Books that helped me grow as an educator: Daniel H. Pink “Drive”

As educators, we are always looking for ways to motivate and inspire our students. One resource that can help us do just that is Daniel Pink’s book “Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us.” Daniel Pink’s book changed how I understood motivation and how to be more effective in the classroom.

In “Drive,” Pink delves into the science of motivation and challenges the traditional understanding of what motivates us to work. He argues that the traditional carrot-and-stick approach of offering rewards and punishments is not as effective as we once thought. Instead, he suggests that people are motivated by three things: autonomy, mastery, and purpose.

Autonomy is the ability to have control over one’s own work. This means giving students the freedom to choose what they want to learn, how they want to learn it, and when they want to learn it. By giving students autonomy, we are empowering them to take ownership of their own learning and giving them the motivation to succeed.

Mastery is the desire to become better at something. By providing students with opportunities to improve their skills and knowledge, we can help them achieve a sense of mastery and a sense of accomplishment.

Purpose is the desire to do something that has meaning and significance. By connecting what students are learning to real-world applications and by helping them see the relevance of their studies, we can help them find purpose in their learning and give them a sense of motivation.

By understanding the importance of autonomy, mastery, and purpose, we can create an environment that is more conducive to student motivation and success. “Drive” is a valuable resource for educators as it helps us understand the science behind motivation and gives us practical strategies for creating a more motivating learning environment. Using the knowledge from the book, I changed my whole structure of my classroom and how I design programs. To impact was immediate with overall improved outcomes for my students and a better classroom culture with mastery as its core. The framework adopted to support this was the Modern Classroom, but that’s a blog for another day.

So, it is highly recommended for educators to read this book and apply the principles in their classrooms.

You can get the book from Amazon amongst other booksellers through my affiliate link:

Personal finance resources for Career Educators

The website is an extremely useful resource for educators. This website, provided by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), offers a wide range of teaching resources and materials related to personal finance and financial literacy.

The site provides lesson plans, activities, and games that are tailored to different age groups and curriculum areas, making it easy for educators to find resources that are appropriate for their students. The materials are designed to help students develop the skills and knowledge they need to make informed financial decisions and to manage their money effectively.

Some of the topics covered on the site include budgeting, saving, investing, and credit management. The resources are designed to be engaging and interactive, making them a great way to get students interested in personal finance and to help them develop important life skills.

In addition to the resources for educators, the site also provides a range of tools and resources for students, including calculators, quizzes, and interactive games. These tools can be a great way to supplement the lessons and activities provided by the site and to help students apply what they have learned in a practical way.

Go and look at, is an excellent resource for educators looking to integrate financial literacy education into their curriculum. The website offers a wide range of high-quality, age-appropriate materials that can help students develop the skills they need to manage their money effectively.

Career Education and personal finance

In a career finance education, students should focus on developing a strong foundation in financial concepts such as investment, budgeting, and financial analysis. They should also gain practical experience through internships or hands-on projects. Additionally, students should develop strong critical thinking and problem-solving skills, as well as the ability to communicate effectively with clients and colleagues. Understanding of how various financial products and markets work and how to use financial tools and technology would be important as well.

Personal finance education is an essential component of career education for students. Understanding the basics of personal finance, such as budgeting, saving, investing, and managing debt, is crucial for making informed financial decisions throughout one’s life. With the knowledge and skills acquired in personal finance education, students will be better equipped to navigate the financial challenges that come with adulthood, such as buying a house, saving for retirement, and planning for unexpected expenses. Furthermore, the ability to manage one’s personal finances is becoming increasingly important in today’s economy, as individuals are often responsible for their own financial well-being. Personal finance education empowers students to take control of their financial futures and make informed choices that will have a lasting impact on their lives.

There are two notable and effective approaches to personal finance. The USA based Dave Ramsey and Australian Scott Page , also known as the “Barefoot Investor,” are two popular personal finance experts who have gained a large following due to their unique approaches to managing money and getting out of debt. Both Ramsey and Page have written bestselling books and host popular podcasts and events, but their strategies for achieving financial success differ in several key ways.

