More highlights from CESI

CESI Main Notes

  1. net

Fun activity to do if in the computer room to raise awareness how easy it is for professional hackers to gain students personal information if they become targets.

 

  1. Neil Butler https://twitter.com/mrNeilButler?lang=en

Ignoring his twitter page he has somehow incorporated grand theft auto in the classroom for Pythagoras theorem. He drives out a course and then gets the students to use the course and apply them to the theorems.

  1. TechWeek2016 (Trying to get some resources packs)

Tech Week is Ireland’s nationwide festival of technology aimed at students, parents and the public. Tech Week provides hands-on opportunities to learn about how computing and related technology are shaping every area of life .Education, health, environment, social interaction, leisure, citizenship … the list never ends and the pace of change never stops.
April 24-30 2016

  1. Scratch Cat Selfie

It’s part of a scratch pack – didn’t manage to get one but emailing and tweeting to see if I can get my hands on one for the school.

  1. Digital Time Plan

Allowing people to create their own timetables and plans online. Free app – easy to download on ios, android and online at their web store. It could be used to encourage students to take control of their own study planning if it’s an app online which can be downloaded onto their phones.

  1. @teamacademic

New online notes session that is about to launch in the next few weeks. Only a teaster/taster was given at the techmeet.

  1. net

Resources for the classroom for all subjects.

  1. Tech Team

Using minecraft in the classroom. Looked at how minecraft is an app which can be used in class on moblies. Not possible unless students have accounts.

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Religion e-books

 

Researching for lessons, I came across a lot of Religion books which are now available in e-form and online.

A few examples of these online books are:

  • Religion Living is now available for Ipads.

  • A question of Faith 3rd Edition

 

  • Why should you use these resources?

These two online  religious education textbooks are both easy to use in the classroom and work closely with the curriculum – whether your class is exam or non-exam.

Furthermore, due to these textbooks being online they are packed with interactive resources and handouts with compliment the textbooks.

These handouts are ideal when revising over a topic or trying to learn a new key term.

  • Teaching tips

These online resources and e-books have many links and tips to resources which can be used in the classroom. They also have teacher notes and are always helpful.

We never stop learning thus it’s exciting to see how these e-books will be used in the classroom.

 

 

 

Coming soon!

Reflection on cesi and the great resources and strategies learnt from it!

Update: Finally have the blog up!

CESI

For those of you reading this blog and do not know who CESI is they are the leaders in readings to technology being used in the classroom.

Last weekend they held a conference which many attended. Myself and @msdignam attend the Friday Teachmeet where we got to interact with the events and have a taste of what was to come on the Saturday.

We saw lots of interesting presentations and different ideas which will be progressing into classrooms near you.

If you want a taste of the weekend look up the live tweet that was used throughout CESI #CESI16 and have a read through the second by second updates as they occurred.

CESI was a conference which was unlike no other – you were invited to talk to the presenters, everyone was curious and taking up great initiative in schools or different sectors of education. Furthermore, what really struck me was the use of technology throughout the whole event. Each person was live tweeting the conference and presenters as well encouraged people to use their movies, tablets, ipads, laptops, and macs, anything that could connect to the Wi-Fi and stay in touch with the live tweeting that was occurring.

It was an amazing event and well worth checking out!

One of the key note speakers who stood out at CESI was Neil Butler @mrNeilButler. If you haven’t joined up with him on twitter – I highly recommend you do. Mr. Neil Butler is an up and coming one to watch.

One of the reasons why Neil was someone who caught everyone’s attention and won the B award was his use of Grand Theft Auto to teach angles.

Here is the video – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xEZcbwN4Zns

B Award Prize

Creativity in maths in endless but to being alive maths (which I admit is a tough one) is amazing and a credit to Neil.

derek breen

(Credit to the CESI website for that autobiography http://www.cesi.ie/speakers/conference-2016-highlight-speakers/)

Furthermore, Derek Breen was another key note speaker who caught the attention of the whole room. For those of you who do not know Derek Breen I would highly recommend you look him up on twitter.

How he captured the whole room attention was he stood up on a chair and did his presentation from this chair. It was unusual and defiantly one way to do a presentation. Each key idea or conference Derek Breen was talking about was printed on a tshirt he was wearing. Once he completed point, he would take off that tshirt revealing another tshirt – and idea!

I would highly recommend the CESI conference for any who is thinking of starting into conferences or wants to know more about how technology can be used in education – or even bring the classroom alive!

A few Web 2.0 Tools for the Classroom

 

A few new Web 2.0 tools which I have come across  which could be of great use in the classroom.

  1. Highlighter App

This simple app can be downloaded from the Chrome Store or the Apple store depending on which device you are using. There is many variations to this app but each have the simple understanding that when you are online or using a device you like to highlight key points or ideas which catch your attention as you are reading. Price depends on what you are looking for; however in general it seems to be free to download and use.

 

2. Second Life

I came across Second Life by chance. However, so far I have been very impressed by it’s concept and ideas. It allows people to create a free 3D virtual world.

When teaching history, it’s important to try and use visuals in the classroom. For example, when teaching the Romans, minecraft has a huge selection of visuals which can be used when teaching about the Roman villa or domus.

However, allowing students to create their own Roman Villa or Domus – or even Roman town would bring topics alive for students. Additionally, this will allow students to bring history alive and into the twenty-first century through this Web 2.0 tool.

3. Answer Garden

Answer Garden is a web 2.0 tool which I have yet to use – yet I have heard very positive things about it from those I know who have used it in a classroom setting.

