Author Archives: Mark Anderson

Pedagoo London Storify

I wasn’t able to attend the event at the Institute of Education in London today, ‘Pedagoo London’ but I avidly kept track of the tweets.

I turned them in to two storify stories which can be seen below. Enjoy the inspiration!

Well done to Helene Galdin O’Shea on what looked like a brilliant event – certainly the tweets below pay testament to that!


Photo Credit: Todd Klassy via Compfight cc

Twitter in the classroom

Originally posted on my site, I thought Pedagoo readers might like to see it too. Hope ok!

Many is the blog post which highlights the ways in which Twitter is the best staffroom in the world but I’ve not seen too many that highlight the ways in which we can use Twitter in the classroom. Many teachers love to use Twitter as a resource to share, explore, discuss and ‘magpie’ ideas from other teachers and as a vehicle to help develop their own ideas and their own practice too. It’s great for that… no, it’s absolutely brilliant for that! So how can we capitalise on the 140 character legendary social media king to help learning in the classroom? Here are some do’s and don’ts to help get you going.


1. Have a class account for professional distance.

2. Use an App such as Spout for your display.

3. Find a list of appropriate Twitter accounts for students to follow such as experts in a particular field of study.

4. Share responsibility of tweeting between class. Use this responsibility as a reward too.

5. Make a noticeboard of tweets of the week which students can vote on based upon their research using Twitter.

6. As you go through the academic year, use a consistent hashtag (#) to tweet key revision points that they can use later.

7. Make up fake twitter accounts for key individuals they are studying for them to research or add tweets from themselves in character. Students can take turns in running the account (a virtual version of the Primary school ‘take a teddy home for the night’ project.

8. Find a class from another school and share # to interact with each other.

9. Ask students to research using Twitter and Twitter summaries.

10. Tweet starters to students as part of your bell work.

11. Use Twitter to time competitions. Set a task and the first individual or group to tweet the right answer or their online work, wins.

12. Use Twitter as your plenary. Much better than asking every student to verbally give their feedback on learning, ask them to tweet it on a # specific to your lesson.

13. Use Storify to record tweets from a particular lesson – also use it as a literacy tool and ask students to correct spelling and grammar from the tweets that are on the Storify page.

14. Chose 4 key tweets from the lesson. Get students to draw them and then pass on to the student to identify.

15. For schools that don’t allow Twitter, print out characters on to a sheet and pretend it’s Twitter.

16. Not exactly a ‘using Twitter’ kind of idea but using the premise of Twitter, ask students to answer complex questions only using 140 characters. It forces them to think about language and refine their answer so that it features key information in order for it to be correct.

17. Use a site such as to create a class magazine based upon curated tweets from key experts that are followed by the class account.

18. Promote learning outside of the class by tweeting regular out of lesson tweets. A service such as Buffer can help you to stack up tweets which auto-tweet at specific times that you set.

19. Use it as a tool to communicate with parents about learning in lessons too, share images of student work and celebrate success.

20. Use it as a tool for students to submit questions for the teacher. This could be done on a hashtag or direct to your class account for you to reply to.

With all these lesson ideas, and they are by no means exhaustive – there are some things that you really should make sure too that you do not do…


1. Don’t think Twitter is a substitute teacher.

2. Don’t let students access your personal account.

3. Don’t tolerate any kind of online bullying. Deal with this swiftly if you see it.

4. Don’t use the Internet without learning about e-safety, mitigate against it and ensure that you have had some training on how to protect your professional identity.

5. Don’t expect the students to use Twitter if you can’t yourself.

6. Don’t leave out students with a fear of writing due to dyslexia or other issues. This is the perfect confidence boost.

7. Don’t think the technology is too clever. You can use it to great effect.

8. Don’t assume that this can fill a hole in lesson planning. It has to have a learning purpose and be tied to the learning in the lesson.

9. Don’t accept poor spelling just because it is a tweet.

10. Don’t underestimate the power of social media. Your learners are already trained, just harness their pre-existing skill for learning.

I am sure that you can add your own ideas to these, please share them in the comments below. As always, I’d love to hear about your experiences.

Photo Credit: Maria Handmade via Compfight cc and thank you to @rlj1981 for sharing Twitter ideas from her classroom.

#PedagooFriday 8 March ’13

Friday 8 March saw one week on from the brilliant #PedagooLondon event. It’s been great to see all the ripples of impact from the event. The many attendees going away inspired by the wide variety of amazing sessions on offer and the subsequent blogs talking about what teachers will do, what students have done and the ideas taken from the event.

As always, the #PedagooFriday hashtag was busy with the uplifting stories of amazing teaching, learning, pedagogy and impact in classrooms across the week. Here are a few of them:

Pedagoo Xmas Party | Newcastle

After a pretty long trek up to Newcastle Uni for the event, I arrived with the usual nervous excitement that always comes before an event of this nature. What I was presented with was yet another fantastic group of teachers giving up their time and weekend to share their experiences, action research and ideas for improving our practice.



Kenny Pieper & Lisa Jane Ashes kicked off the event with some great tales and activities to get the mind buzzing. Kenny with his softly spoken yet lilting accent engaged us and made us smile along with Lisa and her ice breaker activity to help with sentence structure. Given my grammar, I could definitely learn a thing or two!

Following this intro, a variety of different workshops took place. I talked a bit about the NESTA report, Ofsted, Traxler, ‘Find it make it use it share it‘ report from Wales, University of Hull report and the importance of SAMR along with some ideas and tools that can help support transformational / redefinition learning.

Other speakers included:

  • Darren Mead talking about PBL & critique,
  • Tait Coles and his ‘Punk Learning’,
  • Jon Tait and his ideas for engaging students with technology
  • David Gray on Kagen structures,
  • Steve Bunce on the future of technology,
  • Samantha Bainbridge on accelerated learning techniques for when you teach in many classrooms,
  • Samantha Williams on independence & advanced questioning.

There was lots on offer & feedback within sessions and through conversations were fab to be a part of and eavesdrop on too. People thinking about how they could take the ideas and apply them to their settings. Tait Coles’ advice rang very true for me though. By all means take my resources and use them but don’t just take them and use them…. Does that make sense? What he means is, take them and then develop them for your individual setting. And if there’s anything that ‘Punk learning’ can teach us, it’s that you need to be grass roots with the frameworks students use. Give them your effort and then let them develop it. Let them critique and improve your initial (magpied) resource. Give them that sense of ownership. Let them invest in their assessment structures. By doing that they’ll understand the framework better and work within it and beyond.


TeachMeet Pedagoo

The evening event proved even more useful for me. As I was involved in the day events, I didn’t get to see the sessions like I would have otherwise so the evening was special for me as I got to see everyone’s talks. Some highlights for me were:

  • Laura Sutherland’s use of Socrative. I’ve taken some further ideas on how to use the great AfL tool from her work I’m definitely going to use
  • Tait Coles with his passionate talk on awe and wonder
  • Darren Mead talking about the disparity between what we are asked to prove vs what we should be doing (see side image)
  • Sam Bainbridge’s PEE triangles

Although I got something from all of the presentations.

Cannot close my mouth! @ blowing my mind with 3d sexiness #pedagooxmasparty
Laura Sutherland

Massive thanks must go out to Gary Mitchelson, Lisa Jane Ashes and everyone at Pedagoo for organising a great event. It ran like clockwork and the positivity and collegiality shown from all was great. I made some new friends and got to meet some of my twitter heroes too including the amazing Chris Allen; someone who has shown me the way on so many occasions. See you at the next one?