The Difference Made By a Single Letter

What a difference one single letter can make…
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Usually, teachers think in terms of ways to ensure their children stay or keep ‘On Task’. I am a keen advocate of the awesome Class Dojo and have indeed used the ‘on task’ behaviour and icon on a regular basis. However, this is about to change, having seen a Twitter conversation between Dan Bowen and Dan Haesler in Australia. During #msauedu, they mentioned the term, ‘In Task’. This resonated with the ideas generated at the Practical Pedagogies conference in Toulouse just last month. I was extremely fortunate to have been able to participate in this event and was certainly provoked many times, not just by Ewan McIntosh from No Tosh, but by fellow workshop leaders and delegates.

In Toulouse, there was much discussion about the benefits of immersion techniques in education, which I put into temporary practice while staying in the region for a few days following the conference. Even though my French is decidedly rusty, I did find myself trying to decode signage and graffiti, while trying not to sing ‘Sur Le Pont D’Avignon’ in a ridiculous accent. But that’s another story…

Since returning to the UK, I have had a series of discussions with a host of others and the concept of immersion keeps re-appearing. Last week, Andrea Carr, founder of Rising Stars and Rhian Kavanagh both spoke passionately and knowledgeably about the benefits of such techniques and the benefits to the child in terms of empathy, while developing thinking skills and problem solving. This was echoed during discussions with Jo Davies, Head Teacher at Brudenell Primary School, where the children are learning to enter ‘Pits of Learning and Confusion’. To find out more, check out the school as well as the work of James Nottingham.

At the weekend, I attended Mozfest15, where the term ‘immersion’ permeates the various meeting spaces within Ravensbourne College. It was great to catch up with innovators such as Urban Teacher and Mark Shillitoe and discuss tech, art and more. Thanks too to Steve Bunce for signposting me towards various people and ideas, especially Su Adams and her truly immersive edtech play experiences.

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Today I met with the wonderful folk at Now Press Play, a resource that certainly immerses you into other worlds. When I first trialled a sample session, I took on the role of reluctant young male learner, a role that I must admit I find somewhat easy to play. That said, I was soon exploring an Egyptian tomb, drawn in by the atmospheric soundtrack and narration that subtly enticed me to be actively engaged in my learning.  To find out more about bringing the curriculum to life, visit Now>Press>Play.

On the subject of Active Learning, I urge you all to explore the wonderful world of Russel Tarr. Not only did he organise the amazing Practical Pedagogies conference, but he also curates two wonderful sites:

Please explore these wonderful resources and immerse yourself further, as Russel did following his own learning at the conference with his own students…http://www.classtools.net/blog/sticky-notes-and-project-nests-collaborate-collate-categorise-connect/

Enjoy being In Task rather than simply being On Task.

Images c/o http://thinknsmile.com/ and https://www.classdojo.com/

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