CSPE Resource

Great CSPE resource that I came across recently is important buildings students need to revise for the Junior Cert. https://app.emaze.com/@AFZTILLC/cspe—the-buildings#5 This is very interactive and well worth checking out!

CSPE is a subject which encompasses web 2.0 technology into lessons easily.

For anyone not familiar with what the Action Project is take a look via the pdst website : http://cmsold.pdst.ie/sites/default/files/Action%20Projects%20Explained.pdf and a slight condensed version via scoilnet http://test.scoilnet.ie/Res/joeenglish110899114716_2.htm

http://www.actonline.ie/projects.html

Even this website and blog on Action Research Projects which have been undertaken show off how well web 2.0 technology is incorporated into CSPE lessons

Once education resource website I would defiantly encourage any teacher that teaches CSPE or has been involved with it in some shape or form to check out the Oireachtas website. They now have an educational programme http://education.oireachtas.ie/ which is full of great resources and clips.

Even looking at these clips you could encourage students to design the Oireachtas or one of the tours using minecraft for assessment. It is a fun way of learning minecraft and learning how the government works at the same time.

Another resource which I have come across is the CSPE.tv xitizenship education. http://www.cspe.tv/ It is packed with resources and ideas.

There is a an excellent resource on Children of the Holocaust which you can do without dwelling too much on the Holocaust with students but yet highlight the importance of the Holocaust through the Rights and Responsibility section of CSPE.

 

 


 

Small youtube tutorial for anyone who wants to learn how to use emaze!

If you want to start using emaze – here is the link to their website!

https://www.emaze.com/

It is a great alternative to powerpoint and prezi!

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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.

 

 

 

Relax over midterm

It is important to remember during midterm to take a moment to reflect and relax during this time. 

Last week Starbuck app of the week to download was an app called Pause

It is good to take a moment out in your busy day to pause and recollect yourself when teaching as it is a demanding profession at the best of times. However, pausing can give you a second to collect yourself and even a moment of inspiration. 

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.

 

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.

 

Lent

Pancake Tuesday is a day greeted with much delight last week as people enjoy their pancakes with their many different toppings and creations. Some people even go to extremes and they have pancakes for breakfast, lunch and dinner! It is a day of indulgences.However, Pancake Tuesday is also known as Shrove Tuesday and marks the beginning of Lent.

Lent is a topic which can be covered with a range of years and can be pitched very easily to each class.

A few resources which I have picked up this year for lent are as follow!


Short Youtube clip on Lent https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zAuB-3V46zk


Short Youtube clip on Ash Wednesday or Lent https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m3L3c23MfC0


 

Lentsanity Free App designed for young adults.


Pray as You Go Catholic App Free App where you can make a digital retreat for Lent.


 

Credit @MsKeleghan and @rechatie


@rechatie

Will have daily updates and resources throughout lent.


 

Sign up to the diocesan advisor newsletter! Great resources are emailed out.


 

Beautiful images to use throughout Lent

 

LentRetreat2016


 

 

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Web 2.0 Technology – Google classroom

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.