Teachers sharing resources online
Teachers sharing resources online

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Teachers sharing resources online

1 Overview

The activities in this unit will encourage you to consider the issues around selecting and evaluating resources you find online. You will be encouraged to share your own resource also. Three practitioners, who use and share resources online to help their teaching practice, will introduce you to their experience.

Activity 1

Timing: 30 minutes

Watch the video case studies of teachers (Kayleigh, Raj and Martyn) explaining how they use resource sharing. Make notes of the benefits it brings and any issues you perceive.

Download this video clip.Video player: Kayleigh
Skip transcript: Kayleigh

Transcript: Kayleigh

Kayleigh
I first started using TES Connect when I was a trainee teacher and I still use it as I’ve gone throughout my career.
It’s a big help in your planning time. It cuts down a lot of your time and effort. As you start off as a teacher you don’t have hundreds of resource bank available to you, and as you get more experienced it does build up but sites like TES always have something more to offer you as well. I remember starting off with a year 4 class, everything new to me and TES was great. The forums are fantastic. The advice people gave and the resources as well. It just makes that little bit less daunting. Maths isn’t my strong point. It’s something that I’m always looking at utilising the advice of other people for and one resource I downloaded off TES recently was a maths outdoor learning ideas and it’s something I then used as part of lesson observation. It was creative. It taught maths outside of the classroom and it made it fun for the children as well. It’s something that I wouldn’t thought of if I hadn’t have come across that resource on TES.
As a professional you’ve got to be time efficient and you’ve got to be a lifelong learner yourself as well. Part of this as a teacher is utilising the skills of other people. It can be done by observing more experienced teachers’, asking subject leaders for help and by using resources that other people have taken their time to make.
It’s a big time saver. It’s a big help and you’ve got to use the skills other people have because everybody has strengths and weaknesses.
One topic that I used TES for when I first started out was ‘Britain since 1948’. I remember downloading a resource pack that was full of questions and pictures and answers that I thought would really enrich the children’s experience. It’s not something I couldn’t have done myself but it saved me hours of time being able to use that and it was a big help. Then as I went through that topic, other resources I made that I couldn’t find out there already. I then uploaded so that the next person that came along to teach that topic had something else for them to use as well.
TES is good right from the word go, whether you are in training or an NQT as I am now. It broadens your knowledge and gives you another support tool because you’ve got to meet certain standards and you’re doing things that quite often for the first time topics or the year group that you’ve not taught before.
TES is great in enriching your knowledge and the knowledge you can therefore pass onto your pupils as well. It’s very simple to use. There is a search bar at the top of the screen. You can type in either keywords or a particular aspect that you’re looking at. TES then narrows it down for you an awful lot. It can give you keyword matches or key stage matches so if you’re early years, primary or secondary, it breaks it all down for you. If you then decide this resource is good then you can open it up. You can look at the rating scale as well. People can rate from 1 to 5 of how they found this resource to be useful. If its got high ratings, it’s likely that you might find it useful as well. If you don’t think its useful for you right now it might be something you can use in future, in that case you can use a favourites bar. You just star it and its saved in your shortlist for next time.
When you’re looking for resources it’s going to be different to what everybody else is looking for because you’ve always got in mind the needs of your learners and the children you will be teaching. Sometimes you’ll adapt resources because it might have a good theory behind it but you’ve got to word things differently for your children. Sometimes it can be visual resources, sometimes audio or sometimes it’ll just give you an idea for a practical hands on thing to do, so it addresses the different way children learn as well.
I first started uploading my own resources when I was doing supply teaching. As a supply teacher you’ve always got to have a bank of ideas or a bank of resources just in case, because you don’t know what the children you’re going into teach are like, and that kind of inspired me because the resources people uploaded were such a big help to me that I thought if the resources I made were a help to somebody else then that would be fantastic.
So when you decide to upload a resource, its usually something you’re quite proud of yourself, something you’ve taken time to make and something that’s worked well with the children.
Sometimes it is necessary to adapt your own resources before uploading them, for example if you’ve got any children’s names on planning you would need to take away obviously nothing that can identify learners or the children. Sometimes it’ll be your own details on there if you’ve used an example but apart from that most of the time if you’ve created something for a display for example you can upload it as it is. So it all depends on the resource you’re going to make.
When you’re logged into TES there’s a simple link that says add new resource. You click on it and it’ll actually select a file from your computer. Once you’ve done that, you just say what subject it is and what key stage it is. You’ll give it a title, maybe a bit more information and you’re done. It takes a few minutes. It doesn’t take hours of your time, so why not do it?
When you upload a resource, people have the option to rate it with a five star system and they also have options to comment as well. A lot of the feedback personally I’ve got is: ‘Wow that was a big help, it was a big time saver, I was really struggling with this, thank you so much’ and its similar feedback that I’ve given to other people.
It’s also nice to hear feedback from people saying ‘the children loved this, it worked really well with this, or I also did this’ so they can give you advice back as well; anything constructive is always going to be beneficial. It’s just lovely to see that resources you’ve uploaded are being utilised by other people and other children and they’re grateful for that.
TES brings people together in a sense of a teachers community, there are forums on there, especially where you can ask for advice if there’s something you’re not sure about. You can put a question on there, sometimes with the resources I’ve uploaded instead of writing a comment underneath them people that have used them have sent me a private message over TES. We’ve often exchanged email addresses and they then have come back to me and said I’ve adapted it, here’s what I did, you might be able to use this. So it’s really broadened the teacher community I feel part of. I believe there something for everybody on there no matter who you’re teaching or what you’re teaching. Yes, there are lots of resource websites out there; some of them you have to pay for, some of them you have to be a particular member for. TES is just one of the easiest to find everything you’re looking for under one roof.
End transcript: Kayleigh
Kayleigh
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Transcript: Raj

