Friday, April 29, 2011

"The Courage to Blog With Students" Education Week

Have a look at this article:

It has some fantastic blogging resources and reasons why blogging is becoming such an important learning and self-reflection tool for 21st century learners and teachers.

Headings include:

1. The best way to get your feet wet without drowning is to use a group blog (a personal favourite)
2. Teach students how to write comments (all part of effective literacy practice)
3. Use what you already have in your teaching plan with some minor adjustments (don't reinvent the wheel!)
4. Safety
5. Communicate with parents about what you are doing.

We would love to know your thoughts on this.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Salman Kahn flips the classroom

Salman Khan talk at TED 2011 (from

Salman Khan gives us even more reasons why we can - and need to - 'flip the classroom'. The more I think about and learn about this, the more I want to be involved in the potential for educational reform this offers.

How many of our students who have not had successful educational experiences could have benefited from learning in our new environment? We can't afford to wait any longer.

What are we doing in our teaching and learning each and every day to meet the needs of our 21st century learners?

How far have we come on the eLearning journey?

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Tiki-Toki - A Fantastic New Tool

I'm trying out a new tool recommended by @ktenkely -  Kelly Tenkely.  She also has the fantastic website:
This is a recommended website for fantastic ideas - prepare to have your thinking challenged!
This week she previews Tiki-Toki - another amazing tool for sharing learning.  It runs on a timeline that you can edit and has a wide range of uses in many situations.  Their website is easy to use.  Have a play and let me know what you think.
I've added the start of a timeline here to have a play around with over the next wee while - it's a work in progress!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

iPad Excitement!

50 Innovative Ways To Use iPads In School - Edudemic

Check out this site, slide and Google Doc. I highly recommend Edudemic as a resource site for all teachers.

Although not currently in a classroom, this is where I want my research to head. There is so much potential to change the way we teach, to motivate, inspire - and learn from - our fantastic students.

I'd love to hear from people who have tried some of these learning experiences.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

I'm Wrong!

During my teaching career I have learned many lessons - often from students.  I have learned far more from being wrong, from taking a risk, from making mistakes, than I have from being right.

My favourite question to use with students is "Why?  Who says that that's right?  Who's assumptions and judgments are we using to say that something is right?"

Are people wrong just because they disagree with us?  Why do we fear being wrong?  We want our students to be risk-takers and questioners but we are reluctant to take risks and question ourselves.  Why do we see it as 'failure' when we get something wrong?

Kathryn Schulz presents a TED Talk on the freedom of being wrong.  What are we 'wrong' about in our teaching and learning but afraid to admit because we don't want to be judged as being 'wrong'?

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Times They Are A Changing

Title with apologies to Bob Dylan!  (My slightly foggy mind is still catching up on readings for 4 papers, hence no blogging for the past week!  Terrible reflection.  Must improve as I now have no excuse to be a lazy blogger!)

This is the first year of my Master of Teaching degree and it has provided me with some exciting learning to date.  I am now a full-time student after 12 years of full-time and full-on (!) teaching and learning.  I'm enjoying the time to step back and read some interesting and thought-provoking research, conduct my own research and learn a great deal from others.

In EDUX423 Technology-enhanced Learning, we have been exploring a range of different learning formats that cover personalised, collaborative, lifelong learning and communities of learning.

One group has set up a blog - The Blog Team:

and some have set up a wiki:

Alongside of these ways of showing lifelong learning that is both personalised and collaborative, we have all communicated through our online learning environment, Moodle.

I have worked with a team to complete an assignment; a team whom I have not met face-to-face, but together we have collaborated to put together our blog and run our online discussion.  I have learned a great deal, been challenged in my thinking and contributed to the discussions.  Who would have thought this environment possible 15 years ago, when I went through the College of Education?


Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Future is Here Now and We Need to Keep Up

We can't afford to wait for the future to come to us - it's been here long enough.  We need to think about what we are doing now to meet the needs of our learners... and ourselves.

From Hack Education - Audrey Watters

Sunday, April 10, 2011

21st Century Motivation

The clip below is fantastic - and just good commonsense.  Interesting and thought-provoking.  I really loved the strong Student Voice in the clip.

We're exploring this through our research assignment for EDUX423 -
Please have a look at the blog and leave a comment on here for me to see whether we're on the right track or not.  Our research question was around the use of blogs to foster life-long, collaborative learning.