Archive for the ‘Inspirational Thinking’ Category

Try IT This Year

Thursday, March 22nd, 2012

I was reading through my Instapaper bookmarks today and found a little gem from August last year that I must have forgot to Blog about.  It is from the ICT Magic Blog and is titled ‘Try IT this year – Ten Techie Things to try this year‘.

 

Reading through the list is great inspiration for many of the tools we advocate here at Do-Be and I can personally say I am heading towards 8 of the 10 goals so far.

 

How are you doing on the list?

Help a friend of Do-Be…

Friday, March 2nd, 2012

Help us to help a VERY good friend of Do-Be ltd by clicking the links in this post, registering and giving the video 5 stars.

Frank Bannon, from one of our Glasgow Do-Be schools, has uploaded a podacast to the O2 Learn program and is seeking support to win technology for his his school.

Do you have 5 minutes to spare to sign up and support him?  You simply register on O2 Learn and like his video by rating it (5 stars of course).

Whilst you are there you can view the other resources O2 Learn has to offer.

You Go Girl!

Friday, March 2nd, 2012

What a surprise it was to receive a link to issue 18 of the Fife Business Matters E-Zine in my mailbox today.  Its a lovely interactive magazine that showcases innovative and exciting business men and women in the Fife area.

I decided to have a browse through it at lunch today and low and behold – our very own LOUISE is spotlighted on page 11.

I don’t want to ruin the surprise of the article (big international information) so i will let you click through for yourself and take a look with your own eyes.

Well done from everyone involved with Do-Be Louise!

Did you know that 27% of self-employed people in the UK are women?

What matters to the children in your life?

Friday, February 24th, 2012
Hot on the heels of the post below about 12 ways to let people know that they matter I have found this post from Angela about 12 things kids want from their teachers.

“Whether you are a teacher, parent, relative, boss, or fellow community member, each of us has a chance to make a positive and impactful difference in a child’s life.

But in order to do this, we must carefully consider this question:”

What do you think matters most to our children?

 

Just click the image above for the full post in context and see what you think – here are the 12 most important points that came out of the questioning,

 

1. Greet me each day

Wish me good morning, and send me off with a “see ya tomorrow.”

2. Smile

When you look at me, let me see happiness in your eyes.

3. Give me your attention

Sit and talk with me privately; even if only for a second.

4. Imagine with me

Help me dream of things I might be able to do; not just the things I need to do now.

5. Give me challenging content and assignments

Show me how to handle it. Teach me what to do.

6. Ask about me

Inquire about my weekend, the game a played, the places I go. It shows you care about my life.

7. Let me have time

Time to let things sink in. Time to think. Time to reflect, process, and play.

8. Demand of me

Hold me accountable to high standards. Don’t let me get away with what you know I am capable of doing better.

9. Notice Me

Leave special messages in my desk or locker. Just a quick not that says you notice something right.

10. Let me ask the questions

Even if they are off topic. It will show that I am thinking about new perspectives, curious, and willing to learn more. Let me have the chance to show what I am wondering about, not just what I know.

11. Engage me

I came to you in love with learning, keep me excited, keep me wanting more.

12. Trust me

Believe that I can do it. Allow me the chance. I promise to show you I can.

 

Let the discussion begin.

 

(Would someone explain to me what it is with all these 12′s?)

Learners and Professionals – Not Systems.

Tuesday, February 21st, 2012

“We need to trust our children to be good learners, we need to trust ourselves to be professionals, and we need to trust our systems to get out of the way.” 

Drawing upon real world examples and programmes Stephen Heppell (heppell.net) discusses the impact of exponential technological change on learning calling for a greater involvement and participation in the design of learning and learning environments by the learners themselves.

“We are not going to build better learning for our children; we are going to build it with our children”

This video was first presented at the Learning Without Frontiers Conference, London, January 26th, 2012.

Google Earth 6.2

Tuesday, February 14th, 2012

As you know we are huge fans of Google Earth at Do-Be and it remains one of the core components of the Teach-IT series. It even makes a guest appearance in Teach-IT Outdoors where we demonstrate how it can be used for reflecting on an outdoor experience.

The latest version of Google Earth was released just over a week ago and Google are describing it as, ‘the most beautiful Google Earth yet’. We have described some of the main changes listed on the Google Lat / Long blog below.

