This recent recorded Serendipity session ended up as a double dip as we had a dead heat for the topic of choice for discussion. This has happened before and what we did on this occasion as on previous ones was to split the time in half and set the timer to keep it fair! The chosen topics were:
- Ideas for teachers new to teaching in a 1:1 environment
- Focus on typing instead of handwriting in elementary school
This was a very lively global session – I think in part because we had limited time for each topic and I set the timer to keep us on track, this seems to be a really good way of focussing our minds on the topic of the moment.
So we started with the topic of “Ideas for teachers new to teaching in a 1:1 environment As always, discussion was multichanneled using the whiteboard and text chat as well as audio. People shared their own experiences and the were also a number of links shared via text chat including several on internet safety – checkout the recording to get the full flavour!
The second topic “Focus on typing instead of handwriting in elementary school” is particularly interesting for me as I have terrible brain to pen co-ordination, almost illegible handwriting and the physical act of writing stops me from thinking. With a keyboard I can think and write enabling me to produce much better quality writing. The topic arose from a concern that there is too much emphasis on handwriting at elementary level at the expense of learning typing skills and that good typing skills are becoming more and more essential. This discussion also included the sharing of several links to touch typing programs. I also have links to typing programs and as promised here are a couple that I use with students.
- Dance Mat Typing from the BBC – the audio has a strong regional accent that might be a bit hard for non-UK students
- Learn 2 Type – doesn’t have an age restriction and requires only a login name and password so that exercises can be tracked
Because I work in an adolescent and adult environment I do not have to vet as carefully for the type of advertising on the site as I would with yong children so please be aware of this when you are looking at these sites – the BBC one has no advertising but the other one does. I usually provide a list of several typing tutors for students to choose from.
To finish off the session we had some feedback to help us in the future and also asked for topics of interest that we might address in future sessions.
We have an Edublogs Tools and Strategies session coming up where Sue Wyatt aka tasteach on Twitter will tell us about her student blogging challenge (about to go into its fourth run) and how to get involved with your students. Join us – depending on your timezone – on Thursday January 28th at 23:00 GMT (6pm USA EST, Midnight CET) or Friday January 29th at 7am West Aus, 10am NSW. On Elluminate as usual in the Edublogs Elluminate room