A guide to using the internet for teaching in the 21st century
I happened to be sitting today, much like every day, with a coffee in my hand pondering what might have made things easier for me back in the early days of teaching (which isn’t that long ago, but you age quick in this job).
So as a start I’ve thought about sharing a few of the web links that have proved useful, to me and my students. I’ll try and review each one as I post them.
Feel free to add your own sites, or via a comment or reply, or email me a link and i’ll add it to my links list.
Ok, I’ll start at what was the start for me;
This is a very useful 1st stop for most ICT teachers, and MANY other subjects as the resources are easily manipulated to fit your topics.
Many teachers have shared resources here over the years and they are broken down by Key Stages, exam boards and topics – very useful when planning a lesson on the fly.
(thanks must go to Stephanie Morgan who first suggested I look on the site, back when I was training)
The BBC bitesize site has been running since I was studying for GCSEs myself, but its come a long way in its interactive content since those days. You really should be pointing your students to this all the time, and even more so when it comes to exam times. I always include a link to it on my VLE lessons to keep it in their minds.
Prezi – an online space to create really great presentations! You need to sign up and create an account, but its free. The setup is great and easy to create presentations that get your students hooked.
Glogster it the presentation/multimedia site of the moment! As the teacher you can login and set up accounts for a whole class and then distribute usernames and passwords to your class.
The site allows students to create interactive posters, embed youtube videos, photos, sounds and text onto a poster that can then be published to the internet and shared with friends and teachers!! Young people love this, Network managers panic at the words ‘Youtube, and Multimedia’ though so speak to them before you go setting up the lesson.
There are plenty sites out there that cover e-safety, this happens to be one I like, see what you think.
Clever discussion of ICT ideas for using ICT effectively in teaching and learning, a good starting point for any teacher.
Teach Ideas is a fun little site aimed at lower Key stages, although its not something I have used (I teach KS3 and above) it does have some useful content that should help primary teachers out.
Grids for learning cover the country, some are better than others but most offer free resources that can be downloaded and manipulated if necessary to fit your area. Kent ICT is a good example of content filled sites.
Becta is one of the most useful ICT organisations around, everything from awards to sponsorship of the latest innovative ICT ideas. Here is a link to their own suggested ICT resources for teachers.
innovative teachers network – this is social networking and best practice sharing, obviously you can use facebook and other social network sites, but ITN has a few other features worth signing up for.
Teachernet, the governments site aimed at sharing info, facts, AFL, resources and support for teachers. I’d suggest anyone teaching has this in their bookmarks.
One of the best thing about teaching in the 21 century is the ability to connect with teachers across the UK, and the world. That is the very aim of teachmeet! get signed up and make use of the support and innovative ideas shared by other teachers.
One of the most useful and wide reaching teching (ICT/leadership) blogs out there! Sign up to the RSS feeds and get hooked to Doug’s ideas! And get involved! Doug is a teacher in the North of England and has some great ideas to share, his site is worth exploring.
Apple…Oh Apple, I bought a Mac 3 years ago, after years of saying Windows was for me, and, well, I’m a total convert!! The OS takes seconds to adapt too! And the possibilities with a mac are just outstanding. Anyway, Apple have a site to get you started with teaching and Apple Macs. I must say though, the site is very American, but that’s its only fault.
More government info on ICT, the good old E – Learning credits came from these people once upon a time, though they seem to be a distant memory now. Still, a place to know.
Your exam board will have a website out there, some are more useful and user-friendly than others. But feel free to attend training courses and tell them if you think their sites could be better for you. You’ll find your course admin resources on such sites.
Out of the box thinking about online learning
Don’t dismiss it as the dangerous place some people would have you think it is! There are network groups set up for teachers, and some schools use it to communicate with both parents and students. Just use it wisely, and seek advice from your department team.
Twitter is a similar thing, why not set up a group to be followed by your a-level students? or by parents? or what if you go on a school trip abroad, set up a twitter feed for parents to follow and fill in the exciting exploits every evening!!
Be creative people, the kids love these things, it’ll not last forever, only until the next innovation comes along, so jump in while its here!!
I really hope these are of use to you all, please post any comments you have, or suggestions for other sites.