Session 71 – Thursday 10th November 2011

This session was all about sharing online resources that teachers use in the classroom.

All the links shared can be found by clicking the image below:

Media_httpukedchatfil_zzhni

Scoop.it

Session 71 – Thursday 10th November 2011

This session was all about sharing online resources that teachers use in the classroom.

All the links shared can be found by clicking the image below:

Scoop.it

Session 67 – Thursday 13th October 2011

Media_httpuserserolsc_cqcsg

Session Title:

Can we really help our students to become independent learners or are there too many constraints?

Session Summary:

Clearly a popular topic, a number of people were chomping at the bit to get the discussion under way this week. When proceedings did begin, the focus of the discussion explored what is meant by ‘Independent Learning’. While there was some debate as to whether ‘Personalised Learning’ and ‘Independent Learning’ were synonymous, most people felt that ‘Independent Learning’ had more to do with the learner taking ownership of their learning rather than learning being tailored towards different learner needs. This was quickly followed by a brief consideration of the skills and attributes required to be an effective independent learner. Out of this initial phase of the discussion there were several common threads:
- Teachers need to take a step back and allow learners to to learn for themselves
- That there is too much spoon-feeding particularly at KS3/4
- That to be an effective independent learner students need to know what they are learning and how to learn it
- And that for learning to be genuinely independent there needs to be ‘choice’ available to the students.

Following on from this, the bulk of the evening’s discussion pivoted around the barriers faced by both learners and educators in fostering IL in the classroom. Many people acknowledged that the pressures of exams, grades, parents and a pre-defined curriculum all got in the way of independent learning. This resulted in considerable debate with a number of strong voices advocating the need for teachers to be brave; ready to take risks. It was pointed out that it is easier to take risks and offer a more student centred approach where an IL philosophy was adopted across a whole school. It was also acknowledged that many students begin their educational journey as independent learners and that IL skills and attributes are eroded by the school system.

Another interesting caveat of the discussion considered whether teachers have the skills to help students become independent learners or is it the case that teachers are taught to ‘teach’ rather than ‘facilitate’ learning? This is a question that I feel warrants further debate. Reading back over this it could appear that this week’s #ukedchat was a negative affair. However, I don’t believe that it was. While there was some debate over the degree to which an IL approach is achievable, nearly everyone involved agreed on its value and importance. Moreover, there was a definite sense that independent learning was imperative in preparing students to become life-long learners.

Notable Tweets from the Session:

@Rblteach a colleague said today..’my students think I’m their wet nurse!’!

@jamesmichie Agreed. For me Independent Learning is learning that is self-directed.

@Ideas_Factory Independant learning is an open-ended question, a thunk, an investigation and a problem with no right or wrong answer.

@oliverquinlan Independent learning has to start with pupil choice. Learners finding and defining their own real problems.

@MattFothergill Independent learning is knowing what you’re learning and knowing/finding out what you need to do to get there

@MrWickensPE the ideal Independent learning lesson: the teacher guides, but does not interfere!

@ShaunGosney @jamesmichie i call it 3D – Discipline, desire, determination!

@oliverquinlan Teachers are scared- of not proving their worth and expertise- of not achieving the grades. If it is important we need to be brave

@futurebehaviour We could all promote independent learning by just shutting up a bit more.

@SurrealAnarchy @jamesmichie main constraints are students, parents, teachers and schools

@TeacherToolkit @jamesmichie teachers, style of teaching, project, classroom dynamics, behavior, expectations etc etc.

@Romaaddict @jamesmichie re constraints – grade obsessed teachers under pressure from grade obsessed paretns!

@UberProfessor independence comes when they begin to lead their own learning, and teachers are empowered and prepared to take risks.

@philallman1 As teachers we should be trying to do ourselves out of a job – THAT IS THE POINT!

@mberry @mister_jim so there’s a learned incompetence – children start off as independent learners and then we teach them out of it?

@cristinataboada @vickystrat1989 So agree with this. Teachers should lead the process of reflection and guide their learners into understanding it.

@heartofsol teachers need to be free to allow students to try things that may not be in the syllabus – and not be criticised if they do!

@joanne_rich do students want IL or o they just want to be told what they need to pass next exam?

@jamesmichie As a teacher u r a learner too. Model great independent learning to your students. Talk abt ur motivation.

