Category: Aberdeen

12 November 2020 16:00-17:00, Practitioner Examples of Blended Learning in Primary

The Webinar will look at the tools and pedagogy used in this first term, the digital tools used and their impact on learners.

About this Event

Delivered by Andrew Boulind and Rory Buchanan from St Joseph’s RC School, Aberdeen.

Open to all practitioners, Glow Login Required

The Webinar will look at how Blended Learning has been used on return at the start of this new session 2020-2021 and its impact on the learners. After having returned in August form Lockdown, we felt it was important to utilise the digital skills the learners had gained as well as improving pupil engagement, motivation, and challenge by using a blended approach to learning in the classroom. By maintaining this blended approach, we have been able to provide a differentiated and more personalised approach to learning.

Although technology has played an important part in our classes it has been important to create a stimulating environment in the classroom where the displays demonstrate a range of curricular areas and are accessible and used to reinforce learning.

By using our variation of Blended learning, the pupils have been leading the learning. It was vital for us that learning was relevant and built on previous online learning. The approach has made sure that pupils are aware of learning expectations and know how to be successful in their learning, whether online or in class.

Learners are engaging in various types of learning experiences, online, in class and in groups. Learners are encouraged to develop high order thinking strategies in their classwork using the and online activities. Due to the use of online assessment tools the Learners are aware of feedback and can act rapidly on this. Digital technology is a feature of learning with both in class as well as at home. After the lockdown and the possibility that they had more “textbook type activities” it has been important to provide them with activities that they can relate their learning to real life contexts.

The Webinar will look at the tools and pedagogy used in this first term (August – October), the digital tools used and their impact on their learners. They will be examples of activities and pupil work as well as practical ideas and applications to take away from the session.

Register Here

Stay Organised with Wakelet

I would like to share with you, my fellow educators, a tool I have discovered recently. riverbank primary school logoIt is called Wakelet. Before, I used Pocket and it was good, but it had its limitations.  

Wakelet is a website and an app. It allows you to curate websites, tweets, pictures,  blog entries, newspaper articles, links, videos, songs, and other items in your Google Drive.  

You classify everything into collections. 

Regarding privacy, you can make these collections private, you can share them with certain people or you can make them public. You can choose the degree of privacy for each collection. Wakelet has a variety of uses: 

For example, Wakelet is a great timesaver, and will put your memory at rest. We can stop relying on remembering everything.  With Wakelet’s collections, you will not lose a thing.  

 Curation is a specially useful feature of Wakelet. As a teacher you read useful articles, websites, watch videos, do CPD etc. You will discover that curating  those items to refer back to and/or share with others is something easy and quick to organise and to find afterwards. You’ll stop saying : ” where did I read that?”. 

 I have a Wakelet colleague in South Africa who I met at the Microsoft Educator centre and again at Twitter.  I never thought before of the enormous possibilities that Wakelet offers to our profession. We share our Wakelet collections in such an easy way. We share ideas, projects, learning, digital literacy tips and good advice. Collaborating  with others is one of the perks of Wakelet. Colleagues can contribute to your collections and you can contribute to theirs. They can add to your list. 

In upper primary and in secondary it can be an exciting tool to to use with the learners. As a teacher, you curate information for the learners to use and master in an online or blended our in the class environment, while the learners can do the same as they organize research projects from a wide variety of digital resources and express themselves by using all the features of Wakelet. to reflect on and connect to previous learning experiences. Wakelet fosters communication. You create a hub for your learners, where they can be confidently  interacting with their classmates about the topic you or they have chosen. Online resources, pieces of work, videos, podcasts, photographs can all be great samples of the work that is being done in the classroom.  

Wakelet’s latest creation is called spaces, it helps you to be top notch organised. Several collections are part of a space and you again can choose its privacy. 

Come and ride the #WakeletWave with us. Once you start, you won’t be able to stop using it. Wakelet is a great tool to keep you prepared. As a Wakelet community Leader, let me know if I can support you with any queries you may have. You can find me in Twitter @pilararqued and Wakelet at https://wakelet.com/@MrsArqued

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The Future’s Bright, the Future’s Blended.

As we move into this next stage of teaching during lock down and coming out of lock down it’s really important that we make the correct decision. In the Scottish Government’s reopening Schools guide as well as Local Government guidelines we have seen the term blended learning being talked about. What does this mean? We know that blended learning means that it uses a number of different pedagogical approaches including distance learning and prudential learning but what else does it incorporate?

Blended learning is a generic term given to a number of different approaches involved in synchronous and asynchronous teaching using online tools as well as being present in a classroom. This can have a number of different names and approaches:

Rotational learning, flexible learning and flipped learning or the flipped classroom. 

Rotational / blended learning is a: “…model (that) allows students to rotate through stations on a fixed timetable, where at least one of the stations is an online learning station. This model is most commonly in  primary schools because teachers are already familiar with rotating in centres and stations.

The ‘Flex blended learning’  is included in types of Blended Learning and its model is one in which… “a course or curriculum area  in which online learning is the backbone of pupil learning, even if it directs pupils to offline activities at times. Pupils  move on an individually customized, fluid timetable among learning modalities. One teacher is on-site, and students learn mostly in their school classroom, except for any homework assignments. The teacher or other adults provide face-to-face support on a flexible and adaptive as-needed basis through activities such as small-group instruction, group projects, and individual tutoring.”

