ICT in the classroom: EdTechRoundup
MFL teacher Joe Dale explains the value of EdTechRoundup, a podcast explaining how technology can improve learning in the classroom.
30 January 2008 at 00.00
EdTechRoundup is a new podcast produced by a growing group of UK-based teachers who are keen to share their ideas on how new technologies can be used in the classroom to enhance learning. Very much a collaborative project, contributors who include colleagues from both primary and secondary backgrounds have been using weekly Flashmeetings, the ETR wiki and Twitter to decide on and organise the look and feel of the show.
The launch of EdTechRoundup was officially announced by Doug Belshaw, a history teacher at Ridgewood School in Doncaster, at BETT recently during TeachMeet 08 organised by Ewan McIntosh. You can see the moment itself by watching this Flashmeeting and fast forwarding to 2:43:55 when Doug appears on stage.
ETR 1 features two Scottish presenters: David Noble a chartered teacher from Hillside School in Fife and Sinclair Mackenzie, a physics teacher from Thurso High School who explain the intended format of the podcast and the intention of having a rolling programme of presenters for each show.
In this inaugural podcast, David and Sinclair first describe some of the ways they are using ICT in their own schools with blogs and Flashmeetings. They then go on to discuss a common frustration faced by many teachers around the UK who are not able to use certain tools such as Voki or YouTube in the classroom because they are blocked by their local authority through fear of misuse.
David mentions the excellent ScotEduBlogs which brings together posts from bloggers around Scotland as well as further afield and is a great place to catch up on the thoughts and experiences of educationalists using blogs to reflect on their own practice.
In the 'ICT buffet section' of the podcast, Sinclair tells listeners about Classtools.net which he has chosen as his 'educational tool of the week'. Classtools.net is a site which allows you to create a range of Flash exercises which you can use on an interactive whiteboard, save as a webpage or embed on a blog or site. Sinclair says how he used the Fishbone template to teach his pupils about balanced and unbalanced forces and how the History department in his school are using the Post-it template for annotating images with colour-coded notes.
Next is the 'guest interview' where I am asked to suggest five ways in which blogs can be used in class or school. Here are my top tips for educational blogging:
- use a blog as a way of publishing your pupils' spoken or written work to a real audience
- encourage others to leave comments for assessment for learning purposes
- moblog a trip abroad with a mobile phone or USB modem
- create a radio or tv station
- encourage creative writing with individual learner blogs
I finish by suggesting that teachers could set up a mother blog to tie sets of individual blogs together which share a common theme.
To round up the podcast, David recommends Edublogs as a suitable blogging platform to be used in education because it is free and doesn't have a Next Blog button like Blogger which can take you to a site containing inappropriate content.
The show notes for the podcast can be found on this ETR1 Del.icio.us page.
If you are are a UK educator and would like to get involved with the EdTechRoundup project, why not add your name to the ETR wiki or join one of the Sunday night Flashmeetings from 8.00-9.00? You'd be more than welcome.