#TMLondon 2015 – Report (2)

MARK ANDERSON @ICTEvangelist – MAKE IT COUNT

Mark is known as @ICTEvangelist – and trains teachers a lot across the country in how to successfully – whilst sustaining your sanity – use IT in your classroom. He always says it has to be practical and not require us to reinvent the wheel or burden ourselves with countless hours of learning the new stuff. See below some of his suggestions:

  • Google Cultural Institute – StreetView for museums! Go to a museum online with your students!
  • AFL: Kahoot / Socrative / Plickers – various websites / games / tools for getting feedback / measuring progress of your students in your lessons
  • PingPong (for iPads) – a communication between students app for your classroom
  • PhotoFunia (iPads, Android) – allows to create images by overlaying various images one over another
  • Twitter (obviously)
  • StaffRM – online community for educators
  • Haiku Deck – make visually stunning presentations

 

Sadly, I don’t have any notes from Alex Atherton’s talk… apologies!

RACHEL SMITH @lancslassrach – KAHOOT

Rachel actually gave us a short presentation about Kahoot and how it works. It’s an online game that can be used with learners – including with their mobile devices – to check their understanding. Probably best to just check it for yourselves at: https://kahoot.it/#/

PRI SOTHIRATNAM @psothiratnam – QUESTIONING MATRIX

I really love this idea – essentially, it’s a grid which encourages your learners to ask more sophisticated questions by building questions from the options provided on the left (e.g. what? when? who?) and those on top (is/does, can, should…). This allows for the promotion of deeper thinking and interrogation?

I would be keen, however, to help develop this tool for the benefit of EAL learners – words like might or would or should are likely to be inaccessible to them, so additional scaffolding would be required.

A great tool – keen to try it out myself.

NEIL ATKIN @natkin – TECHNOLOGY AND HUMANITY

Neil asked us if we are now the teachers we wanted to be when we first went into the profession… not many hands went up. He showed us a picture of a dog, off Google Images – see below, and suggested that we need the “glory of the ride” to revitalise the profession. He illustrated this, in a very entertaining way, with a couple of on-stage practical experiment. For instance, he used two balloons, connected with a small tube with a valve, one of the balloons pumped up larger, one smaller. Then we were asked if the valve was turned – would it the larger balloon that would get smaller or the smaller that would get larger…

He used this experiment to suggest that we need some confusion to learn! It’s not all about just progress – put the fun and mystery into your students’ learning!

NORA KRASNIQI – BEHAVIOUR

Nora is an NQT teacher and she spoke of how she manages the behaviour in her classes. She reminded us of the importance of always adhering to the school behaviour policy, making sure that your seating plan is well thought of and that you consider who sits with who (e.g. put your “louder” students with the quiet ones), and at all times be consistent, and your structures are in place. She provided us with a very useful graph on how to think about your behaviour management in your class.

Myself, I have found Pivotal Education course on managing behaviour rather useful – so if that’s the area you particularly need to develop, I’d recommend it myself. It’s simple and extremely effective. Paul Dix is extremely convincing, too, which helps!

JILL BERRY @jillberry102 – WHY WOULD ANYONE WANT TO BE LED BY YOU?

Jill is very very well known to the Twitter crowd and is clearly a very strong, and very reflective, leader. Her perceptive and engaging presentation was on the qualities that she feels are essential for great school leaders – and she’s had a lot of experience in this field!

She sees leadership as being able to get the best out of those you lead – and, as she says, some people are easier to work with on that then others! She believes that leaders need to provide stability, calm others (even when they themselves are not necessarily calm on the inside). They need integrity, be always positive and cheerful and remember “what it’s all about” – and lose sight of what is actually important in education.

She calls for 4Hs (quoting John Dunford): hope, humanity, humility and humour. Important here: she does not see humility as a leader’s weakness! in case you were wondering about this one.

It’s also important to remember that she was talking about and to leaders at different levels of school systems – not only school heads, but leaders of years, leaders of departments.

It’s difficult to put it in words, but Jill has a gift of being extremely convincing, inspiring and motivational – by speaking from her heart and in a down to earth way. I was truly inspired. We need more leaders like Jill.

AMJAD ALI @ASTSupportAAli – TEACHING AND LEARNING TIPS / IDEAS

Amjad shared with us some of the resources / ideas from his own blog. His blog / website is an impressive collection of a huge amount of resources that can be easily searched. Quite simply, you should go and see what he has there: http://cheneyagilitytoolkit.blogspot.co.uk/ – it is genuinely impressive!

One idea that he shared with us that really stuck in my head was about changing our own password on a weekly – or whenever you need it – basis that will actually remind you to do this most important thing on your task list that week. Say that your tutor group reports are due on Friday; why not change your password to tutorreps ?

After Amjad’s presentation, it was time for thank yous and goodbyes. It was a terrific event; extremely well organized, well run, with a great selection of speakers. The amount of prizes given out was rather impressive, too!

It was an excellent way to get empowered as a teacher, network with other teachers, listen to the different points of view, spread some awareness of diversity issues myself – and I really did appreciate how strongly EAL featured at the event! (there were EAL prizes given out to teachers and organizations and associations such as NALDIC and EAL Academy were mentioned several times!).

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