Flipped Learning:

A flipped classroom is a type of blended learning where students are introduced to content at home and practice working through it at school.

 

It is important to understand the stages of Flipped learning and that activities that are accrued out at home are clearly and concisely linked to activities in the classroom. 

We we think of Bloom’s Revised Taxonomy might would immediately think of the  the standard triangle with the remembering at the bottom and creativity at the top,

 

Flipped Learning turns Bloom’s Taxonomy on it’s head:

We need to think of our learners carrying out those low order thinking skills outside of the classroom in their work at home so that when we are in the classroom we can work on their high order thinking skills. 

 

When we talk about “home work” we are talking about those activities that our learners can do it independently with if necessary and possible support from parents and carers. What format might these contain:

We could add to those activities at home , simple worksheets, Kahoots, quizlets etc. 

In our flipped classroom it is important to think of the activities that we are going to do:

  • The link between home and the classroom. 
  • Our central Repository – Where will they be? Drive, Classroom, Teams, Onedrive Etc.
  • Classroom management: How will I manage the class at home and in the class: Will they be working collaboratively at home? Will  I have differentiated groups or tasks? Will they work in pairs in the classroom? 
  • Content: How will I create content for my classes? When it comes to video, will I create my own video material or will I look for appropriate ones online? How can I create activities that are attractive and engage my learners?

These are just some of the areas that need to be considered when carrying out flipped learning.

So does it work? What are the benefits? Pupils can be learning at their own pace and with peers. Missed class or were ill. The class has online video material, so you can see what has taken place. Having done work prior to coming to class, learners prepared to contribute. It is a format which enriches Group work & projects. As teachers we can target those learners  who need help knowing that other learners can work in a more independent manner. A teacher instead of standing centre and at the front we are guiding our learners from the side “coaching” them. This format  benefits differentiation and work in small groups. 

As we all know our learners do not come in a “standard format” where one size fits all. As teachers and educators we all know that often certain approaches work well with certain learners. The situation we find ourselves in now as a profession requires us to think of the 4 “Cs”:

  1. critical thinking,
  2. communication,
  3. collaboration, 
  4. Creativity.
  5. Flipped Learning Apps  –  A few Examples 

Further reading

Video – What is Flipped Learning

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Flipgrid in the Remote P1 Classroom, Riverbank School, Aberdeen City

Aberdeen City CouncilFLIPGRID IN THE REMOTE CLASSROOM

Flipgrid, a video discussion platform, is used for different purposes in the remote classroom. Among them, to mention a few that we use in P1 at Riverbank school, are the following:

● As an engagement tool. In my P1 class in Aberdeen with 17 pupils, we have started using Flipgrid in Google Classroom, in today’s literacy assignment, children were to show their favourite book and tell us why. They show up, talk about their book and express their emotions. They improve their oratory skills, the possibility of adding stickers, backgrounds and other aesthetic enhancers is also an attractive feature to them.

● As a prompt: in Registration I upload directly from Flipgrid to Google Classroom as a short video (called shorts in Flipgrid) which is used as a conversation starter and mind engaging with the learners. Next week they will be having again prompts during registration: Things that they have learnt during confinement, even and odd numbers, using the connective “but”, using the connective “and”, something I did was it a subtraction or an addition, can you represent it graphically? They watch the video and they can choose to answer with a video back or in writing.

● As an assessment tool: Another Flipgrid they had last week The instructions were to tell us about their favourite book, mention the title and the author and tell us the function of an illustrator. The two key resources which support teachers to plan learning, teaching and assessment are experiences and outcomes and benchmarks. With this Flipgrid activity, the children should be exposed to, recognise. Describe, and make use of:

○ Recognize book words: cover, author, illustrator, theme, title etc

○ Share likes and dislikes

○ Enjoy choosing stories

Finally, let me tell you that for language teachers it is a great tool as well. It allows for fantastic feedback on pronunciation. But not only that, it can be used for presentations, acting, interpersonal communication, making connections, language and cultural comparisons. It is the perfect space for the students to practise their speaking skills and share their thoughts. The teacher can set goals and reflect on progress. Moreover, the teacher can use language to develop critical thinking, investigate, explain, and reflect. Flipgrid allows for the 4 Cs of education in the 21st century to be developed and encouraged in the activities you set. It enriches the learning experience greatly.

Flipgrid has got many other uses and functions. I would be very interested in hearing your experience with this tool.

Pilar Arqued

gw18arquedpilar@glow.sch.uk
@pilararqued
Aberdeen City Council logo

Digital Creativity in Aberdeen City

Aberdeen City Schools have been busy using digital tools to unleash their creativity.

Airyhall School have been creating their school using Animal Crossing and creating News Reports about the Battle of Culloden

Northfield Academy have been creating stop go animations

Seaton Primary School have creating analogue and digitally labelled pictures about artic animals

Heathryburn School having been collaborating using Jamboard

Have a look at the Twitter posts below,

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