Welcome back!

It has been a while since we have posted on our blog and it’s not for lack of trying! We’ve been busy bees behind the scenes here at Twig and here are just of a few of the things that have been going on (and a few sneak peeks of what is coming up):

 

  • EdTechXAsia
    We will be flying off to Singapore very soon to join the EdTech Elite from around the world. Our very own Anthony Bouchier will be joining a panel to discussWhy Technology in the Classroom is Failing. Keep an eye out for more soon!

 

  • Bett awards
    It’s that time of year again and we’ve entered the Bett awards in the hopes of adding a 2016 winners logo to our collection. Fingers crossed!

 

  • Reach Out CPD
    In partnership with Imperial, our CPD programme has been going from strength to strength. More specifically, we’ve been working on a new re-freshed website to include comment boxes, better visibility of progress through the courses, and enhanced delivery on mobiles. If you are interested in connecting with the community, you can join our Facebook page, or follow us on Twitter or Pinterest.

 

  • How To Guides
    Keep an eye out on our social media pages as we will be publishing some new how to guides to make sure that all the features of Twig and Tigtag are as easy to use as we’ve always wanted.

 

  • Google Expeditions
    Perhaps saving the best until last, we have been partnering with Google for Education on Google Expeditions. There are lots of exciting things going on, you can readmore about it in our blog post.

 

As always, we are really keen to know your thoughts and feedback on Twig, Tigtag and Tigtag Junior. If there are any specific topics you would like to hear about ,do let us know.

 

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Twig World partners with Google for Education

We are thrilled to announce our partnership with Google for Education on their already world-renowned Google Expeditions.

 

Virtual reality is an incredible learning tool that helps teachers create immersive learning experiences for pupils of any age or ability. Google Expeditions allow teachers to take their classes on virtual field trips, using either smart phones with Google Cardboard, or tablets in 2D full-screen mode.

 

The collection of 360° panoramas and 3D images (annotated with details, points of interest, and questions) immerse students in experiences that provide contextual learning and a deeper understanding of the world beyond the classroom.

 

As part of providing content for 50 expeditions, we will be working with the Roald Dahl Estate, the Royal Air Force, Aston Martin and others on a range of exciting new learning adventures, including:

 

  • Uncovering the burial place of Richard III
  • Exploring the fascinating Mary Rose
  • Flying faster than the speed of sound in a euro fighter jet
  • Experiencing the remarkable everyday work of a surgeon
  • Playing James Bond in an Aston Martin DB11
  • Being transported inside a nuclear fusion reactor

 

We will also be creating 20 career expeditions, offering first-hand insight into a range of jobs that students may not come across in everyday life, as well as 150 lesson plans to support teachers in delivering Expedition-based lessons.

 

We would normally love to finish by asking “What are you teaching today?” but perhaps the more relevant question is, “Where are you teaching today?”

 

Start exploring now.

Teaching with film: A case study

Imagine a science teacher searching the web to find reliably sourced videos to make learning engaging and fun. After hours of searching, she finds one decent video that actually says what she wants it to, only to find a rather inappropriate video advertised on the side?

 

Every teacher’s nightmare, right?

 

Schools often face massive workloads – there is always something that needs to be prepared or improved upon; especially in science where the teachers have a lot of experiments to prepare and ensure that they work successfully.

 

Karen, a teacher and coordinator at the science department at the International School in Nice, was facing the exact same problems and turned to Twig for an easy solution. Here’s what she had to say:

 

‘With Twig we have an easy search engine and related videos that are proposed to extend the topic. The videos are short and engaging for the students. They always look forward to them as the music, sound, and visuals are dynamic. They also know that they will be short, so they give them their full attention. Recently, I viewed a Twig Science Experiment with my class. They enjoyed it and I found it to be very comprehensive.

 

‘Twig videos are well designed, with beautiful graphics and very thoughtful combinations of images. Students usually ask can I watch this at home? Students love them.’

 

Karen uses Twig as a starter to a topic or as a follow-up to reinforce the lesson. She also uses Twig for handouts to create a lesson where students can annotate the drawings.

 

‘Using dynamic video always helps students to experience the material in another way and this helps their learning. Quickly finding what I need using Twig, means that I do not have to search the internet and screen videos for content.’

 

And Karen’s students love Twig. She says, ‘Those who use Twig for revision are greatly helped by having professional delivery and dynamic visualisations. Students are able to put into context difficult concepts especially with subjects like Chemistry, where many of the concepts are abstract, so to be able to see an animation of the atom or states of matter, really helps them put a concrete face on the material.

 

‘This is an age where the two hemispheres of the brain are developing and strengthening their connections (synapses) to enable higher order abstract thinking. Watching well designed Twig videos really helps in this process.’

 

This is the school’s fourth year using Twig. According to Karen the teachers who use it, request it. Everybody is always willing to use part of their budget towards it. In addition, when I looked at the usage we accessed Twig 1000 times over the year in Math and Science alone.

