This week we held a TeachMeet in collaboration with VESA (the Vocational Education Support Agency). Hosted at Crown Hills Community College on 18th March, the evening was an opportunity for educators from across all sectors to come together and share practice that works!
The evening began with a brief introduction from Josie Fraser: thanking all those involved in the organisation of the event; introducing the DigiLit Leicester Project and announcing our current call for resources, linked to the 6 key DigiLit Framework areas. Then the fruit machine began to spin, and the presentations started:
Dan Williams – Session builder and the SOLO Taxnomy
Dan Williams, from Leicester College, started off the event with an introduction to Session Builder. This online tool is free to use, developed by Dan and Amjad Ali, and supports staff in creating lesson plans based round the SOLO taxonomy model in a range of subject areas. The tool uses Google forms to take you through step by step, producing a ready-to-use lesson plan at the end.
Adil Jaffer – Reducing teacher ‘talk’ time
Next up was Adil Jaffer, a maths teacher from Keyham Lodge School, who also works as a freelance creative maths practitioner. Adil wanted to demonstrate that lessons don’t always need to begin with the traditional model of teachers standing at the front delivering information. His presentation was very lighthearted, with no speech, but with plenty of activities for the audience – trying to make staff more aware of how they begin their lessons.
Farid Charidine – Keeping it fresh! Following social trends to create resources
Farid, MFL teacher at Wrenn School in Wellingborough, discussed his use of social media trends to engage learners. By tapping into popular social media interests, such as 4 pictures 1 word and Bitstrips, he has been able to refresh his teaching materials in order to appeal to his current students.
You can view Farid’s Prezi here
Kate Keaveny – Creating eBooks on iPads for international projects
Kate was the first of our Primary presenters, from Cossington C of E Primary. Kate showed us how she has used iPads to create eBooks as part of international etwinning project with children in Lithuania. Her class used audio and images to create eBooks that were shared with the children in Lithuania.
You can view Kate’s Prezi here
Reggie Grant – Using media for literacy
The prize for furthest travelled went to Reggie, joining us from Lincoln High School in Tallahassee Florida. Reggie works in media production and likes to tap into students’ creativity, by linking media creation to other curriculum areas. He believes that asking learners to create media about a subject promotes problem solving and increases engagement.
Jo Badge – QR Codes for paired rading
Jo also works in the primary sector, currently at Ellistown Primary School. Her project involved Year 4 pupils recording themselves reading KS1 books and linking the audio files to QR codes. These were attached to the books and the children in KS1 were able to access them using readers on their school iPads.
Doug Dickinson – Read it from the bottom up!
Doug is an ICT Educational Consultant on the University of Leicester PGCE. His presentation focused on the new ICT Programme of Study. Aware of staff concerns about the new PoS, Doug offered some advice on other ways to approach the guidance.
Pete Sanderson – Using apps to support independent learning
Pete presented a list of device agnostic – systems which don’t rely on a particular device or operating system – tools to support teaching and learning. Amongst his list were: Touchcast, Glogster, Vimeo, Thing Link and Meme Generator.
Simon Renshaw – Using hinge questions and the Quick Key app
Simon, Head of Geography at Soar Valley College, presented on the Soar Valley Geography department’s BSF ICT Innovation Project. The main focus of the project is the use of formative assessment strategies, mainly hinge questions, for informing and improving instruction. This is aided by the use of the Quick Key app. Based on optical mark recognition, the app allows for speedy collected and processing of assessment data.
Simon has been reflecting on the project, at his blog: http://srenshaw.wordpress.com/
Dan Williams and James Corbett – Technologogy Battle!
For his second appearance, Dan Williams teamed up with James Corbett, also from Leicester College. The presentation was a battle between the two, each presenting their favourite online tools for supporting teaching and learning. At the halfway point, it looked like James’ Aurasma and Padlet choices were winning – but by the end Dan had managed to bring the battle to a draw with Poll Everywhere and Ed Puzzle.
Kirsty Colburn-Hayes – Using iTunesU to develop schemes of work and courses
Our final speaker, Kirsty, works at Humphrey Perkins School in Leicestershire. Kirsty’s presentation focused on how to set up iTunesU Course Manager – to support the development of schemes of work and courses. As well as her presentation, she also provided a live demonstration on her iPad of the courses she has created so far.
The evening was a great success, with many of our attendees tweeting throughout. You can read through these at our Storify of the evening. Videos from the sessions will be available shortly.