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#PracPed15 – Using technology to enhance Primary Language Learning

Wednesday, October 21st, 2015

Evernote Snapshot 20151016 104158My session at the wonderful Practical Pedagogies conference centred around the use of technology to enhance Primary Language Learning.

Key points I made included:

  • technology is not  just for the pupils but also for the teacher;
  • it is just one tool we have to use;
  • it is not always the best tool for the job.

I went on to suggest online tools as well as apps that might be useful in a range of contexts and situations.

My presentation is below and there is wiki with links to tutorials, examples and ideas that accompanies it. Feel free to ask questions via the contact form or @lisibo on Twitter.

Using technology to enhance Primary Language Learning from Lisa Stevens
And thanks to Marisa for sharing her notes (and photographs!) here.

Practical Pedagogies Conference 2015

Saturday, September 5th, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-09-05 at 15.38.53I always get excited when people invite me to speak at conferences but I was very excited when Russel Tarr (created Classtools.net and was famously attacked by Gove for using Mr Men to help teach History resulting in a mass Mr Men Twitter avatar protest in solidarity!) asked me if I’d like to speak at a conference he was planning in Toulouse. A trip to France? Don’t mind if I do! And when he told me who else was speaking, I was even more excited and also perhaps a little daunted when I saw who else was speaking!

Practical Pedagogies takes place at the International School of Toulouse on October 15th and 16th and is

A high-impact training conference for classroom teachers by classroom teachers.
Two days of inspiring keynotes70+ workshops and networking activities: only 150 Euros!

 

I’m very much looking forward to the conference as there are so many different sessions under the umbrella theme of “Creativity, internationalism and innovation in the classroom” that it was very hard to choose which I’d like to attend. The programme is packed with goodies as you can see! And Ewan McIntosh @ewanmcintosh @notosh  who is keynoting and also delivering workshops always inspires and challenges!

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My session will be about using ICT in the Primary Language Classroom:

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There are threads for

  • Pedagogy, Personal and Professional development including sessions by Miles Berry (@mberry), David Rogers (@daviderogers), Bill Lord (@Joga5) and Marisa Constantinides (@marisa_c);             
  • Computing including sessions by Miles Berry (@mberry) and Chris Mayoh (@chrismayoh);
  • Drama, Music and Design and technology including a session that I want to attend on Using drama games and activities across the curriculum led by G. Fearnehough (@gfearnehough), Curriculum Leader for Drama at IST, and E. Renou (@emmanuelrenou31), Modern Foreign Languages teacher at IST;
  • History including a session about collaboration between History and Geography (and beyond!) led by Russel Tarr, author of ActiveHistory, and Matthew Podbury, author of GeographyPods.
  • Science which offers diverse sessions on data logging, helping EAL learners and using SOLO taxonomy;
  • English and Literacy with sessions led by Julian Wood (@ideas_factory), and staff from IST about using picture and story books to work creatively and cross curricularly (hopefully I’ll get to attend one or both);
  • Mathematics with sessions on using Lego and Geogebra;
  • Assessment and reporting with a session entitles Marking:Is it really worth it?;
  • Tech tools including sessions by Dave Stacey @davestacey and John Sutton @HGJohn;
  • CAS (Creativity, action, service) and TOK (theory of knowledge);

and of course

  • Languages that features people I know like Isabelle Jones (@icpjonesand those who I have yet to meet like Dico Krommenhoek (@dico_kr). Oh, and me! I’m very much looking forward to finding out more about AIM and how IST use a FUN reading programme to boost comprehension and expression with their upper primary language learners.

There’s still time to register if you’d like to attend. It costs 150 euros (very reasonable) and if you can get a cheap flight it’s not much more expensive than two days of INSET!

And if you can’t attend in person, you can follow on Twitter! You can follow the Twitter account @pedagogies and the conference hashtag is

 

#pracped15

 

It’d be great to see some of you there and if not, converse via Twitter. And of course I’ll share my thoughts (and sketch notes!) on my return!

 

The Midlands’ most influential Tweeter?

Wednesday, August 26th, 2015

IMG_4570I received this tweet from @lisacov19 whilst I was holiday, offering congratulations.

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I had no idea what I’d done – surely I wasn’t been congratulated on collecting owls? So had to check out the link which explained more.

