Ellie Overland

Ellie Overland

I'm a Senior Lecturer in Education and have been teaching more years than I care to remember!
I love all things in education technology and trying to predict how teaching will develop in the future.

Location Manchester, UK


  • Asking questions is definitely important - sometimes colleagues can forget and use acronyms or terminology you have never heard before!

  • Welcome to everyone joining us this week on the course. Please introduce yourself

  • Applying scores to mutiple choice questions can be quite a useful way to do some straightforward analysis although it can be viwed as quite simplistic. A standard research methods textbook will provide more information on approaches to using multiple choice questions and subsequent analysis.

  • Are you planning to interview all the students or a sample?

  • Is this to focus on transition between KS2 and KS3 or different age groups?

  • Transition is going to be a real challenge. Will you want to do some assessment first and then focus on IT skills?
    It may be that IT skills are better than in usual years after all the online learning?

  • Is there a particular section of the K-12 curriculum you would like to focus on?

  • This is a really important research project. For the scope of this course you may want to focus on a small section of the 2 year curriculum to keep it manageable.

  • This is really clear Claudia and it is evident you already have a hypothesis that will act as a suitable starting point for your final research plan.

  • @AllenTsui I remember our conversation! I hope you are well and you find this course useful for your ongoing work

  • As the week goes on I think more people will join this group and join the conversation with Janine. Potentially it is quite broad so please outline what you are thinking about your curriculum planning.

  • It is good to be a trailblazer in research! Once you have some plans as to what form your research will take, it will be worth having the conversation in school as to what you would like to do and what ethical considerations you need to make.
    There will be exmples of research policies online and you may be able to adapt one for your own setting from another...

  • Parental permission may be required but it may already be covered under a pre-existing home-school agreement. It is certainly something to check.

  • I like your thinking here - it will be interesting to perhaps consider this again in week 2 when you explore some of the more specific research tools and plans.

  • A literature review can take a long time but it will be useful to find a small number of key papers to keep it manageable and provide a basis to allow you to move to the next stages of your research.

  • You are right - finding the appropriate questions to ask is a challenge. Reading research others have already carried out can be a useful starting point. It can also be useful to test your questions on a small scale to start with.

  • This sounds like an interesting project to research. Potentially it could be quite broad, do you have a specific focus in mind?

  • This is an interesting question - how do we know, and most importantly what we then do with the information? Do you ave any ideas for AFL you would like to explore?

  • Do you have a focus for your communication in mind? Is it linked to assessment and feedback?

  • Yes. Although sometimes it doesn't lead to solutions - you may just discover more questions!
    It is important to be open to ideas that your research may not always find suitable new practices.

  • It is great you ave already engaged in some research and have ideas for continuing yur journey. I think there is great scope for exploring creativity in computing classrooms.

  • You have developed some great ideas here for creating a positive classroom.

  • You should have a range of placements during your training and you will work with many different teachers so hopefully you will find a style that will suit you.

  • It is great to hear so many examples of classroom practice and the wide range of approaches. Lots of you have identified an engaging start is a real positive. What are some of the best starts to lessons you have seen?

  • Time can be a difficult aspect to predict in a lesson - do you think it's more difficult to manage time in an online lesson than in the 'real classroom'?

  • Creating groups can be a real challenge in the classroom. What different ways could teachers structure groups or encourage collaboration?

  • What sort of activities would you have prepared for those particular children?

  • Routine and structure can be a really important aspect of lessons and is often taken for granted.

  • Welcome Rozz - I hope you find the course useful to share with your own trainee teachers.

  • Don't worry at all - we have had trainee teachers much older and they have been great. Your prior experience will prove invaluable in the classroom.

  • Try not to be scared Rosie - TAs have the best classroom experience to move forward into teaching

  • Welcome Corina - I think you will find week 2 really useful

  • TEFL - Teaching English as a Foreign Language

  • There are already a few different acronyms appearing that you might not be familiar with:
    PGCE - Postgraduate Certificate in Education - a one year course taken after an undergraduate degree to qualify as a teacher
    SCITT - School Centred Initial Teacher Training - a post graduate course to qualify as a teacher, primarily based in school
    BA in Education -...

  • Hi Everyone
    Welcome to the course - it is interesting to hear your different motivations for starting the course and I am delighted so many people are interested in teaching. It really is the most rewarding profession :)
    We are looking forward to working with you all
    Best Wishes

  • Hi Delicia - a PGCE is a Postgraduate Certificate in Education. In the UK it is a one year course that can be taken after a degree to qualify as a teacher.

  • Welcome to all those joining the course. It is great to have such a range of experiences and countries represented and this will make the discussions really interesting.
    I am here to support you throughout the next weeks and I am looking forward to working with you all.

  • This is an interesting response to the quiz. Obviously it is difficult to reduce the complexities of lesson observation to a multiple choice activity so there is some level of generalisation.
    I am interested in your use of the term 'blind eye' - this does still suggest that you feel some sense that you are observing a lesson in order to make judgments. At...

  • I totally agree with many of your comments Elliott. In addition to funding issues I think there is a certain level of fear in schools, not only in staff confidence in using technology but also in keeping children safe. By not engaging with technology in education in some ways we could be in danger of making the online world more unsafe as we are not modelling...

