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.

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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.

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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.



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.



Good communication in the classroom


While researching key tips for communication – I clearly have not cleared cookies recently as each hit I got was on how to communicate in the classroom and how body language can be read in the classroom.

Thus embracing the communication theme – a small blog on how to communicate in the classroom!


Most teachers know how to communicate in the classroom. They are fully aware of their presence in the classroom. Additionally, each student sitting in front of them is fully aware of their teachers each movement.

Due to this it’s important to refresh ourselves as teachers how much of an impact our body language and communication skills can have in the classroom.

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Look at this image and decide as a teacher – have you ever held any of these postures in the classroom? If yes, what triggered that reaction? Give a moment to think about the reaction and how it may have left a lasting impact on a student.


Reflecting on those postures – sometimes we are react without thinking. It’s our human side coming out. However, we do as role models have to suppress that side to us sometimes.

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We can’t  put our head in our hands when were asked questionable questions. We do have to smile through those moments in order to maintain a safe classroom environment were students feel comfortable in expressing themselves.


A single page which helped me through teaching practice and teaching in regards to this!

Teachings tips:

Will continue to update this blog post 🙂












Key Skills – Working together!


While reading the document outlining the elements of Working together I noticed word Group was mentioned a total of 97 times over 31 pages.

Each time the word group was mentioned it was in reference to group work and how students should be encouraged to teach each other.

Thus this quote from William Glasser in the document was eye opening and a good reminder!


Thus I have a few Web 2.0 tools to help make groupwork a little easier for the tech savy teacher whos not afraid to spice things up a little!

Google Docs

Google docs let you collaborate with students – even when you’re not in the classroom with them.

You can upload and edit assignments online – which is great for groupwork or class projects.

Also you can have control over who is invited to edit the document and you can see each edit and change made – thus no need to worry about cheating.



Channelme is a web 2.0 tool which allows you to ‘surf the web the web’.

This is good for groupwork as students (similar to google docs) can share a web site  to collaborate over a web page. One feature which stands out for me is the real-time chat and the ability to add notes and comments right on the page. This can allow for participation and bouncing around of different ideas which may not get heard in a sit down group discussion. It gives weaker and shy students a chance to have their opinions and ideas heard and recorded.


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Join me is an easy to use website that you can host meetings on – handy for groupwork and discussions.

One huge plus about this web 2,0 tool is it’s designed to be mobile friendly!


Dropbox is a service that keeps your files safe, synced, and easy to share. Bring your photos, docs, and videos anywhere and never lose a file again.

Dropbox is well known – but I see it rarely used by teachers in the classroom! Yet I hear the constant complaint from students that they lost work which impacts on other students grade and performance in groupwork assignments.

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Please refer to previous blog on


If your reading this you know how great is 🙂



Please refer to blog on working with others 🙂

Random name picker

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Save the headache making groups by using random name picker.

It’s fair and easy to use in the classroom.

Caution: Emotions can run high if students are paired with people they don’t like. Set ground rules about how this web 2.0 tool works before using it in the classroom.


Body Language

Recently we have been discussing how to become an emphatic listener. However,  notably a huge amount of communication is done through body language.

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If 80% of what we say is communicated through our body – it does well to remember how we hold ourselves when communicating with someone.


A big one for those who communicate while sitting down these are a few postures which may give away how you’re feeling without you realising. (Especially at parent teacher meetings!)

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Are you at fault of any of the above?

If so here a few tips on how to have positive open posture

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  1. Maintain eye contact – but be careful not to stare.
  2. Beware of blinking too much – it may communicate that you are uncomfortable or nervous about the conversation topic.
  3. To increase participation in a conversation, look like you’re interested!
  4. Smile
  5. Don’t cross your arms and legs!
  6. Nod when your talking.
  7. Lean in but not too close – remember personal space when talking to someone!
  8. Mirror the language that people use when talking to them – it shows your listening and allows them to reflect on what they have been talking about as well.
  9. Have confidence – don’t look nervous – it will come across as disinterested.
  10. Keep your head up high.



If you want to know learn more here a few readings to start you off:

  1. James Bong, Body Language: 7 Easy Lessons to Master the Silent Language (Peasrson Education: Sep, 2009)
  2. Patti Wood, Snap: Makinig the Most of First Impressions, Body Language, and Charisma. (New World Library , 2012)


Another airport blog about Religious Education! No shortage of inspiration today while waiting for planes.

@HeathrowAirport there is a sense of Christmas in the air with seasonal Eggnog and gingerbread flavoured lattes! There is also a hint of Christmas with the beautiful modern twist on the classic traditional Christmas tree!

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@DublinAirport there is Santa and Rudolph!



