Last week Wendy and I gave a presentation about the collaborative poem written for a DS106 Daily Create and some of the remixes that came from it. Here’s the recording and a link to the slides.
Some collaborations keep giving and giving, making me smile and giving me hope. Last year some of us put together a calendar on the theme of hope – pictures we had drawn, photos we had taken, words we had written. I have it printed out and pinned to my study wall, reminding me of my friends, and my collaborative community. This is the image I submitted – a swan with their cygnet looking out over our local pond.
When I saw the call for submissions to the OERxDomains21 conference, I asked Wendy if we might submit something based on this calendar, so we did. That was last week and the recording is here.
As an additional activity, Wendy and I also asked participants to submit words or images to a Google presentation so we could put together a collaborative Zine (see slide 2 for the finished Zine).
I printed a copy out for myself – here it is.
These projects keep me going – they sustain me and remind me of the power of creative playfulness.
After posting the link to her list, I agreed to add a page for Spanish books and Sonja Fedrizzi, @FedrizziSonja offered to make a page for German books
You can download the list by clicking here
In addition to the various recommendations I was given by many Spanish teacher colleagues, I was also told about other exciting opportunities to practise the language, such as …
The Tomo y Lomo podcast in Spanish about famous contemporary writers
La escóbula de la brújula, cultural podcast in Spanish also featuring contemporary literature
Do join the foreign language book conversation on Twitter and Facebook and feel free to leave a comment to recommend a book from the list… Enjoy and Thank you Merci Gracias!
John Catt Educational are a leading publisher of professional development books for educators around the world. Check out their titles at JohnCatt.com
We have teamed up with John Catt Educational to bring you a series of EduBlethers with a select group of authors from John Catt Educational.
We are in the middle of securing dates and will publish them below.
An EduBlether with Haili Hughes – Preserving Positivity
In this wide ranging interview, David Cameron shares his thoughts, experiences and wisdom. An exhilarating interview.
So are your pupils are already familiar with using Microsoft Word? Then why not consider using Microsoft Word Online available to all Glow users in Scottish schools as part of Microsoft Office 365. Word Online is available anytime, anywhere with online access so can be accessed at home or at school.
Word Online can be used to create document from the beginning (or you can upload an existing Word document from your computer to make it available to edit online thereafter). You can keep it private to you in your own OneDrive (the online cloud storage with massive capacity available to every Glow user in Scottish schools). Or you can, at any time, choose to make a Word Online document visible to other users of your choice – and you can choose whether to allow them to just be able to read it without being able to make changes, or you can give other users the access rights to be able to jointly edit the document with you.
Have a look at the Sway presentation here for a step-by-step guide for learners to create a Word document in Word Online in their OneDrive in Microsoft office 365 via Glow and to share this with other Glow users to be able to jointly edit the same document.
As you may be aware the Education Governance Review is currently underway. The Deputy First Minister is hosting a Q&A session live on Glow TV for teachers to discuss the Governance Review on Tuesday 17th November at 6pm.
The Scottish Government believe that decisions about children’s learning and schools should be taken within schools themselves supported by parents and communities. If schools are to have greater control over the decisions they take, there is a clear rational to change the allocation of resources to support this. The Scottish Government will introduce a new fair and transparent needs based funding formula to make sure that resources get to the areas that need it most.
The Scottish Government recognise that there may be some functions which are best delivered at a local, regional or national level rather than at school level and that teachers and practitioners require support to do their jobs well. They want to hear your views on how all levels of our education system can be improved to support the empowered, collaborative and flexible culture which we are seeking to develop. If you are unable to attend the live session and wish a question to be asked please send it to – firstname.lastname@example.org
Register now to take part live – Education Governance Review – Ask The DFM
If you unable to join us for the live event you can always catch up with the recording at another time – Glow TV’s Watch Again.
Welcome back after the holidays! It’s always an exciting time of year, and one when we’re looking ahead to the difference we will make to the lives of children across Scotland. When I was in the classroom I always remember the first day with a new class of children and both the excitement and anxiety about getting to know them quickly and thinking about the difference that I could make to their learning over the coming year. One of the strengths of the school was working alongside my colleagues to share ideas, resources and talk about ways I could make my teaching and learning better. Learning from each other about effective practice to raise attainment and close the poverty related attainment gap is a key feature of the Scottish Attainment Challenge.
