During my employment at the Victoria International School of Sharjah – VISS (2014 – Present):
As an IBDP Economics, Business and Humanities Teacher:
I finally managed to FLIP MY CLASSROOM! I have been using Edmodo as my classroom LMS where I deposit my resources, handouts, worksheets, course guides, electronic quizzes and everything for the students, and EduCanon as my interactive video platform (EduCanon is also an app on the Edmodo app-store, and integrates perfectly with Edmodo).
EduCanon allows you to import your classes from Edmodo, and to import videos from YouTube (I make these videos/screencasts using a combination of PowerPoints and ExplainEverything on my iPad, then upload them to YouTube).
Once I import my screencast with the theory/content I want to teach, EduCanon allows you to embed questions directly into the video. When students watch the videos, the screen will pause and the embedded question will pop-up. Teachers can embed MCQs, T/F questions, short-answer questions, fill-in-the-blanks questions and reflective pauses as well, it’s pretty cool!
Also, EduCanon allows you to easily monitor how each student goes and what questions they got wrong and which ones they got right, and generates pretty cool statistics and data to be used as formative assessment to inform your teaching. I love EduCanon!
As a Drama Teacher:
My teaching strategies for my drama classroom while teaching at VISS changed dramatically with the expectation of using iTunesU and integrating iPads into the classroom. As a pretty tech-savvy teacher and an iPad geek, I took on that challenge!
So, in order to manage the learning process, I decided to integrate three of my favorite apps:
1- iTunesU: for course-planning as well as having a class LMS where I share all my resources with the students, and collect anything from them. Here is a blogpost I wrote about the iTunesU training that I received through school.
2- BookCreator: the students download a template for their Drama Journal/Portfolio from the iTunesU course, then add evidence of their work and skills-development throughout the year, then re-submit it as an ePub at the end of the course through iTunesU. Here is a blogpost giving more detail about this drama journal on BookCreator.
3- ExplainEverything: this is the app I usually suggested for students to use whenever they needed to brainstorm/plan, or show evidence of research and knowledge, or reflect on their performances/rehearsals. What I love about this app is that you can annotate and record your voice, as well as export slides as photos or as videos, both of which can be imported directly into their BookCreator journal/portfolio!
During my employment at the Australian International Academy – AIA (2010 – 2014):
I view a teacher’s management of the learning process as having three different components:
Firstly, I view the proper use of the whiteboard and visual aids in the classroom as a very important contributor to the smooth and efficient management of learning in the classroom. I believe whiteboard-organisation is one of my key strengths as a teacher, and I have published a blogpost earlier about how I use the whiteboard in my classroom. My whiteboard helps me with teaching the content, managing student behavior my classroom, organising the schedule for the lesson, and distributing electronic resources to students by using shortened links or QR codes.
In my senior school classes, how I organise my whiteboard also contributes to building high-quality class notes that the students can use for revision. I have created this Evernote note for my year 11 Business Management class in 2014, where I kept snapshots of everything written on the whiteboard so that absent students can catch up on what they missed, and also for all students to refer to for revision before tests/exams.
Secondly, smooth and efficient classroom management is paramount for creating a learning environment in the classroom. I have worked really hard over my years as a teacher to create a detailed and fair classroom management plan for my drama classes. My experience in the classroom has shown me that it is much harder to manage a drama class than it is any other subject I have taught, and that is because drama is loud, messy, and collaborative, and students often view it as an easy and unimportant subject and so think they can get away with a lot more than they would in a regular classroom. I have published a blogpost about classroom management in the drama classroom a while back to reflect on this issue. I have also prepared this short video (embedded below) to explain and discuss the different parts of my classroom management plan or approach (here is the PDF document outlining all my strategies for classroom management).
Thirdly, managing the learning process as a teacher depends greatly on the teaching strategies employed and the learning experiences created for students in the classroom. The teaching strategies I use in my classroom and the learning experiences I create for my students depend greatly on my teaching philosophy. Below are two slideshows showing my teaching philosophy and some of the teaching strategies/learning experiences I routinely and frequently use in all my classrooms.