Hello and Hello Again.
I hope that everyone has had a calm and productive start to the year and you are learning all about your new classes!
Summer was busy. I have been dong a couple of online courses with PLPNetwork and enjoying them very much – except the staying up till three thirty in the morning to attend the webinars. I have learned a lot though and hope to put it all to good use this year. I also was part of Connected Educator Month and started a new Twitter Hashtag, #BBugs for those who are starting teaching this year to get help and advice. Anyone interested in either asking or answering questions are welcome to join in!
Also on #BBugs we will be telling you about the webinars and courses we will be doing over the next year. InterFace Space, including myself, will be running webinars starting in a couple of weeks time giving practical advice and assistance to all those that are new to teaching or new to a post or school. These webinars are FREE and we hope that many of you will find them beneficial. Keep checking #BBugs @keelygriffiths and @Interface_Space for more information. You can also check out the website
Enjoy your weekend. Don’t spend all of it planning!
I have been busy writing up parts of my dissertation and looking at the results I have received, in particular of the survey and I have a follow-up question for anyone that cares to answer it.
I asked in the survey how often participants used something they learned on Twitter in their planning/classroom and how often they shared something with other members of staff.
Where as many stated that they used resources for their own classrooms and teaching on a weekly basis, they shared information with colleagues less often!
Why do you think this is so?
I have heard two possible answers to this:
1) teachers feel that they don’t want to be singled out in the staffroom as the one that always has ideas and is seen to want to change things
2) teachers are more likely to be looking for specific help, such as lesson plans, on Twitter rather than information that could be used by the team they are working with in school, such as whole curriculum planning, policy making etc
What do you think?
I want to give a huge THANKYOU to all those who participated in either Part One, Part Two or both parts of my research. I have completed it now and this is what is going to happen next.
I have closed the survey having reached the 100 participant target – You are ALL STARS for this.
I have collected the information for Part Two – You are DEFINITELY ALL STARS for that!
All data has been processed and graphs and charts created. These charts will be placed in the appendix of my MAEd Independent Studies paper and discussed within the paper itself.
The raw data collated by KwikSurveys will stay on their database but cannot be accessed by anyone other than myself and I have no intention to access it in the future.
The raw data for Part Two has been destroyed.
I will be continuing to write my dissertation for a deadline at the end of the year and will keep you updated on my progress. I also hope to put the results of my studies (and even the whole thing after marking) here or elsewhere on the web – I will let you know plans when they happen!
THANK YOU EVERYONE!
Take Care of yourselves,
Please can you help!
As you may know, I am conducting a research study for the Independent Studies (final) module of a Master of Arts in Education degree with The University of Derby in the UK. The aim of the study is to find out what teachers gain from using Twitter, the types of interactions they have and suggest how teachers can become more active in their own professional development using social media. The criterion for being a participant is to be a teacher who uses Twitter.
My studies on what teachers are doing on Twitter are going well and I now need your help to find out EXACTLY what is happening. This is in two parts.
Attached to this blog is a link to an eleven-question survey through the service KwikSurveys. I hope you have time to complete it.
Participation is voluntary, you don’t have to answer all questions and you can cancel your participation at anytime during the survey. If you cancel none of your answers will be saved.
Anonymity is guaranteed – you are not asked for any identifying data.
The data collected is being used for my dissertation with the University of Derby and it will be submitted to the university at the end of the year. I may also at some point in the future show the results of the research here on my blog. The data held by KwikSurveys can only be accessed by myself. The University of Derby Ethics Board has given approval for use of KwikSurveys, however if you are concerned you may view KwikSurvey’s Terms and Conditions. The graphs and charts produced by the data will be placed in the appendices of the study and discussed in the paper.
There will be no deception or adverse affect physically, psychologically or emotionally subjected onto participants when completing this survey.
My next Blog Post will be debrief of how the information collected will be used.
There will be no rewards other than a HUGE thanks on my blog and on Twitter for all participants.
If you are a willing participant for this survey please click on the link!