One of the main differences between Ramsey and Page is their approach to debt. Ramsey is a strong advocate for the “debt snowball” method, which involves paying off the smallest debts first, regardless of interest rate. By doing so, Ramsey argues that individuals will quickly see progress and be motivated to continue paying off their debts. On the other hand, Page advocates for paying off the highest-interest debt first, as it will save the most money in the long run.

Another difference between the two is their approach to investing. Ramsey is a proponent of investing in mutual funds and other index funds, while Page suggests a more hands-off approach to investing, such as using a robo-advisor or investing in low-cost ETFs.

Despite these differences, both Ramsey and Page share some similarities in their approach to personal finance. Both emphasize the importance of creating a budget, living below one’s means, and saving for the future. Both also advise individuals to avoid lifestyle inflation and to make saving for retirement a priority.

One key similarity between the two is the importance of having an emergency fund. Ramsey and Page both recommend having at least three to six months’ worth of living expenses saved in a liquid account. This emergency fund serves as a safety net in case of unexpected expenses or job loss.

Another similarity is the importance of having a plan and sticking to it. Both Ramsey and Page emphasise the importance of creating a budget and sticking to it. They both suggest tracking every dollar that comes in and goes out, and adjusting the budget as needed. They also advise individuals to have a plan for their money, such as paying off debt or saving for a specific goal.

Dave Ramsey and Scott Page have different approaches to personal finance, they both share some similarities in their approach to managing money and getting out of debt. Both emphasise the importance of creating a budget, living below one’s means, and saving for the future. It’s important to note that what works for one person may not work for another. It’s important to research and understand the different approaches and then choose the one that best aligns with one’s financial goals and values.

How can we use their proven approaches to provide a strong financial basis for our students to help them avoid getting into financial difficulty.

Using ChatGPT for general revision

As a parent of three growing students, I know how challenging it can be to revise and edit written assignments. The revision process can be time-consuming and overwhelming. But, with the help of ChatGPT, their revising of written assignments has become a lot easier. In this blog post, I will share how they now use ChatGPT for revision, and provide an example plan and tasks for other students to follow.

One of the most significant benefits of using ChatGPT for revision is its ability to detect and correct grammar and punctuation errors. This has saved them a lot of time and effort because they no longer have to manually proofread their work. ChatGPT has also helped to improve  vocabulary by suggesting alternative words and phrases to make the writing more readable and sophisticated.

Another benefit of using ChatGPT for revision is its ability to generate new content. This has been particularly helpful when they are struggling to come up with new ideas or need to expand on a particular topic. ChatGPT can generate new sentences, paragraphs, or even entire sections of text based on a given prompt or topic. This has helped them to add more depth and detail to their  writing, making it more interesting and engaging.

To incorporate ChatGPT into my revision process, we created a plan and set of tasks to follow. Below is an example plan and tasks that they follow:

  1. Input my text into ChatGPT
  2. Review the suggested corrections and improvements provided by ChatGPT
  3. Make any necessary changes to my text
  4. Generate new content with ChatGPT by providing a prompt or topic
  5. Review and edit the generated content
  6. Incorporate the new content into my text
  7. Proofread the final version of my text using ChatGPT
  8. Submit the final version of my text
  9. By following this plan, I have been able to effectively use ChatGPT to improve my writing and make the revision process more efficient.

ChatGPT has been a game-changer for them when it comes to revising written assignments. Its ability to detect and correct errors, suggest improvements, and generate new content has saved them a lot of time and effort. As a student, they can highly recommend incorporating ChatGPT into the revision process. By following the above plan and tasks, you too can use ChatGPT to improve your writing and make the revision process more efficient. It’s a great tool for students of all ages and skill levels to improve their writing skills and get better grades.

ChatGPT, the computer teacher: How to use AI to teach coding in class

My last article looked at some of the possible uses of  AI-powered tools like ChatGPT for History teachers.  Though many of the examples I used are applicable across all learning areas.  It simply a matter of learning the better questions to ask and how the word it of get the response that you wish.

As educators, we are always looking for new and innovative ways to engage our students and to make learning more interactive and effective. One way to do this is by using AI-powered tools like ChatGPT, which can help to make coding lessons more dynamic and interactive. In this blog post, we will explore three activities that you can use to teach Python coding in class using ChatGPT.

Today I’m going to discuss a couple of areas that a computer, digital technologies, or ICT teachers may consider to work more effectively.  The AI can produce lesson plans that are useable.  However, the creation of reliant and effective resources takes time.  As teachers time is the one thing we can get more off.