Social media analysts Lissted have created a list of the top 250 Twitter accounts across Birmingham, Solihull and the Black Country which have with the biggest impact on the UK.

And it seems that I claimed 160th place. Of course, I then wanted to know who I’d superseded in ‘influence.’

So, apart from Black Sabbath (191st) and the Donkey Sanctuary (164th), I am more influential than Emma Jesson (ITV weather girl 196th) Bradley Will Simpson (frontman of The Vamps 187th), The Education Show (184th), Fifth Gear (177th) the Birmingham City FC newsroom (170th) Jaguar LandRover (167th) and Lloyds Pharmacy (162nd). I even beat The Bullring by one place – that pleased me!

And then onto the question of who’s more influential than me.

Birmingham Police and The Library of Birmingham are just ahead of me in 158th and 156th respectively. Ian Bell (cricketer 148th) CBSO (133rd) Birmingham Royal Ballet (131st) Ofqual (121st) Ed James (96th) DuranDuran (91st) Joleon Lescott (73rd – not beating him was a cause of much dismay to my boys!) The Gadget Show (55th) and Katherine Merry, 400m athletic hero of my childhood (although she never replaced Kathy Cook in my affections) in 50th all have more influence over

The top 49 can be found here. It includes paraolympian Ellie Simmonds, presenter Alison Hammond, various universities and quite few MPs ; in fact the top three are Liam Byrne (Labour MP for Hodge Hill), Michael Fabricant (Conservative MP for Lichfield) and number 1 is Tom Watson, MP for West Bromwich East and aspiring Deputy Leader of the Labour Party.

I can’t find any teachers ahead of me. There are a few parenting bloggers – Mama Geek @zoecorkhill and @V82CHRIS are 103rd and 102nd and @mrsshilts and @ericahughes are 70th and 69th – and Paul Bradshaw who is a media lecturer at Birmingham City University as well as ‘a data journalist’ is 5th.

So does that make me the most influential tweeting teacher in Birmingham, Solihull and the Black Country?  

Perhaps I should add that to my presentation next time I talk about Twitter

 

Related posts:

eTwinning National Conference 2015 

#ililc5 Are you a twit or a tweep?

Twitter thoughts – the results

 

 

 

eTwinning National Conference: 5th-7th June: NCTL #eTUK15

Sunday, July 26th, 2015

¡Más vale tarde que nunca!

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The first weekend of June saw the annual National eTwinning Conference take place at NCTL in Nottingham. Once more it was a weekend of learning, laughter and (can’t think of another L) celebrating the wonders of collaboration across boundaries.
IMG_4570I spoke once more about Twitter – Are you a Twit or a Tweep? You can see my presentation here –  twitter nottingham – if you’re interested! And there’s an eTwinning guidance document as well: TwitterGuidelines (thanks to Erszi for the photograph!)

During the weekend, I continued to sketch note the sessions.

Below are my sketch notes interspersed with pictures and comments on the sessions!

IMG_4529 Happy 10th birthday eTwinning! The cake was delicious too!
Dinner the first night in our regions – odd grouping but it meant that I got to chat with Helena. And special thanks to Kevin for being such an amazing sunshade when the setting sun got in our eyes 😉 IMG_4527
IMG_4555 Really brilliant to see – and hear – Ewan McIntosh once more. A very important person in my ‘learning journey’, both as a language teacher and an eTwinner. A very thought provoking presentation – I think I’m captured the main points in the sketch note but you can check out the NoTosh website for more details!
An important thought that I wanted to capture! IMG_4534
IMG_4556 Ewan’s workshop ‘Diving Deep into Learning’ introduced us to Guy Claxton’s 3Rs and 3Cs, and also to ‘The Squid.’ Too much to take in at once, especially as the very first session had overrun so the session was truncated, but the materials are accessible from the NoTosh site!
And then on to Action Jackson – The Power of Motivation.  Lots of the session was really common sense that isn’t often considered or applied, but it was an empowering and sometimes emotional session! Certainly believed I. Am. Amazing. IMG_4553

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IMG_4544 Coming back after lunch, Action Jackson did a short reprise – this slide sums up what he was saying.
And then onto the wonderful Sugata Mitra who presented via video link about the future of learning. Interesting ideas about the future of teaching and learning, particularly about the role of the teacher, and moving away from subject boxes. IMG_4552

