This post isn’t about witches, magic or spells, rather it is about a professional development session I was lucky enough to attend this afternoon. Fitting in with my learning place professional development sessions, today’s session saw us embark on a live web conference offered via the one channel program on the learning place.
Before I go into what the session entailed, I would like to talk about how effective the live web conference was and how I could use something similar in the classroom. I watched on as 50 or so teachers logged onto the live web conference. It was hosted by an experienced teacher with an obvious liking for ICT’s. It gave the teachers an opportunity to do the following:
- connect with other teachers
- attend a professional development session that could be used towards their required professional development hours
- use digital technologies
- choose professional development sessions to meet their needs
As one channel mentions, viewers can either log in to live sessions and be active participants or they can view the recorded sessions at their leisure. I was shown how to find sessions and book sessions via the calendar. In this instance web conferencing removes barriers such as time and money, as it can be viewed from the comfort of the classroom or home. My mentor mentioned that she often uses live web conferences with her class and as the 6/7 cohort enjoy becoming involved in live conferences where they can collaborate with others outside of the barriers of the classroom.
Now onto the purpose of the professional development conference. The focus was on spelling and caused me to re-think my current views on spelling activities. Here a couple of questions that I found myself asking:
- Do I find spelling a tad boring and repetitive?
- Am I running out of ideas to engage learners?
- Am I using ICT’s to teach spelling?
The focus of the professional development was presented in response to 7 core areas, these were:
- Multi-modal hooks – check out the Electric Company on you tube, it makes for a great stimulus
- Super cool tools
- Connect with kid culture
- Playing to learn – games
- iOS apps
- Online tools
In this I was introduced to a variety of websites, apps and tools to engage learners with spelling. It turns out there are no more excuses, spelling should not be BORING!
A few apps that caught my eye included:
A few websites that caught my eye included:
A few tools that caught my eye included:
- Crayola 3D chalk
- Invisible ink pens with UV light
- Angry verbs (you can check out an example by clicking on the link to another class who has used Angry verbs)
I would highly recommend checking some of these out. Spelling does not have to boring. Spelling is much more than just conducting a simple pre and post test, it doesn’t have to be this way. I realise time is limited, but with some great resources (as mentioned above), you can engage learners and as the presenter said, connect with kid culture. If we can connect to their interests, we are one step closer to having engaged learners.