Before we start the information and code in this example hasn’t been tested, however in the majority of cases code generated by chatGPT is usable straight away.  The blog will focus on the process and its possible tasks.  

The first activity is a coding challenge. This activity is designed to help students develop their coding skills by working on a series of coding problems. To do this, you can use ChatGPT to generate a series of coding problems for your students. These problems can be tailored to the specific needs of your class and can include a range of difficulty levels. Once your students have completed the coding challenge, you can use ChatGPT to evaluate their work and provide feedback on areas where they need to improve.

Take this simple tasK; You can ask ChatGPT to produce three different solutions to the same problem using different control structures.  The students then analyse and discuss which they think is the best solution from the variety of control structure for this problem.  Have them use a table of pro/cons for each of the programs and then write a summary recommendation with justification.

Using an If-Else Statement:

Using a While Loop:

Using a For Loop:

This can generate class discussion of higher value and in a shorter period of time.  You could follow up on whether they have a different and more efficient solution they could suggest and have them code that.

The second activity is a debugging challenge.  You can take one of your existing code snippets and ask ChatGPt to introduce a deliberate and have the student tourble shoot the code.  IN this case I asked it to highlight the bug for illustration purposes.  

Third activity:  It is good practice have regular retrieval tasks within your lesson.  However, its also good to develop new possible questions.  The advantage of using ChatGPt is it can generate new questions with our subconscious  bais on knowing what we have taught.  It can also generate questions that we may not consider, increasing the variety and breadth of their practice.  A quick way is using the curriculum points from your authority to generate questions from.  Simply copy and past and ask for sample students qesutions of the complexity you wish.  

Using theses curriculum points, lets see what questions it can generate.

Nice an easy problem generation.

If any students has been struggling in one particular area, you can narrow your focus for that individual students and quickly generate a range of questions for them.  We do this by focusing on one curriculum point and ask for questions only on that point: Lets focus on one-dimensional arrays.

Very quickly we can generate a variety of questions to test our students.  You can specify enough questions for 1 per person in your class and then have them share their answers with the rest of the class as an activity.  This can be done not he Fly in class as needed.  You can use these to build a bank of possible questions to feed into other tools such as quizlet, cahoot, quizzes etc. 

Where can you go from here?

ChatGPT can be a valuable tool for computing  teachers looking to create interactive and engaging coding lessons. The ability to generate coding problems, tutorials, and games tailored to the specific needs of your class can save time and make it easier to differentiate instruction. The ability to introduce deliberate mistakes and have students troubleshoot the code can also provide an opportunity for hands-on learning and problem-solving. Additionally, ChatGPT can be used to generate sample student questions on specific curriculum points, providing a quick and easy way to create a variety of practice questions for your students. While the code generated by ChatGPT may not always be perfect, it is a great starting point and can be easily edited to fit the needs of your class. Overall, ChatGPT can be a powerful tool for computing  teachers looking to make their lessons more interactive and effective.

ChatGPT and the History Teacher: A beginning

With all the discussion around ChapGPT, what can it for history teachers? Let’s start by asking ChatGPt, what it think it can do for us?

What does ChatGPT have to say for itself if we ask it:

“ChatGPT can assist history teachers in a variety of ways. Some examples include:

1. Generating engaging and interactive lesson plans: ChatGPT can be used to create interactive and engaging lesson plans that incorporate historical events and figures.
2. Creating quizzes and assessments: ChatGPT can be used to generate quizzes, tests, and other assessments that can help teachers evaluate student understanding of historical topics.
3. Providing historical context: ChatGPT can be used to provide historical context for events and figures, helping students to better understand the significance of what they are learning.
4. Generating discussion prompts: ChatGPT can be used to generate discussion prompts and other activities that encourage students to think critically about historical topics and events.
5. Researching historical figures and events: ChatGPT can be used to assist teachers in researching historical figures and events, providing them with a wealth of information to incorporate into their lessons.
6. Providing primary sources: ChatGPT can be used to generate primary sources, such as speeches, letters, and diary entries, which can be used to bring historical events to life for students.
7. Creating virtual tours: ChatGPT can be used to create virtual tours of historical sites, allowing students to explore historical locations from the comfort of their own classroom.
8. Translating historical texts: ChatGPT can be used to translate historical texts, making them accessible to students who do not speak the original language.
9. Summarising historical events and figures: ChatGPT can be used to summarize historical events and figures, providing teachers with a quick and easy way to introduce new topics to their students.
10. Providing additional reading materials: ChatGPT can be used to generate additional reading materials for students, such as biographies, articles, and primary sources, which can be used to supplement classroom instruction.”

