Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Web 2.0 - some good videos

Another video from TeacherTube about Web 2.0. This is a great way to introduce Web 2.0 to others. Clearly illustrates and defines Web 2.

Another one I thought was great answers the question :who are our students writing for? and gives ideas for using Web 2

Monday, February 25, 2008

Quality teaching

Alton-Lee, A. (2003) says that quality teaching is identified as a key influence on high quality outcomes for students. She argues that the evidence reveals that up to 59% of a variance in student performance is attributable to differences between teachers and classes.

The ten research-based characteristics for quality teaching that she points to are:

  1. Quality teaching is focused on student achievement (including social outcomes) and facilitates high standards of student outcomes for heterogeneous groups of students

  2. Pedagogical practices enable classes and other learning groupings to work as caring, inclusive, and cohesive learning communities

  3. Effective links are created between school and other cultural contexts in which students are socialised, to facilitate learning

  4. Quality teaching is responsive to student learning processes

  5. Opportunity to learn is effective and sufficient

  6. Multiple task contexts support learning cycles

  7. Curriculum goals, resources including ICT usage, task design, teaching and school practices are effectively aligned

  8. Pedagogical scaffolds and provides appropriate feedback on students’ task engagement

  9. Pedagogy promotes learning orientation, student self-regulation, metacognitive strategies and thoughtful student discourse

  10. Teachers and students engage constructively in goal-orientated assessment

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Make animations

A great online site for students to go to make animations is Aniboom.

When the student has finished they are able to export the file as an animated gif to use in PowerPoint presentations, web pages etc.

However there is a need to be careful here as there is an area where you are able to watch animations that others have made and some have adult content.

Another program that is available - free to download is Scratch.
They have excellent support with pdf files and videos on the site to help teachers and students. I have uploaded the Getting started with Scratch pdf file into the files on the left of this site so you can download that and get an idea of the program.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Factors Affecting Completion Rates in Asynchronous Online Facilitated Faculty Professional Development Courses

As I am delivering some professional development online courses for teachers I found this an interesting article in the International Journal of Instructional Technology and Distance Learning (December, 07).

Study results strongly suggest that achieving comparable completion rates for online facilitated courses relative to classroom courses requires the development of support structures comparable to existing structures for classroom and web-based training courses. >

Well worth reading if you are delivering online courses. In the same edition is another paper "Longitudinal Comparison between Online and Face-to-Face Courses in an Adult Continuing Education Program" which also makes some good points.

Monday, February 18, 2008

The digital native and animation web link

We hear this term a lot. Do we all mean the same thing?
Here is a video (from TeacherTube) that defines one person's idea of a 'digital native' and gives us food for thought about our schools and teaching.

Also worth looking at is Tess Ewart’s Presentation Handouts web site where I found a great video and handout about using animations with children. Although she is promoting a piece of software for this purpose you do not have to use this to accomplish the same thing. I use a variety of pieces of software for animation including Microsoft gif animator (free), Squirtz (free), MovieMaker (free on PC), iMovie (free on Mac), Image Ready (part of PhotoShop) amongst others.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Interactive whiteboard lesson

TeacherTube has a great video to help with using interactive whiteboards. In this video they are also using Google Earth.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Show me the child

Based on 'give me the child until he is seven I will give you the man' there is a really interesting longitudinal study that has been done in Otago (New Zealand) which has been following people born in 1972.

As adults fewer than two-thirds of the original sample of 1037 people still lived in Dunedin, but 97% returned to volunteer yet more detail on their health and wellbeing.

The researchers have been collecting an amazing amount of data which shows a wealth of information that has implications for us as teachers.

The Listener has an article (which is very readable) about this study. Take time to have a look and see what you think.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Laptops in schools

The BaltimoreSun has an interesting article on using laptops in a school. Interesting article to read.

The last word in the article.

