indispensible tools for teachers and learners


links to good things for classrooms

indispensibletools / FrontPage.

Why we learn – and don’t learn


Laughter and Forgetting by Nick Shackleton Jones

a superb description of the role of emotion in learning. 20 minutes long but gold dust for educators from start to end.

Site also contains the less gripping but very useful ‘100 really useful and free learning tools for teachers’ which is just a great reminder of the long list of digital tools you can use in the classroom.

Speaking and Listening resources


New whiteboard clips will be transmitted on BBC 2 on 21st April at 11.40 and repeated on 9th June in the overnight service on BBC2 between 04.00 and 06.00. They go out as a 20 minute chunk on TV but will also be clipped up and added to the BBC’s Broadband Class Clips service so you can use them freely. They’re aimed at speaking and listening skills for top primary and lower secondary but you may find other uses for them.

Clips include:

999 call: What’s the wrong way to call the emergency services?

Explanation: When is an explanation not an explanation? When it uses jargon

Interviewing Skills: How can an interviewer miss the most important bit of news?

Debate: Should the driving age be raised or lowered?

Job Interviews: 3 candidates apply for a post as an office junior in a games company. Who would you give the job to?

Explanations: a demonstration of making a cheese sandwich and making a cup of tea.

Teaching Guantanamo Bay in Second Life


At MipTV two lecturers showed us what they’d been doing with Guantanamo Bay in Second Life I thought this was a visionary tool for teachers.  Pupils can swiftly come closer to the story in a way that hours of news footage are unlikely to ever achieve

The game, which requires you to sign over your avatar to another’s control, also integrates the facts and feelings researched through the footage, interviews, news reports, poetry and other official and personal sources of information around the issue. It’s an amazing piece of work and points to a whole new way of undersatnding War, Peace and Citizenship both formally and informally.