That is a good range of different activities that you can experiment with. I am going to focus on a couple such as 2 Creating quizzes and assessments, 6 Providing primary sources & 10 Providing additional reading materials. These example below were created in about 30 – 60 seconds from the prompt into the AI.

But how do those work in practice, far more than I’m going to cove win this post.  As a history teacher the most time consuming activity is locating primary resources and scholarship to support our programs.  So how have I been experimenting with ChatGPT to solve that problem.  

Say I’m after a response on the fall of singapore that can include primary and supporting histography.  

My first query:

“what was the impact on the Fall of Singapore according to historians “

Not a bad response., but I could have gotten that from a quick goggle search (thought it would have taken longer).  And as I say to my students where is the evidence to support those arguments. 

“what was the impact on the Fall of Singapore according to historians with quotes from historians”

A bit more of what I was looking for.  But how do I know they are the quotes from those historians and bit just made up with them name placed in there.  I need to able to check the references myself.  How do I find them.   Simple, we ask for referencing. I will ask for Chicago style as it’s my preferred style.

“what was the impact on the Fall of Singapore according to historians with quotes from historians with Chicago referencing and page numbers “

Better.  So that how you can put together a possible response to a question.  

Yes students can do that as well.  How we can use this to our advantage.

Suggested task / activity: Debate the A.I.

We generate such a response very quickly, I meaning about 30 seconds. Then we can have the student debate the AI.  Have them critique the response and evidence.  Does it hold up, are there different views, does it leave out other possible interpretations.  The AI draws on public data, it does make mistakes (found some assuming ones) and finding and correcting them is a key historical skill in critical thinking for our students to develop. It would further reinforce their own knowledge.

We can also use it to quickly locate starting point resources. Lets look for the existing histography not he Fall of Singapore. 

“list the histography of the Fall of Singapore with full Chicago referencing “  

But we may want to focus on the best. 

“list the histography of the Fall of Singapore with full Chicago referencing “

Look at the disclaimer it give to its list, the best is subjective.

Or I can just look for 3 quotes from historians on the event. 

So we can understand the power of the quotes.  Does it work on primary sources.  Lets find out.

“primary source quotes on the Fall of Singapore with Chicago referencing “

Very handy stuff….  That is recent events with numerous sources, can we delve further back.  What about the  Battle of Hastings and a primary source quote.

We know the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle had an entry, can we find out what it said?

 I know medieval historians will look at that.  And say hold on, that is not the same translation as found in the British Library. So we revert to what historians do. We collaborate the primary source. Are there other variations in the translation by different historians, and so on.

We can focus on specific historians.  

It can also help us quickly locate the histography of historians, if you are studying Germany, the work of Ian Kershaw is a must use.  But do you know all his works on the topic. Yes you can try other sources, but a 30 second search will give most of what you need. You can even ask for a summary os his argument (Not shown)

Lastly, looking to generate some quick revision questions, what can it produce.

“write a list of 10 sample student questions on the Fall of Singapore”

You;ll find that it’ll follow similar patterns in question style if you ask for the same of another topic. though I have noticed the same question the next day will produce a different style of question. Not sure why yet.

We have our questions, but can it answer them. So I ask it.

“write a short answer to each of the following questions: What were the main reasons for the fall of Singapore in 1942? How did Japan’s military strategy contribute to the British surrender at Singapore? What impact did the fall of Singapore have on the British Empire? How did the fall of Singapore affect the population, both British and Asian? What role did the Malayan Campaign play in the fall of Singapore? How did the fall of Singapore change the course of World War II in the Pacific? How did the British government respond to the fall of Singapore? What were the conditions like for prisoners of war following the fall of Singapore? How did the fall of Singapore impact the relationship between Britain and its former colonies? What lessons can be learned from the fall of Singapore in terms of military strategy and defense?”

