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Nigel Coutts

The little things that make a difference - The Learner's Way - 0 views

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    In teaching it is often the little things we do on a daily basis that have the largest cumulative effect. While the events, festivals, camps and more spectacular lessons may stand out in our memories these moments have less overall impact across the time that our students spend in our company. Getting these little details right however is a complex business that demands we bring our best to every interaction, every lesson and every opportunity we have to shape the minds and dispositions of our learners. The result is that there are no easy lessons, no easy days.
John Evans

Apple's new Swift Playgrounds for iPad is a killer app for teaching code - 5 views

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    "At WWDC, Apple introduced Swift Playgrounds as a "revolutionary new app for iPad that makes learning Swift interactive and fun." A closer examination shows the new app is a powerful authoring tool any developer can use to teach critically important software coding skills. "
John Evans

'Teachers must embrace new technology or risk becoming obsolete' | News - 4 views

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    "One undeniable fact about teaching is that teachers not only need to be masters of content within their subject area, but they must also be masters of education as a subject. Another undeniable fact is that neither of those subject areas looks the same as when any teacher first mastered them.

    One effect of the integration of technology into our society is that change in almost everything is happening at a pace never before experienced by mankind. As much as some people may yearn for the simpler times of the past, life will continue to move forward as the natural order of society requires.

    The influence of additional information on any subject often affects how we deal with that subject. Once we had more information on the effects of smoking, smoking habits of millions of people changed. Once we learned what we now understand about the benefits of physical activity, several sports related industries were spawned. Once we learned what we now know of communication, music and print industries disappeared while being replaced with better in many ways."
John Evans

When College Isn't the Answer: Teaching Trade Skills - 1 views

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    "Higher education issues have been one of the hot topics of the current presidential race, with candidates touching on reducing student loan debt and improving college access. However, what has rarely come up is whether or not college is even the best option for each and every student.

    The general message in popular culture and political debates is that attending and graduating from a traditional four-year college is the only way to find a fruitful job after high school. However, there are a number of alternatives for students who don't necessarily want to take out loans or the academic focus of a traditional university experience, and these alternatives can still lead to fulfilling careers. Called career technical, professional, and trade or vocational training, these programs are typically offered at high schools, two-year colleges, and through other outlets."
Nigel Coutts

Ideas - The Learner's Way - 2 views

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    Ask any teacher what they wish they had more of and the most common answer is likely to be time. Schools are inherently busy places and there is always much to be done. We all want to meet the needs of every student, add value to their education with breadth and depth, ensure adequate coverage of the curriculum and include aspects of play and discovery. Add up all that is done in a day over and above face-to-face teaching and you can only wonder at how we manage to fit it all into the time we have. So is there an answer to this dilemma, is there a secret method to finding more time in our schedules to achieve all that we want to?
Nigel Coutts

A healthy dose of scepticism - The Learner's Way - 0 views

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    I want my students to be sceptics. I believe that in the present age scepticism is more important than ever. Easy access to information, ease of publishing, scams and confidence tricksters combine to create a climate where blind trust is dangerous for our security, our finances and our knowledge bases. For students of all ages a healthy dose of scepticism is much needed not just so they may reveal falsehoods but to allow them to discover new truths.
John Evans

Teaching, Tech and Twitter: Gamifying Our STEM Lab. Leveling Up With Challenges, Digita... - 0 views

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    "Our STEM Lab/Makerspace is a HUGE hit with our students. Since I oversee the lab and take the classes in I get bombarded by kids all day asking if it is their day to go to the STEM Lab. They are building, discovering, exploring, designing, problem solving, and having a blast doing it. However, as the kids continued to explore the STEM Lab we began to notice that they had moved past the exploration phase and wanted a bit more direction and challenge. We realized that we needed to up our game a bit to take our lab to the next level so we decided to gamify our STEM Lab with challenges and badges! It took some prep but once the challenge cards and badges were created we were ready to roll. We are happy to share our tips, tricks and resources so that you can gamify your STEM or STEAM Lab too."
Nigel Coutts

Assessment A Powerful messaging system - The Learner's Way - 2 views

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     The role of assessment has always played its part but it is a role that is changing in the present global climate and understanding this shift is important for educators.
John Evans

Ways To Use Lego In The Classroom | Teaching Ideas - 2 views

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    "When I'm not busy working on our teaching websites, I can usually be found playing Lego with our children! It's an incredibly creative toy, but it can also be used to support work in a number of different curriculum areas. Here is our HUGE list of ways to use Lego in the classroom. Many of these ideas have been contributed by our wonderful Facebook community. If you have any other suggestions, please add a comment at the bottom of the page.

    Don't forget that many of these activities could use Duplo too!"
Nigel Coutts

Learning from the journey - The Learner's Way - 2 views

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    There is much to be learned from journeys. From stepping out of our doors and by placing one foot in front of the other making progress towards a planned destination. Journeys are a great metaphor for the challenges we face in our day to day lives and the parallels we draw may allow us to set a goal and achieve it despite the obstacles.
John Evans

This incredible robot (called Root) is teaching kids to code - Daily Genius - 3 views

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    "Root looks like a smoke detector but is actually a sophisticated robot. A magnetic surface, wheels, and an impressive arsenal of sensors allow it to navigate a classroom white board. But Root isn't actually programmed to do anything. Its tasks and functionality hinge on a child's imagination. To operate - Root needs instructions, a line of code.

    Zivthan Dubrovsky of Harvard's Wyss Institute recalls testing out Root with kids for the first time. He asked them this: "Can you make a text based java script line follower? They go 'no that's hard, can't do that', but we can put level one in front of them and they can do it in minutes."


    Level one introduces kids to principles of programming using an interface of simple instruction and pictures. As they become more adept, they jump to levels 2 and 3, at which point writing computer code becomes second nature, according to Dubrovsky."
Nigel Coutts

The danger of teacher burnout - The Learner's Way - 0 views

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    Teaching is by nature a high energy profession that demands a lot and while their is much to celebrate there is arena danger of burnout. Taking some time to relax and de-stress is important as is noticing the signs that you are reaching your limit. For all teachers understanding that a break and a change of schedule benefits not just you but your students too can be the catalyst for granting yourself permission for a genuine break.
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