Monday, 5 October 2015

Starting a New: Can what I've done before work somewhere else?

The summer has passed us by and so has September - how did that happen?  There have been some changes since July; mainly I've been seconded to a school just up the road to help develop their computing curriculum.

They've also asked me to introduce the concept of flipped learning to help further develop their mathematics curriculum.  This is all very exciting and I've spent the last month settling into new routines and a new school - you all know how it is.

Interestingly, I'm actually back at my last school half a day a week to teach computing to Year 3 and 4.  Something I'm pleased about as I get to keep in touch with colleagues from my last school and also stay in touch with changes.  This will certainly help when I return in September.

One interesting thing to note is that the school I worked at last year was a complete Apple school, and the new school isn't.  Time to get used to Windows again!  This is something I need to do, as I've been losing touch with Windows applications.  

I was really very interested in this opportunity, if only to follow my own curiosity - will it work in another school?

I met with the head teacher and she was keen to try the model of teaching to help the children in the school have access to content 24 hours a day.

She talked about parents wanting to help their children at home and sometimes not knowing the correct way to help their children.

A great meeting and one full of energy and enthusiasm - let's get started!

Finding a platform: Does it have to be Edmodo?

In my previous school, I have always used Edmodo as our school website - a labour of love for me (, doesn't have the ability to do what Edmodo does.  You can read plenty about Edmodo in my previous posts.

I was curious to see if what was successful using Edmodo could be replicated using another platform. I've always said yes, and I'm confident it can.  Every school needs to find something that works for them and their stakeholders - particularly the children.

My new school uses 'School Spider'  a really excellent learning platform that has very similar features to Edmodo - mainly the discussion area.

The teacher posts video, text, whatever they need the children to digest before coming to school.  It has an option for children to reply to the posts, so it ticks the social aspects of flipped learning.

Early use shows that this platform is working and the children are viewing the videos and commenting when they are stuck or informing me which challenge they will be trying during the next session. So far, so good.

One thing I'm missing is EduCannon - Have a read of my post about the use of it HERE

I need to find a solution for this as Edmodo seamlessly imported the children's details into EduCannon. School Spider does not have that feature - maybe I should just ask?

What's next?

- Use of iPads in the classroom to help children learn at their own pace - Read about it here

- I have a staff meeting coming up where we are looking at the computing curriculum we currently have and looking at how we can develop it further by linking it to the topics we are teaching. Not a stand alone subject.

- I've been using some new software from a company from Prowise.  It really is a great bit of kit and is unbelievably cheap! Free is you have a single user license - I'll write more about it soon. In the meantime, have a look here

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