Are you happy with the short response, I’ll let you decide for yourself.

What I have shown here is just the surface on what ChatGPT and other AI system will reign to us.

While it is a text based AI, it can create tables and other features you can create in a basic word processor. As seen by the table below.

1919DAP is foundedThe German Workers’ Party (DAP), the precursor to the Nazi Party, is founded by Anton Drexler.
1920Hitler joins DAPAdolf Hitler joins the DAP and becomes the party’s leader.
1921Name changeThe party’s name is changed to the National Socialist German Workers’ Party (NSDAP)
1923Beer Hall PutschHitler and the Nazis attempt to overthrow the German government in the Beer Hall Putsch, but the attempt fails and Hitler is arrested.
1924Hitler’s imprisonmentHitler is sentenced to five years in prison for his role in the Beer Hall Putsch, but serves only nine months.
1925Mein KampfHitler publishes “Mein Kampf” while in prison, outlining his political ideology.
1929Economic crisisThe Great Depression begins, leading to economic hardship in Germany and increasing support for extremist parties like the Nazis.
1933Hitler appointed ChancellorThe Nazis, now the largest party in Germany, gain power and Hitler is appointed Chancellor of Germany.
1933Enabling ActThe Enabling Act is passed, giving Hitler dictatorial powers.
1934Death of President HindenburgHitler declares himself Führer and combines the office of Chancellor and President.
1935Nuremberg LawsThe Nuremberg Laws are passed, stripping Jews and other minority groups of their civil rights.
1939Invasion of PolandGermany invades Poland, marking the beginning of World War II.

This is a brief summary of the key events in the rise of the Nazi Party, there are other important events that happened, but this should give you a general idea of the rise of the Nazi Party.

ChatGPT is not without its faults and limitations.  However, it brings more to history teachers than it can take away.  However, it has more potential to enrich our programs.

Our students will be using this tool as there has been enough news around it, that they will know about it. For most students, the quick answer will provide someone around a basic C grade response in middle school.  It will change how we assess some aspects of the courses.  

However, we need as educators to use these tools, as they will only become more common and easily accessible.  Importantly we need to teach our students to us these tools.  These are the skills they need to develop as they move from schooling to the workforce.  

Using Social Media to build your Personal Learning Network (PLN)

As a educator, I find that using Twitter and other social media platforms can be incredibly valuable tools for creating a personal learning network (PLN) and gaining access to new resources and advice. By connecting with other educators on these platforms, I am able to share ideas, strategies, and best practices with others in my field. Additionally, I can also gain access to a wide range of educational resources and materials that I may not have been able to find otherwise.

My personal preference is Twitter. With just a few clicks, I am able to connect with other educators from around the world who share my interests and passions. By following other educators on Twitter, I can gain access to new lesson plans, activities, and assessments, and learn about new technologies and teaching strategies that I can use in my own classroom.

Another advantage of using social media to create a PLN is the ability to share and receive feedback on my own ideas and materials. For example, by sharing a lesson plan or activity on Twitter, I can receive feedback from other educators, which can help me improve the material and make it more effective. Additionally, by sharing my own successes and struggles on social media, I can receive support and advice from other educators who have gone through similar experiences.

In addition to sharing resources and receiving feedback, social media can also be used to create professional development opportunities. For example, I can use Twitter to join in on virtual book clubs and reading groups, or to participate in online professional development opportunities like webinars or online discussions. These opportunities can provide me with new ideas and strategies, and can also help me stay current on the latest research and best practices in education.

Finally, by connecting with other educators through social media, I can also gain access to a wide range of educational resources and materials. For example, I can use hashtags on Twitter to discover new educational websites, apps, and videos that I can use in my own classroom. Additionally, by joining online communities and groups on social media, I can gain access to a wealth of knowledge and resources from other educators who have been in the field for years.

For history teachers explore : #historyteacher

So, I believe that Twitter and other social media platforms can be powerful tools for all teachers looking to create personal learning networks and gain access to new resources and advice. It is essential that educators incorporate social media into your own professional development plans in order to stay connected, informed, and effective in your teaching practices.

