Learning and Teaching at Gilson College

Learning for living, Character for life, Hope for the Future


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Learning, Learning, Learning not Apps, Apps, Apps

Daniel Edwards writes on his ‘…blog [which] chronicles the trials and tribulations of 1:1 iPad deployment in a large secondary school:

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‘An app on its own is like a thinker without thoughts!’


‘…It may be the nature of the beast that apps alone form the basis for conversations about new technology in the classroom. However, the success of tablet provision in the classroom is NOT underpinned solely by apps…alll too often I see reference to ‘look how I can present these words across a picture to engage my students!’ or ‘Check out how this random name app selects my students.’ Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure these opportunities have a place as part of the process, but they certainly aren’t a reason to use tablets in the classroom. The power of learning with new technology lies with the teacher and the ability to choose the appropriate tool for the right intention. Moreover, success directly relates to the relationships between learner and educator, and the learner and learning…’ 

(Emphasis mine)

Read Daniel’s full post here: Learning, Learning, Learning not Apps, Apps, Apps


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Why All Teachers are teachers of ICT Skills…

The new Australian Curriculum intends that all teachers work towards embedding Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) in all learning areas for which they have responsibility. ICT becomes a General Capability for all teaching and learning – for students and teachers.

It is the responsibility of all teachers, when planning for learning and teaching, to consider why, when and how technology and its tools might assist in enhancing and increasing students’ learning achievement, assist students engagement, allow students to be creative, to collaborate, to become problem solvers, and to develop their critical thinking skills, among other digital literacies. 

I believe Jeff Utecht, in his blog ‘The Thinking Stick’ supports this thinking in his writing: 

‘Really? It’s my job to teach technology? 

Read Jeff’s post here:

 http://www.thethinkingstick.com/really-its-my-job-to-teach-technology/


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25 Ways Teachers Can Connect More With Their Colleagues | Edudemic

Are our teachers, or indeed leaders, isolationists or collaborative? Are most conversations in our educational workplaces professional or personal?

25 Ways Teachers Can Connect More With Their Colleagues | Edudemic.

In response to an article on this issue published in April in the USA (in The Atlantic), Edudemic.com  suggests a number of ideas that could assist leaders as well as teachers to enhance their connections with colleagues as they seek to pursue a more collaborative future in their schools and systems.

I’m sure a number of the ideas listed in the Edudemic post are already in place in your particular school or educational setting? Nevertheless, I’m sure you will find other ideas in the list to spark further interest in your continuing quest to develop your professional learning communities (PLCs) as well as to promote more professional conversations?

The following is a quote from the Edudemic post:

A growing criticism of the American education system is that teachers spend too much of their time distanced from their colleagues (a recent survey found that teachers spend just 3% of their school day collaborating with other teachers), encouraging competition rather than collaboration, and making it difficult for teachers to work together to solve educational and institutional issues.

Things don’t have to be that way, however, as there are many ways that teachers can reach out and connect with their colleagues and build a more collaborative atmosphere in their schools…[Edudemic has] come up with just a few here, but feel free to share your own experiences and ideas that can help other educators to connect and ultimately improve the quality of instruction they can offer students…

One idea – another PLC:

9. CREATE A PERSONAL LEARNING COMMUNITY. One of the most common ways that teachers these days are battling feeling isolated from their peers is by building a personal learning network or community. This can be composed of teachers at your school or from around the world. No matter who you choose to include, spend time sharing, talking, and collaborating on educational projects and ideas… Read more


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Science: Teachers from Finland, South Korea, NZ and Canada on science education. – Slate Magazine

Teachers from Finland, South Korea, and Canada on science education. – Slate Magazine.

The URL above links to an interesting article that interviews teachers from several countries which ranked high in the OECD’s PISA science testing in 2009.

Some quotes of points I found interesting, and the emphasis is mine. You may find different points interesting!

What do the leading countries do differently? To find out, Slate asked science teachers from five countries that are among the world’s best in science education—Finland, Singapore, South Korea, New Zealand, and Canada—how they approach their subject and the classroom. Their recommendations: Keep students engaged and make the science seem relevant.

FINLAND: Ari Myllyviita teaches chemistry and works with future science educators at theViikki Teacher Training School of Helsinki UniversityMy aim is to support knowledge-building, socioculturally: to create socially supported activity in student’s zone of proximal development (the area where student need some support to achieve next level of understanding or skill). The student’s previous knowledge is the starting point, and then the learning is bound to the activity during lessons—experiments, simulations, and observing phenomena… Read more

SINGAPOREDr. Charles Chew is a principal master teacher (physics) with the Academy of Singapore Teachers. Since joining the education service in 1986, he has been a junior college lecturer, head of science and vice principal of a secondary school, and a teaching fellow at the National Institute of Education…a systematic and systemic approach to curriculum planning and development to ensure that our focus is future-relevant, a strong and connected community of curriculum planners, education experts, and school teachers toward enabling the curriculum in context, and a commitment to developing a strong teaching force…the interface between the curriculum and the students is the teacher who breathes life into the educational process… Read more

SOUTH KOREA: Soojin Lim teaches biology at Hansung Science High School in Seoul…The goals of my classes are to assist students in motivating themselves, to relate biology topics to the real world, and to nurture the ability to inquire by challenging students…Personally, I believe that even though hands-on experiments like those emphasized at my school take longer to show student achievement, they will pay off in the long run… Read more

NEW ZEALAND:  Steve Martin is head of junior science at Howick College. In 2010, he received the prime minister’s award for science teaching…The New Zealand Science Curriculum…has the “Nature of Science” as its foundation, which supports students learning the skills essential to a scientist, such as problem-solving and effective communication...I provide students with various levels of success criteria, which are statements that students and teachers use to evaluate performance. In every lesson I provide the students with three different levels of success criteria, each providing an increase in cognitive demand. The following is an example based on the topic of the carbon cycle: I can identify the different parts of the carbon cycle. I can explain how all the parts interact with each other to form the carbon cycle. I can predict the effect that removing one part of the carbon cycle has on the environment… Read more

CANADA: Rick Pardo is a learning coordinator for 7-12 science for the Thames Valley District School Board in Ontario…In my classes, students don’t just design and conduct experiments. They also support and refute opinions, build prototypes, and solve messy problems. I recently took advantage of a national election to combine biology, chemistry, and environment concepts. Students were assigned one of the main four political parties and asked to prepare for a debate around a series of questions, like, “If your party were to form the government, what can the rest of the world expect regarding the future release of CO2 by Canadians?” and, “What does politics have to do with the science of ecology?” The students poured over party platforms, investigated the background science, and interviewed local candidates. Some even made their way to national party headquarters… Read more



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Poll – Vote now :)


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The Unknown Students – Related Stories – ASCD SmartBrief

The Unknown Students

How well do you know the students in your school? In his recent blog post, Whole Child program director Sean Slade discusses the “unknown students” — the group that most teachers don’t know at all or barely know. With stronger connections with responsible adults, Slade says, students perform better, are less likely to be absent and are more likely to graduate. Read the full post with tips on how to reach out to unknown students.This news summary appeared in ASCD SmartBrief on 06/01/2012

Click here to view the full issue.

The Unknown Students – Related Stories – ASCD SmartBrief