 

Well, what can we say? We’ll just have to let our subscribers do the talking, won’t we?

 

Merci Beaucoup for the feedback, Karen.

Twig in Top Six EdTech Companies in Europe, says IBIS

This week IBIS Capital published their European Top 20; a shortlist of ‘fastest growing’ and most ‘innovative companies’ in Europe.

 

Twig World ranked in the top six overall (indicated by the blue colour coding above), coming in ahead of competitors such as GCSEPod and Brightwave.

 

The 20 companies were selected from nine different countries by IBIS Capital, specialists in investment and corporate finance. The selected companies had a growth between 13% and 934% last year and exhibited significant innovative flair.IBIS Capital have strong focus on digital media in the education and health sectors and are also responsible for launching the event EdTech Europe, which will take place in London 2016, now in its fourth year.

 

Of course, Twig in association with Imperial College London have created their own global educational event, World Teach In which delivers interactive STEM CPD to primary and secondary teachers. Buy your tickets here!

Use Twig for IGCSE and IB Math Studies

Use Twig for IGCSE and IB Math Studies

‘The Emperor’s Chess Board short film by Twig World, has served as an excellent starter for a topic on the laws of indices,’ says Novairah, Math Subject Leader at the International School of Nice, France.

 

I cover the key terms and laws of indices with the film, then set the accompanying worksheet as a round up for homework. Geometric sequences and exponential functions are tackled with other topics. However, the questions on this topic are challenging enough for further learning.’

 

For the IB Standard or High Level Class

‘The characters in the Emperor’s Chess Board short film provide a good starting point for discussion and it brings in an international dimension before a lesson on “Exponential Functions & their transformations”. Usually students come up with very interesting and quirky remarks that spark good interest in the lesson.

 

The worksheet can be used wholly or partially as a diagnostic skills test. However, the content covered is more advanced. For a high level class, I often use a Twig film in the middle of the lesson, to emphasise a point or to point out the historical importance related to the topic that they are studying.’

 

Use Twig to Teach Theory of Knowledge at IGCSE

‘For IB classes in particular (and IGCSE / middle school in general) Twig films are excellent for Theory of Knowledge, especially the “proof” section. Not only in “History of Math” but also in other topics, there are films that align quite well to the “International Mindedness” aspect of the IB learners’ profile and pertain to a given topic (like Calculus & Newton) at the same time. The use of lesson plans and worksheets remain a choice of the teacher.

 

To introduce project work or investigation questions, film and worksheets like “Menger Sponge ” or “Bees and their Hives” can be used. The worksheet and lesson plan can be used completely or partially for different levels.’

 

Why Twig?

‘Twig is definitely good value for money, especially if teachers are looking at innovative ways to facilitate the learning process.In particular, the length of the films and the material covered is appropriate to start a good discussion and lead the student to the next step.

 

The worksheets have proved to be very useful as they contain basic, core & extended learning. Usually, core students like to try tackling the extended part as well (and having done the basic with ease, build their confidence). The worksheets have been very handy for revision and homework, and the titles of the worksheet are refreshing and remind students of the film.

 

Twig films are a regular feature in math class rooms at the International School of Nice. They provide a choice of topics across different age groups and levels and are colourful and brilliantly done.’

PISA is Changing

Yesterday EdSurge published this really useful article about how PISA is adapting their international assessments to outline skills that will be needed in the 21st Century. Here’s a quick overview:

 

First administered in the 2000 to assess the quality of education systems across the world, the PISA(short for ‘Programme for International Student Assessment’) is currently undergoing significant changes.

 

The test is given to 15-year-olds every three years and originally assessed maths, reading and science. However, the latest iteration in 2015, has branched out to cover collaborative problem solving, social skills, and psychological well-being.

 

The changes started before the 2012 exam, after the OECD recognised that traditional multiple choice evaluations were not sufficient to prepare students for a 21st century economy. But how to create an alternative with standard but meaningful measures for nearly 80 countries? And how to decide what should be measured?

 

Andreas Schleicher, Directorate of Education and Skills at the OECD, says:

“We look very carefully at how the world and the skills that people need are changing and then we try to reflect that in our measure.”

 

Collaborative problem solving (CPS) has been outlined by Schleicher as a crucial skill that is important for our success in society.

 

After a pilot in 2012, the PISA test included a mandatory CPS section in 2015, which all students took alongside with math, reading and science.

 

Twig are moving to the PISA drumbeat. Our successful SIP pilot in Malaysia encouraged students and teachers to develop CPS and other higher order thinking skills as seen in the new PISA assessments, and this deeper thinking has also been incorporated in Reach Out PD for Secondary (watch this space). As ever, we want to promote learning in a real-world context, and supporting the development of required skills that are needed in industry today is part of that process.