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Transcript:

Welcome all, please feel free to share this video with colleagues if you think they would find it of interest. 

Let's talk today about building professional relationships. Teaching can be quite a lonely experience. Depends a little bit on the organization that you teach in. You might be teaching in a very isolated part of the world, or you might be teaching a very specialist discipline. You might be the only person teaching that particular subject in your school, even in your area. 

And having good connections with other practitioners that understand you, understand your context, definitely do serve to lower the level of anxiety that you might feel. There's evidence to suggest that well- connected educators do suffer less anxiety.

So reaching out now is much easier. There are any number of digital platforms that you can engage with and connect with other people. And in doing so you benefit not just that level of human connectivity, but you're also using them as a source of new ideas, new sources, new perspectives. 

It's very important if you do get involved in any of these platforms that you do become a contributor, as well as a consumer. That's not just because that's fair. It's just, it's also that echoing your voice is really important, using your voice to mirror the practice of others is part of the process of building those relationships.

Even if it's just to go back to someone who's posted something, you found a value to just say "I've used what you suggested. It worked very well for me" or it didn't and I made this adjustment, and I did it this way. Having that level of feedback is really important. 

So, I'm on a number of different platforms. I'm on LinkedIn. I'm on Twitter. I'm on Instagram. I'm on Tik Tok. I'm on YouTube and I've got my own website, but I think the two that everyone needs to start with are Twitter and LinkedIn. Build a profile on LinkedIn, doesn't have to be expansive, but at least something that gives people a sense of who you are as a person.

And then Twitter is a great way of just picking up ideas, sources, perspectives, re-tweeting things that you think are of interest, identifying things more widely, and posting them and share that community experience. You'd be surprised how quickly it does build and giving you a solid network to lean on will undoubtedly reduce your anxiety. 

So you might want to try some of those platforms for yourself. See how it goes. 

Let me know. Be well.

Guidance to Educators: Reflecting after sessions

#teachers #learning #educators #education #university #tutors #lecture Visit http://www.sijen.com for transcripts and links. Please share, like and follow.

Transcript:

Welcome all. Please feel free to share this with colleagues. If you think they'll find it of interest. 

Let's talk today about how you handle a session that doesn't go so well. Any problems that crop up can be quite demoralizing. Sometimes you walk out of a session thinking either I dropped the ball or the students didn't respond. Something just didn't work in any given session. 

Now not every session is going to go well. It could be something you have failed to plan for, it may be that you misjudged the receptivity of the students. It may be that they just were very resistant to what it was you're asking them to engage with in the session and how you manage that system dynamic is obviously very problematic.

So after any session, educators really need to sit back and reflect if it, even if it just takes a few minutes, even if they're just doing it in their heads, they need to be thinking about what went well, what didn't go so well. If it doesn't go well, there's a particular problem in any given session, it's a really good idea to journal it, write something down, even just a few notes on the back of your notes are fine, but to write something down as soon as possible after the session. To discuss it with colleagues, just to literally go back to the, whatever the virtual coffee room is, or the staff room and talk to your colleagues about why something didn't go well and be open about that. You won't be judged for it if you're honest about it. 

And thirdly, to reflect, and how deeply you reflect will depend a little bit on whether it was a serious issue or, or relatively minor issue. You maybe want to think about, from a positive perspective what you would do differently if you had it again.

And if you were faced with those similar circumstances in the future, how you might plan to do it differently. So it's really important that you do reflect at some level, either using notes, conversation or indeed just thinking about it. I always try and make some notes after a session, particularly if it hasn't gone well, but even if it's gone well, I might want to make a note as to why I think it might've gone well.

I think it's really important, and I would encourage you to do that. So do try something like that, try something similar. 

Let me know how it goes. Be well.

Graphic of Ukrainian Colours
In recent weeks as the war in Ukraine has unfolded I have watched educators trying, with significant success, to use events as teachable moments. The intricacies of shifting boundaries and conflicts used to fuel debates about historical context. Economics teachers use economic interdependences between countries, evidenced through oil and gas supplies, phosphates and grains to great effect. Exploring ethnic identities form a core part of anthropological and social sciences conversations. What I see, are teachers in the English-speaking liberal democracies, the ‘West’ (where I have sight), teaching this war as not being ‘over there’, as some distant disconnected experience
. Rather it is being taught in the context of ‘it is happening here’ or at the very least ‘could it happen here?’

