Archive for the ‘chalkface’ Category

Using Cartoons for Engagement

November 29th, 2011 by Graham Attwell

GoAnimate.com: Episode One – Jenny Jobseeker by elleemployability

I’ve been working on a series of webquests on the use of the internet far careers guidance and counselling. And I stumbled on this great blog by Elle Dyson. Elle is making a a mini cartoon series following the journey of ‘Jenny Jobseeker’ as she battles through the unemployment jungle. As she says there are limitations to the free version of Go animate (the online tool she used to make the cartoon) but, she says, “it serves as (I think) a rather nifty tool for engagement – providing a little bit of advice, giving them a bit of a laugh, and most importantly engaging them in the service, encouraging them to access support from us, and in accessing local opportunities.”

Interested in games?

November 14th, 2011 by Graham Attwell

From Futurelab:

Aimed at teachers and those interested in using games with an educational intent, this handbook aims to provide some useful anchoring points for educators to make sense of the area and to develop practical approaches for the use of computer games as a medium for learning.

It is assumed by some that the models games employ lead to learning, as young people effectively learn how to play without necessarily being explicitly taught, doing vast amounts of reading or interacting with others; while others see games as boring, tedious, time-consuming, and repetitive.

Both of these viewpoints can be true: as stated the impact of a game is dependent on the game itself, but also the player, circumstance of use, mediation of the teacher and other players. In fact, many academic researchers of young people’s uses of digital media argue, counter to the hype, that computer games have been insufficiently well researched as a medium for learning.

In this handbook we aim to summarise not only the key theories around why they are considered to have potential, but how they have been used in the past, how they are used for learning in a family context, which attributes lead to learning, and considerations for using them with young people.

Download the book

Raindrops on roses

November 4th, 2011 by Angela Rees

November is Sharing Good Practice Month at the college where I lecture so I thought I’d jump on the Chalkface blog and share two of my favourite things.

I love historypin. It’s a Google Maps mashup where you can upload pictures from the past and compare them to the current street view. You can add video and audio too. There’s heaps of potential for school projects and it’s a great tool for digital storytelling. Have a look at the Beatlemania tour for inspiration!

Continuing with the maps theme, every maths teacher needs to know about the Maths Maps project.  Again using Google Maps this collaborative resource links maths questions to physical places.  For example, a pin in Real Madrid Football Stadium invites you to zoom in and calculate the area of the pitch. Further more, one map can cover many topics and colour coded pins allow for age or level differentiation. There’s more information on how to join in with the project on the edte.ch blog.

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    News Bites

    Zero Hours Contracts

    Figures from the UK Higher Education Statistics Agency show that in total almost 11,500 people – both academics and support staff – working in universities on a standard basis were on a zero-hours contract in 2017-18, out of a total staff head count of about 430,000, reports the Times Higher Education.  Zero-hours contract means the employer is not obliged to provide any minimum working hours

    Separate figures that only look at the number of people who are employed on “atypical” academic contracts (such as people working on projects) show that 23 per cent of them, or just over 16,000, had a zero-hours contract.


    Resistance decreases over time

    Interesting research on student centered learning and student buy in, as picked up by an article in Inside Higher Ed. A new study published in PLOS ONE, called “Knowing Is Half the Battle: Assessments of Both Student Perception and Performance Are Necessary to Successfully Evaluate Curricular Transformation finds that student resistance to curriculum innovation decreases over time as it becomes the institutional norm, and that students increasingly link active learning to their learning gains over time


    Postgrad pressure

    Research published this year by Vitae and the Institute for Employment Studies (IES) and reported by the Guardian highlights the pressure on post graduate students.

    “They might suffer anxiety about whether they deserve their place at university,” says Sally Wilson, who led IES’s contribution to the research. “Postgraduates can feel as though they are in a vacuum. They don’t know how to structure their time. Many felt they didn’t get support from their supervisor.”

    Taught students tend to fare better than researchers – they enjoy more structure and contact, says Sian Duffin, student support manager at Arden University. But she believes anxiety is on the rise. “The pressure to gain distinction grades is immense,” she says. “Fear of failure can lead to perfectionism, anxiety and depression.”


    Teenagers online in the USA

    According to Pew Internet 95% of teenagers in the USA now report they have a smartphone or access to one. These mobile connections are in turn fueling more-persistent online activities: 45% of teens now say they are online on a near-constant basis.

    Roughly half (51%) of 13 to 17 year olds say they use Facebook, notably lower than the shares who use YouTube, Instagram or Snapchat.

    The survey also finds there is no clear consensus among teens about the effect that social media has on the lives of young people today. Minorities of teens describe that effect as mostly positive (31%) or mostly negative (24%), but the largest share (45%) says that effect has been neither positive nor negative.


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