Practical Pedagogies 2016

Practical Pedagogies

Following the success of last years conference, Russel Tarr (@russeltarr), an inspirational History teacher, responsible for sites such as ClassTools.net and Active History is organising the second Practical Pedagogies conference on November 3rd/4th 2016 at the International School of Toulouse, “a high-impact training conference for classroom teachers by classroom teachers.”

It is a not-for-profit teacher training conference with a genuine focus on improving the quality of education in schools with sessions let by practising teachers who have had lots of hands-on classroom experience. (More information is given here).

EARLY BIRD 25% DISCOUNT RATE – for those that book before 15th June 2016 there is an early bird 25% discount rate of 150 Euros (standard rate thereafter is 200 Euros).

Practical Pedagogies 2016 is being held at the International School of Toulouse in France in November and is an excellent opportunity for teachers from all over the world to meet with the shared aim of improving the quality of education in our schools. The school is located close to Blagnac Aiport and is accessible by cheap flights from most European Cities. This years keynote speaker is Ewan Macintosh, a highly regarded educational consultant and founder of NoTosh.

There are over 100 sessions (workshops and seminars) on offer over the course of the two days, with sessions providing a focus for both primary and secondary staff and including a variety of topics from subject specific to wider whole school pedagogical issues such as assessment and revision and the use of educational technology. Delegates will be able to attend up to 8 sessions over the two days. The full programme can be accessed here.

Full details are available on the Practical Pedagogies 2016 website and there is a contact form here for any questions.

You can also follow Practical Pedagogies on twitter @pedagogies

Digimap for Schools – Primary Schools Competition – Win a visit from Steve Backshall

As of today, any primary school in GB is able to access the wonderful contemporary and historic Ordnance Survey mapping in University of Edinburgh’s award winning Digimap for Schools www.digimapforschools.edina.ac.uk service to take part in a wildlife mapping competition.

Any school in Great Britain with primary aged children is eligible to enter the competition with the winning school receiving a visit from Steve Backshall (www.stevebackshall.com), one of Ordnance Survey’s #GetOutside Champions https://www.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/getoutside/os-champions/steve-backshall-life-outdoors/.

wildlifemap-adThe competition requires schools to use the annotation tools within Digimap for Schools to create a map annotated with photographs and text labels showing signs of wildlife around their school.  Each photograph will be accompanied on the map with a question the pupils would like to ask Steve relating to the wildlife they have photographed.  If a school wishes to enter the competition but is not a current subscriber to Digimap for Schools they can register for 30 days free access to the service.

The competition is being launched at this year’s Geographical Association conference and runs until 10th June.   Schools should visit www.digimapwildlife.ed.ac.uk  today to sign up.

This is an excellent opportunity for schools to realise maps are relevant to all areas of the curriculum (flora and fauna study, history and measurement to name a few) and to find out what their school and local environment looked like in the 1950s and 1890s.

 

Using new technologies in Geography

Back in January I ran part of a training session for a local network of Geography teachers. The main session was taken by Jason Swale from ESRI UK looking at the fantastic ArcGIS and the ways in which it can be used to successfully integrate GIS into the curriculum, particularly in light of the new GCSE and A’level specifications. Prior to this I did a short 30 minute session exploring some of the ways in which new technologies can be utilised in the teaching and learning of Geography, drawing particularly on some of our experiences in the ways we use it in my department at St Ivo School. Here is the presentation summarising the key ideas discussed during the session.

In case it is useful you can download the handout of links I gave out on the evening here to help explore some of the ideas covered in more detail.

Revision Strategies and Support – in and beyond the classroom – Version 3 – 2016!

Rev SupportLast year, whilst still in my previous role as Lead Practitioner I wrote / compiled a document called “Revision Strategies in and beyond the classroom”. The aim was to bring together ideas for teachers with regards to planning activities for both within the classroom as well as those which could be used to support students with revision outside of the classroom. Whilst my role in school has changed, Teaching and Learning remains a central responsibility and I wanted to return to this document as we enter the new exam/revision season.

The hope was that the document could continue to be a live one which could be updated with suggestions of strategies that have worked well for practising teachers which they would be happy to share with others.

Lots of people have kindly made suggestions for good ideas to add and please do send feedback or other ideas of good practice which could be added to share with the education community. Here is Version 3 of the document, updated for the 2016 exam/revision season. As well as new revision ideas in Part 1, other updates, amongst others, include the use of Kahoot as a interactive response system and the use of Schoology as a way of providing an online course with revision materials for students.

You can download Revision Strategies and Support – in and beyond the classroom – Version 3 – 2016! here.

As with previous versions I would like to thank those people that have contributed, both from St Ivo and from the Twittersphere!

Please do email any feedback or suggestions to me (contact at side of blog). Ideas can also be sent via twitter to @RobGeog.

Into Film Launches Innovate Free App Storymaker – The Gruffalo Edtiion

Education charity Into Film puts film at the heart of young people’s learning and have just announced the launch of new teaching aid Storymaker: The Gruffalo Edition. The innovative new, literacy focused iPad app and teaching resource has been developed in partnership with Magic Light Pictures and is available for free, along with a free film club membership. The charity’s UK-wide programme provides 5-19 year olds with unparalleled opportunities to see, think, make and imagine, contributing to their educational, cultural, creative and personal development and is supported by the BFI through Lottery funding.