ChatGPT and it possibilities

There has been lots of discussions around #chatGPT for #teachers #students #careers #education and #business The tool will change how people use AI tools in the same why Google changed search, for the “masses”. You could describe it as google on steroids. There should not be fear in its use in #education by both staff and students, it needs to be embraced and students taught how to use such tools to improve their opportunities as they develop through life. Some way its can help you:

Are you looking to simplify complex topics, summarize articles, edit your writing, generate headlines, write university papers, discover new ideas, do content research, summarize books, or use a search engine? Look no further than ChatGPT!

ChatGPT is an incredible tool for simplifying complex topics. Just type “Explain [complex topic] like I’m 5 years old” and it will provide you with a simple and easy-to-follow response. This is great for learning and understanding difficult concepts.

Reading articles on the web can be a hassle, with annoying paywalls, unnecessary paragraphs, and distracting advertisements. ChatGPT can help you save time and frustration by summarizing the main points of any URL you give it.

In need of a writing assistant? ChatGPT is here to help! Simply copy and paste your writing into the tool and ask it to proofread for spelling and grammar errors, recommend changes, or edit in a specific style. Say goodbye to Grammarly and hello to ChatGPT.

Having trouble coming up with a catchy headline? ChatGPT can generate various options for you based on a certain topic. Use them as inspiration or pick your favourite to use. This is great for videos, threads, and newsletters.

As a college student, you know the struggle of writing papers. ChatGPT can write plagiarism-free papers for you and even find relevant quotes from articles to cite in APA, MLA, Chicago, and more. Just make sure to add your own thoughts to the paper as well.

ChatGPT is also a fantastic idea-generation tool. Simply tell it to list ideas related to a specific topic and then repeat the process with the new idea as the umbrella topic. You’ll never run out of content ideas using this method.

Conducting research for a new project can be time-consuming, but ChatGPT makes it a breeze. Just type in “List [#] [type of content] on [topic] with links” and it will provide you with a list of relevant videos, articles, and podcasts on your chosen topic.

Short on time but still want to learn about a particular book? ChatGPT can summarise the major ideas, quotes, and actionable tips for you, saving you time and providing a quick overview of the book’s key points.

Need to search for something but tired of sifting through Google’s ads and endless links? ChatGPT is a great alternative, providing direct answers and no ads. Keep in mind that it only has information up until 2021 and may occasionally be incorrect, but these issues are expected to be fixed in the future.

Have a play…

Curating research using Apple Notes

Apple Notes for collection and curation of resources


One of the challenges for ourselves and our students is the collecting and curation of resources.  There is now a vast ocean of resources and ideas that can be accessed online or created by ourselves.  Some old figures is shown in the image,

17 domo data never sleeps 5 01

Access to lots of information is detrimental to student development, more is not better.  Students need to be taught how to curate and focus on the valuable information to make informed decisions.

A tool I like to use myself and encourage my students to use Apple Notes. True, there are lots of tools that serve this purpose such as Evernote which has been around for awhile.  However, I will talk about Note simply because it comes standard on all Apple devices.  It also easily synchs across all of a users devices, meaning the notes/resources follow them around.

Using Apple Notes you can teach your students to create a system of collections of information by subject.  You can have them create their notes without any content and the guide them how to link information within those categories.  Intrinsically they will start to develop skills in thinking and sorting information to be quickly accessed later, whether for a project, research in depth or revision.  An example of some groupings are below:

Screen Shot 2020 01 02 at 10 39 19 am


Within each of those groupings are the links, notes and other digital information they have collected or entered manually.  A list of my sample Latin links are shown here.

Screen Shot 2020 01 02 at 10 52 49 am

Where the notes become enhanced is by the annotation of the links to provide depth to students.  It can also form part of the development process for students when creating an annotated bibliography.  Importantly it will provide context for why the students linked the information initially when they return to it at a later stage.  Have you ever booked marked a site and then when you returned later you could not remember why, requiring you to reread the site to trigger your memory.  Annotation reduces this time, triggers memory on the purpose of the link and provides greater depth of information that can be easily updated.  It creates the foundation of a student system to manage their learning resources which become invaluable in the later school and professional years.

So how do you link resources to online resources.  

In this example I will use Safari as the web browser.

So I was looking for some books for my daughter to read in Latin.  A good approach to develop new language skills is have students read a text naturally in the new language they wish to learn.  Of interest to my daughter was a Latin language version of Harry Potter 🙂 

So locate  a website with some good options.  

