Exploring what matters

Exploring what matters

Welcome to the IRIS Connect blog space where you can join conversations and discover free resources, tips and summaries. We hope you find something useful for your professional development and learning.

If you have a topic you'd like us to cover or if you're interested in covering one yourself in a guest post, please contact us.


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TeacherTales: 5 key staff development strategies during a pandemic

Posted by Guest blogger - Chris Harrison on 28 January, 2021

Since Covid struck in 2020, so many things have been put on hold as we collectively navigate our way through unusual and challenging circumstances. Outside, gatherings have ceased and socialising has taken a significant hit.  We now see this taking place in schools, too: cross-over of staff is rare or non-existent as we strive to keep teams safe. Even when schools were full of pupils many teachers were like passing ships as they drifted around in their own bubbles.  Many of us have tried to tackle these issues digitally with get-togethers, quizzes and virtual meet-ups and these can have a really positive impact: just seeing others and interacting with them can be such a boost. 

One area in our school that we had struggled to maintain was staff development: courses have ceased or gone digital; TeachMeets and BrewEDs are digital or postponed; learning walks have had to be rethought; school visits are a no go and cross-pollination of good pedagogy is significantly damaged. Within this blog I hope to unpick some ways of combating this digitally – and more specifically through the use of IRIS Connect.

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How to teach remotely: 10 resources

Posted by Alexandra Spalding on 18 January, 2021

We know there’s no quick fix when it comes to remote teaching and one size certainly doesn’t fit all, but these tools to teach online could be a great place to start. Keep up to date with all the resources we're sharing over on our Twitter account @IRIS_Connect.

Please share any other resources you’ve found to be useful in the comments section below so that fellow readers can benefit. 

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Refining distance learning with IRIS Connect

Posted by Rico Patzer on 11 January, 2021

A new year, a new lockdown. With the latest government announcement schools have again been largely closed to most learners and are now switching to online learning at least until half term. In contrast to the first wave last year, most schools and teachers are now more experienced with this new approach to teaching and learning and are no longer solely focused on how to deliver online education but instead are considering ways to improve this experience for both their learners and their teachers. 

If your school has been using IRIS Connect to capture and improve classroom practice, take a look below at some ideas of how you could be using our online CPD platform to capture your online teaching, improve your practice and stay connected with colleagues wherever they are.

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Is your school ready for the next generation of teacher PD?

Posted by Graham Newell on 24 September, 2020

 

Summary of the EEF report on Remote PD

“School professionals can gain knowledge and skills from remote PD, ultimately leading to gains in pupil outcomes” (EEF, August, 2020)

Professional Development has been an unfortunate casualty of the current crisis with the Education Endowment Foundation acknowledging that the Covid-19 pandemic has made traditional PD exceptionally difficult to deliver. Alongside Durham University, the EEF undertook a rapid evidence assessment aimed at summarising the efficacy of remote professional development and reviewed evidence into fully remote and blended approaches to PD. 

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Live video conferencing built specifically for teachers

Posted by Andy Newell on 18 September, 2020

Video conferencing is exciting technology that is significantly helping to address the challenges of social isolation and reduced collaboration faced by teachers and students.

Sadly, the conferencing tools being offered by the big multinationals have been borrowed from the corporate sector meaning that  uptake across the education sector has been stressful and patchy. You’ve probably found they either lack education specific tools or have question marks over their security and compliance in an education context. You are not alone.

With a decade of experience in working with schools on video collaboration, and a track record of securely managing over 200,000 hours of classroom footage, we knew we had a role to play in delivering what schools needed.  We believe schools deserve live video tools built specifically for learning.

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School return: How do we talk about bereavement?

Posted by Graham Newell on 6 May, 2020

An interesting debate has started: return to school with a strong emphasis on ‘catching up’, or a return that has a greater focus on emotional readjustment?

Whatever the outcome of this debate, when pupils return to school they will be changed.

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