Posts Tagged ‘Teacher’

In this Blog I invite you to support my video entry to the O2 Learn Competition for three simple reasons:

1) I believe some of the videos that are winning the Fortnightly stages give a poor representation of Education in Britain

2) Many teachers who have submitted a video are cheating by creating false accounts to gain extra votes

3) The winning videos will be considered by the public as the best in British education, so I believe it is important that good examples are presented

So, if you like my video and you want your viewing to count and rate it, please follow the following instructions:

– Go to this website http://www.o2learn.co.uk and register (top right), or login if you are already registered. Remember you will receive an activation email and sometimes it might end up in people’s junk mail, so please check in there too!

– Login (top right) and click on this link http://bit.ly/o2learnvideo to watch my video

– If you like the video, please rate it by clicking on Rate this video below the video screen and give it 5 stars 🙂

Please remember that you need to be logged in for your viewing and rating to count!

As an educator I believe that engaging in these types of competitions is important to give a good representation of good practice in Education to the public. The teaching profession doesn’t always get a very good reputation from the Media and having good videos in the winning entries can help to change people’s views on teachers and Education in Britain. So, please support my entry only if you think it is a good video that would help learners to understand the topic presented!

Another way in which you could help is by spreading the word and passing on the link to this Blog post to your colleagues, friends, pupils, etc… and ask them to follow the instructions to support my entry.

Thank you in advance for your support and let me know if you are entering a video too, so I can support it!

So, it is finally here and I finally got an invite! I had a few days to begin to get my head around Google+, but nowhere near enough as much time as I would have liked to dedicate to check out this new “Buzz”. I have always been disappointed to hear about the fall of Google Wave, which I thought was a fantastic tool that would bring collaboration to a whole new level. But, unfortunately, it never kicked off properly, maybe because of the many bugs, or simply because the world wasn’t ready for it. Whatever, it was, my first impression about G+ is that it is a lot less pretentious and a lot less fuss has been made about it. So, there is a better chance that the users will drive how it develops, rather than having the presumption of telling the users this is their answer to everything they have ever wanted.

So, here are my first impressions about it. I like the idea of circles as it gives a good balance between a Facebook like experience and Twitter lists. Posting to a Circle to me sounds a bit like sending a Direct Message to a whole list on Twitter, which is quite neat. I also like the idea that now you can separate your professional updates from your personal ones. Other than that I have not done that much digging into G+, or rather I haven’t found the time yet, but there are a couple of ideas I’d like to share about how Google+ could potentially be used in the classroom.

Simulating Historical Characters

In G+ you could create an account to simulate a historical character and assign different other characters to his/her Circles, so you could have a circle of people in his family, his colleagues, enemies, etc… Each person within these circles can interact with our famous character according to their relationship with him, so, for example, how did Darwin’s father influence his life choices? Or how did his contemporary Lamark dispute his theory, etc… There could be a moderator group who could could act as the Historian and challenge the conversations within the circles with probing questions and by presenting key facts in the life of this character. Speculations on how History could have changed, if different choices had been made by the people in our character’s circles, could be explored in conversations and questions created by the learners in this role play. Giving a profile picture that match the different characters would help learners to engage even more deeply in the game and it could really spark interest in the lives of these historical characters, as they would have the opportunity to impersonate some key people in History and the whole topic could become very personal for these learners. An interesting feature of this game is that apart from the Historian and the actual main  character other characters would not see the conversations between the main person and his/her circles.

Breaking down complex systems in Science

Often you can break down complex systems and processes like the human body into smaller chunks that are easier to explain, but that contribute to the functioning of the whole system. So, for example, you could create an account for the “Human Body” and break it down into Circles in Google+ like the Circulatory System, the Reproductive System, etc… In each circle you could have the organs that make up that particular system, like the heart and blood vessels in the Circulatory System. The body has needs that involve different systems depending on the situations in which it finds itself in. So, for example, when the body is exercising the heart will pump more blood around to supply the additional Oxygen needed to the muscles. The body could be played by the Teacher, or even better a group of learners, who will have to send messages to specific Circles explaining the activity, or need, it is doing and the circles will have to respond appropriately explaining the changes they are going through to supply that need. This role play could become quite interesting when a process that involves multiple systems is started by the body. You could also simulate a medical tracer, like radioactive Iodine, that could be added to all the “circles” in the body and find a malfunction according to the conversations that are going on in each Circle/Organ.

These are just a couple of ideas and I have had the chance to try them out in the classroom yet, but I would be very interested to know how the learners respond to them,  if anyone out there is having a go at trying them out. So, please share your experiences and ideas by leaving a comment!

Yes! The Institute of Physics has reached the Forest of Dean and Gloucestershire. In fact, they have appointed me as Network Coordinator for that area!

Network Co-ordinators are practising physics teachers paid a small honorarium by the Institute to provide support for other physics teachers in their area.  They may organise workshops and short INSET sessions, events for pupils & teachers and help create links & share information between schools etc – whatever is most appropriate really. (See the Teacher Support page on the IOP website: www.iop.org/network for more info).

The modulated laser pen workshop at the Brecon Conference

I am teacher at Croesyceiliog School in Cwmbran and very keen to forge new links around the area of Gloucestershire and the Forest of Dean.  I have a number of tried & tested workshops for teachers (such as ‘Build a modulated laser pen’ and ‘Build a Giant Air Bazooka’ which I blogged about in this blog) and will be developing more according to demand and needs.

So, if you are a Science Teacher involved in the teaching of Physics in the area of the Forest of Dean and Gloucestershire, please help me know a bit more about you by filling in the form in the link below!

Click here to complete my form!

Thanks,

I’m really looking forward to working with you,

Alessio.