AIE's Blog

28 May 2015 In Language Blog

Students’ Presentations 

I believe presentations play a very important role for developing students’ communication skills. 

In my opinion, presentations are an extraordinary approach to have learners achieve the linguistic competence (grammar, vocabulary, pronunciation, syntax) and sociolinguistic competence (when, where and how to use the target language) needed for effective communication. 

Students’ presentations are helpful for them in the following ways: 

• Presentations help the learners to communicate better in every field of life. I also observed that the students who are good ‘presenters’, are better communicators as well. They are capable of structuring and expressing their thoughts clearly.   

• Presentations offer a channel for students to impart to others what they have comprehended. It is additionally an opportunity to test and develop their own understanding. 

• Presentations provide learners with an opportunity to be independent.

12 May 2015 In Blog Studies

Using TED Talks in School

TED Talks are “Ideas worth spreading”. Let me first explain the idea of what TED Talks are all about. They are relatively short and deal with the most pressing issues of the day, packed with interesting ideas containing information to be shared. It’s no wonder that they’re embraced by all kinds of learners in every stage of life across the world. Just explore the net and you can find them on almost every possible area of learning. TED Talks can make teachers think differently and can encourage the same in their students. Good TED Talks make us laugh, touch our hearts or even inspire us. 

How can teachers use TED Talks to their full advantage? Let’s take a look at a few creative ways I’ve used to do just that. I find that using TED Talks to convey an important message or spark creativity to be more effective in teaching students than giving a lecture or presentation.

To Spark Conversations

The most obvious way to use TED Talks in the classroom is to show talks that relate in some way to the subject material you’re currently covering. They can be used to capture student attention, reframe understanding, and spark a high calibre discussion amongst students which won’t be quickly forgotten.

Love the TED-Ed Platform

TED is well aware of its potential utility to the world of education — so aware, in fact, that it has an entire website, ed.ted.com, devoted to using TED in the classroom. TED-Ed is a powerful platform that helps you create entire lessons around specific TED Talks, so do go through these websites and learn the art of TED. 

Make Your Own TED-Ed Club

It’s not just adults that have good ideas; in fact, if you browse through any number of TED Talks, they often hold up young people, who see fewer limits than adults do, as the creative ideal. So why not feature student ideas by giving them a platform of their own in your school?

Have Students Give Subject-Specific TED Talks

So far, we’ve discussed the ways students can benefit from hearing or discussing big ideas in the most general sense. But there’s no reason you can’t use the TED Talk model as inspiration for more specific curriculum activities. Let’s say, for example, that you are a history teacher and you’re currently focusing on the Mughal Dynasty. Why not have each student pitch their own big theory about this famous dynastic family? Certainly this would beat the typical presentation style!

No matter what route you take, the idea here is to take the TED Talk format and apply it specifically to whatever subject or unit you’re currently teaching.

In Short TED Talks make for a great base for so many different kinds of educational experiences. Whether you’re simply using a talk to spark discussion or you’re creating a TED series of your own, TED Talks make a creative, exciting, and rewarding teaching lens.

07 May 2015 In Blog Science

Science Kits –An Innovative Solution for  Primary and Middle Grade Science Teachers 

In our country, science laboratories are only available to High School students - there are biology, physics and chemistry laboratories in every school to fulfill the practical components of these subjects. Unfortunately, we do not have Primary School or a Middle School science laboratories. This means that primary and middle school teachers are not equipped with the necessary materials and resources for practical science teaching. The importance of learning about science in these grades cannot be overlooked. The lack of exciting, positive learning experiences in primary and middle school science leads to poor performance in later learning.

A few days back, I shared the idea of science kits with my student teachers. A science kit is a portable box having resources for performing different experiments. We discussed in detail about the importance of science kits, different types of kits, and what might be the characteristics of a good science kit. Fortunately, I had a few kits to share with my students. They liked the idea and we decided to develop some science kits for the primary, middle and secondary levels. 

After a month, I was surprised to see 15 kits covering the major concepts of physics and chemistry at the Primary and Middle Grades. The kits were supported with an instructional guide for the teacher mentioning the details of the experiments for which the kit was developed. I was surprised to see the creativity of the young trainee-teachers in developing the improvised apparatus (mostly constructed from home-made materials). They enjoyed the activity and decided to develop and use such kits in their future teaching. 

No doubt, such Science Kits can serve as an innovative solution to the practical needs of teaching science. 

 

 Aqsa Kamran

Asst.  Professor, AIE

07 May 2015 In Blog Studies

This time I have been given a course on “Teaching of Islamiat’.  I wanted to make it somehow interesting and challenging for my trainees.  In the beginning they are supposed to study different religions. As a term paper I asked them to work on the following task:

• Try to follow Buddhist’s Eight Fold Path for 48 hours. 

• Blog your results. Did you make it through? If so, was it tough? If not, what made it challenging?

Trainees are coming to me saying that although it is very challenging, they feel very “different” doing this activity.

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