1. A seamless globe

The Google Earth globe is made from a mosaic of satellite and aerial photographs taken on different dates and under different lighting and weather conditions. Because of this variance, views of the Earth from high altitude can sometimes appear patchy.

Google Earth 6.2 introduces a new way of rendering imagery that smoothes out this quilt of images. The end result is a beautiful new Earth-viewing experience that preserves the unique textures of the world’s most defining geographic landscapes—without the quilt effect. This change is being made on both mobile and desktop versions of Google Earth.

Grand Canyon – Before & After

2. Share your explorations with Google+

We are a big fan of Google + at Do-Be and can really see its potential in Education. Anyway, with Google Earth 6.2 there is now an option to share a screenshot of your current view in Google Earth through Google+.

If you have already upgraded to Google+ (when will it come to K-12 Education?) you can share images of the places you’ve virtually travelled to with your Circles, such as family and friends.

3. Search improvements

Finally, the new update also includes some updates to the search feature in Google Earth which include cycling and walking directions.

Biking directions in Google Earth

Download Google Earth 6.2 and start exploring and sharing today.

The ‘Create’ Outdoors

Thursday, February 9th, 2012

We received an email today from Education Scotland about CfE through Outdoor Learning.

“…Curriculum for Excellence through Outdoor Learning  means that many schools are now finding creative ways for children and young people to access their learning outdoors. The involvement of children and young people in the process of assessing and managing risk is also an important aspect of development in Health and Wellbeing. To help with this, the Health and Safety Executive have been publishing case studies for different areas of the curriculum and for different sectors. The newest additions are from Kaimes School who make regular visits to Holyrood Park, Sailing through Mathematics and Geography Field Trips.

(download the case studies through this link).

Or directly below,

Kaimes School

Collegiate High School

Firrhill High School

Here at Do-Be we have our very own Teach-IT Outdoors resource.  Teach-IT Outdoors is designed to build teachers confidence in delivering quality, creative and regular lessons outdoors. What makes these lessons unique is the use of the latest technologies to support learning outside.

The creative ideas and technologies in Teach-IT Outdoors are highly transferable to other areas of learning and teaching. They can help to add breadth and depth and aid progression in the wider curriculum as well as make lessons inspiring and relevant.

If you would like to know more about any of our resource packs then please get in touch.

BETT and the Michael Gove Keynote

Sunday, January 29th, 2012

The video above is the keynote presentation by Michael Gove (Secretary of State for Education) at the BETT Show 2012 on ICT in the National Curriculum.  Many interesting points came across including the vision for ICT in the English Curriculum when we in Scotland are now in the final stages of publishing assessment criteria for our Curriculum for Excellence.

Any teacher or professional involved with educational ICT should take half an hour out of their ‘CPD time’ and listen to his words.  Some of the key points include,

 

1. A recognition of the role  that games can play in education.

 

Games and interactive software can help pupils acquire complicated skills and rigorous knowledge in an engaging and enjoyable way. Adaptive software has the ability to recognise and respond to different abilities, personalising teaching for every pupil. With the expert help of a teacher, students can progress at different rates through lessons calibrated to stretch them just the right amount.  Britain has an incredibly strong games industry, with vast potential to engage with education both in this country and all over the world.

 

At Do-Be, we have regularly championed the potential of games being incredibly engaging and effective tools for learning. This is apparent in our Teach-IT resources.   PC, Console or Handheld games can be a powerful way of engaging, inspiring and enthusing learners of all ages. With numerous Games Design course’s available in our universities and the success of companies such as BAFTA Award winning Dynamo Games (Dundee - Championship Manager) and Codeplay (Edinburgh) there is a blossoming marketplace in Scotland and throughout the UK for games designers and coders – but where should the love of games begin?  In University?  In the bedroom at home?  Or embedded as part of our curriculum.

 

2. The government will not be dictating the detail of the curriculum.

 

While things are changing so rapidly, while the technology is unpredictable and the future is unknowable, Government must not wade in from the centre to prescribe to schools exactly what they should be doing and how they should be doing it.  We must work with these developments as they arise: supporting, facilitating and encouraging change, rather than dictating it.  Technology in schools will no longer be micromanaged by Whitehall. By withdrawing the Programme of Study, we’re giving schools and teachers freedom over what and how to teach; revolutionising ICT as we know it.  Let me stress - ICT will remain compulsory at all key stages, and will still be taught at every stage of the curriculum. The existing Programme of Study will remain on the web for reference.  But no English school will be forced to follow it any more. From this September, all schools will be free to use the amazing resources that already exist on the web.