On the Scottish Attainment Challenge, we’re heading into our second year. This time last year we had just appointed our first Attainment Advisors. As they have become established, they are working collaboratively across groupings of local authorities as well as working with individual schools and local authorities.
With a well-established full team, we are learning about what is working. That includes the impact on the vocabulary gap in Dundee of speech and language therapists working alongside teachers, and the value of CLPL on literacy for practitioners in Inverclyde.
Both are featured in the August edition of GTCS’s Teaching Scotland magazine, as the publication follows the progress of the Attainment Advisors in these two authorities.
In both examples, collaboration has been key, and one factor that keeps being highlighted by the Attainment Advisors is the value of sharing practice with colleagues, whether informally or formally through professional learning networks. I have been impressed by the approaches being used to develop professional learning and enquiry and the use of collaborative action research.
The anecdotal experience is backed up by research. A recently published paper by Professor Chris Chapman, Senior Academic Advisor to the Scottish Attainment Challenge, has demonstrated that collaborative working has a positive impact on personnel, facilitating improvements in many aspects of practice, which in turn has a positive impact on learner attainment.
If you are looking for ideas, both publications are a good place to start; or you could simply catch up with colleagues in and beyond your classroom and school and start the invaluable process of sharing your questions and experiences; and collaborating.
Yammer – so what is it and why use in school?
Yammer is an online discussion/collaboration tool which provides schools with a secure online environment where all pupils in a class can ask questions of their peers, where they can seek answers and help each other, bounce ideas around and deepen their own understanding of what they are learning in class. It is available to all users of Office 365 for Education, meaning all Glow users, pupils and staff, have access to this tool. And it can be accessed by signing in online in a browser or using a mobile device app.
Yammer provides an ideal tool through which learners can learn about the use of social media, in a protected environment, where the pupils can be guided to model behaviours for use in an online discussion tool, which will apply to any social media tool pupils may meet outwith their schooling. So if a teacher is looking to help pupils learn about safe sharing, and what not to share online, being supportive and respectful of views of others, and a place for pupils to engage in deepening their understanding through questioning and responding to others, then Yammer provides a great environment for a school.
- Glow users simply sign into Glow then navigate to any part of Office 365, such as the tile for Office 365 (School Site) and then click on the 9-square waffle icon to navigate to the range of tools available in Office 365 – and choose the Yammer tile.
- The very first time a user clicks on the Yammer tile they will be invited to invite further users – don’t invite others but instead just close that window (click on the greyed-out cross at the top-right or click on the background page behind the invitation panel.
- You’re then in Yammer and can start browsing some of the Yammer groups open to all users. Or, if a pupil is ready to join the private class Yammer group set up by their teacher, then the first time the pupil simply searches for the class group name, clicks on the link and requests to join by clicking on the “join group” button – that sends a message to the teacher who accepts their pupils into the group.
Alternatively, rather than go to Glow first, users can search with an online search engine for Yammer or go straight to https://www.yammer.com where they can then simply log in using their Glow/Office 365 email address and password.
How do you set up a Yammer group just for pupils and teachers in a class?
- A class teacher can quickly set up a private class group in Yammer. Click on “+ Create a new group” and then give the group a name – include in the group name something which identifies the school as well as the class name.
- Choose “Private – Only approved members” and untick the box which gives the option to “List in Group Directory” – that way only pupils who know what to search for will be able to find a teacher’s Yammer class group, and only pupils who the teachers knows are members of their class will be granted access by the teacher. Setting up that way avoids the teachers having to add a list of usernames – they simply tell their class what to search for, and to click on the “join group” button when they find the group.
- A teacher can see the list of pupils waiting to be added to their class yammer group by going into the Yammer group and then clicking on “Members” at the right-hand side. This will show which users have requested access and are pending approval by the teacher.
- It would be recommended to have additional teacher colleagues added as joint administrators – beside their name on the list of members just click on the cog icon and select “Make admin” to elevate that teacher to be a joint administrator of that Yammer group.
