A blog for students on the FDLT and BALT courses at the University of Northampton

at Leicester and UN

February 13, 2021
by Jean
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Mathematics resources and ideas!

Some useful resources to support learning in mathematics:

The Association of Teachers of Mathematics (ATM) have put together a collection of resources to support mathematics away from the screen. You can access it here. It is huge collection of useful recommendations from members of the ATM/MA joint primary group and well worth exploring. 

maths bitmoji classroomOne of my colleagues here at the University of Northampton, Lucy Westley, made this mathematics digital classroom using GoogleSlides. It gives you the opportunity to explore the range of mathematics resources available to support learning. Have a look at it here.

 

Another interesting resource is this from Mathigon. It gives you access to a wide range of mathematics manipulatives to use in digital learning, along with puzzles, games and information to use in supporting learning.

maths digital books online image

 

 

January 29, 2021
by Jean
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Creating with BBC sound effects!

BBC sound effects web pageBBC Sound Effects is a useful site that can be used to create resources. It can be accessed here.

It can be searched to find a huge variety of sounds that can be downloaded or linked to for educational purposes. Read more about the terms of use here.

As can be seen on the screenshot there is a ‘mixer mode’ where sounds can be chosen and played together to create a soundscape. Have a go at this here.

Combining sounds with images can be an interesting and creative activity. Here’s an example I have made, adding environmental sound to Georges Seurat’s painting ‘A Sunday afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte’. I have used a Google Slide. I’ve chosen and downloaded the sounds to Google Drive and then used ‘insert / audio’ to add them to the slide.

It would be possible to do this in Powerpoint, BookCreator and ThingLink.

January 26, 2021
by Jean
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Using Mote to add your voice to google docs and slides

Mote logoWhat is Mote?

Mote is a  Chrome extension. It allows you to add voice feedback within Google Classroom, Docs, Slides etc. The free version allows you to record for 30 seconds and the various subscriptions allow for 90 seconds of recording at a time.

How do I add it?

Here is a short video to show you how to add it.

How do I use it?

There are more videos about how to use it here including this one below about using Mote.

I’ve added a Mote comment to this document.

If you want to listen to the comments you also need to have installed the Mote chrome extension. 

 

January 14, 2021
by Jean
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WindowSwap in the classroom

screenshot of window swap websiteYou will probably have come across the site WindowSwap this week. It can be accessed here.

It is a simple series of video views through windows around the world and as such has so much potential for use in learning. 

Each window lasts ten minutes and includes sound, which can be switched on or off. You can move on to another random window by clicking the bar at the bottom of the screen and the name of the place where the window is appears in the top right of the screen. The one you can see here is in Hazelbrook, New South Wales, Australia. 

screenshot of a jam board

Here’s a Jamboard with some ideas for using WindowSwap and you can see it as a Jamboard here. I’m sure you will have lots of other ideas too – why not add them as comments below?

January 9, 2021
by Jean
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Supporting remote learning

Many of you will be planning and delivering learning remotely since the recent changes in school opening.

Oak National Academy opening pageThe Oak National Academy is providing a wide range of plans and resources to support schools and these are for all key stages and subjects.

You can explore these here

 

In addition from week beginning January 11th 2021 the BBC is broadcasting a range of educational programmes. 

BBC schools timetable

Here is the timetable for primary schools and you can see the secondary timetable here.

There is more information about what the BBC is offering here.

November 20, 2020
by Jean
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Digital Futures Commission

Today, on World Children’s Day, the Digital Futures Commission (DFC) has been launched to explore digital innovation with a focus on children and young people and informed by their voices. Their research focus is on:

  1. play in a digital world
  2. beneficial uses of education data
  3. guidance for innovators

You can read the results of a consultation called Children and Young People’s Voices here. The report focuses on the question: what do children and young people value about the digital world and what changes do they call for? in relation to the three research focuses listed above. 

cover of Free Play in a Digital WorldToday the DFC has launched a consultation on play called ‘Free play in a Digital World’ and is seeking views from children and young people, parents and carers, and professionals who work with children.

You can download it here. The consultation opens today and runs until the end of February 2021. If you fall into any of the categories above you can join in by taking part in a 45 minute discussion online. Read more details on p4 of the document. 