Rajbir Nandhra
My name is Rajbir Nandhra, and I’m from Coppics Performing Arts School in Wolverhampton, and I’ve worked here for about six years now and I’m a Key Stage 3 Science Coordinator.
When I first started teaching and my boss told me about TES, I didn’t use it that much. You’re so busy trying to get your own practice perfect that you’re sort of isolated and you’re doing it yourself. But when you look at the TES you realise, oh my god, there’s so much out there, then you feel a bit inspired. It was almost like I was addicted. I was like I need this resource, I need that resource. I was looking all the time at resources and then one day I tried to upload one resource and it was a year 7 scheme of work that I’d done. They have to have skills about the Bunsen burner, investigation, graphs, things like that. I was really proud of it and I uploaded it and what I noticed was I kept getting emails and feedback and people kept putting stars by it. I really liked that, the fact that I was working out of school now and I was getting feedback and it was really positive, that then inspired me to really upload and then I ended up uploading 750 resources in the end.
The way I use TES Connect is when I’m doing lesson planning. I need ideas, inspiration for the lessons obviously cause of all the different abilities of the children. I had a lesson on alcohol with a bottom set so I wanted them to know the right things about alcohol. I had a resource and I thought well it needs a bit of tweaking, so let me see if I can find a quiz or something to really start the lesson. I just literally went on the TES, typed in ‘alcohol quiz’ into the search bar and then when you get into the search bar you get a lot of a different types of resources coming up. The best way to get the best ones are it will say recommended on the side. If other teachers like something they can also favourite it, they can add stars to it out of five, and they can comment on it.
Some of the things that its helped me to develop with is roles. I mean got this straight off the TES, and when we’re doing group work in science, there is always a couple of students who are not focused, not working. These sort of things give students a role to do; you got the time keeper, the scribe, things like these have really helped and inspired me in my lessons. And then sometimes, when we’re doing debating, get some talk cards so half the class can be debating, some of the class are watching some of the others so that’s something I’ve used as well.
Here’s a resource I adapted off the TES. What I basically did, I went in, got a resource on metals and non-metals, and this table came up which is really quite good. With materials: is it hard? Does it conduct electricity? And the PowerPoint that went it was absolutely fantastic. But when I looked at my group they needed a lot more stretching. If I start saying ‘oh today’s lesson’s on metals, non-metals’ its quite boring straight away. So what I did I sort of designed this lesson where I took a robot and I said that this robot’s come from outer space and it’s confused about its own body and how its body might react when it comes to this planet. I got them to put post it notes all over here to find out what they already knew. I said right, put post it notes around this robot to tell him what you know. They couldn’t really tell me much, they were like ‘well, it’s hard, it’s a metal’ and that’s where it kind of stopped. I didn’t want them to know so much and it was quite good that they didn’t know that much but what we then did we sort of moved on and we did the practical work so I made these and it’s got all of the science behind why things happen. So we put this all around the room as extension material for them, and then after that, they told the robot right actually you’re sonorous, you make a noise if someone bangs you, you’re malleable you can be squashed, and then they tracked their progress along here and they’d made so much progress. So I did adapt it but I needed that inspiration at the beginning to start my lesson from somewhere.
When I put resources on, usually the resource just goes on as it is, like, if it’s a worksheet anything like that just goes on straight away. If it’s a lesson plan, then you have to definitely take some information, so I’ve got to take off the names of children who are special needs, the gifted and talented, all that personal detailed data it comes off, but then I just upload the whole thing and that’s fine, and sometimes in some of the PowerPoints like I’ll put like a random picture of me, I… look at energy resource, Dragons Den and I’ll put my face on, sometimes I’ll knock that off but sometimes I do forget.
One of the most important things about TES is it’s atime saver when you go home sometimes there’s no time to make outstanding resources so when there’s one already there for you it is really useful. You will need to change it, etc. but the impact it’s had on time for me, it’s amazing. Teaching – it’s taken me to outstanding which I never thought I would get to, considering I’m from a school that had a 15% pass rate at school. Impact on the students they love it because some of the resources and the sound effects and some of the fun things that have come up, are absolutely hilarious, and they do enjoy it, and you know something, you can be the most creative teacher in the world but there are teachers out there who are very inspirational and you can gain a lot. So the impact on the students is I’m hoping that it has made a difference to their progress. So its affected me cause I’ve lots of time and I can create good resource; the students love it.
The TES, it does fit into my life in a big way I think. It’s very inspiring. You gain things from there that I couldn’t gain from anywhere else, for example, behaviour. If I need to talk to a colleague about the students behaviour and what to do and how to move this forward, you know, I know you could go on the TES and google that and people have put like really all of their work on there and sometimes they’ve put on from twitter as well. They’ve added links on, so its really good you can gain a lot from that. I mean overall I don’t think there’s nothing that it hasn’t got. It would be everything: behaviour, management, professional development, special needs, literacy, science, you know, personally I think it’s got everything that I need.
End transcript: Raj
Raj
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Transcript: Martyn