Answer Garden allows for a teacher or student to a put a question in and press the submit button. The most frequent answers are shown. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Working well with others

Recently I have students doing projects in the run up to mid-term and over mid-term break. The students have been given the option to do the projects on their own or in groups. These options have created a dynamic in the classroom with students communicating and organising with one another as to how they are going to do the assignments with some families and friends taking the break as an opportunity to leave the country.

Image result for projects

These students are facing the challenge of communication and working well with others. Though I already have a blog done on communication and working well in regards to the Key Skills – it is interesting to review how can you facilitate projects without spoon feeding students.

Image result for web 2.0

 

Using Web 2.0 technologies that I have learnt and used over the course of the module I tried to facilitate projects through these web 2.0 technologies.

 

edmodo

For example, students who were away over the mid-term could communicate via edmodo. Additionally, if they had questions about their projects or wanted to collaborate with other students they could use the wall feature on edmodo.

 

 

However, some students said they didn’t like using edmodo as they had downloaded the app feature which took up too much space on their phones – thus they deleted edmodo. Therefore, we had to go look up a new web 2.0 technology which the students could use. We finally settled on twitter as the students could use the hashtag to look up other resources and websites. Though I must admit that I presume students will probably end up using the social media website facebook.

 

Classroom starters

Earlier in the academic year I tweeted about the Daily Post were the release daily ideas to help you keep blogging. These ideas have been interesting to read and look out over the past weeks.

Furthermore, it is a blogging community which do offer feedback and ideas which can help inspire both classes and blogs.

Some good examples that have caught my eye recently and could be used as brain teasers at the start of a lesson can be found below:

  • When life gives you lemons… make something else. Tell us about a time you used an object or resolved a tricky situation in an unorthodox way.
  • What’s the 11th item on your bucket list?
  • Do you have a favorite quote that you return to again and again? What is it, and why does it move you?
  • Our days our organized around numerous small actions we repeat over and over. What’s your favorite daily ritual?
  • Remember the seven cardinal sins? You’re given the serious task of adding a new one to the list — another trait or behavior you find particularly unacceptable, for whatever reason. What’s sin #8 for you? Why?
  • What was the last thing that gave you a real, authentic, tearful, hearty belly laugh? Why was it so funny?

Web 2.0 Technology – Google classroom

Image result for 1916 rising

Recently I had a class do projects in preparation for 1916 celebrations. There was no set way for the students to do the project expect to stick to a theme.

viemo Image result for vine

 

Some students choose to use Vimeo and Vine to create short video to present their projects. These were excellent and well made however trying to download and have these videos on file and share them to the school website proved a nightmare.

The videos are too large to be sent over email, they could not be uploaded to edmodo (it is possible but time consuming thus it was abandoned after 12 minutes), difficult to download onto a USB due to configuration. We finally ended up using Google drive and sharing the videos integrating them into a Prezi PowerPoint and sharing it as a URL.

reflection

On reflection questioning the amount of time that was spent on trying to share these videos – how could we have had a central place to share videos and information with students easily while still keeping child protection laws in place and protecting yourself as a teacher.

Answer – Google Classroom

Google classroom is ideal if you are trying to integrate a whole school onto one servicer. Google classroom pulls together a lot of things which you do across several platforms – for example emailing, uploading resources, keeping in contact with students and parents, setting reminders, PowerPoint’s, word documents, media etc. etc. The possibilities are endless with Google classroom.

Students can have their accounts which they can log onto. It is quite helpful as it saves everything automatically.

 

 

It is also a mobile app thus each student can log on at their leisure or even check in while on their journeys to and from school. It is delivered through the Chrome browser, which means it can be accessed on most devices. Furthermore, it gives teachers a chance to see who has logged on and who has not and give direct feedback to the students.

Another aim of Google classroom is to create paperless teaching. The cost of printing is astounding in schools and many students lose or forget their work. Noting that students lose their copies and notes can prove difficult in subjects was they are expected to maintain and build on their notes for three years such as History. If students lose their copies – they can lose up to two years of notes at once which are near difficult to replace. Additionally, Google classroom can be organised into folders making it easy for teacher to keep track of each class. This does free up class time as you are no longer spending time handing out sheets and explaining assignments in detail while writing it up on the board. Instead with Google classroom you can do all of this by the click of a button.

One other feature that does make Google classroom ideal in a school setting is you can adapt notes to suit each student needs. For example, you can change the colour and font for students who have dyslexia or learn better through colours. You can also add in colour photos which bring the subjects alive or interactive videos.

Google classroom also encourages eLearning in the classroom which does further their skills and ability to adapt to our fast paced world.

However, there are always drawbacks which have to be addressed. Though Google classroom is changing the way in which we think about teaching – it still comes down to the simple fact that not every student can afford the upkeep of these devices. Even more so if a student device breaks, they no longer have access to their classwork or extra material. This leaves them at a disadvantage to other in their class.

One other huge disadvantage is the lack of an automated activity feed. If students do not refresh they will miss out on deadlines and notes that the teacher posts. This can be frustrating for students as they may be logged in yet not receive the assigned work.

The other thing is Google classroom is creating a virtual environment and classroom for students and the teacher. However, this can create problems as it does make an impersonal classroom as students may not feel they are connecting with the material or teacher. Sometimes teachers learn about students from the side notes and little doddles that they do in the margins of their copies. Also, it is difficult to distinguish who did the homework if it is online. Why I say this is when you correcting homework that is done into a copy, you can check the handwriting and spelling for copying. If the homework is submitted online you don’t know if a student has copied and pasted the answers from each other or if a parent has done it for them.

Overall, Google classroom is ideal for streamlining classrooms in order to share resources. However, there is cheaper and easier to use alternatives currently. Maybe in a few years Google classroom will become a mainstream idea.

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.

Image result for holocaust memorial day

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.

Image result for holocaust memorial day

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.

Image result for holocaust memorial day

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