App store preview image 2

App store preview image 4Using the app, pupils can record their own dialogue, music, and sound effects for a number of selected clips, and create their own unique version of the award-winning film, for the very first time.  This new platform will allow students to apply their creative skills to an actual film and is currently also the only app to be supported by an extensive teaching resource. Designed for Key Stage 1 (and useful also for older pupils who have SEN or English as a second language), the app enables students to develop their reading, writing, speaking, listening and technical skills by interacting with popular fictional character The Gruffalo, in many different languages.

App store preview image 3Highlights from Storymaker: The Gruffalo Edition include the ability to watch key moments from The Gruffalo film and for users to record voices over the top of the clip using subtitles from the original script, or creating a new narrative completely. Users can add depth to the scenes by choosing suitable soundtracks to enhance the mood, or record their own sound effects.  Each creation can be saved to the device and shared in class.

Russell Hardy, a teacher at Bookwell Primary School in Cumbria who tested the app said: “There is lots in there education wise – speaking and listening. Play is such an important part of learning at this age. Some students find it hard to articulate themselves so giving them the chance to have several goes at reading or saying something in their own time like this was valuable to them.

This new platform for learning can be downloaded from the Apple app store and accessed by any school, college or youth organisation which runs a free film club with Into Film. To start a film club and access the app click here.

For more information visit www.intofilm.org.

LEGO® Education Brings Science and Computing to Life for Primary School Pupils with WeDo 2.0

New wireless, tablet-ready robot-based learning system for primary science and computing curricula teaches science and programming in a hands-on way

45300_ClassroomSolution_01 LEGO® Education has announced LEGO Education WeDo 2.0, a hands-on science and computing solution designed for primary schools. The unique solution combines the LEGO® brick, classroom-friendly software and engaging projects based on National Curriculum objectives to teach key stage 1 and key stage 2 pupils essential science and computing practices and skills.

With WeDo 2.0, pupils explore, create and share their scientific discoveries as they build, program and modify projects. Through a series of collaborative challenges, they deeply engage with science and computing, sparking a love for experimentation and investigation. Teachers receive support through training, curriculum and built-in assessment. The result, a resource that builds pupils’ confidence to ask questions, define problems, and design their own solutions by putting scientific discovery in their hands.

WeDo 2.0 includes 40 + hours of curriculum aligned lesson activities for example, the “Drop and Rescue” project, where pupils are challenged to design a device to reduce the impacts on humans, animals and the environment after an area has been damaged by a weather-related hazard. In all activities there is no single right answer, helping teach creativity and problem-solving skills. This also enables teachers to tailor lessons to meet all pupils’ needs, no matter their abilities.

Stuart Swann, vice chair of the National Association for Primary Education and LEGO Education certified trainer, says: “LEGO Education WeDo 2.0 represents a great leap forwards for delivering the Computing curriculum requirements at Key stage 2. The combination of LEGO bricks and engaging activities means that children will enjoy the learning experience while developing computational thinking skills through building and play.

“The projects are grounded within the science curriculum, drawing on concepts required throughout key stage 2. This means that teachers are able to cover the programming requirements of the Computing Curriculum within a contextualised science framework. Elements of Geography and Design and Technology are also present and identified in the teaching materials.”

The WeDo 2.0 Core Software is an essential and easy-to-use component that is colourful, age-appropriate and has a drag and drop interface that is graphical in nature. It also contains a documentation tool that enables pupils to document their problem-solving process and provides an assessment opportunity for teachers.

LEGO Education WeDo 2.0 is available today on iPad, Android, PC, and Macs. Chrome Books support will be available in the second half of 2016. For information on how to implement LEGO WeDo 2.0 in your school, or how to transition to WeDo 2.0 from WeDo, visit www.LEGOeducation.com

Blippar for education

blipparThanks to a tweet from @ThatEdTechGuy from https://thatedtechguy.wordpress.com/ I was introduced to blippar for education (@blippar) this morning. As well as operating in business, the education section of this company  seeks to transform education settings such as schools into digitally interactive learning environments using Augmented Reality. I am still new to exploring augmented reality in the classroom but I know it has great potential for generating student interest and engagement which can only be a great thing! The idea is that it can be used to bring textbooks and other learning materials to life using smartphones or tablets.

For me one of the most exciting things about this mornings discovery of blippar was not just the volcano that came to life on my actual (not virtual) desktop (see photos!) but the fact that blippar are taking augmented reality one step further to ensure it is not just a novelty but an integral part of the learning process. They have done this by introducing a series of education posts (described here in their blog post). These make the AR integral to the classroom experience by enabling the teacher to lead the lesson by using the blipp (AR component) in explaining to the students what happens.

Volc003The volcano blipp (See photos below) involves students connecting to the teachers device by a special code – the teacher then gradually initiates the different parts of the blip, from the eruption through to opening the volcano up as a cross section. Taking this a step further, students then have a labelling activity which they undertake and the results go to the teachers device as a way of monitoring progress. Unfortunately we are not a 1:1 tablet school at the moment but I am really interested to try this with students that do have their own devices and I’m particularly keen to see where blippar take this next. For me this is the first step to really making the most of AR and one which I can see being of great use in the classroom. To have these embedded in textbooks and revision guides would also take experiential learning to the next level.

Volc004  Volc002

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