Supporting Syria and the Region Conference

0f095983-6597-48c0-a796-c009332d1aa6Teachers Media International (TMI) is driven by a profound social purpose—to enable the best possible development of teacher capacity in countries undertaking bold education reform.  We do this by providing large-scale, sustained and wholly empowering training to teachers at all levels.  And our method—blending face-to-face teaching with superb, continuing support through the IT platform we have developed—happens to be well-suited to conflict situations, or situations where normal life has been violently disrupted.

For over a year TMI has been working on proposals that would aim to offer training to all Syrian teachers in the refugee populations, or inside Syria who are able to access the training, using the unique
capabilities we have.  These ideas have been well received by international agencies and by donors alike.  The challenge now is to convert them into actual programmes.

1d673820-f539-4aad-9eb6-6c5a1a6f495eWe shall be taking this forward next week in London at the conference hosted by EBRD on February 3, “Enabling the Private Sector to support Refugee-Hosting Communities.”  This great initiative by EBRD is designed to feed into the ministerial-level conference the next day, also in London, hosted by the UK, Norway, Kuwait and the United Nations, “Supporting Syria and the Region.”

The conference is the latest in a line of events aiming to raise donor awareness of the acute needs faced by the refugee communities, and their host countries, above all in the
key sector of education.  The challenge is not simply raising more money, but spending it more cost-effectively: donors deserve the best possible use of their generosity.

This is where TMI’s innovative method, designed from the outset for large scale—and thus low per capita cost—teacher training, and for unbeatable sustainability also at exceptionally low cost thanks to our advanced IT platform, really comes into its own.  All of us at TMI are excited about the opportunities now opening up.

~ James Watt

James Watt is TMI’s Senior Director of Policy and Strategy. To learn more about our company or to register for our professional learning platform service, please visit the Teachers Media International website.

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Story starter: What if…?

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Getting students excited about writing isn’t easy—and for most kids, the first obstacle is coming up with a story idea. Teachers Media International can help!

Every Wednesday, we’ll post a story starter that will hopefully inspire your students to get creative—whether writing individually, or as a class. While it would be impossible to find a global “curriculum” fit, we have tried to make each starter flexible, relevant, and fun. Below, check out this week’s creative spark, which is suitable for all grades.

What if…?

Have you ever wondered what would happen if your favourite story had a different ending? What if Cinderella met someone else at the ball? How would the story change if Jack met a friendly giant and the end of the beanstalk?

Brainstorm with students some alternative endings for classic tales or even a few of their favourite contemporary books—then get writing!

What are some other creative writing tools you’ve used in the classroom? Do story starters work for your students? Let us know in the comments—and of course, if you want to share some of your student writing, that’s great too!

~ The Teachers Media Team

Critical thinking study: transforming pupils’ lives

 

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Critical thinking is seen as a key tool in helping students tackle problems more effectively while also helping prepare them for college and work life.

A smarter pupil, a more effective worker, a better thinker—critical thinking is an ability that can absolutely transform pupil’s lives.

Join the study

Right now, you can join 20,000 other participants in the most important critical thinking study ever taken—at no cost. Designed by the University of Cambridge and supported by Macat, the study will include input from students and educators from across the UK.

Teachers Media International recognises the importance of critical thinking. Visit our website to view our comprehensive selection of professional learning resources that focus in on the six key skills of critical thinking—problem solving, analysis, creative thinking, interpretation, evaluation, and reasoning.

~ The Teachers Media Team
www.teachers-media.com 

A picture story: BETT Conference 2016

Several members of the Teachers Media International team are on site at BETT 2016, the world’s leading education technology event, celebrated annually in the UK.

Take a scroll through some of the pictures taken from today’s activities.

Do you have pictures from BETT 2016? Share them in the comments below or Tweet them to us via @TeachersMedia.

~ The Teachers Media Team

Story starter: A visit to Grandma’s

 

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Getting students excited about writing isn’t easy—and for most kids, the first obstacle is coming up with a story idea. Teachers Media International can help!

Every Wednesday, we’ll post a story starter that will hopefully inspire your students to get creative—whether writing individually, or as a class. While it would be impossible to find a global “curriculum” fit, we have tried to make each starter flexible, relevant, and fun. Below, check out this week’s, suitable for primary students.