 

One of Do-Be’s many strengths is that we identify exciting open-source software that can be used by educators in schools at no cost to themselves.  The refreshing comments by Gove identify this in no uncertain terms.  For far to long propriety  software has weighed down creativity and development in schools but now we see the rapid growth of Google Edu and other ‘platforms’ for supporting learning, teachers must be given the freedom to choose, pilot and share software and content that can be easily accessed by learners and teachers alike.  This rings true to our own Michael Russell’s (Cabinet Secretary for Education) comments regarding the use of open-source programs in the development of our own Scottish online Learning Network.

 

3. A stronger emphasis on Computer Science.

 

The new Computer Science courses will reflect what you all know: that Computer Science is a rigorous, fascinating and intellectually challenging subject.  After all, the founder of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, is one of the most innovative and successful proponents of Computer Science today. But his computing skills are just as rigorous as the rest of his talents – which include Maths, Science, French, Hebrew, Latin and Ancient Greek.  Computer Science requires a thorough grounding in logic and set theory, and is merging with other scientific fields into new hybrid research subjects like computational biology.

 

So I am also announcing today that, if new Computer Science GCSEs are developed that meet high standards of intellectual depth and practical value, we will certainly consider including Computer Science as an option in the English Baccalaureate.

 

Computer Science is now recognised as an important discipline. One interesting thought, and it is just that, is that here in Scotland, the final touches are being put to our new CfE Computing Courses whilst Gove argues that CS ‘ requires a thorough grounding in logic and set theory’.  I am personally interested to know just how much of the new computing curriculum is devoted to basic computer logic, coding and programming compared to the Standard Grade/Higher course(s) that exist just now.  Perhaps, a draft stage, we still have the time to add/change the direction of the course to reflect developing and emerging technologies and industry.

 

Needless to say, Do-Be thoroughly enjoyed Mr Gove’s comments and will continue to pioneer the development of and use of ICT as and effective and engaging tool for education – across the whole curriculum.

A great example of Google Earth in Action

Wednesday, December 14th, 2011

This video (produced by Stephen) is a great showcase for the power of Google Earth.  The ability to ‘virtually’  visit any location the planet, zoom/fly in and navigate around in 3D is such a powerful tool for educators to have in the classroom.

 


If you like the idea shown in the video, why not take a look at some of our free lesson ideas from our Teach-IT 1 & 2 series or get in touch and find out about how Teach-IT can support you in class.

Our Christmas Newsletter

Monday, December 12th, 2011

You should be receiving our latest Do-Be newsletter – the Christmas edition.  If you have not received it yet you can download your own copy below by clicking the image.

Featuring a FREE Goole Earth lesson plan, an inspiring Tedxtalk video and a money off voucher for our soon to be released Teach-IT Outdoors pack you would be crazy not to have a look!

In:tuition Newsletter November 2011

Tuesday, December 6th, 2011

As you know Do-Be are handling the acquisition of pilot schools for the In:tuition programme. While  the resource is free to all schools, we are running a pilot programme in 40 schools across the UK during this academic year.

The FIRST EVER newsletter for November is now available and you can download it here or by clicking the image below.

Packed full of all the latest information about In:tuition including free lesson ideas, inspirational videos and frank opinion from Libby Brookes on why PSE/SRE should be a statutory subject in schools.

Remember, you can keep up to date with the latest information from In:tuition by following the Twitter Feed here or checking out the In:tuition website itself.

Happy reading!

ICT in Scottish Schools

Friday, November 4th, 2011

Ever since Michael Russell’s announcement that the Glow Futures procurement would be stopping a fierce debate has been raging over on the #EduScotICT Wiki.

Teachers, parents, young people and industry representatives from across Scotland have been battling it out to get their voices heard over the future of ICT in Scottish Schools.

The five objectives set out by Mr Russell are:

  1. To change the culture of ICT in schools
  2. To improve confidence in the use of ICT for learners, teachers, school leaders and parents
  3. To promote new behaviours for teaching
  4. To deepen parental engagement
  5. To strengthen the position on hardware and associated infrastructure

 

At Do-Be we agree with all of these objectives in principle and hope that we will be allowed to contribute to their development over time.