Martyn Robinson-Slater
My name is Martyn Robinson-Slater. I now work at the International School of Bremen. I have been in the teaching profession for over 36 ... this is my 36th year of teaching.
Using TES Connect I would say it improves the quality of teaching. It allows for a different style of teaching to take place and delivery within the classroom, and it really allows the young people to see quality presentations. I love the ones where people are uploading and you’ve got a whole package.
If I can explain one that really set me off on this sort of journey of sharing it was the one I did around the rock cycle. I had a low ability year 7 class that I had to teach and wanted to get this concept across of the change of structure of rocks, so I thought why don’t I do it using cheese toasties? I brought in all of my equipment; slices of the bread, grated cheese and that sort of thing. And we got the kids to go through the process of erosion, that’s the grating of the cheese. We had 2 colour cheeses; we had a red and white cheese, and then they would put the two slices together, put it into the cheese toasty maker and that then would replicate heat and pressure. The great thing, of course was that they ate them at the end. But that’s what started me off with sharing resources because I uploaded that with a total package of a poem, what the rock cycle was about, and it took off, but that was fun and to share that with other people. I actually got a feature at the back of the TES magazine because of that as well.
I’m proud of what I’ve actually done so I’m uploading it for others to use. I’ve got uploads on behaviour management. I’ve got communication because I was in a business and enterprise school so there’s a wide and varied spread of things that I’ve uploaded and my expectation is that I’ve put them there to assist people. My belief is that sharing is the way forward and so when that resource goes up I’m fully aware of the surrender of the intellectual property. It’s something that you are saying: here it’s yours to use as you wish.
My subject area is geography and I tend to try and get topicality into my teachings. If there is an earthquake, sort of extreme weather conditions, flooding, I’ll be using that sort of footage. And then, of course, there’s good old YouTube, which you can use some extensive video clips there to enhance and to reinforce your teaching.
Recently I have been doing work around flooding so I’ve chosen to go on to the TES Connect site and picked up on an absolutely excellent action aid resource there that has taken me through what happens within Pakistan and then you can develop and modify worksheets that are also available on the site for a comparative study say of Bangladesh, which I’ve done.
The way I would find a resource would be to actually go into the site and there’s a good search procedure within that. Using the topic so you can put the topic in to the search engine at the top there, you can then modify the search on the side there to the specific, particular area of the curriculum you are looking at and then, judging the quality of it, I would probably be looking at the reviews that are written up about that particular resource as well as looking at the ones that don’t have reviews because, of course, if someone uploaded as I say on to that site it’s been specific for their needs, so invariably what you have to do is to modify to what your requirements are within the classroom and the particular part of the curriculum you are actually going to be working on. So if I’m looking at the effects of earthquakes, I would be going there to look for what sorts of effects they have on people, what they sort of people have effect on the land but if there’s a specific reference to a textbook that has been used that I won’t have in this facility in this particular school I’m going to have to build that around some of the resources that I have got available within my classroom.
I view it we are a big community, a big learning community as I say, and we want the best for the young people that were working with, so why should we be care about sharing common resources?
End transcript: Martyn
Martyn
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Discussion

The use of resource sharing means that the teacher is open to new ways of supporting their teaching and learning, is able to develop their resources with the support of peers, is able to become part of a community of teachers discussing the use of resources and, by extension, ways of teaching and learning.

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