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IMG_4551 Final session of the day was John Rolfe (standing in for Vicky Gough) and Joanna Speak talking about British Values and International Work. The conclusion they reached – and many of us concurred- was that British Values aren’t anything new, and actually are values that are held by many, not just the British! Great ideas and good to hear how Joanna’s link with Tabasco has developed.
Robin Hood and Maid Marion joined us for dinner!And Vikki Bruff was highly commended for her eTwinning project using Skype. IMG_4561
IMG_4568Lovely to see the LiPS girls, Erszi and Vikki – and Fatima too!
And good to see that selfies live on 😉IMG_4567

You can find out more about the weekend here and via the Storify, photos here and more presentations from the weekend here .

News this week that the NCTL is being sold off so not sure where next year’s conference will be. I’ll miss my pre-dinner early evening break by the lake!

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#ililc5 – Are you a Twit or a Tweep?

Friday, March 6th, 2015

twitter-312464_1280Here is the presentation and notes for my introduction to Twitter session at #ililc5.

I’d delivered a similar presentation before at the National eTwinning Conference in July but since then, new possibilities have arisen and these have been added. For example, you can now send video directly from the Twitter app (record it and send) rather than going via another app, and there is also the possibility of group DMs. Additionally, I’ve added a page of links to other useful material as well as making the ideas more language centred.

I hope those that attended found it useful – I know at least one started tweeting so that’s success in my book!

 

¡Hola 2015! #nurture1415 #teacher5aday

Wednesday, December 31st, 2014

Screen Shot 2014-12-31 at 20.35.03With 2015 just a few hours away, and having met a (running) goal I set myself in September this afternoon, I thought I’d set myself some goals for the coming year. Equally, I had in mind to contribute to/’join in’ with two initiatives designed to encourage those in education – #nurture1415 and #teacher5aday.

2014 has been a year of readjusting to life in England. There have been frustrations such as breaking my ankle in April just as I was fully recovered from having broken my foot six months previously, and a turbulent time at school for a variety of reasons. However, those frustrations have had positive outcomes too: for example, I did take it easy as instructed and learned that it really is possible for me to sit for longer than 10 minutes.

Workwise, I’ve established Spanish at a new school, taken back the reins of Spanish at another and continued to work as Lisibo Ltd, speaking in Southampton, London, York, Solihull, Nottingham and Stafford, writing articles for TES Connect, ALL, Primary Teacher Update and Rising Stars, and consulting on projects with Osiris, Rising Stars, the BBC and a new app that came out this week called Pacca Alpaca.

Personally, I’ve got back to running. Twice! I’ve enjoyed singing with worship group at church and loved being part of the Cabaret once more, even managing to sing a solo early this month. And I’ve enjoyed concerts with Jude and his trumpet.

So here are my thoughts on the coming year, using the 5 John Muir Framework hashtags.

#connect – I’m aiming to be more confident to share my ideas with other staff at school. I think some wonder what happens in my lessons, and others don’t really mind as long as they don’t have to teach their Spanish lessons! However, I find it easy to share what I do with people outside school, so why not with colleagues? I’m looking forward to (re)connecting with people at BETT, ILILC and Teachmeets with whom I tweet and connect virtually, and I’m also going to get a Birmingham Primary Languages Hub off the ground but not going to try and sort out the whole of the city as that’s not going to do my well being much good!

#exercise – I’m going to start enjoying running again. I haven’t stopped running and I do enjoy the adrenaline rush but the joy I felt running in Switzerland seems far away sometimes. Work gets in the way, I know, as I can’t just go for a run when I fancy, and I am more limited with less public rights of way through fields etc here. However, I’m going to make a conscious effort to go for quality not quantity: no attempt on 1000 miles this year (but if it happens, so that’d be nice!) And then to …

#notice – I’m also going to worry less about speed and enjoy the sights and sounds as I run. Well, not all the time as that would drive me mad, but I intend to ‘seize the moment’ and pause to appreciate the view, and also to run without my headphones and music more often.

