Saturday, 28 May 2011

Learning from my colleagues

A while back I wrote a post about learning from my learners.  Yesterday, I was lucky to have a colleague assisting in the classroom, and I found it very interesting to learn from her.

I had a student struggling with a particular aspect of their course (English skills).  Having spent some time with him already, I was finding it difficult to explain it any other way, so I asked my colleague to help.  After a little thought, she explained the subject completely differently to the way I had been doing it.  She was extremely patient with the learner, getting him to think about the subject in a way that was more meaningful to him, rather than looking at it in an abstract manner.

It made me reflect on how I had approached the subject, and gave me ideas on how I could do it differently next time.

My final thoughts?  That teaching is not easy - it takes a considerable amount of effort, creativity and skill - and that we, as teachers, must never be complacent about our work, but rather that we should take every opportunity to expand our own thinking and share good practice.

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Social Networking Session

I think the session today on social networking went very well.  There was a lot to cram into a few hours, but all the sign ups seemed to go pretty smoothly, and everyone seemed to get to grips with posting tweets and the basics of facebook.  Not so much time for blogging, but hopefully enough of a taster to get people started.  Is this the future?

Social Networking Session

I've been running a social networking session today at the Learn IT Monmouth.

Monday, 16 May 2011

Social Networking Taster Session

Over the last few days I have been busy preparing for our taster session on Social Networking, as part of Adult Learners Week.  I will be covering Facebook, Twitter and Blogging.  I think it'll be a great session, as I'm going to encourage all the learners to Tweet during the session using a hash tag.  Hopefully there will be lots of interactivity.

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Letting my learners do the teaching

In my web design class yesterday, we did a recap of adding an image to a site.  Well, I say we - I decided at the very last minute to pick on a capable students (who was at that moment being distracted by some other feature of Dreamweaver) to talk the rest of the class through the process.

She started to talk - and I politely asked her to take my seat at the IWB monitor - and talk it through from there.  The rest of the class were delighted, and it was a successful few minutes.  We gave her a round of applause for her efforts, and I then decided to take it a step further and asked another student to talk the class through adding a rollover button.

What was most interesting to me was to sit back and observe the learning process taking place.  I could see who was struggling much more clearly, and found it fascinating to see how the 'teacher' dealt with stragglers.

Not only was this a more engaging method of learning for the students, I think I really learnt something here as well - it gave me breathing space to take stock of what learning was really going on in the class.  I will definitely be doing this again.