Author Archives: Fearghal

About Fearghal

Biology Teacher in East Lothian, Scotland and administrator of Pedagoo.

PedagooRefresh

It’s time we updated our theme on Pedagoo.org! I’m going to try and do this over the course of this weekend, so there may (will) be some major disruption on this site. Please bear with me…hopefully I’ll have it all back up and running smoothly next week.

Here goes…

#PedagooFriday 18-10-13

Just realised that I’ve not lined up anyone to select some of this week’s #PedagooFriday tweets so thought I’d treat myself and do it myself!

Check out all the rest of the fantastic tweets over on twitter

How could Pedagoo be improved?

In a previous post I suggested that it might be a good time for us to reflect on what’s working with Pedagoo and what could be improved. David suggested IdeaScale as one way in which we could begin the discussion process…so I’ve gone ahead and set one up: http://pedagoo.ideascale.com/

I’ve transferred the suggested questions across to IdeaScale. You can now login and share your thoughts, or start a new question. You don’t even need to create an IdeaScale account, you can just login using your twitter account.

Pedagoo began life as a community, but as it’s grown I feel we’re in danger of losing this. That’s why I think it’s really important to open out this discussion as widely as possible. Please please feel free to share your thoughts…even if you don’t have time to answer them all, answer one or two.

If you don’t feel that Pedagoo partly belongs to you then we’re not a community…

com·mu·ni·ty
Noun
A group of people living together in one place, esp. one practicing common ownership

Google

Join in now: http://pedagoo.ideascale.com/

The Professional Enquiry Process

In case you missed it, the revised GTCS Professional Standards came into effect this month. Professional enquiry features highly in these new standards and yet many might not quite feel confident enough to engage in professional enquiries without significant external support, which might not be forthcoming.

Whilst I hope that support will be forthcoming, I thought I’d share my own experiences in the meantime in the hope that they might prove useful to others to help them get going or to enhance what they’re already doing. I was planning on doing something like this in my own school to support the expansion of the process anyway, so why not share it on here as well. I’ve found Professional Enquiry to be such a powerful process that I’d like to do everything I can to encourage others to go ahead and give it a go.

Basically, I’ve created a very brief downloadable guide to carrying out a professional enquiry, either individually or as a small group. This is based on my experiences at my school and on my MEd. I don’t claim that this is in any way authoritative or perfect, but I hope it might prove useful to some. I suspect there will be some teachers, or groups of teachers, out there who are keen to engage in this sort of process but would just like a little support to get started…this guide is not much, but perhaps it might just provide that little support.

You can download the guide by clicking on the image above or by clicking here. If you’d like to ask any questions etc then please of course feel free to get in touch. If you do find it useful, please feel free to pass it onto others.

EDIT

Zoe Robertson has drawn my attention to this great Practitioner Enquiry resource on the GTCS website which you might find useful also.

Cross-posted from Fearghal’s Blog

A selection of #PedagooFriday tweets 16-08-13

Lots of Scottish schools started the new academic year this week, so here’s our first selection of #PedagooFriday tweets of the year 13/14. Pedagoo is a community of teachers and so we prefer it if lots of different teachers select the tweets each week. If you fancy giving it a go drop us an email or send us a tweet.

Wow. Inspiring stuff! Why not join in next week? Just send a tweet sharing the highlight of the week from your classroom and add the hashtag #PedagooFriday!

Time for a bit of navel-gazing?

Image by goopymart

Lots of Scottish schools have started back today, and I’m back next week. It’s that time of year when we start to think about how we’re going to do things differently, and better, in our classrooms this year. It’s a time for optimism and forward thinking. For me, this applies to Pedagoo also. Pedagoo is over two years old now and has grown substantially in that time. I still can’t quite believe that it’s proved to be so popular (and hopefully useful) in such a short space of time. Inevitably though with growth comes change. Some of this change is for the good, but I suspect not all.

When Pedagoo first started it arose from the community and was planned in the open. Since then, we’ve not really had time to stop and think in the same way again…we’ve all been just getting on with it. After all, we have very demanding jobs to do! But I’ve been thinking for some time now that it’s about time that we took a moment to openly discuss what we’ve achieved and where we’re going. I’ve been loathed to do this up to now as I felt as though any effort that went into facilitating discussions or organising events should be focused on improving learning and teaching, and not navel-gazing about Pedagoo itself. But with the unavoidable cancelation of this term’s Scottish Learning Fringe TeachMeet, perhaps it creates the space needed to reflect and at just the right time? I ran this idea past Kenny in the pub the other day and he’s up for it too…

So. What should we do? Well, I have an idea…but it’s up for debate. I suggest we start by listing the big questions which need discussed about Pedagoo. From there, we arrange for online contributions (probably through a wiki) and then follow that up with a physical get together where we bring together everyone’s ideas and try to put together some next steps which can then go back up onto the wiki for feedback. Then we get on and make any changes we’ve agreed upon as a community. Pedagoo is an open community of educators and so I think this process should be open to any one who feels they have something useful to contribute.