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This reminds me of the current debate of the new Starbucks cups released for the festive Season! However, this has caused a lot of controversy and backlash! (if you have not heard about the this current debate here you go!)


The link between @HeathrowAirport, @DublinAirport and @Starbucks for this post and Education is – how do we respect Religions in the public sphere?

Christmas is one of the biggest commercial times of year and one of the most well known times of year for Religious reasons. Yet, there is always controversy around this time due to the cross over between commercial Christmas and yet it’s foundations lay in Religion.

This has promoted me to question should we say Happy Christmas as opposed to Happy Holidays?

This is an age old debate since the phrase has come into existence. We acknowledge how Christmas has come about through this comment and we can see it as a positive phrase where


Web 2.0

What is web 2.0?



Recently, I have been blogging and updating this blog press but I feel I may have lost track as to what is Web 2.o tools and how are they relevant to education?

Thus I am going to back to basics and going to see which Web 2.0 tools I have been using and how are the beneficial to education!

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Why are we using Web 2.0 in regards to a classroom setting?

Web 2.0 tools allows us to communicate with our students and encourages collaborative learning.

We can share and create new knowledge and information with students.


What are Web 2.0 tools I may already know and use without realising?

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Many educators use Web 2.0 tools without realising what they are. You are probably already using many Web 2.0 tools in the classroom already. For example – facebook, youtube, RSS feeds, Yahoo, Twitter, Reddit, Goggle, Skype, Flickr, Wordle, slideshare, etc. etc.

The list is never ending and exhausting! Which is great as an educator that you have so much choice and freedom to choose what suits you, your teaching style and method and your classes.

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One point which I feel must be made in regards to many Web 2.0 tools is that they are free for the majority! Yes you can upgrade for a fee but overall most Web 2.o tools are free and easy to use!

Even looking at the above ‘eco-system of Web 2.0 tools’ you can recognise the top Web 2.o Tools – how do they make their money – Advertisements!  Thus I do recommended if you are using your own laptop in the school – install ad blocker! (


What leg does Web 2.0 have in a classroom? Why should we use Web 2.0 tools in the classroom?

This is a question that is constant considering the reports from the recent OCED report and Digital Strategy Scheme in Ireland. However, there has been a huge amount of academic journals published in regards to using Web 2.0 in the classroom!

These articles were picked by myself and fellow MA students in regards to looking at the varying opinions and verdicts of Web 2.0 Tools in Education!

  1. Bennett, Sue and others, Implementing Web 2.0 Technologies in Higher Education: A Collective Case Study, 59 vols (2012) <>
  2. Boyd, Patricia, ‘Blogging in the Classroom: Using Technologies to Promote Learner-Centered Pedagogies’, Researcher: An Interdisciplinary Journal, 26 (2013), 85-113 <>
  3. Byrne, Richard, ‘The Effect of Web 2.0 on Teaching and Learning’, Teacher Librarian. Dec. 2009, Vol. 37 Issue 2, p50-53.<>
  4. Capo, Berta Hayes, Orellana, Anymir, ‘Web 2.0 Technologies for Classroom Instruction: High School Teachers’ Perceptions and Adoption Factors’, Quarterly Review of Distance Education. Winter 2011, Vol. 12 Issue 4, p235-253<>#
  5. Ebner, Martin, Andreas Holzinger, and Hermann Maurer. “Web 2.0 technology: future interfaces for technology enhanced learning?.” Universal Access in Human-Computer Interaction. Applications and Services. Springer Berlin Heidelberg, (2007), 559-568. <>
  6. Killingsworth, E. ‘Use of technology in Classroom Testing.Nurse Educator,  (2015) Ktsis, Stacy M, “The Facebook Generation: Homework as Social Networking”, The English Journal 98 (2008), 30–36. <>
  7. Koh, Caroline, ‘Exploring the use of Web 2.0 Technology to Promote Moral and Psychosocial Development: Can You Tube Work?’, British Journal of Educational Technology,45 (2014), 619-635 <>
  8. Kovalik, Cindy and others, ‘Implementing Web 2.0 Tools in the Classroom: Four Teachers’ Accounts’, TechTrends: Linking Research & Practice to Improve Learning, 58 (2014), 90-94 <>
  9. Luther, Frances D. and Justin Pickering, ‘Using Web 2.0 Learning Environments to Address Diversity: A Diversity-Education Example’, Delta Kappa Gamma Bulletin, 81 (2015), 28-34 <>
  10. Newland, Barbara and Linda Byles, ‘Changing Academic Teaching with Web 2.0 Technologies’, Innovations in Education & Teaching International, 51 (2014), 315-325 <>