I want to request access to the Twitter-feeds of six teachers over a seven-day period to collate the type of Tweets that they make. You will not be required to actually do anything. I require access to your TwitterFeed only. I will be collating the type of interactions you make on Twitter. This will be in numerical form only. No Tweets will be copied, links followed etc. I will be notating how many links you make to your own blog/other blogs/articles, how many educationally –based questions you ask/answer, how many interactions you make on a personal basis and how many times you use educational hashtags such as #edchat etc.
Participation is voluntary and you can withdraw at anytime with all data collected destroyed immediately.
Each participant will be anonymous. Letters A-F will be used in study and NO Tweets will be kept, quoted or otherwise mentioned individually.
If I get more than six volunteers I will use the first six and keep the names of the others to be used if someone decides to withdraw.
The data collected is being used for my dissertation with the University of Derby and it will be submitted to the university at the end of the year. I may also at some point in the future show the results of the research here on my blog. All data will be collated separately and securely during the study with raw data destroyed and only the charts and graphs generated by the data will be placed in the appendices of the study. These charts will be discussed within the paper.
There will be no deception or adverse affect physically, psychologically or emotionally subjected onto participants when completing this research.
My next Blog Post will be debrief of how the information gathered will be used.
There will be no rewards other than a HUGE anonymous thanks on my blog and on Twitter for participants.
If you are interested in becoming a willing participant in this part of my research please read and agree to the consent form by sending a Direct Message to my Twitter account @keelygriffiths or email K.Spencer4@unimail.derby.ac.uk !
Consent Form for Part Two of Keely Griffiths’ MAEd Studies
Background: I am conducting a research study for the Independent Studies (final) module of a Master of Arts in Education degree with The University of Derby in the UK under the supervision of Dr. Tristram Hooley. The aim of the study is to find out what teachers gain from using Twitter, the types of interactions they have and suggest how teachers can become more active in their own professional development using social media. The criterion for being a participant is to be a teacher who uses Twitter.
Procedure: You will not be required to actually do anything. I require access to your TwitterFeed only. I will be collating the type of interactions you make on Twitter. This will be in numerical form only. No Tweets will be copied, links followed etc. I will be notating how many links you make to your own blog/other blogs/articles, how many educationally –based questions you ask/answer, how many interactions you make on a personal basis and how many times you use educational hashtags such as #edchat etc. You may withdraw from the study at any time without penalty at which point your feed will be taken off my TweetDeck and all data I have compiled deleted. Data will be kept anonymous and confidential. You as a participant will be named as A,B,C,D,E or F in the study.
Risks or Possible Discomforts Associated with the Study: There are no anticipated risks associated with your participation in this study.
Benefits of Participation: There will be no direct benefit to participants.
Voluntary Participation: Your participation in this study is voluntary; you may discontinue your participation at any time without penalty. If for any reason you decide that you would like to discontinue your participation, simply tell the researcher that you wish to stop.
Anonymity and/or Confidentiality: Data will be collected anonymously. Your TwitterFeed will be shown on my Tweetdeck for a week and then taken off. When collating the information I need I will use the letters A-F. No names or actual Tweets will be saved, followed or otherwise interfered with. Notations will be made in the form of tallies to show the data required as previously described. Data will be confidential. It will be in notebook form until processed on computer as graphs and charts. These will be kept on my hard-drive and then placed in appendices of the study. The original notebook data will be destroyed as soon as transfer has been made. The data placed in the appendices will be able to be accessed by staff and students of The University of Derby after publication of the final dissertation.
Who to Contact for Research Related Questions: For questions about the research itself, or to report any adverse effects during or following participation, contact the researcher, Keely Griffiths at K.Spencer4@unimail.derby.ac.uk or @keelygriffiths.
Who to Contact Regarding Your Rights as a Participant: This research has been reviewed and approved by the University of Derby, UK. If you have any concerns about your rights as a participant, or if you feel that the researcher did not adequately meet your rights as a participant, please contact Dr. Tristram Hooley at T.Hooley@derby.ac.uk
Signatures: By sending a direct message or email, you indicate that you are voluntarily agreeing to participate in this study and that the procedures involved have been described to your satisfaction. The researcher will provide you with a copy of this form for your own reference. In order to participate, you must be at least 18 years of age.
