers keen to look at the potential of twitter.