One year on

May 10, 2012

A year has passed since I completed my Degree and gained QTS (Qualified Teacher Status). I often come back to this blog and look back through the posts fondly, and reflect on what a delightful whirlwind the whole experience was. This year, I have just been a teacher completing the NQT (Newly Qualified Teacher) program. I use the word ‘just’ as I do feel that it is quite a step down from the pressures and progress made last year. None the less, teaching is not easy, and when thrust into the absolute thick of it with no other distractions, it is rather daunting! Anyway, all is well and I continuously reflect back to last year and think I will always see it as being one of my life’s greatest achievements.


Fin

May 10, 2011

I shall be sporting this very soon indeed!

So here I am, three years from the crisis that was my dilemma about higher education and I am now at the end of a very successful degree course of study. I have submitted over 70,000 words (or equivalent with alternative medias) and very likley to graduate with Upper second-class Honours this Autumn.

It has been one of the best journeys of my life and I have probably learnt more about myself and my own capabilities than the course content itself. That is not to say I have not learnt much, its just the personal gains have been so great, I feel that I could conquer the world! It may be about 30 working days until I get my marks back, but I remain confident – one such attribute I have developed in this course.

From here, it is onwards to a career in teaching, knowing full well that I have the transferable skills needed to do anything I set my mind to.

P.S, My gift to those still on the course and fellow students joining me in crossing the finishing line, a spreadsheet programmed to work out your final grade, given the weighting of the modules and so on: Mark Calculator (This spreadsheet has nothing to do with Anglia Ruskin University, I made it myself and I cannot guarantee its accuracy. Use as a guide only)


iPad experiment

March 26, 2011

20110326-111919.jpg

Like the fanboy that I am, last night I queued for just over 2 hours to pick up a shiny new iPad 2, 32 GB, Wi-Fi model. I had never owned an iPad before and the feature bumps and quicker processor in the second incarnation of the device managed to persuade me to part with my cash.

So why am I putting this rather un-interesting news on a degree blog? Well, many people are calling the iPad a post-pc device, inferring that the device is like the next version of the personal computer to be used by the masses. Being an ICT teacher by trade, I obviously am wanting to get in on the action and see the devices application in the workplace / classroom. What I am proposing to do is to spend as much time on the iPad as I can and detach from my laptop. Is this possible with the current feature set and notable limitations of the device? That’s what I want to find out. Are the limitations of the device actually a new framework for using a device like this? These are all things I want to look into.

Now, I might be absolutely mad doing this now at the stage where there is only about a month to go until the work based major project is handed in, but that fits in nicely with the experiment, can I finish my work based major project on an iPad? That will be something to tell the grandkids…

The experiment has already begun, I am writing this post on the aforementioned device and I have already noticed how quickly I can type and also just how few mistakes I make on this keyboard!

So here we go, into the unknown, but the very exciting!


“One more push and the end is in sight”

January 24, 2011

Crikey, it’s the last part of the degree!

Click me!!!

Not long now…


Looking back on alternative media

November 1, 2010

An excerpt from an alternative media assignment

Throughout my previous study, I have learnt many skills that I do not have the space here to list. One specific I want to unpack here is the concept of using alternative media to present assignments. University is all too often associated with 3,000 word essays and the like, but it really does not have to be that way.

I have made use of a variety of media to present my assignments and I am lucky that I work with a University / Faculty that embraces this medium. I have used everything from Poetry to Animation. As long as the medium accurately meets the outcomes required of the assignment, what’s the problem? I would even go to say that my faculty would prefer to see a 5 minute animation than a 1,500 essay! Some examples I have used in past study:

  1. Poetry – depicting a critical incident of a trip to China with Students, learning valuable lessons of pastoral care.
  2. Vlog – talking freely, prompted by notes, about an event. Feedback on this is that it promotes deeper reflection. I have to agree.
  3. Animated presentations – presentations done in Apple Keynote that allow the user to interact with the presentation and advance at their own pace.
  4. Emails to a hypothetical freiend – encourages persuasive techniques around an academic subject.

These are just a few examples of how I have utilised alternative media in my studies, I look forward to a time where assignment submission in these media is common place in all levels of education, because lets be real here, when do you write essays in ‘the real world’?


The four stages of learning

September 27, 2010

When we learn anything, it can be broken down into four phases. To learn or teach anyhting, it is of benefit to know when each of these four stages are reached to gauge learning:

  1. Unconscious incompetence – You dont know what a car is
  2. Conscious incompetence – You know what a car is, but you dont know how to drive it
  3. Conscious competence – You can drive a car whilst concentrating on how to do it
  4. Unconscious competence – You can drive a car without thinking about it

Can you think of any examples for anything you have learnt recently?


Just a single year remaining

June 11, 2010

The gown is not on me yet, but I can already smell it!

So its now Toby Adams, DipHE. Two years down the road from starting and I have a Diploma of Higher Education (Should I wish to “cash it in” now). Thankfully, the road does not stop here and one calendar year from now and I will be awaiting my third year results in high anticipation of becoming Toby Adams, BA (Hons). I am hoping on achieving a 2:1 overall at the end of next year as my results so far set me up perfectly for that, but aiming for a 1st if I can. It is not going to be easy, but it is certainly not out of reach, so why not!