Genea – using Pinterest with NQTs

At our first Talking Tuesday meeting Genea talked through her recent project with Jennifer Swain (a primary NQT) using Pinterest…

“Looking for inspiration for that lesson you are struggling to plan or that display board with which you’re not sure what to do? Do you want reassurance from fellow NQTs that you have the most rewarding job in the world? Then look no further. Our NQT Pinterest page has lots of inspiration for NQTs starting their new career in the classroom and what’s more, you can share your experiences and successes with others via our page:

 http://www.worcester.ac.uk/discover/primary-nqt-pinterest.html

I have been working very closely with Jennifer Swain, one of our very own University of Worcester NQTs and the result is a great space – requested by you – to pin supportive ideas and resources in a central location.  Jennifer has worked extremely hard on this and I would encourage you to both take a look and share your good practice with fellow University of Worcester alumni.

How do I access NQTPinterest?

To access the page, please click the following link http://www.pinterest.com/nqtpinterest/. From here you will be able to access all of our boards which are themes based around various aspects of school life.

We hope that you feel this a valuable resource in supporting and inspiring you in your career, and also invite you to share your own ideas with us by emailing nqtpinterest@gmail.com. This can be from personal achievements (display boards, classroom/seating arrangements, those impressive pieces of children’s work that make you extremely proud etc.) or inspiring ideas found online to which we could add a link.

Happy Pinning!

Genea & Jennifer”

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Suzanne Lawson on using Padlet with Secondary trainee teachers

Suzanne shared how in secondary they have been using Padlet. This shared noticeboard allows trainees to write comments on a digital board. They used this to evaluate the impact a visiting speaker had on practice in schools. The general Padlet website is https://padlet.com. The secondary behaviour management impact board is http://padlet.com/s_lawson/buuogzwr4n2i. We plan to share this with Ofsted if we have a focused behaviour management inspection.

Putting equity and justice at the heart of the educational agenda: Lessons from the AERA Conference in Chicago

Post from Sean Bracken
The weather in Chicago in April is notoriously unpredictable. The Windy City, chosen as the site for this year’s AERA conference, can one day deliver bitter lake driven winds, a day later the balmy and beautiful warm breezes of summer are served. Taking advantage of the latter halcyon days, I walked from my hotel to the site of the conference situated among the various big named hotels in the midst of the breathtaking skyscrapers some three miles south from where I stayed. On my walks, I’d encounter teachers from early years settings leading groups of children who held onto hand loops on a rope ensuring that no one strayed from the group. A responsible adult led the group to the fore and one held the last of the loops to ensure that all the children were accounted for. Whilst attending many of the conference sessions, it struck me that perhaps our educational systems both in the USA and in the UK might also be in need of careful stewardship particularly in times when dangers to inclusion and equity abound.

Of particular interest to orienting ourselves towards a more just based educational engagement in the UK was a panel presentation of papers which provided a foregrounding analysis to the development of BERA’s manifesto for a Fair and Equal Education for all children. In his response to the various papers informing the manifesto, the eminent Professor Michael Apple called for a resurgence in critically engaged scholarship to counter powerful discourses of performativity and individualized competition in education which hinder equity and justice. There are significant implications for learning and teaching, both at the micro level of the classroom and at the more systematic level of the university and in wider policy development and interpretation. Apple has suggested that as educators there is a need for a more strategic and systematic approach to guide our work. Drawing on some of his more recent publications, he does not shirk the necessity to contribute actively to what he terms a ‘bitter epistemological war’ within which educators must play a critical role if education is to be seen to have a positive impact on shaping our future.

Positive change in the educational landscape can be wrought at many differing and intersecting levels, from students and lecturers working together to envision the type of learning communities they would wish to replicate in wider society, as well as being exemplified by leaders who provide tangible visions for how practices might become more inclusive. Paramount to realizing lasting change is the need for people to working collectively, which may be challenge some existing cultures that reify individual and hierarchical achievements. Whilst working together, Apple identifies some key areas where action can be targeted. Firstly, students and teachers within schools, universities and wider society can bear witness to, and seek to counter, the discourse of negativity, challenging some of the strong narratives which undermine the role of a university education and which seek to reduce the role of teaching to performance indicators. Open debate and awareness raising is critical in this process. If there is a grander epistemological war afoot, there should be consideration given to the nature of the battles into which resources are deployed.

Advancing the concepts of critical dialogue to ensure that an ever wider cohort of colleagues are engaged in meaningful discussion about the directions for university and school-based education is also core to countering non-democratic agendas. These types of discussions can build upon and extend existing critical traditions. For example, at another seminar based on the premise of justice in education, colleagues shared insights from a collaborative Masters in teacher education programme between Waikato University in New Zealand and Boston College in the U.S. Both parties are placing explorative concepts of justice and equity at the heart of the curriculum and areas such as literacy and numeracy orbit this core concept. Additionally, we should benefit from research being shared from within emerging schools which seek to explore how existing taken for granted pedagogical power structures (dare I mention ‘differentiation’ and streaming) may in fact perpetuate and deepen systems which disable access to equity in education.

