Talk Factory is an online tool and app which supports learning by helping teachers and their students to understand how to engage in productive argumentation in primary and secondary school. It helps to develop an inclusive classroom where ideas can be explored in a non-judgemental environment. This is an important aspect of education described in the English National Curriculum (2014) as follows:
“Pupils should be taught to speak clearly and convey ideas confidently using standard English. They should learn to justify ideas with reasons; ask questions to check understanding; develop vocabulary and build knowledge; negotiate; evaluate and build on the ideas of others, and select the appropriate register for effective communication”.
Talk Factory is very simple and can be used indoors on an interactive whiteboard to support whole class discussion, or on laptops or iPads to support group work. Also, the iOS app can be used outdoors on iPads or iPhones. The Android app can be used on mobile devices running the Android operating system.
What do teachers say about Talk Factory?
Feedback from teachers is overwhelmingly positive: “The development of the class within one 100-minute lesson was nothing short of phenomenal. It was the quickest and most dramatic leap in self-realisation that I have ever seen in 11 years in the classroom”. Teacher at Fowey Community College, Cornwall. “Talk Factory yielded some excellent results in engaging our students in more effective talking in lessons. This, in turn, has enabled students to see how they can expand their written responses and build on input from others in their group, linking speaking with writing”.
- Katie Fitzsimmons, Assistant Head Teacher, Fowey Community College, Cornwall
Where can I get Talk Factory?
Talk Factory is available for free online. You do not need to download anything. Just go to the website, read the user guide, and use Talk Factory. You need to have Flash Player v10 or higher installed. The website will check the version of Flash you have and show a link to the Adobe install site if v10 or above isn't found. There is a free Talk Factory app in the Apple app store and in Google Play.
Finding out more
- Read the academic papers behind this research, by looking up ‘Lucinda Kerawalla’ and requesting a copy of the papers in the Open Research Online repository
- Find out more about the Open University’s Children’s Research Centre, by visiting their website
- Have a look at the research carried out by children and young people
If you are interested in learning more about the lives of young people, then you may be interested in our Bachelor of Arts degree in Childhood and Youth Studies or postgraduate study in this area such as our Masters in Education. Why not order a free prospectus to find out more?