In my NQT year I delivered a CPD to staff on blended learning, and talked about my experience with wikispace (which closed in 2018). I spoke enthusiastically about the benefits of creating a virtual classroom, but like so many CPDs, it fizzled out. Now fast forward two years later, and after Covid we are all online teachers.
At the start of this lockdown, we quickly shifted to online teaching and delivered lessons on Zoom. It remains my favourite streaming tool for teaching, videos embedded into powerpoints stream easily, there are lots of behaviour management tools including the ability to mute or remove pupils. Recently, we shifted to Microsoft Teams, which has lacked the same functionality.
However, Teams is not without its own advantages. Scheduling lessons using the calendar feature is very straightforward. Lessons are automatically recorded onto Microsoft Streams and can be played back by pupils who miss the lesson. There is space to set assignments, both quizzes and essay submissions. Each team is equipped with a resources section, where I can upload handouts and powerpoints. There is the ability to post announcements on the team homepage, perfect for flagging up resources or extra-curricular opportunities. Finally is the ability to 'pin' websites. Above you can see I created a tab for 'Philosophy Cat', so pupils can use it like an online textbook from within the app.
Teams also integrates with Microsoft Forms. I can create short multiple choice quizzes and assessments and assign them to my classes. This is brilliant, giving pupils instant feedback and allowing me as the teacher to quickly check understanding and identify pupil misconceptions. I usually start my lessons by posting a link to a short quiz I've made, and then after 5 minutes reviewing the answers together as a class. Pupils who score less than 80% are told to take the quiz again to encourage mastery.
In addition to quizzes, pupils can submit essays onto Teams. A feature I love is the ability to create a rubric. The OCR Markscheme can be hard for pupils to decipher, but transformed into a rubric it clearly sets out the criteria examiners are judging their essays against and help pupils identify the areas they need to improve.
I've gone through many lists of ed apps but had never heard of Kialo until it was mentioned in the OCR Facebook Group. There's a number of philosophical debates on the main version of the website (above) (https://www.kialo.com/), but it is the 'ed' version that we're interested in (https://www.kialo-edu.com/). I've only had one opportunity to use it, at the end of my final lesson of the year going through the Attributes of God (below). There I posted a statement 'God is timeless', and then encouraged pupils to post their responses. I think with practice it's going to really get the pupils to think deeper, as students can go beyond simply listing the arguments for and against, but really appraise and evaluate each argument, and discern the underlying issues, to draw up increasingly complex argument maps.
There are so many video resources online, from animated philosophy videos, to discussions with scholars, and recorded lessons. But wouldn't it be nice to transform those videos into eduation mashups. With EdPuzzle you can. Copy and paste a link, add open or multiple choice questions at any point in the video, add your own commentary and then publish. This is a tremendous tool that really facilitates the shift to flipped learning, adding accountability to video assignments.