How did you spend your lockdown? Bit of fun put together by my Department 🙂
As many of you will be able to tell from my previous videos, I am quite an expressive person and use my hands a lot…I never realised quite how much until I actually started filming myself (I looked like I was trying to fly in one of the videos!). So just over a week ago I signed up to a Sign Language course through British Sign Language online. This valuable skill is something that I have always wanted to learn and as I am always looking for that next challenge I thought I would give it a go. My aim is to include a little within my teaching, so students not only learn the subject but better and clearer ways to communicate. I would also love to be able to have the option of using some sign language if ever needed to for a hard of hearing student.
The BSL course so far is excellent. Sign up is quick and simple and is currently asking for donations of what you can afford rather than a set price. The sign up gives you access for a year and you can pop in and out of the website at your leisure. The sections are broken down into manageable chunks such as numbers or colours and there are short activities integrated to test your understanding. Each section has a test at the end, most often videos with a signed word or phrase that you then have to enter the answer. You can re-take the test as many times as needed but each section must be passed in order to pass the entire course.
I will keep you posted on my progress but here is a little snippet of what I have learnt so far (as you can tell I am very excited by my new skill!)
I created this video during lockdown for prospective students who could not join me this year on Open Day due to Covid:
Thank you to all my previous students who kindly sent in videos to support this project.
I edited this together using video through the Photos App on Windows 10. Another option is Canva a free website that lets you design professional presentations and much more!
For Transition Materials suitable for Year 11 students considering an A Level in Philosophy, Theology and Ethics click here.
Want to know more about studying Philosophy check out:
I have been fortunate that lockdown has enabled me to explore those things on my ‘to do list’ that I never quite get chance to do. This includes reading pedagogical books, watching educational live streams (see ResearchED ) and signing up to my first MOOCS (a free online course database).
After enjoying browsing through the vast amount of courses available, in what seems like endless subject areas from institutions all over the world, I decided to choose: Testing Times in the Classroom: Challenges of 21st Century Education, provided by the University of Exeter through Future Learn. This seemed like a good choice in the current climate, I wanted to explore the pedagogy surrounding current education but also hear the thoughts and views of teachers and educators across the world during the crisis. I am currently only in my second week but so far it has lived up to everything I had wanted.
Each course works differently but this is a four week course, which releases tasks, articles, interesting questions to consider, polls and discussion forums each week. There are a number of activities that are easy to work through, manageable, engaging and you can easily stop and start according to busy schedules. It outlines a requirement of four hours each week, however this could go up or down depending on your level of commitment to the discussions, reading and adding to the comments as you go. It also doesn’t matter if you fall a little behind as you can still access the previous week’s activities.Continue reading “Fountain of Knowledge: MOOCs free online courses”
During a routine learning walk last year, I observed a teacher mastering the use of a Surface Go in his Maths lesson. He passed the small computer around the students, who added their equations and workings out via a touch screen pen. These annotations were directly projected onto the main classroom board for the teacher to make further comments on. This ended up being an expensive observation! I left the lesson thinking of all the different ways this technology could be used within a humanities subject, from modelling essays to peer assessment strategies.
After researching the different styles and sizes, I decided to purchase the Microsoft Surface Go, a small, compact and entirely efficient touch screen computer. I now had this exciting piece of equipment, lots of ideas, students always willing to try new things and then I lost my nerve. I didn’t quite dare break the established routine of my lessons and I just didn’t know where to start! Then lockdown happened, every teacher had to reinvent themselves virtually and I had no choice but to think differently. And I had just the computer to help…
So how does the Surface Go differ from other technology and virtual learning programmes?
1. For face to face feedback with individuals or small groups then Zoom works well. You can share your screen with students and therefore go through PowerPoints or essays. However, I have huge issues with students sharing their locations with me and other students, they could be in their bedrooms or with family members during these meetings, so seeing their faces raises privacy issues for me.
2. For live streamed lessons with comments but no student faces, then YouTube works well. These videos can be unlisted so only students who you share the link with have access, plus you can store and share your video via YouTube for future classes.
3. What is missing from both options though, that the Surface Go provides, is a way to edit a document directly through the touch screen capabilities. This means that you can mark an essay or piece of work like you would normally, the only difference is that you do this onto a word document rather than paper. Now I know that you can highlight and add typed comments to a word document and share your screen via Zoom but this could be tedious and time consuming. The Surface Go allows you to provide written feedback as if a student were sat in front you and the verbal explanation can be recorded or streamed alongside it. This mirrors the feedback interactions given in lessons. This works by combining the Surface Go (writing equipment), filming software (OBS Studio) and YouTube (sharing platform).
So how do you use a Surface Go to give live feedback?Continue reading “Perks of the Surface Go for Virtual Feedback”
Here is what has been going on recently:
- Business Ethics
- St Augustine
- Death and Afterlife
- Natural and Revealed Knowledge of God
- DCT Essay Support
- Person of Jesus
- ResearchED Pedagogy Live Streams
- Transition Materials
- Cambridge University: My Story
- Online Teaching Strategies
Improve your Essay Technique:
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