When I am not being an edtech consultant, I am busy being a range of things to my three-year-old son. Part of this includes now being his coach as he starts to explore the world of language, letters and sounds. Therefore I spend A LOT of time working out how children learn to match letters with sounds, blend sounds together to make words and form letters.
One day, when my son and I were thinking of words that began with ’S’, my mind went to my work and I said ’S is for Skype’. I paused. How would I explain that!? Well, I didn’t have to as we ‘Skype’ our family in Australia so my son was aware of it. My first reaction to his acknowledgement was immense pride! Of course, my son would be aware of Skype, he has a geeky Mummy. But later that day, I wondered how many of my colleagues were not only aware of Skype but knew of how it could be used in education? Therefore I thought a little blog post might help a few of our followers out there. So here we go….
S is for… Skype
Skype Classroom may not be the newest kid on the block but it is definitely still causing ripples in education. In addition, the newly (adapted) Skype Qik has hit the streets and is being marketed as a rival to Snapchat. It is worth considering the ways that video calls (and videos in general) can be integrated into your lessons for both a new way to capture ideas and to make learning in your classroom more global.
S is (also) for… Socratic Seminars
As a way to stimulate critical thinking and textual analysis, I first came across this tool as part of my HarvardX MOOC in August, but have since seen it in practice in UK schools when doing Learning Walks. Here is a great YouTube Video with the USA teacher explaining how Socratic Seminars work. This site is being used in many American schools and now starting to find a place over here. It works for any year group and for any piece of discussion. The benefits are that it not encourages independent work, it also encourages productive talk. Please also see ReadWriteThink and the Teaching Channel for best practices using these tools.
I would love to know what the letter ’S’ makes you think of (when it comes to teaching) and think there may well be a TechnoTeacher Alphabet to come soon… What do you think?
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This is where Jules and Nic will post articles, links to interesting sites and things that we think our TechnoTeachers will like.