Excellent documentaries for teachers

 

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For those of you who are not aware of the new documentary being aired on RTE1 which follows students and their teachers travelling to countries such as Spain and Poland in order to compare and contrast their education system with our own, it is most definitely worth the watch! It gives a clear insight into the workings of schools abroad, examining their teacher-student relationships and determining whether their approach to education is more engaging and beneficial in comparison to the Irish system. The first episode was aired earlier this week and a new episode will be aired on a weekly basis over the coming month. It allows us as educators to evaluate our approach to teaching. The programme is called ‘Class Swap’ , is aired Monday nights, and is most definitely worth the watch.

Please click on the link below in order to watch and access the programme:

Class Swap Programme

 

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Another excellent television series to watch is ‘Educating Yorkshire’ and ‘Educating Essex’. Both series offer a warm and humorous exploration of what it’s like to grow up or work in a secondary school in the heart of a diverse  community. Both series can be easily accessed by clicking on the following link: http://www.channel4.com/programmes/educating-yorkshire/4od

 

Human Rights Senior RE: Child Slavery Lesson/Activity

I was covering Human Rights with my fifth years when I came across this excellent documentary on child slavery. As a result I used this documentary as a case study to highlight how and why some peoples basic Human Rights are being denied. It is an EXCELLENT documentary that truly communicates the harsh reality of child slavery and my students responded extremely well to it. Prior to showing my pupils the documentary, I handed out each student an activity sheet to complete whilst watching the film. This ensures that one’s pupils remain focused and engaged within the lesson.

I am attaching both the documentary and the activity sheet I gave out to each of my pupils. I highly recommend this documentary and activity.

 

 

Name: _____________________________

Date: _____________

                                                          HUMAN RIGHTS – CHILD SLAVERY 

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Based on the documentary, answer these questions using FULL sentences in favour of one word answers.

 

1.      In your opinion, why does child slavery still take place in the world?

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 2.      What countries do you associate with child slavery? (You only have to write the names down)

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3.      From the video clip, how many hours a day do some children work?

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 4.      How do some children become slaves?

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 5.      As we can see from the video clip, children who are enslaved are forced to live in terrible conditions, some being kept in cages. How did you feel watching that footage and why?

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6.      List some of the rights these children are being denied.

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7.      How do you feel about young children being sold for money to buy fish oil?

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8.      It is true to say that some children are ‘tricked’ into child slavery. Based on the video clip, name and explain one way how this might happen.

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9.      What dangers do the children in the video clip face on a daily basis? How does this make you feel bearing in mind that most of the children are under the age of 15.

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10.  What is your reaction to the ‘buying and selling’ process shown in the video clip? Comment on the price agreed for the child and whether or not you think the boy’s parents really cared that they may not see their son again. Explain your answer.

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11.  How do you think the children who are enslaved might feel? Give reasons for your answer.

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12.  How are child slaves treated by their masters? Give specific examples based on the video clip.

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13.  Explain what happens when children are ‘trafficked’.

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14.  How did you feel watching the story of Ali unfold? Explain your answer.

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15.  Why are some children mutilated? (mutilated = removal of body parts)What is your reaction to this?

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16.  What one piece of information shocked you/stood out to you the most in this documentary and why?

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Pixton: How To Make Comics With Your Students

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“Pixton was great fun and really got the pupils engaged. Through creative presentation they produced some high quality understanding of the topic.”

– Ms. Martin, Grade 9, Teacher in Leicester, UK

 

“It truly motivated my students. They could use the comic format to work about topics they are interested in, including social issues and things happening in their neighbourhood.”

– Ms. Martin, 5th Grade, Teacher in Spain

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What is Pixton?

Pixton is an online comic maker that allows students the creativity to:

  • design their own characters
  • add sound
  • upload pictures and images,
  • use a variety of speech bubbles
  • and print, download or embed the finished comic.

