🍏 Hello there! Welcome to issue 38 of The Teaching Space Extra 🍏
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Welcome to this week’s issue of The Teaching Space Extra and, dare I say it, happy October!

This Week’s Podcast

Okay, this one’s a bit different… it’s the kind of topic you might have previously heard me describe as “woo woo”. But change is good, right? Let me know what you think.

One Teacher’s Experience with Meditation

App of the Week

I have an app crush: Blinkist.

Blinkist is a library of book summaries. They have over 3000 non-fiction books and each is broken down into its key points for you to enjoy. Book summaries are available in text and audio. As you know, I am an audio girl and so far I’ve been really happy with the narration and audio quality. You can consume the key points of a book in 15 minutes or fewer.

Why is this great? Teachers are the busiest people I know. Blinkist is an excellent way to access super-speedy professional development.

Personally, I am using Blinkist to find new books to read. If I listen to a summary I like, I will put the full-length book on my reading list. That being said, with every summary I’ve heard, I’ve learned something. So they definitely have ""stand-alone" value.

I’m also practising my sketchnote skills while listening to Blinkist:

The folks at Blinkist also have a podcast called Simplify. Their recent interview with Susan Cain, author of Quiet, is excellent.

I'm currently enjoying a free trial of Blinkist. Find out about their premium option here.

Project PowerPoint

Well, technically it’s Project Google Slides, but I preferred the alliteration of “Project PowerPoint”... always a teacher!

Inspired by Oliver Caviglioli of Dual Coding Fame, I’m currently developing my use of slide decks in certain teaching sessions. Referring back to my podcast episode 10 Ways Teachers and Trainers can Improve Presentations I’m doing all of that, but there are still more improvements to be made.

For example, rather than using my slides as a prompt for me, I am trying to use them for the sole purpose of enhancing the message I want to convey. This often only requires the use of icons, diagrams or keywords. Alongside the slide deck, I produce a handout which explains each slide (it contains the words I removed, expanded into sentences). This acts as a prompt for me or a teacher covering my session. I also make it available to learners after the session.

I’ve simplified my slide design even further and have removed the distracting, corporate elements (logo, social media icons etc). I’d never questioned this before, but why on earth would a logo be necessary on every slide? Learners know where they are (one would hope!)

I feel a new podcast episode coming on. To help me prepare, please email me your thoughts on using slides in sessions. What do you do well? What are your areas for improvement? Thank you.

Right, that’s all from me today. Have a great week. 

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