August 29, 2018
If you are starting the FDLT course in year 1 it is time to introduce yourself to your group before you start the course in September. We’re going to use Padlet for this. All you have to do is click on the link in the email sent to you to open the Padlet for your group.
When the Padlet opens you can click on the pink plus sign and this creates a box for you to type into. You can also add a photo by clicking on the small plus sign under the box where you are typing. Here’s some information about posting onto a Padlet if you need help: how to post.
Just write a bit about yourself and your role in school so that when you begin the course you all know a little bit about each other. There’s no need to create an account with Padlet to post onto one.
August 28, 2018
Earlier in August there was an interesting program in the Radio 4 series ‘Bringing Up Britain’ called ‘Creative Kids’. You can access it on iplayer here.
This is the supporting information:
“Are we bringing up children creative enough for the future they face?
The World Economic Forum forecasts that by 2020 creativity will be in the top 3 most important skills for future jobs. Many children going into school now will grow up to do a job that doesn’t yet exist; faced with the challenges of AI, automation, green issues and an ageing population, creativity and imagination will be vital.
To find out where creativity comes from, how best we can nurture it and test the creative health of the nation, Mariella is joined by Vincent Walsh, Professor of Human Brain Research at University College London, Bernadette Duffy, early years consultant, John Last, Vice Chancellor of Norwich University of the Arts and Innovation Manager Nick Skillicorn.” (BBC, 2018, lines 5 -15)
There are two further programs in the series: ‘dealing with aggression’ and ‘parenting in the smartphone age’ that also might be of interest.
BBC (2018) Creative Kids. [online] Available from: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0bd7rvt [Accessed: 28/08/18].
August 25, 2018
As a student in higher education you will use digital technology to support you in your studies. We often use Google tools so it can be useful for you to have a gmail account. This is also useful as it can allow to log in to lots of other tools without using your personal email address. You can create a google account here.
Some of the tools available are:
Google + communities
Many of these Google tools can be used collaboratively so as a group, for example, you might all be contributing to writing onto a Google doc that you all then use afterwards so support your study.
We also recommend that you use Google Scholar to search for reading materials, rather than using the usual Google search. This search will take you to more academic sources that are useful to you as a higher education student. You will then be able to access what you find freely using the university library resources.
As you find resources and reading online you will also need to devise a system of saving and organising links. This might be saving links to a word document, using the tools on your browser or using a bookmarking tool such as Pocket.
As a student with access to the University of Northampton library you will be able to save useful articles and books within your library account. you will be introduced to this in the early weeks of the course.
You might find it useful to have a go with saving favourites or setting up a bookmarking tool now if you haven’t done this before.
August 22, 2018
Many of you will use social media tools such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and some of you might read or write blogs. You might find some of these useful in your study and support for learners as well as in your personal lives.
There are many teachers, TAs and academics on Twitter and lots of opportunity to share ideas and resources and interact with others. This article is a good place to get you started with thinking about Twitter in education. You can find and follow other TAs and people with interests in the same areas and subjects as well as join in with chats such as #ukedchat which is from 8 til 9 pm every Thursday based around a different theme each week.
There are also many people in education who share ideas and resources through their blogs. An example is Nancy Gedge (@nancygedge on Twitter). She is a parent, teacher and writer and her blog explores her experiences as a parent and educator. You can read it here.
Another example is a blog by teacher John Mitchell (@jivespin on twitter) who uses his blog to share resources and teaching ideas for secondary history. You can access it here. Many of his creative ideas for using resources can be adapted to other subjects and age groups.
Finally a site that many of you may be familiar with is The Literacy Shed. The Literacy Shed has a blog as well as lots of resources based around using film and animation to inspire writing in English and across the curriculum.
If you have a favourite blog or site feel free to add below in the comments section.
I am @JeanEd70 if you want to follow me on Twitter.
August 15, 2018
As students studying education you will be required to read and refer to the curriculum documents for your key stage. These can be accessed online at the links below.
You can access the Early years foundation stage framework here.
You can access the primary curriculum here.
You can access the secondary curriculum here.
It will be useful for you to either download and save the relevant documents or save links to them so that you can access them online. You might also read through the one that you work within to get a feel for the contents.
August 8, 2018
If you are starting a degree course it is worthwhile investing in a study skills book to support you as you develop approaches to academic learning. The Study Skills Handbook by Stella Cottrell is a good choice as it can support you throughout your three year degree. There are many other good study skills books too.
Now would be a good time to explore the early section ‘managing yourself for study’. This will help you think about starting to study in Higher Education and areas such as managing time and preparing for a new course.
There is a companion website with some additional materials to help you available here. In the Resource Bank you can find some audio files about critical analysis and creative thinking as well as a short interactive course called ‘What to expect from academic study’. You might find it useful to explore these resources.
Cottrell, S. (2013) The Study Skills Handbook. 4th ed. London: Palgrave.
August 1, 2018
As you begin university you will need to consider where you are going to study at home and begin to prepare this space so that you are ready to use it from the beginning of September.
There are some hints and tips here that you might find useful.