Last week I posted about my plans for the curriculum in Key Stage 1, and how I was going to meet the criteria with lesson ideas. It seemed like a popular post, and as I have done the same for Key Stage 2 I would be a shame not to pop it on the site.

As with the format before I have included it in a mind map for you to explore and search through. The map is split up into the 4 main sections of Digital Media, Programming, Data Handling and Technology in our lives. Having this variety of learning areas means pupils take part in a wide range of activities, making the learning fun and accessible. I have tried to include a number of different equipment types, not just the computers. This included things like digital cameras, ipod/ipads, and Lego robots. While your school might not have these available yet, there are other cheaper options to give the pupils similar experiences.

Hope you find this useful, and please share it around.

 

 

In January of this year I made myself a second twitter account. My first one was a personal one, used to follow celebrities and football players. My new one was to be my professional one, an account to improve my teaching and get new ideas from around the world. 6 months, 300 followers and 450 tweets later it’s safe to say that I’m addicted. I have made connections with teachers from around the world and I share any ideas, and my blog posts, through the twittersphere. I can track projects other teachers are running, and stay ahead of the game with government changes and plans (very useful as an ICT teacher). For any teacher who don’t use twitter, or need help convincing other to use it, have a look at how it has helped me:

  • Professional Connections Through Following other professionals, teachers and education companies I have networked and got to know so many people. I have links all around the country as well as Bradford, and I can share my ideas with them in an instant. In my local area we also have a Professional Skills working group where we regularly meet to share curriculum ideas, for this we also created a hashtag for us to keep the connection going on twitter. 
  • CPD training If I ever have any issues, or any confusion over anything I have to teach I simply take to twitter. There will always be someone there to help! Always! If you want to start a project in your school and have some reservations about how to go about it have a look on twitter. You can guarantee someone has tried it, thought about it, or done it somewhere.
  • Work Life Balance One of the main reason I have become addicted to twitter is that it’s fun! It provides me with an escape from the world of lesson plans and assessment. I get to speak with like-minded teachers during the day. Being a specialist teacher can be a lonely job in a primary school. You are the department, just you. Twitter allows me to thrash out ideas, share my thoughts, and vent when I really need it!
  • Resource Sharing I have previously shared my teaching resources with others through the TES website, but Twitter gave me another outlet. I can share anything from small teaching tips, to full schemes of work. It works both ways too, if I’m stuck from a resource give it a search.
  • Make sure you #Hashtag! Hashtagging is basically adding a link to your tweet, so that you can connect with others tweeting the same thing. Great if you want to search a topic of word. Some useful hashtags to search for and save are:

#Edtech – anything to do with technology in the classroom
#education – anything to do with education
#elearning – mostly about computer based learning
#teachers – focuses on the teacher
#edchat – a weekly and lively discussion about all things education
#teachmeet – connecting teachers
#ukedchat – UK teacher chat
#gct – Google certified teachers
#ednews – news feed

  • Discussion and Debate – Every Thursday from 8pm to 9pm is the fast-paced #ukedchat discussion where a question or issue will be posed by the host, with contributors offering their thoughts, experiences and resources by tweeting, and including the hashtag #ukedchat in their tweets. Topics of debate are voted for during the week before each debate so that users have an influence on what is discussed.

So that’s how I use have used Twitter, and how it has had an influence on me as a teacher. I would love to start using it the classroom with pupils, but I have too many safeguarding shaped hoops to jump through. Has anyone used it with pupils? If you know a teacher who you think would benefit from using Twitter please pass this on to them. Enjoy.

 

 

 

 

Incredibox is…well…incredible! Awesome little site where you can mix and match different Effects, Beats, Melodies, Chorus and Voices to create unique music in an acapella style. You music can be recorded, shared, downloaded with peers. A fun little lesson that will leave pupils wanting to come back and use it again and again. My year 6 class love using it, and it works well for me as a reward activity. From the musical side its great for matching beats and rhythms, and could be used as a fantastic music starter. Have fun with this!

 

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So yesterday I visited bMobLe for the 1st time…and loved it! A fantastic assembly of geeks! I recently moved to Bradford to teach so it was great for me to meet and chat with fellow geeks in the area. One of the main things I took from the event was the amount of technology and learning taking place. The previous LA I worked under was so far off what goes on in Bradford it’s unbelievable! I can’t wait to get my teeth stuck in and get to work!

It was also great seeing my digital leaders in action. They were there to present on the work they have started, and what they like to do as part of the project. I have never seen anyone so calm when about to present in front of a crowd. They really didn’t care about how many people were there, and at one point even went around trying to drum up more interest in their work.

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What really made me chuckle though was talking to them afterwards about how they got on. I obviously asked how they thought it went, were they nervous, what they enjoyed best? That last question gave me a brilliant answer, what did they enjoy best……….the free pens and the stress balls. Forget the successful presentation, massive round of applause and real interest in their work, where are the pens at?! Another highlight was seeing them attack some Ipads, I have never been so worried/wanted Ipad protection to work so badly!

imagesThe teachmeet at the end of the day was the thing I will take most from though. The amount of ideas, hints, and inspiration I got in just a few hours was fantastic. As this was my 1st go at a teachmeet (a TM virgin as Dughall put it) I did bottle it and fail to present, but I  PROMISE I will contribute next time. Now I know the level and depth of items presented I am going to have to work very hard to find something to impress and astound.

As good as the meet was, the bits in between were just as good for 2 reasons. 1, The food was delicious. 2, I got to meet some of my favourite twitter peoples and had some wonderful discussions about our routes into teaching, how we use social media, and e-safety.

 

At the end of the day I was tired, full of curry, and ready for a good sleep. However all I could think about where what I wanted to put into action straight away, and how much I had got out of the day. On the day the organisation was fantastic and our pupils were looked after really well, and I have to thank the Bradford boys for that, well done! I look forward to the next one!

 

WinterHouse

LOVE LOVE LOVE this! The Winter house is brilliant interactive story book. It leads the children through a mystery story, where they have to click to investigate multiple items. Brilliant for Talk for Writing, visually stunning and engages all children. Showed it to my class once, then they were desperate to get back on it. So to feed their appetite we booked the ICT suite for an afternoon. they sat going through the puzzle, working collaboratively, and sharing idea. The independent learning was wonderful to see. Try it with your class and see how they get on. One problem with the site is the inability to continue from where you left off, you have to start again each time.


icteacher typoeffects

 

I absolute adore this website. Typoeffects provides an amazing new twist on the word cloud. My walls in my suite are covered in pupil examples, as well as titles and labels. It takes the word cloud idea and gives it a fantastic twist. Placing your desired words into shapes and colours to match an image. The results are stunning, though often take a while to tweak and alter to get the perfect finish. Give it a try, and share your results with #typoeffects

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