Thank you all very much for your time to read this post and a HUGE thank you in advance for participating in my research!
“What are connected learners? Learners who collaborate online; learners who use social
Media to connect with others around the globe; …” Kindle Location 248.
This is just one of many quotes I think are important in this book. There are many more that describe to me the effectiveness of having teachers from all over the world, with all sorts of views, ideas and experiences come together online to share help, encouragement and more to other teachers.
The people behind the “Powerful Learning Practice” website, @snbeach and @lanihall, give teachers the three things we like best – theory, real-life stories, and tasks to do all in one book!
Sheryl and Lani’s descriptions of their own, and other people’s, online experiences encourage you to find your own way through having-a-go to creating your own experience, personal learning networks and communities of practice, and their tasks at the end of each chapter invite you to areas of the web you may not have heard of, but are suddenly wanting to try.
Every teacher that is using social media and wants to learn more, or has thought about becoming involved online should read this book. It will keep you reading to the very last page and keep you experimenting and glued to your computer!
I know that it will be cited in my dissertation repeatedly when the time comes!
I will just leave you with this quote
“We’ve found that those educators who take part in online connections somehow find and value the time to think deeply about ideas and strategies, to unpack them, and to seriously consider how they inform practice in their classrooms and schools.” Kindle Location 949
With this in mind how could you say no!
ps. I hope the link works!
All teachers have created displays for their classes. Some are better than others and I admit that I am definitely not the most artistic (which may explain why I have no pictures to show here).
I remember from my Uni days being taught how to make displays look pretty. We spent weeks learning about single and double surrounds, using different coloured card for backing, origami style 3D displays etc etc etc. When I left Uni I thought “Great now I can make my classroom look really good!” I had all these great ideas and even though I can’t draw to save my life I was keen to have a go. Then I started work in a school. Displays were created before the students even arrived and there I was backing things I had made with one or two pieces of card, putting them on the wall, standing back and saying to myself “How pretty, my tutor would be proud!” Ten minutes later I was taking down the displays cause, yes they were pretty, but I had also used my entire term’s art materials for one display – no-one had mentioned THAT at Uni. Oh dear!
After creating some hundreds of displays since then, some better than others, I have split displays into two categories – educational and children’s own. One I believe should be as basic as possible and the other should have all the flair in the world.
These don’t have to be big. They certainly don’t have to be ‘pretty’. They do have to be neat, appealing and make your students want to look at them and read, but they don’t have to be pretty. Most of my posters have very little on them; the most important phrase, example, formula or diagram is sufficient. Different colours around text make it pleasing to the eye, but the main thing about a poster or display of this kind is that your students will USE the display during lessons to remind them of the focus, of a spelling, of a concept or method. I have seen too many displays put up which the children look at on the first day it is there and then ignore because it has ‘faded into the background’. These displays use the minimal about of resources, but are used everyday that they are up, and can be used year after year if made properly!
These are the ones I go to town on. I have spent the last couple of years looking at artwork displays for which the class have all coloured in the same picture and then these pictures have been thrown on the wall – and they look like it! Personally I like displays that have a meaning or at least a focus. An example (and again, sorry, no pictures): the display I was most proud of was one about the circus. It was based on the language work of that week and in art there were four groups creating some great stuff. One group made tightrope walkers using straws and pipe-cleaners, another was painting clowns, another was creating the crowd and the last were using tissue paper on pictures of the ringmaster, acrobats and jugglers. Once the artwork had been finished I then spent over an hour putting all the pieces on the noticeboard outside the classroom covering the surrounds with the big-top. It was truly a work of art! Yes, I had used most of the term’s art supplies on it – but then it stayed on the board for about a month cause I didn’t want to take it down. Ever! (The kids and their parents loved it too)
Of course, if you are fortunate to be in a school were money is not object, that the budget and materials for art and displays could never all be used, feel free to use it all – make everything as pretty as possible. But, if like me, you work in schools where there is a bit more of a constraint remember, Useful and Used is more important than anything else when making displays for in the classroom but let yourself go when displaying the children’s own work!