Very often teachers are struggling to answer questions from students and still ‘getting through’ the prescribed content, predetermined in curriculum structures and resources imposed from outside. The best national, regional and institutional systems empower teachers to leverage events that are affecting their students. The worst amongst them have rigid content requirements. These later are written by bureaucrats not by teachers. Concepts are more powerful than content, ideas more enduring than facts. Giving students a framework for critical thought using ideas and concepts allows them to seek out and identify facts and content. Importantly, it empowers the student to make connections between disparate thoughts, across time and geographies.

I think education should be radical, it should be focused on change, not on maintaining the status quo; it should be focused on transformation not normalising; it should be focused on the individual as a member of diverse and overlapping communities, not as unique cogs in a machine. Radical education should be innovating not perpetuating, enriching not sustaining, challenging not confirming.

Oscar Wilde said that

“The whole theory of modern education is radically unsound. Fortunately in England, at any rate, education produces no effect whatsoever. If it did, it would prove a serious danger to the upper classes, and probably lead to acts of violence in Grosvenor Square.”

True. So little has changed since the 19th century despite the dawning of a digital Information age. In my view, we are still too committed to a curriculum of content rather of concepts.

Courageous teachers across the world are navigating troubling times with creativity and insight. They are often forced to bend and circumvent an imposed curriculum to make the learning effective and real. Why teach about supply and demand to business students using Californian almond production when you can explore the impact of disrupted wheat exports from Ukraine? Why explore the English Reformation when a contemporary example of religious disaggregation is happening today in the Orthodox Churches. Ideally, teachers should have the flexibility to compare and contrast established (predetermined resources) with students' own contemporary comparators.

Transcript:

Welcome all. Please feel free to share this with colleagues. If you think it would be of interest to them. So, today I want to talk a little bit about why it's important to plan your sessions. This is particularly pertinent if you're delivering a stand-up lecture, that's expected to keep students engaged for 40 minutes, 45 minutes, but even in a normal session, a normal seminar session, it's still really important that you plan. Down your session. It's really important that you don't plan around the content. And rather you plan around the learning experiences. We can almost take them as synonyms. We would almost say content and experiences are the same, but it's really important that you think about how the student is hearing that content, how they're engaging with that content rather than just delivering them raw content.

I think it's also really important as you plan out those linkages, those connections between the experiences in your lecture, that you don't use a hundred percent of the time, certainly lecturers when they start their careers, if they're not particularly confident, they will walk into a lecture theater, start delivering, keep talking and leave at the end, in order to possibly avoid confrontation, avoid questions.

And once you've found your feet, you will be able to use the time really effectively. And I think it's important that you plan possibly for up to 80% of the session to be around the learning experiences, the guided experiences that you were expecting to share with students, and leave 20%. at the end. Sometimes people say, what do I do if people don't have questions, if students don't ask anything, how do I use that time?

There, there are a number of ways that you can use that, but it is important to have a, almost an Encore in the way that a musician is expecting to come back onto the stage and perform again. we don't usually get, rounds of standing ovations for our teaching, but very often having an Encore is really important.

It's almost the most important thing because it's the last thing that the student is going to experience. So it can't be something that is core. Can't be core content or core content experience because you might not get your opportunity. The session might go long and it's dangerous to leave the best to the end, but it has to be something that's reinforcing something that's empowering and it's worth actually concentrating really on what that Encore is going to look like.

And then build the session back. If the session does go a little bit long, that Encore needs to be able to be prepared either as a short video interaction to go up on the website on your, virtual learning environment, or possibly. Yeah, featuring featured in a handout, but it's really important that you plan out the experiences for 80% of the session, and link them together, conceptually through good planning.

There are some templates that you can use for planning sessions, a search on the web would find any number of them. I've also got one on my website as well. If you do want to access that.

Just give it a go. See how it goes. Let me know. Be well.

Teaching Enhancement Toolkit: Simple 5 Step Lesson Plan

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Transcript:

Welcome, all. Please feel free to share this with your colleagues, if you think it would be of value to them.

I want to talk today about passion. It's really important that your passion for your subject is conveyed to your students. Even if there is something about your subject that you don't particularly find interesting, you might find it a little bit dull, even, it's really important that you look deep inside and find the nugget of passion for that particular topic or that particular lesson because if you don't, you risk losing your students' engagement with you.