We're strongly considering putting on the teacher's laptop a program that would show what every kid has on their screen to see which kid is playing Solitaire

A useful tool for teachers

Video-get looks to be a great tool for teachers wanting to download video from the web for their classrooms:

Also from TeacherTube a video about elearning and how powerful this learning can be. A very effective video.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Online Publications

Online Publications is a great website (from the UK) with many free (pdf files) for teachers. Some of the publications include CD ROMS etc which schools can order. There are lots of good ideas and worthwhile publications here.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Transferring learning and taking innovation to scale

I take some courses for teachers to help them with integrating ICT into their classroom environments. I found some interesting reading in this online report from The Innovation Unit.
The evidence from studies of effective continuing professional development shows that actual transfer of learning depends on a combination of measures to encourage take up and to facilitate the development of ownership and control of new practices.

How can we ensure that excellent education practice does not get trapped on location but travels vertically and laterally to improve what's on offer to each and every learner in schools? This question lies at the heart of any attempt to improve any education system.

The Transfer and Scaling Up Project has built on earlier explorations by the Centre for the Use of Research and Evidence in Education (CUREE) for The Innovation Unit to develop a more widely-shared understanding of the evidence base about moving beyond initial 'take up', to 'transfer' of innovative and/or effective practice in education (involving a fundamental change both in practitioners' knowledge and understanding of this practice) and by 'scaling it up' (spreading this practice).

Understanding the impact of different approaches has the potential to inform and transform policy making at every level: within school, between schools and at local, regional and national levels.

In this Innovation Unit think piece, Philippa Cordingley and Miranda Bell unpack the most common approaches to take up, transfer and scale up that have been used in education.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

An oldie but a goodie

A great web site I send all our students to is In2Ed .

In here you will find many resources (free) including downloads for posters for the Six Thinking Hats, the Steps information literacy model, lessons plans and lots more. Check it out.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Horizon Report 2008 / ICT and the future of Education

This report is available from The Horizon Project Wiki.

This report discusses ideas relevant to us as teachers such as the growing use of Web 2.0 and the use of social networking. These trends are getting lots of comments at the moment - positive and negative.

Have a look at the report and see what you think.

To learn more about social networking go to Learn More where there is a series of self-paced discovery entries for those interested in venturing out on the social web.

ICT and the future of education

This is a slide show from Derek Wenmouth's blog. He has pulled together some thoughts and statistics about the integration of ICTs in education and given us food for thought as to where education might be heading.

Web site:

10 x 10 is a great website which can be used in many curriculum areas, for example literacy and social studies. By clicking on one of the keywords on the right the viewer will see headline about that topic. Each headline links to a relevant web site.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Online Teaching and Classroom Change

Susan Lowes has written an article in the latest issue from Innovate: Journal of online education.
Her webcast is scheduled for March 26 at 3:00 PM EST.

Online and face-to-face courses are often viewed and studied as two distinct worlds, but the social field of the teacher who teaches them may well include both, and both the teacher and the courses he or she teaches may be transformed by the movement from one environment to the other. Susan Lowes explores this two-way interaction between face-to-face and online teaching, addressing two important questions: Do teachers who move between face-to-face and online classrooms transfer ideas, strategies, and practices from one to the other? If so, which strategies and practices do they transfer? Particularly, Lowes focuses on the constraints and affordances of the online environment itself and how these affect face-to-face classroom practice.

This is well worth reading and it costs nothing to sign up to this journal.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Moodle in schools

An eSchool News article looks at using Moodle in schools.

Michigan's East Grand Rapids Public Schools, which has about 2,800 students in five schools, has found varying uses for Moodle in the classroom.

The district's networking and security manager, Jeff Crawford, started experimenting with Moodle a few years ago, placing it on a middle school server. That prompted a social studies teacher to begin using Moodle in all of her classes, using mobile laptop carts.

Crawford did a small Moodle pilot with eight teachers for two class periods a day and found the response positive. A middle-school science teacher developed a course for use at home, including webquests, quizzes, and other resources that accompanied classroom instruction.

Teachers started to use Moodle for individual problems as well. A speech teacher wanted to show her students how to turn in a series of speech drafts and outlines, and found she could create assignments with student drop boxes in an otherwise empty Moodle course.

Check out the whole article for other thoughts.