 

As a teacher, it is often difficult to facilitate lessons that call on the student’s creative abilities and talents, while keeping the subject matter the main focus of the activity.  More often that not, the lessons being taught become stagnant when a teacher works to integrate a creative avenue to their traditional classroom teaching style. However, with the help of Pixton we can overcome all of this and create a creative and engaging virtual learning environment for our pupils.

 

Advantages of Pixton:

  • Creates a form of visual communication through the subject matter being taught, and creating a strong opportunity for visual learning to occur.
  • Becomes interactive when the students are able to upload their own information from their notes and creating their own comics.
  • Creates a private virtual classroom setting for the teacher and the students in the class.
  • The website provides opportunities for students and teachers to create safe and secure accounts with no invasive information necessary.
  • The virtual classroom is password protected and no email addresses are required, the teacher can simply upload the class roster in a few clicks.
  • Teachers are also given the option to determine what students are allowed to do on the website with a checklist as well as monitoring all the content that is posted by students. 
  • Students are also given the option to embed the comics in their website, blog, e-portfolio, or social networking website.
  • Provides  content  variety  and  expansion, and promotes collaboration and interactive skills.
  • Spices up classroom as well as out-of-classroom interaction.
  • Caters for all levels,interests and subjects.  For example religion:
  1. Ask the pupils to create a comic illustrating a specific parable/miracle story
  2. To create a comic illustrating the concept of moral decision making
  3. Create a comic on the foundation of Islam, Christianity, Judaism etc.
  4. Create a comic on the death and resurrection of Jesus.
  5. And so on………

 

An example of a comic created by a student on the topic of racial issues:

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How do I use Pixton?

Please find attached excellent tutorials to explain the process of creating comics with Pixton:

Glogster: A Glog is like a poster . . . only better!!

logoglogster1Glogster is an online interactive poster/collage maker that I have recently come across and love. Students can combine text, music, pictures, videos and other exciting resources to create a unique online, interactive poster or collage. This is an alternative to the classic scissors and cardboard approach to poster making, something which I do regularly with my seniors at the end of a topic. 

So what is good about Glogster?

Glogster allows students to create an online poster using:

  • —photographs
  • images
  • —graphics
  • video files
  • sound files (for example, YouTube clips or Podcasts)

It is essentially a new and creative digital outlet for educators to keep students ENGAGED and make learning more fun, as well as an easy to use platform designed to introduce basic concepts to students.  It is also a  secure, private, and safe platform that can be monitored directly by teachers. 

For Teachers:

Glogster provides teachers with a safe virtual space where they can manage up to 50 student accounts. Randomly generated usernames and passwords become the students’ logins. However you can, under the manage student accounts tab, edit the nicknames (I suggest first name and maybe initial) and change the passwords. These can then be distributed to students. You can then monitor your students’ progress from your ‘teacher screen’. Students and teacher can share and comment on each other’s creations.

3 reasons to use Glogster in the classroom: 

  • It is web-based
  • It allows students to add images, video—such as YouTube–music, text, and hyperlinks, therefore allowing the pupils to become active learners and providing them with the opportunity to relate the content to their own lives. Also provides the students with the freedom to express themselves through their work.
  •  It addresses multiple learning styles

The downside however is that you have to pay in order to use it. Prices range from the following:

  • $39 per year for 1 teacher and 30 students
  • $95 per year for 1 teacher and 125 students
  • $390 per year for 10 teachers and 250 students

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How to set up Glogster:

Please find attached excellent tutorials (for both students and teachers) on how to set up Glogster.

Examples of completed Glogs:

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Voki: A Web 2.0 tool for the classroom

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I was asked to find a Web 2.0 tool that could be used in education/classroom, one that I had not looked at before, therefore making it an uncommon resource tool. Having researched a number of different tools, the one that stood out to me was something called Voki!

So what is Voki? In simple words, it is a fun, free and interactive way to learn! It is an educational tool that allows users to create their very own talking character, which can then be incorporated into a variety of topics and activities (also assessments) in the classroom. What is great about Voki is that it is truely and clearly focused on education, and have created a special “Voki for Education” web site section.

