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Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Brilliant Digital Learning

The below is a student recording of their revision notes from the B604 Philosophy and Applied Ethics module, 'Peace and Justice-Religion and Equality' — at IPACA.

The recording was made in class by the pupils and put together in around 50 minutes and is now available on Facebook for Year 11 revision.

Tools to Teach

In the below video I share 'Tools to Teach' an IPC unit. This talk was filmed as part of an IPACA training day at Royal Manor Campus on Tuesday 16th April, 2013.

3D Printers Arrive

At the Isle of Portland Aldridge Community Academy we are developing learning opportunities that enable students to experience first-hand the real and fast changing world of designing and making.

Students are learning computer aided designing techniques and other processes that are used in industry. With the arrival of three 3D printers, pupils will understand and use techniques needed to realise their concepts and ideas, to be creative and technically minded, and to become economically viable.

More to follow on this story as we develop our use of this exciting new technology...

Independent Learning

Please see below for the presentation shared by Jane Hurdiss and myself as part of the Primary element of our recent training day. A recording of this presentation can also be viewed directly on YouTube at:

 To view the original copy of this presentation please click here

101 Ideas for Independent Learning

In addition to the above, this presentation is something that I have been pulling together for a couple of weeks now and includes a range of cloud-sourced ideas to support independent learning. I would love it if you would like to add your thoughts?

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Chrome OS - Interesting response from SMART

I recently contact SMART Technologies about support for Chrome OS and had the following interesting response:

Hi Gary,

Thank you for submitting a feature request. They go to a suggestion box that we check periodically, so I apologize for the delayed response.

We wanted to let you know that we are working on some support for Chrome OS.  We are building a web-based version of SMART Notebook that will run in most web browsers, including on Chrome OS.  A beta is currently available at – please try it out and send us your feedback.  It is still a beta, so check back often to see new features!  Running a SMART Board off a Chromebook (to get ink and touch) is actually a difficult technical problem.  We’re looking into it, but we’re unable to commit to anything at this point.

I hope that information helps a bit – please check out Notebook for Web and let us know what you think, and if it would meet some of your needs on Chrome OS.  And please don’t hesitate to let me know if you have any more feedback about any of SMART’s products.

Best regards,

User Experience Designer
SMART Technologies

Monday, 15 April 2013

Ofsted and Outstanding Classroom Practice

Today at our Isle of Portland Aldridge Community Academy training day we had the pleasure of hearing from Deborah Zachary. Deborah from the 'The Zachary Network' is a lead Ofsted Inspector and came today to share her view on Outstanding Classroom Practice.

Deborah encouraged us to think about some outstanding teaching we have either seen or delivered. My thoughts took me back to earlier this year at the Prince of Wales First School to a lesson where the pupils used Lego WeDO robotics to independently solve a problem-based challenge. See below:

Deborah then shared an example observation from an Outstanding lesson she observed in the Spring Term, this was from a Year 5 mixed ability Maths lesson. The thoughts below relate to this lesson's starter: 

- Excellent start, self-start with strong differentiation.
- Teacher tight on timing but lively.
- Teacher encourages challenge.
- Building on work from yesterday.
- ThinkPINK time - AfL Strategy - involving everyone.

The key is that outstanding teaching leads to outstanding learning.

We then explored the Ofsted Grade Descriptors - Quality of teaching in the school:

I have taken the Outstanding criteria from above and created the below word cloud:

Deborah shared the importance of fostering an environment where IT IS OK TO FAIL, after all isn't this how we all learn? This reminded me of the great Michael Jordan advert for Nike:

What would you see?

How do you know the strategy is working?