A visit to Grandma’s house

Johnny and his little sister, Emma are visiting their grandmother for the weekend. It’s always fun—except at dinner time. Grandma makes some strange meals, usually to go with movies or sports events. Like the one time she served Space Cheese for our Star Wars dinner (that was weird) or the mashed potatoes shaped like a football for the Superbowl. This one time:

Brainstorm with students some movie or sports events and plan a themed meal. Or, talk with students about their favourite and least-favourite foods, then write about a fictional or real dinner at Grandma’s.

What are some other creative writing tools you’ve used in the classroom? Do story starters work for your students? Let us know in the contents—and of course, if you want to share some of your student writing, that’s great too!

~ The Teachers Media Team

FREE EVENT: Join Microsoft in the #hacktheclassroom movement

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Join Microsoft January 30 at 8:00 a.m. (PST) for a live Global web-event, and hack your way into a more innovative learning environment for your students this year.

Hack the Classroom brings together inspiring educators and thought leaders from around the world to share how they have “hacked” their classrooms to gain instructional time with students, organise content, effectively use Minecraft for increased learning, provide real-time feedback, and much more.

Throughout the live event, you’ll be able to interact with the speakers and ask questions. For more information and to register for this free event, click here.

Join the #hacktheclassroom movement today!

~ The Teachers Media Team

Teachers Media International to join global ministers at World Education Forum

images-1Education and skills ministers from across the globe will gather at the World Education Forum in London January 17-20, for three days of insight and inspiration from leading educational experts, pioneers, and policy makers.

The annual event is the largest gathering of education and skills ministers in the world and is the internationally recognised forum for debating future practice in education.

Teachers Media International is proud to be an invited guest at this event, and throughout the Forum will report back with pictures, insights, and important findings. Check back for updates!

In the meantime, have a look at this video from last year’s Forum

~ The Teachers Media Team

INTERNATIONAL: Developing a culture of English readers despite challenges

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Global demand for speaking and writing English is on the rise.

Governments recognize the importance of English to their economies and societies, and individuals identify English as a tool that can help them fulfill their dreams.

Unfortunately, for many developing countries, the ability to learn English is fraught with challenge—a lack of resources, limited access to books, and poor educational facilities are very real obstacles for students around the world.

In the populous, landlocked African country of Burundi, public libraries don’t exist. There are no bookstores, and even private schools have limited or no access to books. Despite this, an inspirational teacher at one of the country’s only English-speaking schools is working hard to create a culture of readers thanks to the continued generous donations of books, resources, and enthusiasm from across the world. Read the full story here.

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And, in this article, a motivated teacher in Namibia shares his techniques for improving English at his school, starting with the development of a plan that is endorsed by his principal. Through initiatives like the English and Debate Club, and the introduction of educational tours, English is now one of the best performing subjects at the school.

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What best-practices can we learn from leading educators across the globe? Would any of these ideas work in your classroom? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

~ The Teachers Media Team

Five Resolutions for Teachers

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Happy New Year! Even if you don’t believe in making formal resolutions, the New Year is the perfect time to shake off that pre-holiday stress and look at the second half of the school year with fresh eyes.

With that in mind, here are five “resolutions” you may want to consider as you head back to class this week:

  1. Stay positive
    Motivational posters, updated resources, fresh activities—what are some of the ways you can make your classroom a happy place for students—and you!—will be excited to hang out in until summer holidays?
  2. Shake up your routine
    Consider introducing new technology, or change up your lesson plans. Looking for new ideas? Register for Teachers Media to access more than 3,500 professional learning resources, including lesson plans, articles, best-practice videos and much more.
  3. Include fitness
    It wouldn’t be a resolution without some mention of health, right? Make it a classroom affair with healthy eating lessons and day-to-day movement.
  4. Create real work / life balance
    We know, easier said than done. But this year, as much as you can, try to keep school work at school and enjoy your time at home. Your students will be happier to have a refreshed you each morning.
  5. Get organized!
    Now’s the time to check out your local stationary store and stock up on the tools to keep your workspace running smooth. Stuck for ideas? We’re sure Pinterest can help you out…

What have we missed? Have you made New Year’s resolutions, or do you have ideas on how to make the above more successful? Share in the comments!

All the best for 2016!

~ The Teachers Media Team