Friday, 22 March 2013


Sharing and caring

Many teachers have an altruistic edge and like to share good strategies, the emergence of blogs, social networks, Youtube/Teachertube, Twitter and a host of other online sharing opportunities the access to information about good practice has escalated exponentially. Students on BA LTT or BA LTR are encouraged to share from the first semester .Toby was a great student and took to blogging his journey through the BA. He did GTP while in his final year of undergraduate study - sharing and caring were high on his agenda, clicking the image below will take you to his blog.
Toby Adams Ultraversity graduate, Leigh Academy, Dartford.
I asked Toby about his sharing, some thoughts are copied below; as you will see it is possible for undergraduate students to provide information that is very much valued by others:
"The first thing that comes to mind is the patch I did in my first year of study. It was titled "The Purpose of Reflective Practice" and it was one of the first assignments I did in the 'alternative media' mind-set. I produced the documents as a video and uploaded it as a video on YouTube to share with the community for peer feedback. Unknowingly at the time, it has now gone on to have over 32,000 views and has also been picked up by a University in New Zealand and the video makes part of a course at UCOL School of Nursing in Palmerston North.
The video still receives regular attention at but is easily found as the first result when typing 'reflective practice' into YouTube and is the 5th result of 4,380,000 when typing the same phrase into Google!"

"In terms of what I am doing at the moment for my teaching practice, the best example has to be This is my teaching website that means I use no paper whatsoever with any of my students (200+), they cannot loose this, there are no passwords to forget or remember and the whole thing is hosted by Google so is about as bulletproof as you can get. It is core to my lessons and was noted recently in a lesson observation as an aspect of my practice that was 'beyond outstanding'.

Julian Keith Ultraversity graduate, currently studying GTP
Like Toby, Julian started a blog off during undergraduate study as a reflective learning journal. The blog is linked from the image, Julian still regualry posts updates about his learning experiences. 

In the first semester of the first year of study we encourage all students to explore blogs, Twitter, G+, Linkedin and a range of other sharing places. Some students are reluctant at first but when they realise they can control audience in many online places they start to experiment. We ask them to review the tools that are available, the potential uses, the potential impact of use. They are more than welcome to drop anything they try out if they wish. This initial experimentation does seem to help them overcome fear of technology and develop deeper understanding of why they should explore. Gavin is in his first year and started a learning journal blog for the course to sharing his progress with other students.

Things to do to help find out about how others are improving practice, sharing knowledge about learning, and being real nice people include:
TES live chats, Guardian discussions, Teachertube, TED talks.

Twitter is an essential portal for sharing and keeping up to date. In just 15 minutes of checking tweets on one day I found 47 links to resources that would be of value to teachers or aspiring teachers with an interest in technology.. These ranged from blog posts on the flipped classroom, use of iPads and other mobile technologies, links to subject specific resources, tips for success from teachers, school leaders and academics, insights into HE supported schools projects, discussions about curriculum changes, posts about raising attainment, school standards, school inspections, league tables, links to international projects and much more.
Some of the key Twitter accounts I follow are listed below:
@ultraversity @timbuckteeth @TES @tesResources @the_college
#5Minlessonplan    #sharinggoodpractice 

 There is a vast network out there - look in one good place and you will find many others - go hunting and share what you find - so it grows.

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