Tag Archives: conference

BOCSH Talking about learning

On Wednesday I had a pleasure of attending the BOCSH talking about learning conference at St. Andrew’s RC School, Glasgow.  The workshops run by BOCSH (Building Our Curriculum Self-Help) and SCEL I attended were all on digital learning. 

The first one by Sheena Boyle (MFL), Sandra Convery (English) and Lewis Hamilton (Physics) of Balfron High School.  Sheena started with it’s not about the technology it’s about the learning.  The technology provides feedback, choice, autonomy, independence and encourages a can do more attitude.  Tablets can reduce barriers are helpful for low confidence pupils or those with ASN.  iPads are used in Balfron High School and a number of apps were mentioned:

Flash card app, Padlet, Sticky notes, Mindmap apps, Showbie, Explain Everything.

Sandra shared using technology for recording feedback for pupils.  Voice recording and annotation means pupils less likely to forget feedback and saves time compared to all writing or chat with each pupil.

Lewis shared his experience on using Glow Office 365 tools for collaborative work between pupils and staff.  Ideas included pupils making a Word file in Word Online for their UCAS statement and then sharing it with their PCS teacher and other teachers for staff to see progress and help.  The statement can be worked on by pupils at home or in school.

He has also used PowerPoint on Glow collaboratively within a lesson where different pupils worked on the same Mission to Mars task, divided into parts for each, leaving Earth, journey to Mars, Landing, What to find out.  He reported the online collaboration meant pupils could see what the others in their group were doing at all times and we spurred on after seeing good work by others to improve their section.  Upon returning to school I have discussed using O365 collaboratively with staff and shown them how to do this.

The second workshop was by Derek Paterson at Larbert High School.  He shared the development of Glow within his school and how they had a digital learning week to promote digital learning and used Teach meets within school to share experiences across the school with sessions on Glow, Qwizdom, Edmodo, Class Dojo, Socrative and more.  Back in school I have mentioned this Teach meet CPD model to the DHT’s as I think this would be a good way to collaborate and share experiences.

The thirds workshop was on Flipped Learning in Maths by Craig McDougall also at Larbert High School.  He described the journey of the maths department at Larbert High School into Flipped learning.  In an ambitious use of flipped learning they created a YouTube channel Larbert Maths and now have videos for the N5 Maths course and much of the Higher course.  He stated the advantages of flipped learning as:

  • A way to deal with the high volume of content at N5 level.
  • Promoting pupil discussion and higher order thinking skills.
  • Enhancing self evaluation of skills
  • Enhanced differentiation of learning
  • Good for absentees
  • Good for cover
  • Good for pupils with ASN needs
  • Helps consistency of learning.

Pupils need training on how to actively watch the videos, when, where and how to take notes from them.  Lessons work better when what is done in class is more of a joint activity.

Suggested have a question at the end of the video that pupils have to answer and bring into class.  Pupils returning to class assessed themselves and started on the appropriate task, bronze (simple), silver (more complex) or gold (course exam level).  Then move up to do the other tasks as they become more familiar.  Can’t hide as they can with homework as learning is more visible.  If unable to do it in class have to be strict and say what did you do with the video, watch again.  Teachers can help clarify but shouldn’t explain everything otherwise no point to watch the videos.

Lots of ideas to take from this session, short videos, include example and question at the end.  Potentially more differentiation of task in class depending on pupil self assessment.

The conference was book ended with a good introduction from Gerry Lyon and a Teacher leadership or Teacher Teachership session from Fearghal Kelly of SCEL and a reflective plenary.  I have taken away lots of useful ideas and it was great to meet teachers and build networks to share ideas and practice.