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

at Leicester and UN

September 14, 2022
by Jean
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Speaking like a specialist from Voice21

Voice21 is the UK’s oracy education charity. You can read more about their mission and role here. We have looked at their resources in PDT1068 English sessions.

Each October they run a month long campaign called Oracy October and this October the focus is Speaking like a Specialist.

This year’s theme is ‘Speaking like a Specialist’ and explores what high-quality talk looks like in different subject disciplines.

Voice21 explains:

“We want teachers to use the month to encourage students to talk like subject experts, raising their understanding of oracy by challenging them to speak like specialists in different areas of the curriculum. What does it mean to speak like a scientist? How does this differ from speaking like a historian, or to the expectations of high-quality talk in English or maths? While most of our communication skills can be universally applied, talk in different subject areas and disciplines has varying purposes. Raising students’ awareness of these differences supports them to become flexible and resilient communicators.”

(Voice 21, 2022, lines 2-6)

An image of people who are specialists in their subjects.

Voice21, 2022

 

 

There are a number of webinars that you can sign up for focused on high-quality classroom talk in science, art, English. mathematics and humanities. You can find the sign up pages here. You can also send off for some supporting resources here

If you are supporting learning in the classroom, knowing more about subject specific language will help you in your role.

References:

Voice21 (2022) Oracy October 2022. [online] Available from: https://voice21.org/oracy-october-2022/ [Accessed: 14/09/2022].

Vocie21 (2022) Speaking like a specialist. image. [online] Available from: https://mynorthamptonac-my.sharepoint.com/personal/jean_edwards_northampton_ac_uk/Documents/JE%20my%20docs/Pictures%20(2)/FDLT/FDLT%20blog%20stuff/voice%2021.png?Web=1 [Accessed: 14/09/2022].

 

July 12, 2022
by Jean
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Exploring stop motion animation with FDLT year 1.

In the final FDLT year 1 session the students worked together to create their own stop motion animations. In this activity they brought together subject knowledge and practical and creative skills to convey some information or an idea. In a very short time and with limited resources they made the examples below. Had we had more time they would have added sound effects and / or music as well. 

Made with Padlet

 

a screenshot of a teacher in their office over Collaborate.

December 19, 2021
by Jean
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Learning about education in other places in the world on the BALT course

a screenshot of a teacher in their office over Collaborate.This week our BA Learning and teaching students had the opportunity to talk with a teacher working in an international school in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. 

Module tutor, Laura-Jane Devanny, organised this experience to help bring to life the PDT3009 Education beyond boundaries module that they are currently studying.

Simon Clark, Deputy Headteacher at the British International School, Jeddah, talked to the students about his career path since qualifying and completing his QTS year in England. This included working in schools in Bali, China and Saudi Arabia. He was able to share his knowledge and experience about education in other places and the impact culture, economics and politics can have on educational systems. 

He started by asking the students where in the A screenshot of the Leic group's ideasworld they would like to be teaching right now and there were some interesting ideas shared on the Menti by the Leicester group, pictured here, and also by the Northampton group. 

The students also contributed their ideas of what culture is before Simon went to discuss aspects of education in other countries and the part culture plays in influencing how schools operate and how learning takes place in the classroom, as well the impact on day to day life.

 

summary of culture shockCulture shock and how people adapt to teaching in very different places was also discussed. When BALT students are considering their own comparisons they could be considering differences in cultures between countries as a factor in the exchange of ideas and implementation of approaches.

 

It was interesting to hear about the differences and similarities between what happens in the classroom, links to the local communities and the effect of Covid19 in other places. 

a screenshot of the Collaborate screenStudents had the opportunity to ask questions about the curriculum, inspection, assessment and funding. 

We were very grateful to Simon for his time and enthusiasm in giving us insight into education elsewhere in the world. 

July 21, 2021
by Jean
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Develop your use of technology in learning

There are a number of opportunities to take part in free online training in using apps and tools that are useful when supporting learning in the classroom and in your own study. Listed below are four places to start. You might consider the apps and tools most commonly used in your setting and see what is offered in relation to those or just follow your own interests. 

BookCreator Certified Author

This short online course provides a through overview of all the tools available in BookCreator and is a great starting point for using this excellent tool.

Creating visual learning materials with ThingLink

This is part of the Microsoft Educator Center set of training modules. It is worth browsing these are these are some interesting and useful short online courses of relevance to classroom support. 

Adobe Creative Educator Level 1

This short course introduces you to using Adobe Spark to make visual and interactive  learning resources. It is one of many useful short courses available through Adobe Education Exchange.

Apple Teacher / Portfolio

Completing the six ipad or Mac Apple Teacher units is a thorough introduction to using Apple apps and tools to support learning with pupils. If you have done this the next step is build your Apple teacher Portfolio.

As you complete these courses you can use the digital badges you earn on your email signature and of course, add them to your CV. 

July 15, 2021
by Jean
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Summer Reading Challenge!

This year’s Summer reading Challenge from The Reading Agency is called Wild World Heroes! You can find out more about it here. There are resources to support it available for schools, libraries and for use in the home so everyone can take part wherever they are. Its a really good idea to keep children reading over the summer and this can help enormously.

Summer reading challenge opening screen

 

 

 

June 18, 2021
by Jean
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A creative finish to FDLT Year 1!

making of stop motion animationsThis week our FDLT year 1 students reached the end of their first year at university. It was great to be able to welcome them back to Devonshire Place and the Waterside Campus, Northampton to work face to face making stop motion animations. As you can see from the animations on the Padlet below they worked creatively and co-operatively to explore this approach and produced some great results. For many of them it was the first time they had made animations.

We used the app StopMotionStudio and there is potential for the animations to be opened in iMovie so sound effects, dialogue and music could be added – most of us did not have time to do this in the session! 

As you can see from the photos here the students have great skills of making, measuring and improvising. This is what makes them such great supporters of learning back in school.

We wish them all a restful and enjoyable summer so that they will be ready for FDLT year 2 in September!

Made with Padlet

February 24, 2021
by Jean
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Adding sound to art!

This week I gave an online talk at the Primary Art Craft Design Network Meeting for County Durham Art Co-ordinators. It was based around using audio and images together in viewing and making art.

Here is the digital book used to support the talk. It includes details of how to use the BBC Sound Effects website; how to make a Google Slide with added audio; how to ‘hide’ sound effects in a BookCreator image and using ThingLink to add sound to images along with other ideas about being creative with sound and images.

 

 

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 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?

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.