#learn – In Switzerland I learned German and even got to speak it sometimes! Since returning, I haven’t had much opportunity to practice but this year I want to keep it up, especially as my eldest is doing his GCSE. Just hope I don’t put him off with my tactic of ‘say things with confidence even if you’re not quite sure.’ I’m definitely going to keep developing my resource collection for German in primary language learning.

#volunteer – In September, I said I’d do a cross country club at one of my schools; we’re blessed with the sufficient grass around us (belonging to school and ‘shared’ with the local grammar school) to do it safely. I really enjoyed it and so did the kids that signed up. I hope to revive it once the nights get lighter and certainly in the new school year, not least because I had a waiting list of children who wanted to join in. And perhaps I’ll add an element of HIT to it too.

Most of all, I’m going to make sure that I remember that I am a mother, and that my children won’t be children forever – indeed, they are now 16 and 13. My job is important but they’re far too precious to neglect. That may mean that I’m not the perfectly prepared teacher every lesson but who is?

And I’m going to keep looking on the bright side of life and blogging my Smiles – it’s good for my mental wellbeing!

Twitter thoughts – the results

Sunday, June 22nd, 2014

140 charactersLast weekend I created a survey using SurveyMonkey entitled Twitter thoughts with the aim of ascertaining a range of views on Twitter. I publicised the survey on Twitter and Facebook and asked others to share the link too.

Thank you to everyone who responded – the survey limits responses to the first 100 as I don’t have a Pro account (i.e. I used the free version!) and that number was met. I posed the questions in preparation for a presentation on Twitter this weekend at the UK eTwinning Conference in Nottingham; I’ve shared the presentation and some links in my previous post  I thought that people would be able to access the results via the link I posted in the presentation but obviously you can’t see the results unless you’re the originator of the survey, and I needed to share so here is the link – Twitter thoughts – a survey Below are the graphics from questions 1-3; you can access the analysis via the link. Screen Shot 2014-06-22 at 20.59.21   As you can see, it’s a resounding win for Twitter there. The question didn’t ask people to specify whether they meant Twitter.com or the Twitter app so this figure will be an amalgamation of the two. I’d expected more votes for Tweetdeck to be honest. Screen Shot 2014-06-22 at 21.00.49   Given the people that follow me on Twitter and that fact that most of my Facebook friends that may have filled in the survey are in education, I  wasn’t surprised that the highest votes went to CPD, T&L and sharing ideas. I liked the response in the comments section “hearing views from people I might not normally encounter. and funny people” I also thought that the following response was interesting – it’s true that Twitter has become a vehicle for “getting things done” “contacting customer service departments of big companies” Screen Shot 2014-06-22 at 21.01.28   The graphic for top 3 uses of Twitter baffled me; in fact, I learned more from looking at the statistics which also baffled me at first! The figures are expressed as a percentage of those that rated that option so of the 10 people who rated  ‘following celebrities’ in the top 3, 2 put it first (20%), 1 second (10%) and 7 in 3rd place (70%); the three percentages add to 100% Another response I liked was in the notes below this section; the respondent noted that one of their top 3 was “Being nosy at what others are up to”   The final section invited comments on the following question: Screen Shot 2014-06-22 at 21.23.08 Three of the eighty five people who responded to the question said that they wouldn’t encourage people to join Twitter; one expanded on this

“I wouldn’t I would just explain how to use it if they are interested and say what I like about it.”

There were lots of responses that mentioned the MFLTwitterati (hardly surprising!) networking and CPD too.  There were also several mentions of news and moving information around;

because it bundles news and you don’t waste time browsing news portals anymore”

“Fastest way to get a message to a wide range of people”

There were mentions of support and being like an online staffroom as well as a place to learn from others.

There was also a respondent who had a more negative view;

“I’ve really gone off of Twitter lately, it’s such an echo chamber, not really seeing anything new, just lots and lots of retweets and old stuff resurfacing”

Some comments I particularly liked –

on relationships –

“It’s a great place to network with like minded people, sharing great practice and when you end up meeting at a conference or cpd event in person it’s like you know them already!”

on CPD and learning

Where else can you talk/listen to so many knowledgeable people at no cost to yourself apart from your time?”

Because in these cash-strapped times it gives unlimited access to the best brains in the business and learning opportunities”

on your part in making things work-

“Create your own network which provides exactly what you want from it.”