You can also read more about free play and why it matters here in a blog post by Dr Kate Cowan who has written a review called The Panorama of Play. As a student you would read the blog post as a way into reading the actual review, which you would find informative for your work in PDT1076. 

October 2, 2020
by Jean
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Black History Month and Black Lives Matter resources

Black Lives matter booklist 9-12The National Literacy Trust have recently shared some resources to support educators planning for October’s Black History Month. The resource Black Lives Matter: Book lists for ages 0 to 16+ features books by black authors and illustrators and exemplify the Black Lives Matters movement. They are organised in in lists for 0 to 4 years, 5 to 8 years, 9 to 12 years, 13 to 16 years and 16+. 

The resource can be accessed here.

Another resource, part of the Words for Life series, is called “Learn to be an anti-racist”. This collects together a number of resources to use with children in making sense of the news and hear from those who have experienced racism. These can be accessed here.


BLM watch and learn

Google AR TL image

July 6, 2020
by Jean
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Learning to use digital tools 2: ThingLink

ThingLink is a digital tool available for all to use in a free and in a paid for version. The tools available through the free version are a great place to get started. Although it is available as an app it is also available online. You can access it here.

It is a tool that allows you to add tags to images and video. The tags can include text, audio, images / video and links to a wide range of other resources and tools. You can then share your ThingLink with users who can access all the materials from the one place. There are useful accessibility features that make it supportive for all users. ThingLinks can also be embedded into blogs and digital books made in BookCreator and added to Padlets.

screen shot from Microsoft course pageA useful way to get started is to complete the Creating Visual Learning Materials ThingLink course in the Microsoft Educator Center. This is a comprehensive introduction for the new user  but also contains information about recent changes that was helpful to me as a longtime user of ThingLink. The course contains the following:

Modules Overview – Each module has an interactive video ThingLink and helpful overview

  1. What is ThingLink?  
  2. Your ThingLink Account  
  3. Base Images and Videos  
  4. ThingLink Creation and Tag Types  
  5. Embedding Microsoft Tag Ideas  
  6. Accessibility and Publishing 
  7. Collaboration and Teams  
  8. Support and Resources – Followed by our Quiz!  

After you have completed the quiz you can download a digital badge to display on your blog or email signature. 

A recent example of a ThingLink I made is this one that introduces you to the AR features in Google.

If you join ThingLink and browse existing ThingLinks you will easily find inspiration for using this tool in school. There are so many examples across all age groups and subjects.

How might you use ThingLink in your practice? Share a link to any ThingLinks you make in the comments below.

bitmoji outdoor classroom

June 17, 2020
by Jean
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Create your own virtual classroom

You might have come across the idea of the #bitmojiclassroom on social media. Over the last few months, with many teachers and TAs away from face to face contact with their pupils, the idea of creating a virtual space that is visually and user friendly for pupils and parents has become popular. Combined with the tools to create emojis that look like ourselves and add links to images in Powerpoint and GoogleSlides there are now many examples to take inspiration from.

bitmoji of jeanThe use of a personalised bitmoji allows us to make a connection with our pupils. This is mine. 

You can make your own bitmoji by creating an account here

Once you have an account and you have made your bitmoji you can then easily search for it in many different versions and positions to use in making resources.

This is a useful guide to how to create a virtual classroom using GoogleSlides by teacher Thomas Blakemore.

If this is something that interests you, it is worth browsing social media for examples, as there are many that you can learn from and repurpose to use for your own pupils. Search #bitmojiclassroom on Facebook or twitter to find posts and videos that will help you.

Last week I made my first #bitmojiclassroom to find out more about how to do it. It is based on learning outdoors. You can access it below. Click on the ‘present’ triangle symbol to explore the links attached to many of the items in the image.

One important area to consider when making your virtual classroom is protecting the intellectual property rights of the makers of resources available online. You will find yourself searching google images for pictures and google for links and it is important to note and acknowledge these. When searching for images you can choose ‘labelled for non-commercial reuse’ in the search settings and keep a note of the information to reference. For the resource above I have another slide with the references related to this image listed.

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