What can you do in a Yammer discussion?
You can ask questions, respond to requests from others, add comments or create polls to garner views of others. Attachments can be added to any discussion post – so pupils can perhaps discuss or share comments about a resource. You can even use the “praise” button to acknowledge the input of other users. A Yammer group provides a place to share resources, and links to related sites elsewhere.
How are schools using Yammer?
Kirknewton Primary School in West Lothian has provided an excellent description of how they are using Yammer with pupils. This blogpost gives screenshots of different aspects to how they use Yammer, as well as the rationale to the choice of tool and the purposes behind it to better support learning and teaching. This has included using Yammer to support collaborative writing. Mrs Anderson, Principal Teacher at the school said “As a teacher and parent I feel that it is very important that we educate children about the safe use of social media – using Yammer has been a fantastic way to do so, in a safe environment. Feedback from parents has been positive.” “The impact on learning and teaching is evident in the content of the group and the enthusiasm of pupils (which is evident in the online interactions).”
Bearsden Primary School in East Dunbartonshire – teacher Athole McLauchlan describes in at this link about the use of Yammer with pupils in the school https://blogs.glowscotland.org.uk/glowblogs/glowgallery/portfolio/using-yammer-as-a-social-media-channel-for-learners-and-learning/
What safeguards are in place for Yammer users in Glow?
Yammer groups can be set up to be private (such as for a class of pupils so that the Yammer group can only be accessed by pupils in that class with their teachers). There are also Yammer groups open to users across Glow and educators within Glow nationally act as Moderators for Yammer users, welcoming new users, helping guide users to use appropriate language in a supportive way.
Everything in Yammer is identifiable to the individual user. There is a simple “report a concern” option for all users (either use the question mark icon on a page or anywhere you see a “Report a concern” button) which will alert the national Glow administrators to concerns raised, and who will provide the support required to resolve any issues.
There’s also a filter to ensure inappropriate language can’t accidentally be posted.
And of course the educational-focussed environment shared between learners and educators means there is a visible supportive environment. Users can set email alerts either to all posts in a specific Yammer group, or to individual posts where alerts would be sent for replies or comments just to that post.
Yammer has an app for mobile devices – search on the app store for your device. Then once downloaded simply log in with your Glow/Office 365 email address (that’s where your Glow username has @glow.sch.uk added to the end, after your Glow username). For many users the use of the app will be the most convenient way to access Yammer.
What help is available?
Day One Guide for the Glow Yammer Network (accessed using Glow account – but also available as a document download from the public-access site Yammer Guide for Glow Users) – a very helpful guide of do things to do, and things to avoid, as well as guides to getting the most out of Yammer, specially in the early stages of getting used to using Yammer in a school.
Yammer Guide for Glow Users – a Glow-specific help guide to getting started with the use of Glow. This includes guidance and suggestions for managing Yammer in an educational context.
So how are you using Yammer in your school?
Do share in the comments below how Yammer is being used in your school
Mr Howie, P5/P6 class teacher, discusses with pupils how a Glow forum was used to support engagement with reading.
Ruby likes a mix of fiction and non-fiction and has these as her favourites..
Mathew likes these books …
‘As a teacher it gave me the opportunity to ask extended questions about reading’, says Mr Howie.
In this video, Ruby and Mathew discus their favourite books and the use of the Class Glow Site forum to share their reviews. Whilst Mr. Howie asks extended questions to tease out the context of use and impact on learning.
Mr. Howie was asked, “why Glow Forum for this activity?”. He replied, “I wanted my Book Club to be a place where pupils could meet and discuss their thoughts in relation to different texts and authors. We already had a newsfeed on the homepage where they interacted, but I felt I needed something more structured where these discussions could be grouped into different threads. The Glow Forum was the ideal choice. It was easy to set up and the pupils could add their own folders and titles where appropriate. This kept the discussions separate and it also made it easy to identify books/topics that the pupils would be keen on accessing.”
Here are some screenshots from the School Glow Book Forum…
If you want to find out more about using a forum to support class discussions and collaborative learning check out: