A short reflection on the Holocaust

Recently in the History Society I asked students what they would like to study. A huge amount of students asked to study World Wars and in particular the Holocaust. The reason for this was the promotion and coverage of the Holocaust Memorial Day on the news and over social media.

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The amount of coverage of the Memorial Day is noble as it does raise the hope that mistakes made can ensure people are aware of the injustices that occurred in history, and not to be repeated again.

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However, despite this report it does well to view recent FBI reports that it is the Jewish community that still the most persecuted religious community in America (reported attacks). To realise and hear that the Jewish community is still being persecuted despite the atrocities committed against the Jewish community highlights how we may not be learning from our past mistakes.

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When teaching about World Wars or the Holocaust it is important to remember that there is still injustices occurring the world despites our best attempts

Alternatives to Youtube

Using IT in the classroom is always a welcomed challenge for teachers and a distraction for students.

Films, TV documentaries, short media clips are all great resources when used correctly in the classroom. However, YouTube is not always available in secondary or primary schools due to the PDST security. Despite this many schools have set the level to incorporate YouTube.

e-safety

Youtube however is a social media outlet which does wish to make profit from it’s availability and services, thus youtube has started integrating ads into youtube clips as people are skipping the advertisement. This does pose a problem in a school and learning environment.

One way to overcome this is to use quiettube. Quiettube takes out unnecessary extras and just allows the youtube clip to be shown.  It is ideal if teaching younger students or if you wish students not to be distracted. Quiettube additionally takes out the autoplay next video which can lead to distributions when teaching.

Image result for vimeo

Another great IT resource to use instead of YouTube is Vimeo. Though I have discussed Vimeo in a previous post – it is always good to reflect and revise on resources.

Vimeo has been proving itself in regards to the high quality and easy to use features. One student recently, created an amazing 1916 project using Vimeo. Additionally, they were able to make the video from their phone and they had their family helping them which they said was ideal as their family then became involved in the students learning. Furthermore, using Vimeo allowed the student to experience HD quality features and enhancements which aren’t always available when uploading YouTube clips.

The wealth of resources on Vimeo is also worth noting. Most topics have something there which you can view and use. What I have found from using Vimeo in the class is it can be tedious to load at times due to the HD Quality.

Wingclips is another media clip which I would highly recommended using the classroom. It has a huge amount of short clips to choose from which are ideal in the classroom. Wingclips is designed to be easy and friendly to use. It even caught my eye that in the Catholic School Week resource pack they recommended using short clips from wingclips to tie into lessons. It was ideal to use in the classroom and also suggested other clips. Furthermore, wingclips seems to use HD quality clips which are ideal in a classroom full of students. It eliminates the usual

I can’t hear the clip or it’s very blurry.

One feature of wingclips which does put it above other websites is it has been split into themes and categories. Furthermore, it has also designed an educational section on its website. This section is packed with resources and inspirational shirt clips which can be incorporated into any lesson theme or even at the start or end of a lesson.

Additionally, wingclips has the length of the clip beside the clip and key words. Knowing the length of a clip before you even click on it is ideal if you are trying to plan a class as time is of the essence when teaching. One of the most common complaints you hear from students who are reflecting on teaching practice at this time of the year is they do not have enough time. Similar to how the crunch of the coursework is on top of many students and teachers and how they say that they feel that there isn’t enough time in the day for what needs to be done.

Also, another reason why wingclips is highly recommended for the classroom as a resource is there is no advertising or advertisements shown on the page beside the wingclips logo and a link to buy the whole documentary or clip.

Religious Education Resource is Bible.com. Though it is very much so aimed towards the Christian part of the course, it does have a huge amount of resources which can be pitched at any level. Recently, more and more clips have been uploaded to this website. Additionally, it has since adapted to the way society has gone and can be downloaded as an app. By being able to download bible.com onto your phones as an app you are able to research and look at the resources on the go. Having the option to log on via your phone and browse resources.

Glogster

Glogster  is a new Web 2.0 technology that allows students and teachers to make multimedia posters.

Glogster is an excellent Web 2.0 Technology ties into the NCCA Key Skills as well.

  1. Glogster encourages students to think critically and creatively as they have to create a multimedia poster but use relevant information.
  2. They have to process information to make the multimedia poster.
  3. When making a multimedia poster they have to communicate with their teacher and fellow classmates when making a multimedia poster.
  4. If the teacher uses Glogster in class, students will have to think what they want to do, how they want to create the poster and how much information they want to put on the poster and can they achieve their plan in the limited amount of time they will have.

An example of some Glogster Posters!

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Additionally, it’s great for students as there is already made templates and examples for students full of media which can help them get ideas.

It’s also free and easy for students to use as well as being safe.

For more information on Glogster try looking at Glogster Twitter Page: http://ncca.ie/en/Curriculum_and_Assessment/Post-Primary_Education/Senior_Cycle/Key_Skills/Key_Skills_Framework.html

Storybird

 

 

storybird

 

web2.0

 

Storybird is a Web 2.0 Tool which is an excellent tool for encouraging literacy and creativity in the classroom.


 

In a learning scenario, “starting with pictures” is powerful: it stirs the emotions while it engages the brain and jumpstarts students into their text, avoiding the blank-page syndrome. And it’s effective.

blank page

 

As stated on their website it allows students to overcome blank page syndrome which they can suffer when they feel pressured and overwhelmed when trying to think outside out the box when it comes to essay writing and creative lessons.

 


 

Visual storytelling for everyone.

A platform for writers, readers, and artists of all ages.

As storybird is free to use and an accessible platform for all ages it could encourage students and family to create a story – which allows students families to feel more connected in their students learning.

librarybooks

Also, it allows for communal projects and collaborations between both students and classes. This cross over can led to a library of books which can be sold and published if it’s wished through the paid feature to download and sell a book created. This incentive to allow students work to be sold and publish work can not only build up the students and schools portfolio but raise much needed funds for schools.


 

A massive attraction of Storybird is that it can be used with any devices, whether it be a phone, a tablet, a laptop, a netbook or a school computer.

all-devices


 

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One other feature which I would encourage when using storybird is the use of paragraphs. For History and English paragraphs play a huge part in the layout of essays and the overall presentation/impression mark.

 

 

 


 

no collection data

One other feature of storybird which makes it very attractive in a classroom and school setting is due to the simple fact that it’s a private website no data is collected. A rising problem with websites is the collection of data and the risk this poses for users in the future.


 

Also, incase you missed this little bit of information earlier – it is free to use!

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For more on storybird check out these resources!

                                                                                                                    prezi logo https://prezi.com/kmgpwvqpwde7/introduction-to-storybird/

 

Web 2.0 – History Hub

http://historyhub.ie/

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Another great history resource is History Hub.

History Hub is a great resource for senior cycle history and even an undergraduate standards.

It has excellent resources for Junior and Leaving Certificate history and with the 1916 Rising coming up listening to Podcasts is an excellent way to engage students in the classroom and get them motivated in helping commemorate 1916.

Additionally, one feature of History Hub which I enjoyed is their From the Archives section of their website. More and more it’s noticeable that students are losing out on engaging with primary and secondary sources as we are teaching for an exam. Though true it’s great to be able to use primary sources from archives whereas possible.

(Images of the 1916 Rising aftermath)

Additionally,for T.Y. and senior cycle history students can use the website to get ideas for Research projects and topics.

Another simple fact about History Hub which makes it worth checking out is it’s updated regularly and they have a mailing list which you can subscribe to. I found this idea appealing as I sometimes forget what website I saw a great resource on but if I’m on their mailing list a quick search of emails usually turns up what I was looking for.

Free online Irish history class

 

history

 

Earlier this year Trinity launched a free online history class which drew the attention of thousands of people – over seventeen thousand to be exact!

The MOOC is available for anybody with an internet connection and five free hours a week. The course can be taken at the student’s own pace with video, assignment and online discussion with other students and will also offer the opportunity to purchase a Statement of Participation on completion of the course. Students can also use the hashtag #FLirishlives to interact with other learners. (Ciarán Brady)

http://www.irishcentral.com/roots/history/Thousands-expected-to-join-Trinitys-free-online-Irish-history-class.html

Web 2.0 Tool – Narrable

 

narrable

Narrable


Narrable is a website which can be used an educational web 2.0 tools in the classroom.

I have heard very good things about Narrable – however, when you log onto narrable.com…………You are greeted with a delightful slideshow of images and text that informs you that narrable.com is currently making big changes and going to create a reliable site for creating stories. This has resulted in the website being closed and updated thus I have very little to hands on experience in regards to narrable.com.


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Not to be deterred I have since read as many reviews and articles as I could about narrable.com.

From what I have gleaned this is what the reviews have told me that narrable.com was an

application allows users to easily create narrated slideshows. For educators who don’t have access to standard video editing software, this is a great resource across multiple subjects for most grade levels. While the site has varied price points for both the general public and educators, it’s free for teachers to create unlimited projects.

(http://www.educationworld.com/a_tech/narrable-classroom-activity-ideas.shtml)

I enjoyed noting that Narrable was free to teachers to create an unlimited amount of projects which could mean a motion comic or normal narrables for the classroom.

Additionally, another interesting feature of Narrable which made it very appealing was the simple fact that students and teachers could create comics on either

their computers or mobile devices.

(http://www.educationworld.com/a_tech/narrable-classroom-activity-ideas.shtml)

Trying to book computer labs and ensuring students carry out the completed tasks is a bit of a logistical nightmare sometimes; thus computer labs are only used for specific projects or planned events. (Unless each student has a netbook or laptop which is becoming a more and more feature in schools)

By letting students use their mobile devices in class they are learning how to use their mobile devices in an educational way. Also, as it’s on a device they are familiar with – it increases the chances that they will use the device outside of the classroom.

