Teachers sharing resources online
Teachers sharing resources online

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Teachers sharing resources online

2.4 TES Connect – Finding a suitable resource

TES Connect is one example of a resource sharing website where educators can share and download teaching and learning resources. It may already be part of your PLN.

If you are not registered on this site, you will need to do so in order to complete the following activities. Registration is free – https://account.tes.co.uk/ Register [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] .

Activity 7

Timing: 45 minutes

Watch again this video featuring Kayleigh talking about her regular use of the TES Connect website to find and share teaching and learning resources.

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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Now consider a forthcoming lesson or topic you are planning to teach. Search the TES Connect Teaching Resources and shortlist three to five resources that may be suitable for your lesson. Mark each of these resources as a favourite using the tool provided on the website. (You will use these resources later in Activity 10). Think about the factors that help refine the search process.

Discussion

There are a number of factors to consider that may help refine the search process. These include:

  • What are your learning objectives for the lesson?
  • Who is the resource for? Is it for a particular class or age group?
  • What subject and topic area is it for?
  • Does the format of the resource matter, for example are you looking for an image, audio recording, video, document or interactive whiteboard file?
  • What type of resource are you seeking, for example an activity, a game, a poster, a lesson plan?
  • Is it tied to a particular event, for example Christmas, World Maths Day, Holocaust Memorial Day or Science Week?
  • Are there particular key words that will help identify suitable resources?

You will now have a shortlist of potential resources to use in a lesson. In the next section you will review and evaluate these resources and select one to adapt for your learners.

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