  • Thank you Paul and Becki - you have pulled out some key features here. The countdown is a useful technique - we often talk about trainee teachers developing a 'tool box' of strategies they can use to manage their lessons. Has anyone seen other techniques they think would be useful?

  • It is interesting thinking about different behaviour issues with different ages of children. At what age do we think behavior changes most? Does it ever improve?

  • Definitely staying calm is important. An emotional response is rarely productive and this is when teachers can start to feel stressed.

  • This is an interesting question - do we learn from people we don't like. I can certainly think of some teachers who I disliked but not sure how it impacted my learning. Do other people have views on this?

  • This is a really interesting approach to take in thinking about behaviour. Have you come across the work of Carol Dweck and mindsets? I think this would resonate with your thinking.

  • Your experience in this regard is important here Simon. Having the balance between nurture and support and not accepting excuses is important. This can be hard when you do not know the students well. How did you balance this when you were first getting to know the students?

  • A thoughtful response here Sally - the idea that children feel safe to make mistakes is an important part of learning.

  • This is a really good question. In a lot of primary classrooms the children are in the same room all day. Has anyone got any good suggestions for Alice?

  • This sounds like you will strive to have a really positive and motivational classroom environment which is great.
    Think carefully about the friendship aspect - do you think being friendly and approachable is the same as having a friendship? How friendly do you think teachers should be?

  • This is a thoughtful response, I like the balance of having time for self expression and time for listening.
    The books rewards are a great idea!

  • This is a great response to the first week - I am so glad it has inspired you to be proactive.

  • Thank you for all your thoughtful comments on this. It is useful to engage with the standards and think about what they will actually mean for you in the classroom.

    It is interesting to note that many of you have chosen similar priorities including setting high expectations, adapting for all learners and behaviour management. Many of you have also noted...

  • Thank you Nathan.
    You have touched on an interesting debate here around assessment. Some teachers feel there is too much reliance on testing and find they are required to 'teach to the test' but then pupils want to leave school with qualifications so they can move to the next stage of education and employment.
    Is it possible to have effective teaching with...

  • Thank you Anne-Marie - it is interesting to hear the standards form New Zealand, they sound very similar.
    I am not sure that 'empathy' appears in the teaching standards in the UK but it is such an important quality to have.

  • I think parents can have a great insight into how difficult teaching is. Children are all so different, even in the same family, so when you have a large class it is difficult to meet the different needs. We will think about that more in week 2.

  • It is a tricky one - and not one we have the answers to yet. Education always seems to be a bit behind technological development in industry.
    I think education is very reliant on the new teachers coming in to have the latest skills and ideas on using technology in schools.
    What ideas do you have about technology in the classroom?

  • Talking to other teachers is certainly where I get some of my best ideas. Social media can be useful too, although it is important to find supportive groups and useful people to follow.

  • Wow, that is certainly a change! Perhaps sometimes contortion skills could be useful in a classroom - it would certainly gain the attention of the class!

  • That's great to hear! So many teenagers are not enjoying Shakespeare so any ideas to enthuse them will be welcome.

  • Welcome Katy! You will find your TA experience invaluable in helping you develop your teaching.

  • Welcome from Greece!

  • Welcome from Brazil!

  • Welcome John. Physics teachers are certainly in demand so I think you have made a great decision to train to teach.

  • Lots of people change careers into teaching - it can be a daunting step to take but a highly rewarding one.

  • Ellie Overland replied to [Learner left FutureLearn]

    A special welcome to our International students Justeene - it is so useful to consider education in different countries - lots of different experiences to share.

  • You will find your swimming teaching experience will really help - making yourself heard at the pool is not an easy thing to do!

  • We look forward to welcoming you in September!

  • It is an absolute pleasure to welcome you all to the course and to already hear such a range of experiences in schools.
    It is great to hear some of you have definite plans for training to teach, some of you are exploring it as an option and others are already working in schools. Whatever stage you are at we really value your contributions and we're sure you...

  • This is an interesting observation. I visit a lot of schools and find behaviour can vary from one school to the next, even though they may have a very similar intake of pupils. It can be down to the 'culture' of the school so don't let one setting put you off - you may find it different elsewhere.
    You teacher training should have a least two placements in...

  • Thank you to everyone who have shared their observations.
    There is already some high level evaluation of learning and classroom practice taking place here - please read and continue to share each other's experience. Considering other people's teaching approaches is often the best way to develop your own.
    They do not have to be specifically from lessons in...

  • It is interesting that you noticed their behaviour did not change. Can you think of different strategies that you might have tried?

  • What an excellent example of a teacher knowing her class really well. Relationships are very important in creating a calm classroom environment.

  • Timing is really important in lessons. Lots of new teachers run out of time and it takes a while to get used to managing time. It is often called the 'pace' of the lesson. Can you think of useful tools to help manage time in lessons?

  • I remember having to copy things at school too! Do you think it is ever a useful task to do?

  • Great observing skills, you are already thinking about how you would do things differently. What would you have done instead?

  • A great example - do you think you can assess prior knowledge in the same way in a more formal classroom environment?

  • A great observation which seems to have already informed you and allow you to consider the type of teacher you would like to be.

  • You have picked up on the wide range of qualities a teacher needs to have. Have you observed anyone managing to do all this effectively in the classroom?

  • Thinking how students are paired and grouped is essential to make these sort of situations successful. Peer support can be as useful as teacher support in many lessons.