KEEP Teaching

Thomas and Robin are back, locked down, but still exploring new ways of teaching physics. Thomas has been exploring the potential (and limitations of) Microsoft Forms and has found a collection of shared resources at https://groups.io/g/PhysicsQuizzes. There’s a lot of power here to help you remotely assess your students’ learning, but a few gotchas too.

We are delighted to talk to Mark Whalley, IOP Education Manager, former headteacher, and of course, a physics teacher. Robin caught up with him to chat about KEEP Teaching, a project funded by the EEF, run by the IOP, and evaluated by UCL that is looking to find out what will keep early-career physics teachers in the classroom. If you are a physics or engineering graduate, taking up an NQT post in September (or a school hiring such an NQT) get in touch via the link above to see if you can take part!

Thomas was surprised that Randomised Control Trials are happening in education, but the EEF has been doing a vast amount in this area to put some quantitative evidence behind a whole raft of educational interventions. The results are fascinating and can be found in the EEF’s Teaching and Learning Toolkit. It makes for some interesting reading, and wherever you stand on RCTs, we hope you’ll agree that the KEEP Teaching results will be powerful evidence for persuading policymakers to do more to protect our wonderful subject.

Have a wonderful half term everyone!

Teacher in Residence

The “new normal” has once again shrunk the globe, as Thomas and Robin reach out to Alberta, Canada to talk to the inspirational Laura Pankratz of the Perimeter Institute. Just as well we talked to her when we did, because apparently we’ve discovered a black hole next door…

We first met the Perimeter Institute courtesy of IOP Scotland Education Manager and friend of the podcast Stuart Farmer, in Season 1, Episode 5 of the podcast, when hand-shaking was still a thing and you could buy carbohydrates in the shops. Even then we knew that one episode could never do the PI justice. So when Jessica Rowson (the ORIGINAL friend of the podcast) suggested we talk to Perimeter Institute, Teacher in Residence, Laura Pankratz, we knew it was time…

Laura shared the work of the Institute, and the resources it provides to help teachers. What a wealth of interesting physics there is to explore, including the physics teacher’s 2020 catnip of choice … PRACTICALS YOU CAN DO AT HOME!! We’ll all be trying to get some 2 litre fizzy-drink / soda bottles at the supermarket this week, I reckon!

Now I wonder if I take my LED halogen light bulbs apart I can make them work in an electric field?

Assessment and CPAC

Thomas, Robin and Patrick chat about using teacher judgement to assess students, and wonder whether more trust should be placed in a teacher’s view of a student’s performance in future.

The “new normal” is just another way of saying “weird” as far as we’re concerned. In this episode, we range around the emergency assessment routines that OFQUAL have put into place, reflecting on the humanity and fairness that they have managed to salvage from what is a stressful and potentially difficult end to our GCSE and A-level students’ studies. It is interesting to contrast with CPAC, as this time of year also sees us tidying up and finishing of this traditional aspect of A-level assessment. Thomas talks about his experience as an exam board moderator, and we discuss whether this model of accountability has somehow lost its way.

@MissNeutrino, a Physics NQT

In an almost covid free podcast, Thomas and Robin meet Alexia, a newly qualified teacher (NQT) in Physics.

Summary

Alexia has a Physics degree from Imperial (which made Robin happy) and a PGCE from the London Institute of Education (which made Thomas happy). She has many strings to her bow. In addition to being a physics teacher, Alexia is a LaTeX guru, has a fascinaton with neutrinos and tweets as @MissNeutrino.

Alexia tells us about her NQT year and how she is faring in her first year as a Teacher.

Lockdown Lessons Learned

Thomas and Robin hook up for a quick catch up after the Easter holidays. They talk about what they have heard, what they have learned and what they miss about being in school.

Summary

Thomas and Robin have heard some strange tales of what is going on in different schools. Virtual learning walks sounds like unnecessary stress at this strange time and what about detentions for the kids if they don’t turn up on-line?

They have had some success with Teams and discuss how they are trying to set work for the children that is practical rather than more worksheets. Thomas is missing equipment for teaching and Robin is missing his colleagues.

On we go in this strange time…

Learning about remote learning…

Patrick, Thomas and Robin try out zoom to hear how Patrick has been getting on, and then talk through plans for the week. Emma Brown gives us her tips from Shanghai.

