Over the last couple of days I had the pleasure of taking part in a course run with Tim Rylands and Sarah. It was fantastic to see Tim with the children, observing the digital and analogue side by side and ultimately the learning outcomes from the different sessions.
I came across Tim’s blog a couple of years ago and it was great to be inspired again. As teachers we start off our teaching careers full of motivation and inspiration and as the year’s tick by it is hard to keep up that momentum.
I have attended far too many courses where the best thing about it is the lunch! Tim’s blog (along with talks at various conferences) rekindled the fire inside me and got me excited about teaching again and specifically using ICT to enhance the learning experience.
Initially I was reading every one of his posts but I did get a bit overwhelmed and seemed to spend my life looking at all of the suggested tools. Over time I realised it was far more effective to dip in and out and spend time exploring one resource at a time and once tried and tested to pass onto colleagues to inspire them too.
One of the areas I would love to develop further in my classroom is the use of computer games to support learning across different curriculum areas, particularly writing. It was incredibly powerful to see how an interactive image with movement and sound could be such a massive stimulus for inspiring writing and the use of creative vocabulary. Very simple but incredibly powerful!
I would highly recommend to anyone needing to be enthused and motivated to follow Tim’s blog and Twitter feeds @TimRylands as well seeing him in person either at a conference or training course.
My favourite tools from the sessions
- A useful widget you might like to download. It basically allows you to capture something that is on your screen. When you do a ‘PrintScreen’ it captures an image of everything on your screen but this allows you select an area.
- Using images with sound as a discussion point. Could use www.panoramas.dk, www.360cities.net with audio from www.ambient-mixer.com http://soundation.com/ . Alternatively use a computer game such as Epic Citadel (also available as an app) or one of the games in the Myst series
- Teach your Monster to Read is a series of free games to practise the first stages of reading. Combining top quality games design with essential learning, the game is built on the principles of synthetic phonics and follows the teaching sequence of the Letters and Sounds programme.
- How to remove the background of images in Powerpoint to help improve the design of slides. Shown HERE
- The Hat ~ A random name picking tool
Thank you Amy, for these kind thoughts. We look forward to finding out what you try next…