What would you do if money was no object? This little video is certainly worth 3 minutes of your time as it describes one of life's great philosophical battles - do you 'live to work' or 'work to live' OR is there a '3rd option' for most people...
Good for assembly, citizenship classes or just making you think on a Wednesday morning!
I liked this short YouTube clip from DK - make sure you watch it all the way to the end. It would be good to use in an assembly and reminds me of the original idea that I posted about a number of years ago...
I mentioned this excellent lesson starter in my recent TESS Article and
have shown it to loads of teachers around the country over the past few months.
It is non-subject specific, its quick, has huge impact and provides and
excellent context for discussion.
In order for it to work you need reasonable Internet access,
a data projector, access to flickr and a willingness to take a risk. The risk,
in my opinion, is not that great – you just have to be prepared not to
pre-moderate the flickr images. If anything inappropriate comes I just make
this part of the learning.
2. In the search
box type in what your lesson is
about or what you want to generate discussion about (eg: triangles, Roald Dahl,
cakes, glaciers, hockey, world war two, chemicals, VincentVanGogh etc…). Click on search.
3. Flickr returns hundreds of user generated photos /
content. You can have a quick scan through to see if you think it is
appropriate content or not.
4. Then click on slideshow.
5. Flickr turns
all the photographs into a slide show
that you can show as the class is coming in, to introduce a topic or to
6. There are no copyright issues as all you are
doing is technically browsing the flickr website – the users of the site want
you to see their photos!
The below video shows me generating a lesson starter for a
lesson on glaciers. As you will see from the video it hardly takes any time at
Once a week I get to do a
short assembly with my house group. I think assemblies are important and I like
doing them. It’s a good time to come together with the students in my care,
talk to them and praise them.
I try to spend a bit of time
preparing for each assembly and having the new audio visual equipment in the
school hall has made a massive difference in the last 12 months.
Today I was picking up on
the theme of change and asking students if they thought it was possible to change the world? One of the biggest
challenges that we currently face in education is changing attitudes.
In terms of changing attitudes I think
in education this can broadly be split into two categories:
The attitudes of students to help them understand that the world will be a very different place in ten years time and that we must work collectively
to help improve our society and prepare for the future.
attitudes of teachers to help them understand that the world will be a very different place in ten years time and we must start preparing children for this change now, rather
than delivering a curriculum that prepares for the present (or more
commonly the past).
There is, of course, an
obvious third category if you include parents.
In Scotland, assemblies in East Lothian tend to be short (we
only have ten minutes to make a real impact). I’ve shared a few of my ideas
before including Bill
Gates Life’s Not Fair. The reason I’m writing about today’s assembly is
that I’ve had some really encouraging and positive feedback from the children
at Musselburgh Grammar School.
I’ve embedded the slides I
used as a slideshare
presentation above. Which means you can download and add to the presentation
if you want to.
To give you an idea of the conversation
that I had with the audience, it went something like:
Slide 1 (the earth) –this is the
earth, where we live and where we need to protect. It’s also called the world. It’s
a beautiful and unique place.
Slide 2 (Question One) –can you change
the world? (asked audience to put hands up)
Slide 3 – 5 (BBC News Screen Shots) –the world is
changing and we need to change with it. Brief description of articles.
Slide 6 – (small ideas change things) – We can all make a difference to improve the world,
to save money, reduce poverty and improve society. We must work collectively
(together) to make the biggest impact. It is important to remember that little
changes make a big difference.
Slide 7 – 10 (Boiling a kettle) – Talk about energy wasted by continually boiling too
much water in the kettle and only using a mug full. Talk about how much energy
we would save by only boiling the required amount. Link to the environment.
Slide 11 – 13 (Mobile phone chargers) – Talk about the energy wasted in your house by
leaving mobile phone chargers turned on constantly. Talk about the money you
could save by turning them off. Link to the environment.
Slide 14 – 17 (Chewing gum) – Talk about the cost of clearing up chewing gum and
if we didn’t have to do it how much money the tax payer would save. Explain
that most parents are tax payers.
Slide 18 (The Earth) – re-cap that we can all help change the world.
Every year slideshare have a competition to and award prizes
to the best presentations. Last Year a re-worked version of the Did You Know
Presentation won the award (this has recently been adapted again with some
Scottish Statistics in it).
This year the winning presentation, is again along the Did
You Know theme but is titled ‘THIRST’ It is an
educational presentation exploring humanity's water use and the emerging
worldwide water shortage. I’m going to be using bits of it in assembly but it
would also be great for teaching geography, development and citizenship. Its
very inspiring, so take time to have a look.
spending a lot of time on YouTube
at the moment and he’s uncovering some really fantastic movies. Here’s
a clever little video to get you thinking. I think I’ll use it in assembly
before the end of term. You Tube Video embedded below.
At Musselburgh we are committed to building a learning
community. We are using Internet Safety as stimulus to test our model. In
October we engaged
with parents of students at the school for an informative parents training
event that was widely
covered in the media. Later that month we put all of our staff through the
same training programme and in early February we will open this training up to
the wider Musselburgh community (more on that later).
Today we ran our first formal year group training event for
all S3 students. Internet Safety is already covered in various sections of the
PSHE, ICT and computing courses at the school. But out philosophy is one of
compulsory learning for the basics. We don’t want the young people in our care
to miss out on an aspect of responsible ICT use because they haven’t taken
computing or business education at Standard Grade.
This was a real mass training event and spoke to the
assembled group (about 240 pupils) for just over an hour. Considering the
length of the presentation the group were incredibly attentive. I used a
combination of the CEOPThink U Know Secondary Student
Training Material and some of my own resources. I like to cover more detail
on mobile phones and law as well as emphasising responsible use of Internet and
Coincidently there was also a BBC Panorama
Programme on the television last night – that talks about the dangers of
the Internet. I actually thought the programme was quite good and has a couple
of interesting case studies that we will build into our PSHE programme for next
session. My one criticism of the programme was that it didn’t really emphasise
the responsible use aspect of on-line activity and also the benefits of
All of the students at the school will receive our adapted
version of the Think U Know Training
by the Easter break.
If you have not visited the Think U Know website it
is worth a look and there is lots of information about online and mobile phone
safety for students, parents and teachers.