Category Archives: 3.2 Classroom Organisation & Management

Pedagoo Perth

My aim throughout my time as a student is to continue developing my professional practice so that when I graduate then I will already be in the habit. From day one, the University of Dundee have encouraged our use of twitter, twitter chats and blogs to effectively share our experience with others. I can safely say I’ve caught the bug and I can’t get enough of tweeting ideas I have seen and writing reflective pieces on my experiences at university. Therefore, it was natural that when I saw a tweet about Pedagoo Perth I was keen to find out more. After finding people to go with and signing up, I was getting more and more excited in the lead up to the event, to find out what this all entailed. I was not disappointed. I attended 3 separate chats all hosted by different practitioners and some of the discussion I was involved in taught me more than I could have ever imagined.

My first learning conversation was with Jason Bain where we discussed how to ensure that you record, reflect and take forward your professional learning? It was all about journals and keeping organised with our professional updates for the GTCS. This was interesting for me as I am a very organised person but have tweet ideas written on post it notes and facebook statuses saved all over the place but having an online journal where you can keep everything seemed to be a really good idea for me.

The second learning conversation was with Oscar Chamberlain discussing ICT in the classroom and how we can use excel and other applications to our advantage. I’ve never really been in a classroom for long enough to find that I have struggled with keeping up to date with reading groups and maths groups but I would imagine that I am the kind of teacher that will end up forgetting entirely so going out into a classroom with these ideas already in head, my first few years should hopefully be that little bit easier.

Lastly, I attended the learning conversation run by Kevin Hodgson about The Pursuit of Pivotal Plenaries. This was by far the discussion I took the most away from, especially as I am someone who struggles with plenaries from all angles. Finding the time, finding the ideas, having the motivation – you name it, I struggle with it. However, Kevin made the idea of plenaries sound fun, quick and informative for not just myself but also for the children. Using current themes like twitter and instagram – for example having a twitter wall – is something I had always wondered about the actual use of, but now I fully understand and look forward to creating my own! A book that was also recommended to us by Kevin which may interest any readers of this blog is The Book of Plenary by Phil Beadle. I am hoping to buy this soon during my next placement and put some of the ideas into action.

So overall this experience has been amazing for me as a new professional just starting out. Being part of this kind of community makes me much more passionate about teaching and being on social media fuels this passion as it is with me in my pocket wherever I go. Even going down to Oxfordshire for my Learning From Life placement this year will keep me focussed on being part of this community as I will be blogging as part of my assessment. Although the learning conversations for me were over after 3, other professionals who I have connected with through twitter or at the University have talked to me about other learning conversations that they attended so I then have an idea about what was discussed. This just shows that we can and sometimes have to learn from and rely on each other. After all, I am going into a career where you constantly have to learn. Its up to me to find anyway that I can to do this.



Personal vs professional presence on social media

There are so many social networking sites out in the world, how can we possibly as educators keep up? A new one is being made every day and I feel education in Scotland needs to embrace it in the correct manner. Children are growing up with there parents on social media right now, and they are on it too? We can’t shelter them from it so we have to embrace it. However, using social media as a teacher means that you might have to make the decision, do i make my account private or professional?

Teachers for years now have been caught out with inappropriate photos or posts because they haven’t been careful about what they’ve shared. Posts can be put up in a fit of rage and sometimes the most innocent of posts can be misconstrued and manipulated by children, parents and society. As a teacher you have a GTCS guideline to follow – and faliure to follow them could result in you being diseplined and even the law could come into it. The basic rule I feel as a teacher or in any professional role is always think before you post – could this affect my career? In the classroom this is the same, many parents are afraid of the technology and won’t let their children use it at home and some can’t due to lack of funds. Therefore using social media in the classroom could cause some problems, especially if parents aren’t happy.

However, making the social media account professional means that you can use your account alongside other methods for work – which is great? Aren’t teachers always looking for a new way to teach kids? There are thousands of possibilities out there for using social media with children in the classroom, and providing you warn them of the dangers, and they use it sensibly, they can learn so much from it. You can get the children to run a twitter/instagram/glow/tumblr/pinterest page on behalf of the school asking them daily to tweet about something they have learned in school, something they are excited about that is happening at the next assembly and they can promote local fundraising events for the school or in the community. This would be an amazing way to get parents to see what the school are doing as well as teaching the children ICT skills, English skills and tie it all together with internet safety and what is appropriate to post? It can be tied in so well with the curriculum, we need to use it as a resource. And this is just one idea. The possibilities are simply endless. Social media in the classroom doesn’t have to be scary. I personally feel social media needs to be embraced within schools and taken with a positive attitude.