“Because it’s fun, and you make it want you want to be. And we need the nice people to outnumber the idiots.”

“Loads of potential benefits as long as you realise what it can do.” I think the above comments are particularly relevant; Twitter is what you make it. Sometimes judicious use of the mute, unfollow and even block buttons are needed; sometimes I go off it for periods of time but I’d probably agree with the many positive comments about support, ideas sharing, friendship and learning. Why would you encourage people to join Twitter? “Because it is power”

Are you a Twit or a Tweep? #etuk14

Saturday, June 21st, 2014

I”ve been presenting today on Twitter at the UK National eTwinning Conference in Nottingham at the National College of Leadership. Below is my presentation – the videos have obviously not uploaded so I’ve embedded them below.

I’ve also added a link to my Pinterest where I’ve bookmarked some useful links to Twitter, particularly in education.

Are you a Twit or a Tweep? – Twitter from Lisa Stevens
Link to Teachers TV video
Pinterest links

‘TeachMeet styley thingy’ #etwpdw

Monday, October 25th, 2010

Yesterday, as the European eTwinning Ambassadors PDW at National college of School Leadership in Nottingham drew to a close, I took part in what Drew Buddie aka @digitalmaverick entitled ‘a Teachmeet style-y thingy’.

Drew introduced the idea of an ‘unconference’ explaining both TedX and Teachmeet before opening the floor to others to share their 7 minute micro or 2 minute nano presentations.

I was first up – see the next post for my presentation – and later for a video of it (if it’s not too hideous!)

Other presenters were-

Lieven from Flanders who shared his magnificent projects, all documented on his blog. These included repurposing old computer mice, decorating them and then using TuxPaint to animate them (MouseArt), using Pivot to make animations of bubbles (B@llobees) and also to make animated characters @ni & M@te who travelled to other schools and found out about them.

Two things that particularly struck me were firstly when Lieven said he liked ‘making the unexpected valuable’ which struck a chord, and also the use of technology to back up and enhance more traditional methods eg the Kindergarten pupils made bubble pictures with paint and straws, and those pieces of art were used as the background for the Bubble animations.

Next up was Paddy who talked about his eTwinning project Wii will rock you which used the Nintendo Wii as a stimulus.  I enjoyed this presentation as Paddy underlined that it was not all about playing games, but that the games were the starting point for other activities – writing letters, designing CD covers, planning tours with travel plans and money considerations, cooperation with other children, publicity and negotiation.  They also worked on a joint sports day with a school in ireland with some ‘traditional’ sports day activities as well as Wii based ones.

Then Susi Arnott shared about using comic strips and Comic Life, and how the process of looking at comics enhanced the understanding of texts and enhanced literacy skills.  She mentioned Bitstrips which I will be investigating!

Drew used Twitter to ask why people went to Teachmeets- responses included:

‘the range of ideas’

‘a cross subject sharing of ideas’

‘non threatening’ collaborative spirit’

‘celebrating work done in my classroom’

‘meeting like minded colleagues leads to great PLNs’

‘at least 20 ideas for use tomorrow’

‘widens my ideas’

Nick Falk finished up the meet with a nano-presentation on the use of QR codes and QR readers in mobile phones.  Very interesting, and something I need to investigate!

No camel, no fruit machine and no alcohol; but otherwise pretty like a normal TeachMeet! Oh, and no cupcakes.  Sorry @niiloa

Edonis interview with David Noble

Monday, August 23rd, 2010

This evening I was very excited to be interviewed by David Noble aka @parslad as part of his PhD Edonis project – ‘an interpretivist study of the social web and PLNs’

Along with many others (there’s a list of my illustrious company here), I volunteered a while away to answer questions on my online learning and use of social media to help David with his research.  One of the things we all agreed is that we would be interviewed individually at some point during the two year process, and today it was my go.  I had the added ‘bonus’ of having my conversation broadcast live via iPadio.

I hope I answered David’s questions properly – I certainly talked a lot!  We talked about my online presence in various forms, especially Twitter, MFLResources Yahoo mail group and my blog, ¡Vámonos!, how my PLN was quite varied, and how sometimes it’s easier to ‘get on’ with people online although it’s good to meet face to face at times as well.

You can listen to the interview here