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

1. Things improved last lockdown when I had: Simpler Meets

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.

Replied to a tweet by Blair Minchin (Twitter)

How do we reason with people like this?

How do we prevent the next generation from being so utterly misinformed?

Urgent questions we need to address as a society and as educators...but remote learning takes a lot of time to put together so need to park this for now 😂😥 pic.twitter.com/PckIWiIik1

A good place to learn about detecting online disinformation is @holden’s site Hapgood. Aimed at undergraduates it would be great for teachers to help our own understanding.

How this translates into secondary and primary education I don’t know. In primary I’ve used the Save The Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus site. Used to use Mozzila’s long gone hackasaurus to fake web pages to add pupils to BBC webpages. I find it hard to move pupils off the goole search results to an actual site, never mind comparing two.

Technology seem to be making things increasingly easy for us while hiding the possibilities of developing real digital understanding…

Bookmarked Among Us in the Classroom | #AmongUsEDU by Carrie (carriebaughcum.com)
Please note: I know there are a TON of game mechanics in Among Us. I am only sharing the ones that I thought would work for my students, my classroom, during COVID (6 feet apart and no sharing materials ), and with students in person and remote

Looks interesting. My class are pretty interested in this game and play their own version in the playground.

Read Famous first words: how celebrities made their way on to children's bookshelves
Walliams ... alone accounted for 14.4% of HarperCollins’ £133m revenue last year, and singlehandedly sold a third of the top 50 children’s books of the year: 2.4m copies from 11 books, compared to 4.7m between the rest.

Interesting read on the children’s book market. The point that children do not usually choose their books, parents do, reminds me of the idea most men’s books are Christmas presents.

Most of the books I read are ones my wife has read. This is not at all a bad thing.

Reposted https://twitter.com/Banton_Pr/status/1334499493698473984?s=20 by Banton Primary (Twitter)

Adding #microbit to our Steady Hand games. Now we can count the hits. #digiLearnScot @digitallearnNL pic.twitter.com/Fbgzw7JtmE

Some digital fun in class today

Bookmarked Cash for Questions (pathwaystoinclusion.blogspot.com)
Bribing children is so tempting. What they want, especially when they're young, is sometimes so cheap, so easy to acquire, that the temptati...

Found via @dgilmour.

50 years ago, Edward Deci gave different groups of students a Soma cube puzzle to solve. Some were paid to take part, others weren’t. When he announced that the time was up, the students that were paid to work on the task just put the cube down and walked away.

David’s tweet also lead to

Comments on ClassDojo controversy and Killer Apps for the Classroom? by Ben Williamson

I’ve never been a great one for points and the like in class, mostly due to my inability to be consistent enough in their use and unexamined distaste.

There are echos in the Doing Data Differently project. I’ve been listening to some of the colloquium videos and finding them though provoking.

Bookmarked Whose poo? - The Mammal Society (The Mammal Society)
Mammals can be elusive and sometimes the first clue that they are there isn't the flash of a tail or the flick of an ear poking out of the foliage but a field sign - like poo! Often, finding and identifying the poo you find in your garden or on a walk will be the only way you know that

If I ever get to take the class to the woods again this will be useful.