Archive for December, 2009

Tweets hit the fans

I’ve re-engaged with Twitter over the last few weeks with the discovery that the twitter.com website is actually useless for getting the most out of the service. When I started employing tweetdeck and following the suggestions for getting the most out of twitter provided by this mashable guide it has proven to be the best cpd move I have ever made. With all this in mind then I’d like to highlight an excellent online publication that showcases what twitter can do. #movemeon (hashtags, ie. text with the addition of a ‘#’ at the start are a clever way of enabling people to quickly aggregate tweets on a subject they are interested in.  So searching on #historyteacher brings all the tweets back that have #historyteacher in them, once a hashtag is well established other users employ it) was a hashtag employed by a group of teachers to suggest ideas for improving teaching practice, both virtual and realworld that could be shared within the 140 character twitter limit. The best of these have now been collated into a free online publication, titled #movemeon, edited by  Doug Belshaw and Stuart Ridout which is by turns practical and inspirational and testament to the brilliance of twitter at leveraging the abilities and enthusiasms of the mass of brilliant teachers out there. My heartfelt thanks to all involved.

Hookers and Prisoners: The Pros and Cons

Russell Tarr tweeted this fantastic site earlier today, http://www.procon.org/. It has over 1000 contentious issues debated using the pro/con technique favoured by Franklin, with all evidence referenced and no political bias (according to its remit). Potentially of huge value to critical thinking classes, PSHCE and debating clubs.

Scandinavians schools fjord the rubicon

Danish and Norwegian schools are pioneering a new attitude to examinations by allowing their students to use the internet in national examinations. In a startlingly forward thinking response to the ubiquity of internet enabled devices in the modern world the scandiwegians have taken the decision that it is not the ability to regurgitate facts that defines ability in the modern world but the ability to synthesise and research them in response to borad questioning. Expect QCA to respond with lightning speed sometime after England host their next world cup.

Great video on the merits of blogging for teachers

Bus(y/i)ness and blogging

Loads of e-learning experiences this week, isn’t it odd how when you are genuinely busy there is less time to blog whereas when you’re blogging you often feel genuinely busy. In my case at least. On Tuesday I was up in Birmingham at Microsoft Innovators in Education forum, a lavish affair full of genuine early adopters but the limited pool of schools from which the speakers and winners came suggests that the e-learning pioneers (in this case saltash.net and Twynham School and the Shirelands Academy) are leaving the rest of us behind. Interestingly saltash won a host of awards despite using Moodle for the bulk of their online learning. This either suggests that MS are being very open and democratic in their promotion of online learning or that their platform isn’t yet delivering in schools.

Second up was our preliminary meeting for Gloucestershire TeachMeet which, whilst not as well attended as I would have liked, did generate a flood of good ideas and a promise to take things forward. I’m reading Daniel Pink’s book ‘The Adventures of Johnny Bunko’ and this has been both inspiring and timely. Lesson 5 came to mind on Thursday!


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