Apple argues that concern for educational equity is too important for learning and teaching to be the sole preserve of teachers and scholars. There is a corresponding necessity to extend the capacity for others to contribute to discussions in critically aware, meaningful and informed ways. The toolkit required for sharing insights about the equality agenda needs to be extended beyond the preserve of academic voices, so it will include, but should not be restricted to, peer reviewed journals. Using tools for discussion such as Blogs and Twitter may extend the democratic discussion as to how public education contributes to the public good. There is a moral requirement then to carefully extend the writing craft to disseminate a message as to where education can impact on community practice and to ensure that the wider community also participates actively in formulating and sharing ideas about what is good for them. This is especially important while addressing the needs of those who have traditionally been marginalized from active engagement with educational agenda setting. Such initiatives may be disquieting for some of our more entrenched habits as academics to view our work as highly individualized and personal. The argument put forward by Apple is that by illuminating the dynamic capacities for wider collaboration and action we then become models of practice for our students.

Even as climate change makes our own weather patterns ever more unpredictable here in Worcester, I feel having listened to some of the many inspiring collaborative seminars shared in Chicago over the past week, that the young children who sought guidance from their elders as they walked through the city will be assured a more certain and caring future. It appears to me that there is a growing body of educators who are genuinely concerned about the need to take charge of policy and practice agendas by putting equity meaningfully to the fore of learning and teaching. There are indeed reasons to be hopeful and engaged.

UW TEL Strategy Consultation

Have you heard of the UW TEL strategy?
“The University is currently consulting on two new strategies: Learning and Teaching Strategy 2015-2019 and TEL Strategy (Technology Enhanced Learning). These documents set out our key commitments and development priorities in relation to the courses the University offers, the learning and teaching experiences for students and how we support staff professional development.
We have arranged two meetings for staff to give feedback and comments on the working drafts, both of which will be introduced by the Vice Chancellor:
Meeting 1 – Mon 27th April 2015, 12.30 pm to 2 pm, room EE 1107 Cotswold B
Meeting 2 – Tues 28th April 2015, 12.30 pm to 2 pm, room CH 1008, City Campus.
If you would like to participate in one the meetings, please advise Maureen (my EA, via email m.beckwith@worc.ac.uk or tel x2410). We will send you a copy of the draft strategy a week before the meeting”.

Moira

JISC Project

Anyone interested in being involved in this JISC project?
“Are you using mobile technologies to support inclusive practice?
Jisc recently completed an update to its mobile learning guide, involving 20 institutions across HE and FE. Contributors were able to showcase their use of apps to enhance teaching and learning through case study examples and share these with the wider community. For many, it provided them and their students with the additional opportunity to enhance their digital skills and be part of an invaluable process.

As a follow on piece of work, Jisc are again inviting proposals from learning and teaching staff working within HE, FE and specialist colleges for video case studies around app-based learning and inclusive practice.

The submission deadline is Friday 8 May 2015 and if you’re successful you’ll be invited to attend a free video production workshop scheduled for 21 May at our Bristol office.

For further information about how to get involved see our blog post.

To find out more or if you have any questions please contact Tracey Duffy on 0203 697 5871 or tracey.duffy@jisc.ac.uk“.
Moira

Pinterest

The first Talking Tuesday will explore the use of Pinterest (https://www.pinterest.com/) for learning and teaching.

We have Rebecca Foster from ISES sharing her experiences of using Pinterest with second year PE students.

You may have already heard of the work Genea Alexander has done with Pininterest and NQTs-
“Looking for inspiration for that lesson you are struggling to plan or that display board with which you’re not sure what to do? Do you want reassurance from fellow NQTs that you have the most rewarding job in the world? Then look no further. Our NQT Pinterest page has lots of inspiration for NQTs starting their new career in the classroom and what’s more, you can share your experiences and successes with others via our page. I have been working very closely with Jennifer Swain, one of our very own University of Worcester NQTs and the result is a great space – requested by you – to pin supportive ideas and resources in a central location. Jennifer has worked extremely hard on this and I would encourage you to both take a look and share your good practice with fellow University of Worcester alumni.
How do I access NQTPinterest?
To access the page, please click the following link http://www.pinterest.com/nqtpinterest/. From here you will be able to access all of our boards which are themes based around various aspects of school life.
We hope that you feel this a valuable resource in supporting and inspiring you in your career, and also invite you to share your own ideas with us by emailing nqtpinterest@gmail.com. This can be from personal achievements (display boards, classroom/seating arrangements, those impressive pieces of children’s work that make you extremely proud etc.) or inspiring ideas found online to which we could add a link.
Happy Pinning!
Genea & Jennifer”.

Moira

Consultation on UW strategies

Have you seen the new UW L&T strategy?
The University is currently consulting on two new strategies: Learning and Teaching Strategy 2015-2019 and TEL Strategy (Technology Enhanced Learning). These documents set out our key commitments and development priorities in relation to the courses the University offers, the learning and teaching experiences for students and how we support staff professional development.
We have arranged two meetings for staff to give feedback and comments on the working drafts, both of which will be introduced by the Vice Chancellor:
Meeting 1 – Mon 27th April 2015, 12.30 pm to 2 pm, room EE 1107 Cotswold B
Meeting 2 – Tues 28th April 2015, 12.30 pm to 2 pm, room CH 1008, City Campus.
If you would like to participate in one the meetings, please advise Maureen (my EA, via email m.beckwith@worc.ac.uk or tel x2410). We will send you a copy of the draft strategy a week before the meeting.

Moira