Just wow – Teachers’ Registration Board of SA

trbThe Teachers’ Registration Board SA has always been, well, the Teachers’ Registration Board of SA. The information has always been solid, reliable and ,er, very solid and reliable. Conservative. Corseted. Whaleboned, even. It has always been a VERY IMPORTANT organisation. Impressively VIP like Her Majesty. I have always dutifully read the missives, taken onboard the information and then forgotten about them until registration has come around. They have needed to be VERY IMPORTANT. They are our registration board. Recently I received an email from Communications, TRB with the subject heading TRB-Registration Buzz – Issue 33. TRB. TRB. Who on earth are TRB sending me an email? Registration Buzz? What’s that? Have I been asleep for 32 issues? My email blocks images to prevent my getting unsolicited nasties so I clicked on the Registration Buzz Banner alt link. I arrived on the trb Teachers’ Registration site . trb with little letters. This was a new image. I well remember the last time I went on the site and I haven’t been back since. I was trying to clarify what I needed to do for registration and where you housed that information. On the new site I can easily see the Teachers’ Portal. It is there very clearly at the top. Last time, I had hunted around the (old) site and had ended up ringing them because I just could not find what I needed. I spoke with a woman of quality politesse with an impeccable speaking voice  who guided me to the right spot so I could get the information .She explained it to me expertly . That was followed up with an email which confirmed all the information we had discussed on the phone so I had a written copy of what I needed. That is the level of quality information and support we have always had from our Teachers’ Registration Board. Now , though, they have rebranded themselves. Done what the French call a “relooking” and this nouveau look for 2016 is grand. The site is now very accessible and human. The TRB is now very accessible and human.They are abuzz and atwitter (@TRB_SA) and have engaged in social media in a very positive, energetic way. I  follow them on Facebook and Twitter and the information coming out is of its usual high quality but they have now made a real connection with us. I received another Registration Buzz Newsletter in my email this morning. I knew what it was and I read it very happily , thank you. Well done trb and wow. Just wow!

Happy Mother’s Day

Kandace Meinen on Pinterest has lots of lovely ideas for simple, effective do it yourself Mother’s Day gifts. Today is the day and Pinterest will save you if you are running a bit behind schedule. Now if you bookmark this , you will be well prepared for next year.mother's day on Pinterest

Lots of resources

ICTmagicI am going to say very little. ICTmagic is a UK educational site which has organised so many online classroom resources for you to look at. You need to go to the site and start looking! Plenty of choice and plenty of support for your classroom.

Curate and aggregate

ZiteYou have choices! You can outsource your curating and aggregation to things like Flipboard and Zite or you can do it yourself with things like Pinterest and Springpad but aggregate and curate you must because we live in a world that is churning through information and where the technology changes are coming rapidly. Building a habit of curating and aggregating information means you always have new ideas and trends coming your way which keep you current. As a classroom teacher you need to stay current. Our technological society is developing at a rapid rate now in the same way we did after the industrial era start up. We just have to keep moving. Resistance is useless because we need to be able to observe and manage the changes. We are teachers. We have sound critical skills and we know how to be discerning and can then influence sound aggregation and curation choices. So, outsource or DIY? I say both. Zite is one of the newest, trendiest aggregators which will bring you news and information from all sorts of interest areas. It is up to you to decide what you are interested in and then Zite will aggregate it for you in a very user friendly way. It is well suited to tablet use but in no way dilutes the content. SpringpadSpringpad is more like Pinterest or Livebinders. You can find things of interest on the web and store them in your note books and share them. Like Zite, it is very tablet friendly. You are working on your own resources but are automatically part of a sharing community. You can follow other people’s notebooks and benefit from their curation. Your research can grow exponentially. As a teacher you are probably familiar with Evernote and if you are not, it is well worth investigating. Evernote is not the same but it does serve the purpose of saving and curating information. it can serve a bigger educational purpose which is explained well here at lifehacker. There are all sorts of curation and aggregation apps to suit your needs but Flipboard, Pinterest, Zite ,Livebinders and now Springpad are the most widely known and used and so will help bring you the most information and choices.

Boost IWB use with Triptico


I have just downloaded the free version of Triptico onto my MacBook and it appears to offer a great deal so that I can really get an idea about how this works on my whiteboard. It does look like the sort of thing which teachers and students would enjoy using to make the content more appealing to create, deliver and absorb. Teachers will learn by using the numerous options for creating learning materials. They are all active learning approaches with an interactive edge. I like the sounds, the layout, the fact I can change the layout and the fact I can see already that I could use this to customise materials for my students. I like the timer and the random student picker. It is obvious these learning activities have been built by a teacher. They will not create everything you need but it is clear from the free version that it will make better and more interesting use of the whiteboard you probably have in your classroom.The other advantage it had is that you can obtain a networked version. I won’t have a lot of time to engage with this right now but I plan to look at it over the rest of the year so I can come back to the new year 2014 with some interesting whiteboard activities for my students.

Josefine Grimm-Blenk

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