This is really interesting. I teach younger kids, primary 6-7 age 9-12 but I saw a gradual spread of turned of camera and lack of audio from my class over our second lockdown at the start of the year. As I was using teams, I used the text chat and got a lot more responses and considered ones using that.
Interestingly some of my class were in school, essential workers kids, there were a lot more vocal I presume because they were sitting in a room together and gained confidence from that.
I do occasionally use online responses in class and I’ll be thinking of easy ways to incorporate that in the future.
Somewhere or other1 I Saw a link to v.2 (1799) – The Naturalist’s Pocket Magazine or compleat cabinet of the curiosities and beauties of nature. Intriguing enough which lead me to discover the Biodiversity Heritage Library:
The Biodiversity Heritage Library (BHL) is the world’s largest open access digital library for biodiversity literature and archives. BHL is revolutionizing global research by providing free, worldwide access to knowledge about life on Earth.
About BHL – Information about the Biodiversity Heritage Library
There seems to be a vast collection of biological books that are free to read and download. There is also a twitter account, @BioDivLibrar and an amazing Flickr account: Biodiversity Heritage Library where there are over a quarter of a million images, many public domain. They have also contributed
over 2 million BHL images have been uploaded to the IA Book Images Flickr stream as part of the Art of Life project. These images are identified and uploaded in bulk using an algorithm. They offer a great opportunity for serendipitous discovery via browsing.
from: About Biodiversity Heritage Library | Flickr.
The Library are asking for people to help tag their flickr images and this might be a good activity for secondary pupils?
As a primary teacher, once I’d stopped just raking through some beautiful images I knocked up a quick Bird Bingo game for my class to help with bird identification. It has random cards and a caller.
There is page after page of beautiful pictures in the photo stream I defy anyone to leave it quickly. Example page 2094!
Featured Image: n456_w1150 | Natural history of the animal kingdom for the u… | Flickr public domain.
Notes & Airdrop are great pieces of tech in class. I particularly like the lack of features in notes allows pupils to concentrate on writing. I encourage pupils to start in notes even if writing that will end up in more complicated app.
Museo is a visual search engine that connects you with the Art Institute of Chicago, the Rijksmuseum, the Minneapolis Institute of Art and the New York Public Library Digital Collection Every image you find here is in the public domain and completely free to use, although crediting the source institution is recommended!
This looks like another pupil friendly source of images. I’ve added this to the short set on my classes’ links page.
Episode 4 of the Banton Biggies Podcast is out now. Scripted & recorded by pupils in their home and edited together by the children in school all in less than a week.https://blogs.glowscotland.org.uk/nl/bbpod/2021/03/09/bbp-episode-4/
I’d avoided doing this earlier in lockdown ’cause I though it might be tricky. Turned out easier to organise than if I was in class. Even minimal supervision of the edit in school today.
Windscape is an exciting children’s adventure that explores the dilemma between the usefulness of wind farms and the beautiful scenery they can sometimes destroy.
Paul Murdoch, the author of Windscape has recorded the audio for each chapter, created learning material and made them available for free.
With Paul’s permission I’ve taken the resources and turned it into a Glow Blog.
Windscape – an exciting children’s adventure by Paul Murdoch
and a podcast to which you can subscribe on: apple or android.
I have already started using the resource with my class and am looking forward to continuing.
As the audio is a blog it is easy to change things, we are open to adding to the learning resources if anyone has ideas. You can get in touch through the site.
Teams behaved a bit better today. I got nearly the whole class in. I found that when pupil could not get access inviting them to join the call nearly all worked. This failed for one pupil.
Teams seems to use a lot of resources, a fair bit of beachballing and my fan started when searching for pupils to call in. I presume that Teams being an electron app and uses a lot of resources.
Glad I’ve got a small class, pulling in 33 one by one would be tedious.
On another positive note joining the meet with computer and iPad and then sharing screen with iPad continued to work well. I even manage to show the class team on the iPad screen in the meeting which was handy for explaining things. This is much better, I might even try PowerPoint again if things continue to improve. 1
Teams still seems a bit, what my class calls, laggy. Some pupils had difficulty uploading files to assignments. I found even small images were slow to post.
On a side note the Education Scotland – status page is nice
Lockdown 2 day 1
Well we didn’t get off to a great start.
Working from home today.
I’d set out a light weeks program in a blog post for the pupils and emailed the parents. In both post and email I’d try to make it clear we were trying to really get every pupil involved from the start.
Planned our first Team meeting for 2pm as that was the same time we used in the first lockdown.
Teams seemed to get off to a bad start across the country.
A number of schools, pupils and parents have reported the technology running slowly or not at all.
This didn’t cause me as much problems as some. I upload most of the files I want the pupils to use to the class blog. I figure this avoids password problems. Also Teams slowdown.
It did seem to cause problems in our meeting. Only about half the pupils managed to get on. The others could access Teams but not get onto the meeting. Hard to know if this was related to the reported problem or not. It was certainly frustrating seeing the messages from the class repeatedly trying to get in.
Worth noting that I joined the meeting on my mac and iPad. The iPad on mute and used as a screen share. This has improved a lot since the first lockdown. Joining on the iPad second it gave me a choice to swap to it or join without audio. The latter let me share the iPad screen, and from what I could tell it was not to laggy (as the pupils say). Laterally in the first lockdown I abandoned screen sharing or using PowerPoint and just share files in the chat as we had a pretty bad experience. This gives me hope for an improved experience.
From tomorrow I’ll be back in the digital classroom. I can’t say I’m very happy about it. For all my love of technology I much prefer the real classroom.
I’ve been reviewing my previous lockdown experience, I continue to find reading my old blog posts useful. Also interesting to see what happened in the first week of term last session.
Last time I felt I spent very little time learning new stuff or seeing what other people were doing. As I recall my head was down. I believed that I cut out social media pretty much. I just had a look at my 2020 twitter stats:
And was surprised to see I was wrong about that.
It feel like there is a lot more pressure on this time round. I think, as teachers, we put enough pressure on ourselves, not sure the idea of teachers, schools and LAs having to produce data to justify themselves is a great idea. I gathered my own last time, and
held myself to account blogged about it, that felt tough enough.
I certainly hope that whoever tries to hold us to account understands the situation, the amount of prep needed to teach online, whether preparing for a live lesson or creating asynchronous ones.