@alexgingell @MrWickensPE @jamesmichie think it also requires a brave school

@richards_james don’t be afraid of asking the pupil what they like and how they like to learn and work around them be flexible/creative

Tweet/s of the Week:

@theokk good q, learning’s a bit like hill walking, you climb to the top, then you see all the other summits you didn’t know were there

@SutchLord Teachers should be guide at the side not the sage on the stage

@ukedchat A great thing about IL is when pupils start teaching YOU because they’ve explored BEYOND your knowledge

@thingsbehindsun Teach pupils how to think, not what to think

@mister_jim Quote on my class wall “our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising every time we fall.”

Relevant WebLinks Highlighted During the Session:

@oliverquinlan How can we enable meaningful independent learning?- Relevant for tonight’s http://www.oliverquinlan.com/blog/2011/06/03/how-can-we-enable-meaningful-ind…

@TeacherToolkit Some detail on #personalisedLearning by@NSCL http://www.nationalcollege.org.uk/index/leadershiplibrary/leadingschools/pers…

@LearningSpy This is my favourite film clip for motivating students to learn independently: http://goo.gl/vDAPL

@sciteachcremin An example of IL? Pupils telling me how they are going to show their progress at end of topichttp://mrcremingcseblog. edublogs.org/2011/10/07/assessments-how-should-they-be-done/

@mister_jim Independent Learning: My class project day http://bit.ly/nhduEt

About your Host:

James Michie is Leader for Media Studies and Key Stage 4 English at The Chalfonts Community College, located in Buckinghamshire, England. He has been teaching for nine years and is currently studying towards a Masters in Education. He writes a personal weblog (http://jamesmichie.com/blog) about Education, Technology and Productivity and is an active member of the educational Twitter community.

Session 67 – Thursday 13th October 2011

Session Title:

Can we really help our students to become independent learners or are there too many constraints?

Session Summary:

Clearly a popular topic, a number of people were chomping at the bit to get the discussion under way this week. When proceedings did begin, the focus of the discussion explored what is meant by ‘Independent Learning’. While there was some debate as to whether ‘Personalised Learning’ and ‘Independent Learning’ were synonymous, most people felt that ‘Independent Learning’ had more to do with the learner taking ownership of their learning rather than learning being tailored towards different learner needs. This was quickly followed by a brief consideration of the skills and attributes required to be an effective independent learner. Out of this initial phase of the discussion there were several common threads:
- Teachers need to take a step back and allow learners to to learn for themselves
- That there is too much spoon-feeding particularly at KS3/4
- That to be an effective independent learner students need to know what they are learning and how to learn it
- And that for learning to be genuinely independent there needs to be ‘choice’ available to the students.

Following on from this, the bulk of the evening’s discussion pivoted around the barriers faced by both learners and educators in fostering IL in the classroom. Many people acknowledged that the pressures of exams, grades, parents and a pre-defined curriculum all got in the way of independent learning. This resulted in considerable debate with a number of strong voices advocating the need for teachers to be brave; ready to take risks. It was pointed out that it is easier to take risks and offer a more student centred approach where an IL philosophy was adopted across a whole school. It was also acknowledged that many students begin their educational journey as independent learners and that IL skills and attributes are eroded by the school system.

Another interesting caveat of the discussion considered whether teachers have the skills to help students become independent learners or is it the case that teachers are taught to ‘teach’ rather than ‘facilitate’ learning? This is a question that I feel warrants further debate. Reading back over this it could appear that this week’s #ukedchat was a negative affair. However, I don’t believe that it was. While there was some debate over the degree to which an IL approach is achievable, nearly everyone involved agreed on its value and importance. Moreover, there was a definite sense that independent learning was imperative in preparing students to become life-long learners.

Notable Tweets from the Session:

@Rblteach a colleague said today..’my students think I’m their wet nurse!’!

@jamesmichie Agreed. For me Independent Learning is learning that is self-directed.

@Ideas_Factory Independant learning is an open-ended question, a thunk, an investigation and a problem with no right or wrong answer.

@oliverquinlan Independent learning has to start with pupil choice. Learners finding and defining their own real problems.

@MattFothergill Independent learning is knowing what you’re learning and knowing/finding out what you need to do to get there

@MrWickensPE the ideal Independent learning lesson: the teacher guides, but does not interfere!

@ShaunGosney @jamesmichie i call it 3D – Discipline, desire, determination!

@oliverquinlan Teachers are scared- of not proving their worth and expertise- of not achieving the grades. If it is important we need to be brave

@futurebehaviour We could all promote independent learning by just shutting up a bit more.

@SurrealAnarchy @jamesmichie main constraints are students, parents, teachers and schools

@TeacherToolkit @jamesmichie teachers, style of teaching, project, classroom dynamics, behavior, expectations etc etc.

@Romaaddict @jamesmichie re constraints – grade obsessed teachers under pressure from grade obsessed paretns!

