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Showing posts from August, 2011

My online spaces.

This is the third in a mini-series of posts that aim to share my preparations for the new academic year.  If there’s something in particular that you’d like to know about, contact me using the button found at the top-right. As a geographer, I am interested in space.  In particular, how different spaces can make you feel and act differently.  There have been a few blog posts over the summer that have either shared ‘thinking spaces’ or argued for one on-line space.  I know that I’m often asked about the difference between my use of Twitter, Facebook, blogs and the like.  This post aims to share my use of three online spaces and the way in which they have different uses.  Dividing my space like this allows me to ‘shut out’ work if I want to and allows me more time to reflect / do what I want / create.  I would disagree with those who argue that all you need is a blog as it’s important to consider different audiences.  My online presence is different (at least that is my aim!) in differen…

New year, new promises?

This is the second in a mini-series of posts linked to the start of the academic year.Image used with permission from Danni Beach PhotographyRegular readers and Twitter followers will know that a couple of weeks ago I got married.  Mrs Rogers is awesome and, together with our little Henry, we make up a perfect family.  We also have an extended family and, as well as our day, the last two weeks have seen the engagement of my little, big sister and best friend of almost 20 years.  My little, big brother has also gotten into university after leaving the RAF.  If anything, the past two weeks and previous four weeks with my son have served to put teaching into context.Trust me – I’m going somewhere with this .It seems to me that I may have lost a little direction and sense of purpose.Couple this with the ‘tradition’ of teachers making ‘new academic year’ resolutions I began thinking.  Thinking about vows and their importance.  While I admire those that make resolutions twice a year, I’ve …

My Teacher Toolkit

Recently quite a few bloggers have been writing to their younger selves.  Their intention is to impart some advice in order to tackle the challenges ahead.  This is the first in a mini-series of posts related to getting ready for the new academic year.  I’m hoping that some will find these tips useful.  I’m starting with revisiting my toolkit.  As I begin to get ready for my 9th year in the classroom, I’ve reflected upon the tools that are really useful to me on a day to day basis.  There are also a few thrown in from a Curriculum Leader perspective that my NQT self at 24 years would have found useful. I’ve tried to add in a short explanation from a personal perspective.  The list is not exhaustive, and I’ve only included those that I use on pretty much a daily basis.  Also bear in mind that my commute to work consists of a 45 minutes train journey with some walks on each side.In no particular order:Good Coffee.A good friend and all round inspirational bod Ollie Bray  passed on the fo…

GSMA Mobile Education

A little while ago, I attended a meeting at the GSMA offices in London to talk about the use of mobile technology in education.  They have just published their report in to this emerging sector which is available here. I’d be interested to know what you think.

How to use a teacher’s phone to support learning: some ideas

Phones have come a long way since I first used one many years ago.  Then, they came attached to a huge battery box and were only partially successful in making calls.  Today, we carry around powerful mini-computers.This is the first in a series of posts that will consider issues around the creation of an ‘acceptable use policy’ for mobile phones in students’ social time.  I use the term as it best describes to readers what it is we did.The main feature of the policy is that students wrote it.  One areas in which  students felt strongly about is that it should apply equally to all members of the school community.  This meant that the responsibilities of bringing a mobile device to school should apply equally to students and teachers.  I plan to share the policy widely once it has gone through the trial period, but the introductory statement is as follows:Members of the Priory School communityhave the right to use their mobile devices during non-learning time provided that each individu…

What do I plan to ‘do’ about the 'riots’?

Image creditA tricky post this one, let alone which word to use to describe the events of last week. It aims to share some ideas of how to explore the events.  I am not going to pretend to explain why. I have no clue and I won’t pretend to have an extensive knowledge of the areas affected nor their issues.  What is interesting is that there is a lot of geography to explore. My personal view is that these events should be explored during tutor time.  In addition, as our geography curriculum has floating topicality (I think that it’s a myth that every second of the secondary curriculum has to come from the National Curriculum, but that’s a different story). These are opportunities to explore events that matter.  One condition though is that we explore some of the geography of the events.  This controversial issue will result in a wide range of opinions and issues.  They will have also created questions in young people’s minds.  It’s also important not to consider the events in isolation…

Iceland 2013–planning an overseas trip

One of the jobs to do in September is launch the department’s 2013 Iceland trip.  A few people have asked about what they need to consider when planning an overseas adventure. This post aims to provide an outline of the way we do it.  It works for our context, and I’ll try to tease that out below.TimescaleWe like to take around 18 months from launching the visit.  This gives our parents enough time to pay.  From experience, it’s possible to fill any trip at almost any price if the payment plan is realistic.  We set up a monthly payment plan, and avoid the Christmas / New Year.  It also gives us enough time to monitor the behaviour of the young people (an overseas visit is a privilege). The downside of this is that staff are often locked in to committing.  This can be avoided by setting the visit up so that anyone can step in and pick up the planning. ProviderIn relation to Iceland, we go for Discover the World.  This is for a number of reasons:We like their staff and have built up a g…

Working on that list.

It’s been quiet recently.  And it’ll be quite for a short while more.Let’s just say I’m working on that to-do list.See you soon.In the meantime…….MOVE from Rick Mereki on Vimeo.