 

Here is how we think we fit:

Do-Be is all about culture change. Over a number of years we have worked tirelessly to get people thinking about the different ways that they could be using ICT in Schools. We want teachers to see ICT as a tool for enhancing learning and teaching.

Through our extensive CPD Training and Teach-IT Resources we help school staff develop confidence in the use of ICT to enhance and improve learning through meaningful activities. As we have already engaged with hundreds of practitioners from around Scotland (and a lot further afield) we have a track record of promoting new behaviour for teaching. Our most recent resources Teach-IT Outdoors and In:tuition (a fresh and engaging approach to life-skills education) are great example of this.

Increasingly, our resources include home learning activities and activities to get parents more involved with their children’s learning. We also are regularly asked to run training for parents on Study Skills and Internet Safety.

Finally, we believe that teachers and pupils should have access to good bandwidth in their schools and high quality computing power. If they do then they are able to access the range of free web-based resources that we spend most of our time promoting and showcasing.

The In:tuition page is now live…

Monday, September 26th, 2011

The In:tuition page is now live – you can jump over and see it here!

In:tuition is an exciting new FREE life skills programme for young people aged 9 -14 years.
Its theme is alcohol but its focus is wider, addressing a range of relevant personal needs in an age sensitive way.

In:tuition aims to help young people:

• Build confidence
• Develop personal and social skills
• Explore how they make decisions and what might influence them

If you could also take a look at our new Facebook page for In:tuition and LIKE the page we would be forever in your debt.

If you want to know more about In:tuition, get in touch with us in the usual way.

All Change!

Friday, September 9th, 2011

 

 

 

Was everyone else as surprised about today’s announcement as we were? The end of the Glow Futures Procurement…. At first when we listened to it we thought it meant the end of Glow but the Cabinet Secretary made it clear in his announcement (embedded below) that this was not the case.

(Click here for direct link)

Instead it seems that the next version of Glow will be built on free and open source tools. That is great news for Scotland and great news for Do-Be as we have been advocating many of these tools for a long time now!

Doobs first week back at school…

Saturday, August 20th, 2011

I have been back at school for 3 full, shattering days this week and It was as eventful as ever.

The big difference for for me this year is starting the year off as Principal Teacher.  Right from the off the demands of organising a whole school curriculum with a focus on ICT flew in the face of managing my departmental timetable responsibilities as a teacher.  The key to this year will be effective planning, organisation and flexibility (all skills I have honed over the last 7 years in the education sector).  This aside, it was great to see my colleagues taking a different approach to ICT as PART of learning not a bolt on to it.  This will hopefully bare fruit for me over the coming months.

In the classroom I had 2 big obstacles to overcome this week.  The first was a new S1 pupil who came in to my class with a ‘stookie’* on her wrist and declared “I can’t do any writing Sir”.

* (A Stookie is Scottish for a Plaster Cast).

You can imagine her surprise when I simply told her that it was ok, take a seat and placed my iPad 2 in front of her.

1004ipad hometimes 420 90

 

Rather than sitting observing the class, the pupil was instantly engaged when I asked her to have a bash at the first few levels on World of Goo.  Next thing I knew, she was working away playing this physics based problem solving game and seemed content to be in the class.

I then had the same pupil 2 days later, again she entered the class displaying a bravado of Learned Helplesness‘.  I immediately dismissed this by giving her the iPad and telling her that she could complete todays task using Pages on the iPad – Apple’s version of MS Word.  (I had prepared a version of the worksheets on it in advance).  The pupil then worked away for the remainder of the lesson and emailed me her completed worksheet.  Job done!

The second obstacle came in the form of a pupil who did not speak a word of English.  Buoyed by my success in using technology to overcome additional support for learning issues earlier I decided to use it in another way.

I logged onto Google Translate and spent the period communicating in the pupils’ native language (although he was in stitches at my pronunciation).  At the end of the lesson he came up to me and uttered in broken english “Very good, very fun”.

 

Screen Shot 2011 08 20 at 20 27 46

 

So, that was my first 3 days at the cutting edge.  I wasn’t even 2 hrs in school before I deployed technology to support pupils in my class.  I have a feeling this could be a big year for technology in my school.

Why don’t you send me examples of how you have innovated in the classroom and we will post them on the blog?