Classroom resources alone cannot guarantee effective learning and teaching. But they do have the potential to trigger new approaches and behaviours – i.e. changes in our classroom. In this way good resources can provide a great source of professional development.
Searching Google for teaching resources returns a staggering number of results. But how do you know which of those resources are any good? How do you know which will actually save you time, and make your teaching more effective?
Sometimes, resource providers and repositories can seem more interested in volume than value. Among all the clutter, it can be difficult to quickly pick out high quality, relevant resources that can be easily incorporated into your teaching.
A good resource is accurate
This goes without saying – an educational resource must be factually accurate. But that’s not the full story – consistency is also important. The factual narrative, in terms of the scientific models and descriptions used, should be coherent.
A good resource is visually appealing
If you do not want to look at it - nor will the children!
A good resource is efficient
A teacher’s time is precious, and any resource worth using needs to provide a good return on the time invested in delivering it. A resource that involves a number of hours of preparation time needs to be very beneficial to the students to offset the work involved.
But the existence of an efficient resource is not enough – you need to be able to tell how useful it is, without needing to invest a lot of time working out whether or not you want to use it. The benefits should be easy to appreciate, and the aims should be clear – what it sets out to achieve, how it does it, and who it’s aimed at.
So what makes a good resource? One that’s accurate, useful, efficient, and relevant. This is what I hope to achieve with resources on Unique Classrooms. With so much material out there, there should never be any need to rely on a resource that’s ‘good enough’.