#tmbett2011 My first TeachMeet – TeachMeet@BETT2011

On Friday night I attended my first TeachMeet; what a fantastic experience.

For more information about what a TeachMeet is in general see this video . This was shown at the start of the event.

The official wikki page with more information is here; it has information on teach meet in general as well as links to presentations from the evening.

There was lots of food for thought; apologies if I miss anyone out. These are my notes and initial thoughts of how I can use some of these ideas as a Geography Teacher in my own classroom.

Donna Hay – @dwsm

Donna discussed how #ictcurric is a network of teachers working to create a dynamic curriculum at KS3 ICT. She put forward the case that ICT should be more than teaching children how to click buttons in Microsoft Software. Although not directly relevant for me as a geography teacher I think that there is definitely scope for further investigation; particularly as there are resources on cross curricular ICT based themes such as e-safety.

She shared a number of websites which act as a repository for resources.

http://ictcurric.org.uk/ http://moodle.ictcurric.org.uk/ https://sites.google.com/site/ictcurric/

Bev Evans – @bevevans22

Bev Evans discussed using Audacity with SEN pupils. particulalry as they could edit their recording after recording themselves reading to improve their fluency. This would allow them to hear themselves as they wanted to sound.

I think that Audacity is something that I have wanted to spend more time using, at a Geography network meeting a year ago Paul Hunt demonstrated using this for pod casting; I am sure there is all kinds of scope for using this software in the classroom. Bev mentioned using Easy Speak Microphones, microphones are somewhat of a barrier to me using this at the moment.

Oliver Quinlan – @oliverquinlan

Oliver talked about leanring as a self organised system and gave some really thought provoking comments on self guided leaning the importance of having the correct scaffolding for independent learning. He also talked about learning through play, however play must be appropriate, challenging and engaging.

Russel Tarr – @russeltarr

Russell Tarr discussed ‘5 Web Tools for essay writing and marking’.

  1. Google Custom Search – Google custom search can be set to carry out a search over only certain websites. This is useful for teachers who don’t want pupils wasting their time searching the entire web finding irrelevant sites. There is also a google advanced search option to search for sites of a certain reading level.
  2. Wikispaces to Track Edits – Students can create their essay in Wikispaces; the teacher or the student can then compare different versions of the essay and what has actually changed. Useful to check what revisions a student has actually made between drafts or if something important has been deleted. Use the history tab to track changes and the discussion tab to give feedback.
  3. Book References – Russell has created a tool to create references quickly and easily http://www.activehistory.co.uk/bookref/
  4. Copy and paste text of an essay into Wordle to see what the most common word is; is it related to the title of the essay.
  5. Use another tool that Russel has created to check student essays for plagiarism. What is fantastic is the tool also tells you which website the material has come from which makes proving the plagarism much easier. http://www.activehistory.co.uk/plagiarizr/

Lisa Stevens – @lisibo

Lisa talked about how universal subtitles can be used to provide captioning for any youtube video. This was demonstrated in a MFL context but would have potential with any video. This would be particularly useful to get students to caption a video instead of recording a narration. http://universalsubtitles.org/

Ivan – @misteral

Ivan demonstrated Easy Voter a moodle plugin that provided a voting response system. This is something that I am definately interested in having a play with. So much so that I have installed a moodle site on my webspace just to have a play with.

Dughall Mc Cormick – @dughall

Dughall demonstrated ideas for online collaborative activities to engage pupils with during snow days. However the underlying message was that ‘analogue is better than digital’ and student should still get out and explore the snow.

Mr. Thorne – @mr_thorne

Mr. Thorne discussed phonics; I don’t have any need to teach phonics but the videos are great! May be useful with some of the Travel and Tourism A Level students.

This is not everyone who presented; these were just what I could make sense from my chicken scratch notes. If I missed you off it was not personal!

Image from Flickr/Ush