nearpod

Thomas and Robin are joined by the marvellous Will White not only a great guest but also an NQT physics teacher who teachers at the school where Thomas and Robin both used to teach, and indeed where they met (there is no blue plaque – shouldn’t we write a letter or something?)  Will also has the pleasure of teaching Thomas’s daughter and works with the brilliant Wendy who we would like to clone (but who knew how bad our biology was, so wouldn’t let us try).

Will introduces us to Nearpod which is a beautifully designed teaching aid that has lots of excellent features to help you with AFL during lockdown. For example, Will introduced us to the questioning functionality that Nearpod embeds in YouTube.  He points out that maintaining focus is tough for kids and the ability to sharpen focus with a question every now and again is a great feature.

The AFL functions involved in the package are really useful allowing you to interact and see students ideas in real time, sharing answers anonymously – definitely worth checking out.  Quizlet and Plickers are alternative packages that the three of us have tried, and there’s some links below.

Will has had a disrupted (!) start to his career, but it doesn’t stop us from pinning him down about a favourite practical.  Despite becoming momentarily confused about a different science subject that we’d barely heard of, we chat about the beauty of the solar spectrum on a CD experiment (link below).

It was terrific to hear from Will and to hear how he is embracing the challenges of these difficult times.  Thanks to Will for joining us, and to you joining us to develop your physics teaching in spite of the pandemic.

Links

Make your own CD spectrometr – https://www2.physics.ox.ac.uk/lab-camera-action/make-your-own-cd-spectrometer

Quizlet – https://quizlet.com/

Plickers – https://plickers.com/

Nearpod – https://nearpod.com/

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), you could even email us an autio file if you are feeling really keen.

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Another Lockdown Lowdown

Thomas and Robin chew the fat over how they are progressing in the new lockdown. We’ve been thinking about how to backfill gaps in the curriculum, in particular practical work.

We have been making use of YouTube to draw on the generosity of colleagues who have filmed and uploaded videos, for example MissLowePhysics who we’ve linked to below. A huge debt of gratitude to all of you who have uploaded videos. And on that note, don’t forget our friend of the podcast, Lewis Matheson and his physics online channel for GCSE and A-level. You guessed it, see the link below.

Simulations are useful, and we have recently spoken with PhET, but Thomas has also been busy making some useful Excel based practical simulations.

We chat about context too. Robin has set his year 10 students a homework to watch the HBO series Chernobyl as an introduction to why e study radioactivity. He’s also been giving some colour to particle physics with year 13 by showing pictures of how the Stanford Linear Accelerator has evolved over the years and emphasising the narrative of discovery in particle physics over the last 120 years.

Literacy is coming! We will be talking about the importance of written and spoken understanding in physics soon. Until then take care and stay safe.

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), you could even email us an autio file if you are feeling really keen.

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Good enough is good enough.

A physicist would tell you that it would be illogical to expect a non-sentient life form to change its behaviour based simply on passing a particular point on an arbitrary time scale… which is why they’re not often invited to parties. And so it is that 2021 carries on in much the way that 2020 ended, but that is no reason for the podcast not to celebrate all that’s good about the physics teaching community.

Thomas and Robin return to talk survival as we lock down again. With many teachers now doing hybrid teaching, we discuss strategies for keeping sane.

First up, if you are preparing lessons that colleagues will use, a few minutes invested in a ‘ReadMe’ to help colleagues understand what you were thinking when you planned it.

Oak National Academy is a resource that was put together by teachers to help you, so do use it – it probably won’t be what you would choose to do, but it’s good enough if it saves your sanity.

Thomas makes the point that students respond better to seeing their teacher online, and recommends OBS to those of you with a techie leaning (I’ve heard there may be some of you). This allows you to do lots of clever stuff with video and audio feeds from their PC.

Quizlet, Kahoot and Plickers are all great online tools for assessment and students like them. If you are using Teams you probably have access to MS Forms which are a really effective way of setting work and giving instant assessment and feedback.

Lean on textbooks and online resources – in normal times you may create a lot of resources from scratch because you don’t feel the textbook hits quite the right tome, but for now it’s probably good enough. Thomas mentions potential copyright problems so do check with your school’s policies and whether you are licenced to reproduce limited pages of a textbook.

Check out the resources section of your favourite podcast (see above) for lots of helpful stuff, including Thomas’s latest SIM of the experiment to find Planck’s constant.

Finally, a huge THANK YOU for all you are doing to keep physics alive during these times. One thing we can all agree on is that it’s not ideal, so please just make sure you are keeping safe, healthy and well and that you allow yourself a few quick wins to keep yourself together during this.

Happy New Year to you all

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), you could even email us an autio file if you are feeling really keen.

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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…

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), you could even email us an autio file if you are feeling really keen.

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