Nicky Morgan wants to ban work emails after 5pm

In an article in the Telegraph today the education secretary Nicky Morgan referred to the excessive workload that is starting to affect recruitment and retention of teachers.  The message the newspaper chose to focus on was the suggestion that teachers should not be answering emails or marking work after 5pm. Unfortunately cutting out emails isn’t …

Educake for Science – self-marking GCSE homework questions @educake

I’ve seen MyMaths in action and was impressed by the usefulness and flexibility of the package.  I wondered if there was a self-marking system for science.  The best tool I found was Educake which offers self-marking questions testing content from AQA Science.  The pricing structure is very reasonable and gives departments the opportunity to try …

The IPEVO document camera – a cheap alternative to a visualiser

The IPEVO camera set up that I received consisted of three separate parts – the document camera itself, a carry case and an extension stand to give it extra height. The packaging that the camera arrived in had foam cut-outs which could make the carrycase an unnecessary purchase in this time of restricted budgets. The …

Using Skype to get students talking

I teach students who need to talk.  You get better communicating by talking, and you can learn more by talking about something and explaining it.  I wanted to use technology to get them talking and researched pieces of software that we could use.  I received several recommendations for Skype (since it is peer to peer …

Using low/mid range visualisers for chemistry demos and why homemade might be best.

I’ve had a visualiser for a while now after I saw them in everyday use in Chinese schools.  Mine is an Avermedia CP130 visualiser which I generally use connected to a PC (greater resolution/ability to capture video/images).  I’ve used it to project up examples of student work for which it works very well.  It works …

Using data logging technology with special needs students

Many departments have small numbers of data loggers, stuck at the back of cupboards with flat batteries, neglected because no-one really knows what to do with them.  Perhaps they don’t get used because you haven’t got a class set or because the teacher lacks the confidence to use them in front of a group of …

Getting students to prepare for exams–There’s an app for that!

We all know that students are notoriously bad at preparing for exams.  Pearson (owners of the Edexcel exam board) think they have a solution – an app (for Apple devices). http://picasaweb.google.com/s/c/bin/slideshow.swf From launching the app with the ‘My Exams’ icon, you come the my exams page where you enter the dates and subjects of any …

Science CPD (Continuing professional development) using podcasts

Podcasts are short audio programmes that you download and play at a time convenient to you.  You can listen to them on your PC, on your MP3 player or even your mobile phone.  I download mine using the built in ‘Podcast client’ on my Nokia phone, but iTunes is perhaps the simplest and easiest way …

Science CPD (continuing professional development) Science Websites

Science websites provide two opportunities – access to content to keep subject knowledge up to date, and specific information about teaching science.  Many of these are written by teachers for other teachers – often as a blog (a website where entries are in date order).  Note as with Twitter, not every article you read on …

Science CPD (continuing professional development) Using online communities

The best kind of CPD I’ve experienced comes from other practitioners.   Online communities provide an opportunity to interact with other teachers at a home and place convenient to you.  Ideas, resources and video can all be shared online.  I’ve list below the two most useful ways I’ve found of interacting with other teachers online. TES …