@UberProfessor independence comes when they begin to lead their own learning, and teachers are empowered and prepared to take risks.

@philallman1 As teachers we should be trying to do ourselves out of a job – THAT IS THE POINT!

@mberry @mister_jim so there’s a learned incompetence – children start off as independent learners and then we teach them out of it?

@cristinataboada @vickystrat1989 So agree with this. Teachers should lead the process of reflection and guide their learners into understanding it.

@heartofsol teachers need to be free to allow students to try things that may not be in the syllabus – and not be criticised if they do!

@joanne_rich do students want IL or o they just want to be told what they need to pass next exam?

@jamesmichie As a teacher u r a learner too. Model great independent learning to your students. Talk abt ur motivation.

@alexgingell @MrWickensPE @jamesmichie think it also requires a brave school

@richards_james don’t be afraid of asking the pupil what they like and how they like to learn and work around them be flexible/creative

Tweet/s of the Week:

@theokk good q, learning’s a bit like hill walking, you climb to the top, then you see all the other summits you didn’t know were there

@SutchLord Teachers should be guide at the side not the sage on the stage

@ukedchat A great thing about IL is when pupils start teaching YOU because they’ve explored BEYOND your knowledge

@thingsbehindsun Teach pupils how to think, not what to think

@mister_jim Quote on my class wall “our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising every time we fall.”

Relevant WebLinks Highlighted During the Session:

@oliverquinlan How can we enable meaningful independent learning?- Relevant for tonight’s http://www.oliverquinlan.com/blog/2011/06/03/how-can-we-enable-meaningful-independent-learning/

@TeacherToolkit Some detail on #personalisedLearning by@NSCL http://www.nationalcollege.org.uk/index/leadershiplibrary/leadingschools/personalisedlearning/about-personalised-learning/what-is-personalised-learning.htm

@LearningSpy This is my favourite film clip for motivating students to learn independently: http://goo.gl/vDAPL

@sciteachcremin An example of IL? Pupils telling me how they are going to show their progress at end of topichttp://mrcremingcseblog. edublogs.org/2011/10/07/assessments-how-should-they-be-done/

@mister_jim Independent Learning: My class project day http://bit.ly/nhduEt

About your Host:

James Michie is Leader for Media Studies and Key Stage 4 English at The Chalfonts Community College, located in Buckinghamshire, England. He has been teaching for nine years and is currently studying towards a Masters in Education. He writes a personal weblog (http://jamesmichie.com/blog) about Education, Technology and Productivity and is an active member of the educational Twitter community.

Session 66 – Thursday 6th October 2011

Media_httplifeskillse_epqbh

Session Title:
Is it Possible to Achieve a Good Work/Life Balance?