Links

Israeli (not Spanish!) mum lets rip about the work set.

Summary

Patrick, Thomas and Robin try out zoom. Patrick tells us his successes and failures and gives Thomas the top tip of zoom breakout rooms. Thomas is clueless about what to do with Year 7 and asks for advice. Thomas then chats with Emma Brown in Shanghai who has to teach classes of 70+ online. She has some good advice about using video and ways of checking the kids are engaged. Finally Thomas and Robin report back about how they got on and Thomas gives an update on his collaboration with Helen Reynolds making a resource site for Physics teachers.

Robin likes to give his students a break

Ways to teach Physics… Remotely

Summary

Thomas and Robin summarise the advice they have been given about teaching remotely.

Content

So much has happened in such a short time, Thomas and Robin decide to talk to some experts about how to support their students remotely. YouTube is a great resource, but also Physics teachers all over the World are cooperating and sharing. The podcast scrapes the surface of this but we get some good advice along the way.

YouTube Channels:

Web sites:

#ChatPhysics

Summary

Fabio Di Salvo joins us to talk about Chat Physics, Physics chat on Twitter. Robin asks for advice about the photoelectric effect.

Content

Covid-19 dominates the news and the podcast is no exception. We got in to and then had cancelled the NSTA talk in the same week. Thomas cheered himself up by redoing the web site with a new archive and a new World map of all the listener locations. Before we talk to Fabio, Robin also

Fabio started Chat Physics for the same reasons as we started the Physics Teaching podcast. A lone physics teacher, he wanted to share ideas with other Physics Teachers. Chat Physics was born, four questions asked and teachers all over the World answering.

Links

Join in!

Please share ideas or successes – or indeed questions – on our Facebook Page: https://fb.me/physicstp .  You can also message us via our website contact form at the.physicsteachingpodcast.com, Twitter @physicstp, email using  the address given in the podcast (if we remember) or by leaving a voice memo using WhatsApp or Telegram to the phone number in our Twitter profile, +44 7898 814716 (don’t call the number, nobody will answer, just hold down the microphone icon and speak your message or upload an mp3 or ogg). Don’t forget to tell us your name because we may use your audio in a future episode.

The music we use remains One legged equilibrist polka by Circus Homunculus.

Send Message
Reset Form

Isaac Physics

Summary

David Buckley joins us to talk about Isaac Physics, the free web-based question bank.

Content

David (@physwithmrb), who started as a Biology teacher, is now head of Physics and uses Isaac weekly to support and challenge his students. Isaac is a rich resource of challenging questions for students and teachers alike.

Links

David’s Links:

Join in!

Please share ideas or successes – or indeed questions – on our Facebook Page: https://fb.me/physicstp .  You can also message us via our website contact form at the.physicsteachingpodcast.com, Twitter @physicstp, email using  the address given in the podcast (if we remember) or by leaving a voice memo using WhatsApp or Telegram to the phone number in our Twitter profile, +44 7898 814716 (don’t call the number, nobody will answer, just hold down the microphone icon and speak your message or upload an mp3 or ogg). Don’t forget to tell us your name because we may use your audio in a future episode.

The music we use remains One legged equilibrist polka by Circus Homunculus.

Send Message
Reset Form

Categories

The International Year of Sound (Good Vibrations)

Summary

Keeta Jones from the Acoustical Society of America joins us to talk about the International Year of sound.

Content

Keeta tells us about the way that the ASA are supporting the Year of Sound with a resource pack for teachers and a competition for kids. She also describes the myriad of places that acousticians are found in the workplace.

Thomas and Robin follow up by discussing the Tacoma Narrows Bridge and a recent experiment to explore the sound of the windpipe in an ancient mummy.

Links

Join in!

Please share ideas or successes – or indeed questions – on our Facebook Page: https://fb.me/physicstp .  You can also message us via our website contact form at the.physicsteachingpodcast.com, Twitter @physicstp, email using  the address given in the podcast (if we remember) or by leaving a voice memo using WhatsApp or Telegram to the phone number in our Twitter profile, +44 7898 814716 (don’t call the number, nobody will answer, just hold down the microphone icon and speak your message or upload an mp3 or ogg). Don’t forget to tell us your name because we may use your audio in a future episode.

The music we use remains One legged equilibrist polka by Circus Homunculus.

Send Message
Reset Form