Screen Shot 2020 01 02 at 10 40 51 am

I don’t have time to read about each of these books know and I wish to return to them later.  Traditionally you may bookmark it, but that leads to lots of bookmarks that often you never look at again.   So I decide to add it to my Latin teaching note. 


On Apple products there is a “share” icon of the scare with the arrow. 

Screen Shot 2020 01 02 at 10 40 58 am

 When you click on that you will see a menu appear and we are interested din the “Notes” option.  Select that. When you do the following image appears.  

Screen Shot 2020 01 02 at 10 41 17 am

Sometimes you need to wait a few seconds for the page data to load.  At the bottom you can choose the note group your would like to place it in, or create a brand new note.  At this you have the first opportunity for annotation of the link.  You can add this later if you wish).  And then click save.  It will then be stored on in notes and starting to be synched across the related devices including their personal iPhones, meaning they take their resources with them and can them at any stage.  Press save when you finished annotating the link. 

When you go to the notes you will see the different links or other information you have entered.  


Screen Shot 2020 01 02 at 10 52 49 am

You can then access your Lins by clicking on the links shown above.  You can also add additional notes over time as you learn more material.  It can be used for project research, being effective helping students organising their initial notes before they start the refining process.  They can delete an add resources as the projects evolve and they narrow their focus to their question.  

Over time it builds a well organised collection of resources.  I use notes to collect information from a range of sources, not just webpages, resources from twitter, instagram and other online resources.  

Hopefully this is useful for you and your students. 


A personal favourite – Hereford Mappamundi Source analysis

I have finally found some time to write about one of my favourite lessons. While I teach in two areas of computing and the humanities, the medieval period is my favourite period of History, though I love all history, The period has such an amazing range of sources and evidence of medieval though of the world as they slowly rediscovered the scientific foundations lost with he collapse of the Western Roman empire.

A favourite source I love to share with my students is the Hereford Mappamundi. If you ever visit Hereford definitely go see the original at the Cathedral it well worth the visit. I am not going to critique the source, there are lots of amazing websites that can do that for you with a little research. This activity is run for Year 8 Medieval history class.

The task I have designed is a whole class cooperative learning activity. The lesson students of all levels to participate and it relies on peer sharing and discussion to be successful It is also very engaging and it has never failed once to excite my students.

The setup:

I have made A1 size copies of the map. These were printed and laminated so that I can use them each and still look new after 5 years of use. (See photo)

I arranged the class into groups of 4 (Maximum number). I setup u the classroom are you see it below, so each group can work independently to each other initially.

Classroom setup before the start of the lesson

On each table I provide each drop with the same resources to complete the task. There is the map, two magnifying glasses (Limit of my budget) and a whiteboard marker. Each group needs a different whiteboard marker. This will be used for accountable for each group later. All history students should have a access to a magnifying class to analysis sources including etc based sources.

The resources of each group

Student brief: The students are not told anything about the map, only that it is a medieval source. The unknown factor is a big incentive for students, it creates a mystery for them. They will required to investigate the source and write what they find on a single whiteboard for all groups to see.

Task progression: The students will will initially start to note obvious elements of the source. But slowly they will discover patterns. The collective effort of the class will see ideas being quickly shared, providing clues to other groups, who build on those ideas as displayed below.

Whole class whiteboard of source elements

Normally about half way through yhe lesson I’ll pause for a whole class discussion to consolidate what they have learnt and if required build links. At this stage students will start expressing their hypothesis on what the source is and why it was created. In some circumstances if needed I’ll provide some clues or directions to look at specific elements of the map, such as why is that red body of water red (i.e. Red Sea) or the orientation of the map being a T-O Map in design. I would also explain some of the Latin phrases in the map. If you examinee the sample whiteboard you can see the level of contribution of each group by the colour of the whiteboard markers used by each group.

Once we have obtained enough information of the source, we begin the process of analysing it as a useful source in understanding medieval thought. The complex nature of the source as a historical record, a bestiary, world atlas on a single layered map means that students will alway find interesting elements to investigate further.

I hope you investigate whether this source and activity give it go.

P.S. Prior to my laminating my maps in A1 size. I used to use an A3 size map which was still effective.