Session Summary:
Although this topic has been covered a couple of times previously on ukedchat, it is interesting to see how the subject really resonates with contributors, who really do acknowledge the need for a work/life balance. The reality of teaching and education is a core loving for the job, really caring about those who are taught, but this can be at the detriment of reality!
The usual pressures and expectations within education were notable, with a solitary voice reminding us that what we do should be for the benefit of our pupils, not OFSTED – there are many who will recognise this. As teaching is a vocation for many, it was acknowledged that teaching is ‘what we are’, and because of this passion and love for the job (mostly) that many are prepared for this sacrifice. As you will see from the tweets noted below, there were many tips and words of wisdom…but perhaps the most pearl of wisdom was the tweet which mentioned that teaching is like always carrying a box that is permanently ½ full…Sometimes you just need to put the box down!
Notable Tweets from the Session:
@EnterpriseSBox: #ukedchat work life balance difficult with ‘always on’ tech. Means u don’t have to wait and can just get on with it.
@BAFDiploma: #ukedchat teaching is one of those jobs where u can always do more. The key is recognising when you need to take time out to up productivity
@CornwellLFC: #ukedchat DON’T BRING WORK HOME! If you need to stay late then stay late, work is the place for work, home is the place to chill.
@sonicwaffled: #ukedchat One of the biggest things I learned as an NQT was that my ‘to do’ list would never be complete. Once you realise you relax a bit!
@jackieschneider: #ukedchat – teachers aren’t the only ones stuck with long hours. Many of our parents are trapped in low paid dead end jobs working long hours
@DeputyMitchell: I’m interested to know what your HT could do to make your work/life balance better – genuinely! #ukedchat
@philallman1: No useless meetings, no needless paperwork, systems that mean single point of entry, make ppl feel valued #ukedchat #httips
@jamesmichie: #ukedchat And “life” to me does not necessarily involve having a night out. It is more about “me” time or “me and the wife” time.
@Educationchat: If asked to do something I don’t do it. If they ask again I don’t do it. When they ask a 3rd time it must be important so I do it. #ukedchat
@jamesmichie: I think one of the issues is how u define “life” and “work”. For example, taking part in #ukedchat is not work, IMO.
@BAFDiploma: yes, this is a chance to reflect on issues.  So useful to bounce ideas, share workload and realise others feel the same #ukedchat
@joanne_rich: #ukedchat We have school staff aerobics every Friday at 3.30 – really sets the weekend well as all leave together afterwards in great mood
@geraldhaigh1: #ukedchat I interviewed a great head who insisted everyone left by 5.30, taking no work home. “Staff well-being is my responsibility”.
@dughall: …For me, having children made me a better teacher. I saw kids in a different way.  #ukedchat My work got less of me though.
@gsussex: #ukedchat work/life balance is relative to the individual.  We all have choices.
@CarrotyCarrots: I spend a lot of my free time on Twitter, TES, FS forum, but I don’t feel like I’m working #ukedchat
@berkholibrarian: no energy for a night out but enjoy potting up plants, sitting with my labs and enjoy being at home with my fiancee.Me time – yoga #ukedchat
@bevevans22: #ukedchat Each person I know has a different way of working out their perfect balance. Some only do school work in school.
@juneisik: #ukedchat The main themes so far seem to be 1) the importance of saying no 2) not having USELESS meetings 3) cutting down on paperwork.
@geraldhaigh1: …#ukedchat Teachers are not programmed to say ‘no’. But they must learn. “What would you like me to drop to make room for this?”
@Educationchat: The best way to ensure a good WLB is to abolish Ofsted. Then everything we did would be for the children’s benefit – not Ofsted’s. #ukedchat
@amoor4ed: Eating the frog is a good analogy – do the biggest and ugliest job first -not waste time on easier things that don’t really matter #ukedchat
@myhanhdoan: I’m seeing all this great advice re work-life balance, but struggle to put it into practice without panicking that I’m not working #ukedchat

Tweets of the Week:
@mberry: #ukedchat if being a teacher is who you are rather than what you do, your work is your life. Of course, this may not be a Good Thing.
@paultanner71: I’ve become very good at prioritising things that will help me achieve overall aims also, and found I can say no sometimes too #ukedchat
@candyliongirl: #ukedchat I was told teaching is like carrying a box which is permanently 1/2 full. Sometimes you just need to put the box down.
@Stephen_Logan: I don’t see #ukedchat as work at all. Although it does help me to be more productive and take time out.

Useful Weblinks Highlighted:
@geraldhaigh1: #ukedchat Here’s my 1997 TES article on keeping your marking under control. http://www.tes.co.uk/article.aspx?storycode=48707
@jamesmichie: #ukedchat 3 things I do every school day that make me a better teacher (& keeps my WLB in check): http://jamesmichie.com/blog/2011/01/3-things-i-do-every-school-day-that-make-me-a-better-teacher/
@primaryict 20:44 Just assessing my progress towards my worklife balance targets for the year. Feedback to self must do better!  #ukedchat https://docs.google.com/document/d/1XI1fVbGqb9UmkVv5VO12iRMmhUHVZK-N3F-GC1GfawI/edit?hl=en_US##ukedchat
@jamesmichie: #ukedchat One more WLB related link. Little and often: http://jamesmichie.com/blog/2011/03/little-and-often/

Replay of the session:

http://www.coveritlive.com/index2.php/option=com_altcaster/task=viewaltcast/altcast_code=e1751086e9/height=950/width=560