Furthermore

Narrable projects can be shared via email, Facebook, or by embedding them into a blog or wiki.

(http://tanarkepzes.unideb.hu/szaktarnet/kiadvanyok/challenges.pdf#page=171)


key skills

Additionally, narrable ties into the key skills by being literate and creative. Additionally, it’s hands on thus the students are managing their information and thinking how are they going to present this to their peers and others who they are going to show their narrables too.


One other idea I like about narrable.com is that it’s very visual and it brings literacy beyond the classroom. As I mentioned earlier a web 2.0 application that can be encouraged outside fo the classroom is a tool worth using.

This has been highlighted by scholars who have come to recognise the importance of web 2.0 tools such as Narrable

 “Technology and Web 2.0 tools are supportive of knowledge construction, immersion in a foreign language, and interactivity across sites” (Chang, Pearman, and Farha 2012: 52).


youtube

This is one of the tutorials I have found on youtube on how to create your own narrable and set up an account.


If you know anything more about narrable.com or have used it please feel free to send me a message or comment as I would love to know more about it!

thank you

 

 

Sharing resources

Sharing resources is possibly one of the best ways to learn and build up a portfolio of lessons.

I know some teachers do not like to share which is understandable as sometimes you have it tailored to your class and your style of teaching.However, some teachers are fantastic at sharing resources and helping other teachers with resources and ideas.

A few website which are full of teachers who share ideas and resources which are free to download (for the most part) are as follows:

  1. tes.co.uk
  2. History association of Ireland
  3. History Ireland
  4. TED Talks education
  5. blogging websites
  6. Twitter – try #edchatie or #edchat (refer to my previous blog post for specific related subjects)

 


 

Since publishing this blog – this weeks #edchatie was all about sharing!

Some amazing resources were shared and a huge amount of teachers and educators took part in sharing many web2.0 tools and resources. I will post the transcript to this blog when it is published tomorrow!

 

#edchatie

web2.0

A web 2.0 tool that is frequently used by many educators is Twitter!

twitter education

Inspired by the recent assignment to look at communication in regards to the key skills being rolled out the new junior cycle I have realised I have not communicated via blog how great a resource #edchatie is for teachers. Though I have blogged about twitter quite a bit – I feel I may have overlooked giving you a detailed insight to #edchatie which is held each monday night between 8.30-9.30pm on twitter.


 

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It was set up by Fred Boss  (@fboss ) of the NCTE (National Centre for Technology in Education). Each week @fboss uploads a poll open to suggestions of questions and topics that could be discussed vai the micro-blogging platform twitter each Monday night between 8.30-9.30pm. People are free to vote which one should be discussed. Once the poll has closed the topic and questions are tweeted out to the masses.

Each person is encouraged to use the #edchatie when discussing the chosen topic or question.

For example a recent topic which was discussed:”Teaching with teachers not open to technology”. This was a great discussion and promoted many views from all sides of the discussion.

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Unfortunately, due to the huge volume of responses I was not able to read ever tweet and response on twitter – even when using twitterdeck! (web 2.0 tool I highly recommended if into twitter, or even beginning to use twitter)

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Instead of being disappointed – I was able to download the whole discussion via a transcript a few hours later on the edchatie website. (http://edchatie.pbworks.com/w/page/37159466/edchatIE%20Summaries)

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#edchatie is one of the best discussion to join into if you are a teacher (even more so if you are teaching in Ireland). It connects you with hundreds of other teachers in similar situations and you can share tips or problems you have – which can be resolved in a matter of minutes in some cases!

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How do you sign up for #edchatie or even how do you promote the use of #edchatie in your staffroom? I found this poster via the semoraranga website (all credit to @seomraranga) which is clear and easy to understand.  edchatie_poster

Hope to see you all there tomorrow night!

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Bowka – Mental Health Week

Bowka

bowka images

Exercise improves your mental health.

Music also improves your mental health.

Exercise + Music = Mental Health overload!!!!

Bowka is the new craze of exercise and music combined. Though you may not have heard of Bowka, think Zumba but with numbers and letters and you have a fair idea of what Bowka is. Bowka is as physical as it get’s yet it’s meant to be simple to learn – which is why it’s starting to gain popularity. Additionally, it’s for everybody. The young, the old, the lazy, the high energy!

You will burn any calories or negative feelings you have away I have been told. Seems like a win win situation considering tonight’s #edchatie was about how do teachers cope with stress?

Not one hundred per cent sure what Bowka will bring tomorrow, but I know it won’t be dull considering it derives form boxing and kwaito – African words for a style of South African music and dance.

To give you a test of what is in store for tomorrow – here is a short clip!

#edchatie #mentalhealth #littlethings #bowka #zumba #happymonday #motivation #keepfit #teaching