So, think back to a situation where you have yourself had a teacher tutor, or lecturer, that you thought was exceptional. You may remember everything that happened in this session. You may have looked forward to going to those particular sessions. What was it about that particular lecturer, or tutor, sis that proved so effective? When I've done this exercise with, academics as part of academic professional development, almost without exception, they would say, actually it was the passion. It was the passion of the teacher for that particular discipline. Sometimes that specific lecture, sometimes that series of lectures, that course.

And so I think it's really important that you do look to find that moment of passion within anything that you're teaching. So, sometimes that can be quite difficult, and you may need to about, sometimes a very small, aspect of the entire topic that you think is a point of passion, and you build from that. Because it's your passion for the subject that will allow you to get your students engaged. It will allow them to be more receptive to the enlightenment that you are going to share with them, and it's also going to mean that you are more likely to be able to give them the empowerment, to go forward, to think about what they're going to do with that learning later.

So your learning needs to engage, enlighten and empower. And, I personally found it quite hard on occasion to find that point of passion and it's worth literally thinking, just before the session, "what's the one thing that I'm going to share with my students in this session?" That sparks other people's passions. What other researchers, other academics, whatever thinkers have spun off that particular point?. And if you don't have anything, particularly that, you find passionate, you can convey the passion of others, but it's really important that there is passion in any teaching session.

So you might want to try that. Let me know how it goes.

Please share, like, and follow.

Be well.

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In this short lecture (9'38"), Simon outlines the basic structure of sound assessment. Describing reliability, validity, and fairness in assessment and exploring a range of different assessment forms. These range from diagnostic to synoptic (capstone), to formative and summative. Being familiar with some of the language around assessment is important in order to get the most of the literature and others' experiences. I believe that well-designed assessment is something all faculty will want to be involved in grading and marking, rather than trying to pass those duties onto others. Assessing your own students should be a fulfilling experience, and well-designed assessment enable that to happen.

These resources from 2013-2017 are being shared to support colleagues new to teaching online in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. Consultancy for International Higher Education from Simon Paul Atkinson

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Lesson planning is more structured in K-12 and professional contexts than in most higher education institutions. This is disappointing because planning sessions, adjusting to context and level, duration of session, and cohorts, provide the basis for ongoing reflection. This video (9'36") outline as 5 step lesson planning model. A link is also provided to the word template which you are free to adapt in any way that enhances your practice.

Five-Step-lesson-plan

These resources from 2013-2017 are being shared to support colleagues new to teaching online in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. Consultancy for International Higher Education from Simon Paul Atkinson

While many of us cringe at the sound of our own voice and hate seeing ourselves on film, witnessing, and reflecting upon, your own teaching performance is invaluable as a teaching enhancement technique. This brief video (1'20") introduces the concept of video (or audio) recording your own teaching practice as a point of reflection. A simple (editable and expandable) word template is also shared. This is available directly from http://www.sijen.com or by going to: http://bit.ly/micro-teach These resources from 2013-2017 are being shared to support colleagues new to teaching online in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. Consultancy for International Higher Education from Simon Paul Atkinson

One element in any teacher's enhancement toolkit is the evaluative comments provided to you from your students. Usually, these are captured at the end of a module, far too late to benefit your current students. This short video (2'18") links to a Word Document that serves as a template to support you in eliciting constructive evaluative comments from your students that will guide you in making appropriate adjustments within a course. It is important to note that students are not invited to critique you directly, rather they are asked to reflect on their experience of their learning. Any adjustments you make as a result of this process empowers students to take a degree of ownership of their own learning.

Word Document Template: Guidance to In-Class Evaluation

These resources from 2013-2017 are being shared to support colleagues new to teaching online in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. Consultancy for International Higher Education from Simon Paul Atkinson

'Dyslexia: a guide for tutors' was originally developed in 2013 in the context of the UK. It's a relatively long online lecture but it has some fairly simple message. Dyslexia is not a disease or a mental illness, it is a different way of seeing the world. This presentation invites colleagues to think about dyslexia, and its associated concerns, in the light of 'multiple intelligences' and look for the opportunity to meet the needs of dyslexic students by enhancing the way they do everything to support all learners. I am not a dyslexia expert, this presentation has no diagnostic function. It is simply one practitioner's view of good practice in being inclusive.

These resources from 2013-2017 are being shared to support colleagues new to teaching online in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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