Session 66 – Thursday 6th October 2011

Session Title:
Is it Possible to Achieve a Good Work/Life Balance?
Session Summary:
Although this topic has been covered a couple of times previously on ukedchat, it is interesting to see how the subject really resonates with contributors, who really do acknowledge the need for a work/life balance. The reality of teaching and education is a core loving for the job, really caring about those who are taught, but this can be at the detriment of reality!
The usual pressures and expectations within education were notable, with a solitary voice reminding us that what we do should be for the benefit of our pupils, not OFSTED – there are many who will recognise this. As teaching is a vocation for many, it was acknowledged that teaching is ‘what we are’, and because of this passion and love for the job (mostly) that many are prepared for this sacrifice. As you will see from the tweets noted below, there were many tips and words of wisdom…but perhaps the most pearl of wisdom was the tweet which mentioned that teaching is like always carrying a box that is permanently ½ full…Sometimes you just need to put the box down!
Notable Tweets from the Session:
@EnterpriseSBox: #ukedchat work life balance difficult with ‘always on’ tech. Means u don’t have to wait and can just get on with it.
@BAFDiploma: #ukedchat teaching is one of those jobs where u can always do more. The key is recognising when you need to take time out to up productivity
@CornwellLFC: #ukedchat DON’T BRING WORK HOME! If you need to stay late then stay late, work is the place for work, home is the place to chill.
@sonicwaffled: #ukedchat One of the biggest things I learned as an NQT was that my ‘to do’ list would never be complete. Once you realise you relax a bit!
@jackieschneider: #ukedchat – teachers aren’t the only ones stuck with long hours. Many of our parents are trapped in low paid dead end jobs working long hours
@DeputyMitchell: I’m interested to know what your HT could do to make your work/life balance better – genuinely! #ukedchat
@philallman1: No useless meetings, no needless paperwork, systems that mean single point of entry, make ppl feel valued #ukedchat #httips
@jamesmichie: #ukedchat And “life” to me does not necessarily involve having a night out. It is more about “me” time or “me and the wife” time.
@Educationchat: If asked to do something I don’t do it. If they ask again I don’t do it. When they ask a 3rd time it must be important so I do it. #ukedchat
@jamesmichie: I think one of the issues is how u define “life” and “work”. For example, taking part in #ukedchat is not work, IMO.
@BAFDiploma: yes, this is a chance to reflect on issues.  So useful to bounce ideas, share workload and realise others feel the same #ukedchat
@joanne_rich: #ukedchat We have school staff aerobics every Friday at 3.30 – really sets the weekend well as all leave together afterwards in great mood
@geraldhaigh1: #ukedchat I interviewed a great head who insisted everyone left by 5.30, taking no work home. “Staff well-being is my responsibility”.
@dughall: …For me, having children made me a better teacher. I saw kids in a different way.  #ukedchat My work got less of me though.
@gsussex: #ukedchat work/life balance is relative to the individual.  We all have choices.
@CarrotyCarrots: I spend a lot of my free time on Twitter, TES, FS forum, but I don’t feel like I’m working #ukedchat
@berkholibrarian: no energy for a night out but enjoy potting up plants, sitting with my labs and enjoy being at home with my fiancee.Me time – yoga #ukedchat
@bevevans22: #ukedchat Each person I know has a different way of working out their perfect balance. Some only do school work in school.
@juneisik: #ukedchat The main themes so far seem to be 1) the importance of saying no 2) not having USELESS meetings 3) cutting down on paperwork.
@geraldhaigh1: …#ukedchat Teachers are not programmed to say ‘no’. But they must learn. “What would you like me to drop to make room for this?”
@Educationchat: The best way to ensure a good WLB is to abolish Ofsted. Then everything we did would be for the children’s benefit – not Ofsted’s. #ukedchat
@amoor4ed: Eating the frog is a good analogy – do the biggest and ugliest job first -not waste time on easier things that don’t really matter #ukedchat
@myhanhdoan: I’m seeing all this great advice re work-life balance, but struggle to put it into practice without panicking that I’m not working #ukedchat

Tweets of the Week:
@mberry: #ukedchat if being a teacher is who you are rather than what you do, your work is your life. Of course, this may not be a Good Thing.
@paultanner71: I’ve become very good at prioritising things that will help me achieve overall aims also, and found I can say no sometimes too #ukedchat
@candyliongirl: #ukedchat I was told teaching is like carrying a box which is permanently 1/2 full. Sometimes you just need to put the box down.
@Stephen_Logan: I don’t see #ukedchat as work at all. Although it does help me to be more productive and take time out.

Useful Weblinks Highlighted:
@geraldhaigh1: #ukedchat Here’s my 1997 TES article on keeping your marking under control. http://www.tes.co.uk/article.aspx?storycode=48707
@jamesmichie: #ukedchat 3 things I do every school day that make me a better teacher (& keeps my WLB in check): http://jamesmichie.com/blog/2011/01/3-things-i-do-every-school-day-that-make-me-a-better-teacher/
@primaryict 20:44 Just assessing my progress towards my worklife balance targets for the year. Feedback to self must do better!  #ukedchat https://docs.google.com/document/d/1XI1fVbGqb9UmkVv5VO12iRMmhUHVZK-N3F-GC1GfawI/edit?hl=en_US##ukedchat
@jamesmichie: #ukedchat One more WLB related link. Little and often: http://jamesmichie.com/blog/2011/03/little-and-often/

Replay of the session:

http://www.coveritlive.com/index2.php/option=com_altcaster/task=viewaltcast/altcast_code=e1751086e9/height=950/width=560

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