The site offers downloadable user guides for teachers and students, whilst also providing excellent tutorials, a teachers forum for those who may be confused or have any questions, a Voki blog for tips and hints. What is GREAT about Voki is that the TEACHER can create a class and an individual username and password for their pupils to gain access to the virtual class. The pupils DO NOT need to have their own email address to gain access to their class!

You can customize Voki characters to look like historical figures, cartoons, animals, and even yourself. Teachers and students alike can create avatars and use them in a number of ways to make learning fun and more accessible. You can design the avatar’s appearance, add voice, and can get an embed code to pop it into any website. The avatar moves and speaks based on what the caller says. This is great as it truly gets the pupils involved in their learning and makes it fun and alternative as they are able to design their own characters!

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Voki Classroom is designed to enhance the way you manage your students’ Voki assignments. There are many more ways you can use Voki speaking avatars in your classroom to help promote learning and greater interaction. You are only limited by your creativity. Some ideas I came across on the net were the following:

  1. Asking them to create virtual presentations that are created with a Voki speaking avatar and a powerpoint or other presentation. The avatar can guide the presentation, which students will have fun creating (with a little more creative latitude) and their peers will have fun listening to, helping both to learn more.
  2. Help bring historical and literary figures to life by asking students to create a speaking avatar for them. Not only will students have to create an avatar in that person’s likeness — and may have to imagine it based on cues for literary figures.
  3. School can record a personalized welcome message and embed onto the school website.
  4. Create Vokis to let students know what they need to do in class.
  5. Simply create a Voki (with recorded instructions) for assignment section of your subject, letting students know what they’re expected to do.
  6. Students can create avatars to share their views on any topic in the school, a current issue in the news, or any other opinions on works or events and have a Voki debate.

There are LOADS of tutorials available for Voki on Youtube and on the official Voki site. However, one tutorial so to speak that I came across and found very useful was the following presentation on slideshare:

http://www.slideshare.net/RhajTheWonder/a-guide-on-how-to-create-a-voki

This is one Web 2.0 tool I would recommend looking at as it truly is fun and interactive and brings learning to life…literally!

 

 

Morality: Modern Examples, PowerPoint, Activities

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Covering Morality with your pupils? I have attached below an introductory PowerPoint/lesson which can be used with a high end Junior Cycle Class or a Senior RE class.

Click on the below links to access the PowerPoints:

 

Morality Introduction

 

Morality Class Activities

 

Some modern day images to use also when looking at this topic include:

 

  • Chris Brown: Assault on Rihanna = Immoral

Chris Brown: Immoral Assault on Rihanna

 

  • Paul Walker: A Moral Person? (Look at all the charity events he organised and took part in)

 

 

Paul Walker

 

 

 

  • Jay from the Inbetweeners

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  • Bart Simpson: Episode where he steals the Video Game (If possible SHOW this clip to your pupils)

 

 

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  • The Pope, a moral person

 

 

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  • Thiery Henry: Handball incident 

 

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  • Hitler

 

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Kodaline: The Search for the Meaning of Life

I am aware that I have already posted a number of video clips and blogs regarding the topic ‘The Search for the Meaning of Life’, but as I was driving into school this morning and listening to Kodaline’s album ‘In A Perfect World’, it dawned on me that this song would be perfect for introducing pupils to the topic. Over the course of the song, a number of questions are raised, questions which are frequently asked with regards to the meaning of life.

I think this song would be an excellent resource to use in the classroom as the pupils can relate to the band themselves and it is very modern and up to date in popular culture.

Whether I am driving somewhere or just listening to songs on YouTube, I always keep an ear out to see if any of the songs in the charts can be used in the classroom to bring to life a specific topic. Another song that I think would be great to use would be Macklemore’s ‘Same Love’ when looking at the topic of Homosexuality, Human Rights, The Search for Meaning and Value, and/or Discrimination.

 

 

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