*Social bookmarking???

*Social bookmarking is a way for Internet users to share, organize, search, and manage bookmarks of web resources.


Action Research

For this semesters MSc assignment I have been asked to undertake a small-scale action research project.The project will involve designing and introducing into my practice an instructional strategy, activity or technique and analysing its effect on improving student learning.

My initial idea is to analyse the effectiveness of social bookmarking as a way of sharing infomation with sixth form students. During my PGCE and MSc I have often been directed to the social bookmarking sites of university academics and have often wondered how effective these sites really are with regards to sharing information with students. This is mainly because it has taken two years of the Academic Skills Tutor plugging her site before I was motivated to visit it, despite it containing lots of useful links. I am also aware that my tutor groups only see me once a week and as sixth formers there’s a wealth of information and useful links that I have that I can share with these students therefore if I can get it to work a social bookmarking site could become an invaluable tool.

I was originally thinking of setting up a Diigo site for my students however the site has no facility to track web traffic so instead I am going to create a WordPress site and organise the links by creating different pages such as UCAS, volunteering and study skills. I am unsure of whether to create a small-scale version of the site for this assignment and focus on sharing university related links with the A2 students whilst waiting until the dissertation module to develop the site fully or whether to completely go for it this time and work on another idea for my dissertation?

Any comments about the merits or limitations of this action research project are greatly welcomed.


Famous dyslexics

As Reditho’s tweet below explains discussing famous dyslexics in class can give a real confidence boost to learners with dyslexia or low-level literacy skills.


11:15 PM

RT @Marisa_C: RT @reditho: I once had a teacher who made a lesson plan on famous people with dyslexia. It was good for confidence building  #eltchat

A lot of the basic skills literacy learners that I teach have very low self-esteem. They have convinced themselves that because they  find reading and writing difficult that they are thick and will never amount to anything. Therefore raising awareness of successful dyslexics is extremely important as it proves to these types of learners that they can be as successful as others in the same position have before them.

Instead of presenting a lesson on famous dyslexics I have created a large wall display as this promotes lots of discussion amongst my ever-changing learners ( I have new ones every Monday and Tuesday). Last week was the first time that the display had been presented and at regular points throughout the week lessons were stopped as students pointed out in amazement ‘Steve Jobs was dyslexic…and Winston Churchill….and Theo Paphitis.’ This provided the perfect opportunity to stop the lesson, discuss the image of dyslexics, challenge the preconceptions and discuss how dyslexia needn’t be a barrier to stopping you achieving your dreams.

I printed the resources from TES which has a fantastic a 32 page printable poster series about famous dyslexics. Each page has a picture of a famous dyslexic for example Winston Churchill, Henry Ford, Richard Branson, Albert Einstein and Walt Disney.