Professional development resource – @IRIS_Connect by @TeacherToolkit

WOW! I came across this technology via TeacherToolkit – UK based edublogger. This looks so awesome as a tool for improving teaching and learning and building a growth mindset/learning community within a school. Scary at first but I think it really could be transformational.

He also finds it transformational and talks more about it here.

When I was at university we had to record ourselves teaching and then watch and reflect on the lesson, with our peers. It certainly helped me to see lots of things I was doing from a very different perspective. It was also amazing to reflect after a period of time, but while still being able to have the reality of the lesson fresh in memory – right in front of you!

I don’t know of anything like this in Australia but surely something exits… Does anyone have experience using video as a method of professional development in schools? Or know of similar programs?

Classroom Displays


My current classroom in Taiwan.

This is definitely not something I would say is my forte`, but I have been trying to get better at making the look and feel of my classrooms more interesting and engaging. The thing I find difficult is achieving visible learning versus simply decorating – although there is also value in displaying student work. This year I have tried to use student work in a way that doubles as visible learning, and inspiration by displaying work that students have created, which can help them throughout their units of study.


Text types and textual elements

For example, while looking at media and language in Grade 11, students delivered a presentation on the features of different text types – the slides of this presentation have been put on the walls and whenever students are unsure about aspects of a letter to the editor, editorial or any other sort of text, I direct them to the display to see if they can find the answer there. I have also put up other key words and pieces of information.


Shakespearean insults & word wall.

I have taken a similar approach to displays with my Grade 10 Shakespeare unit, where we¬†spent quite a lot of time looking at the language of Shakespeare. We started with everyone’s favourite, Shakespearean insults, and also looked at a range of other words, finding definitions and creating a ‘word wall’. When students came across words they were unsure about while reading, I encouraged them to check the word wall. I also encouraged them to use some of the Shakespearean language regularly in our classes, and often greeted students with some of the insults that they had created – a silly welcome to English classes. How do you create displays in your classroom? In particular, how do you ensure displays are¬†engaging and support the learning process for students? Secondary or primary teachers, I’d love any tips!