So what do you think? If you’re up for it I’ve already started a document where you can begin to contribute big questions and suggestions for organising the debate. Please feel free to join in there or as a comment below…

A time for reflection? #PedagooReflect

Image by roseoftimothywoods

As we near the end of another academic year, it seems like potentially a good time to reflect on our professional learning. There’s only one week of term left here in Scotland, and even if you don’t finish up this week there’ll only be a maximum of a few more weeks left of school before those precious summer holidays eventually arrive.

So, before you finish up why not make some time to reflect upon your practice this session as a blog post here on Pedagoo.org? What have you and your students achieved this session? What impact has it had? What have you yet to achieve? What will you aim to develop next session? What support could you use to achieve this? Is there any way other members of the Pedagoo community could help out?

Remember it’s dead easy to write a post on Pedagoo. Just create an account then click on + New Post.

I normally like to try and lead by example. but unfortunately I missed a lot of this year due to illness, so I’m very much looking forward to getting back to teaching properly after the summer. However, I can reflect on the growth of Pedagoo this year. Pedagoo is now two years old and this year has been huge. We now have nearly 1000 registered users on the blog, over 8000 twitter followers and more than 250 likes on Facebook. We have a regular stream of posts on the blog, with new people posting all the time and #PedagooFriday has exploded! We’ve held TeachMeets in Glasgow, Newcastle, London, Gateshead and Edinburgh with more events planned for next session. And we’ve had the growth of PedagooLocals and our new PedagooMag. There are so many enthusiastic folk to thank for all of this marvellous activity that it’s simply impossible to do so successfully…you know who you are!

So, where next for Pedagoo in the coming academic year? For me, the challenge for the future is how do we try and maintain the sense of community we started with as we grow ever bigger? As we grow we increasingly risk either becoming something we never intended to be, or at the very least being perceived as being different from what we’re aiming to be. An example of this is the fact that we occasionally get approached for sponsorship (we don’t have a bank account, let alone any money!), and I am now sometimes referred to as “Fearghal from Pedagoo” as if Pedagoo were a real thing. Pedagoo began life as a group of enthusiastic teachers, a collaborative blog and a domain name. We aimed to share and develop our practice positively and in public, and that remains as true today is it did two years ago. That’s why I’m always keen to encourage new folk to post on the blog, and for previous posters to share again. Pedagoo only exists if members of the community share and discuss their practice, so whatever we do in the coming session should, for me, be geared around encouraging more of this to happen.

If you have ideas for how to take Pedagoo forward, please share them as a comment below…otherwise, I look forward to reading your reflection soon…

#PedagooFriday Selection 12-04-13

TeachMeet TV


It’s amazing what can be achieved in a few days on twitter.

Last Sunday, @judeenright wrote the following tweet:

And by Thursday, @edutronic_net had created this:

There is so much great video coming out of TeachMeets which is too often left to languish unwatched in the depths of YouTube and Vimeo. TeachMeet TV is an attempt by a small group of teachers to provide a focal point for TeachMeet video to help it reach a wider audience.

Pedagoo arose originally partly to try and enhance and continue the fantastic learning which takes place at TeachMeets, and TeachMeet TV compliments this mission beautifully…which is why we’re forging close links with the TeachMeet TV crew and promoting this new site relentlessly.

So, if you’d like to catch up on some fantastic TeachMeet presentations which you’ve missed, or you know of a fantastic TeachMeet video which ought to be on the site, get yourself over to TeachMeet TV and join in!

And what about audioboos, I hear you ask? Well, our good friends over at EDUtalk have already got that covered.

TeachMeet Pedagoo❤Libraries #tmlovelibraries


The Pedagoo approach to TeachMeets is coming to Edinburgh!

So, you might by now have heard of our events such as tmSLFringe in Glasgow, PedagooXmasParty in Newcastle and PedagooLondon in, er, London – obviously. If you have, you might well be wondering why Pedagoo hasn’t yet run one of these TeachMeets in the spiritual home of both TeachMeet & Pedagoo – Auld Reekie. Well, it’s happening this June.

On the afternoon of Saturday 1st June we’ll gather in the Central Library on George IV Bridge to share ideas and learn from each other in a workshop format. Right now we’re looking for practicing teachers like you to sign up to lead one of these workshops. Please don’t be shy. If you’ve tried something out in your classroom that you and your students enjoyed and thought worked well…share it! People who lead a workshop unanimously agree that it is an enjoyable and worthwhile experience.

Once all the workshops are sorted, we’ll open the event to general registration. You can sign up to be notified of when this happens on the wiki too.

In the evening of 1st June we’ll also be having a follow up event in a local pub where everyone will have a chance to share in a very relaxed environment. More details of this to follow…but make sure it’s in your diary!

Edinburgh Central Library are fantastic partners for this event and you should totally check out their resources for learners if you haven’t already: http://yourlibrary.edinburgh.gov.uk/

So, what are you waiting for? Sign up now!
TeachMeet Pedagoo❤Libraries