The 100 ideas series has undergone a revamp and it could not have begun with such an excellent practioner as Ross Morrison-McGill otherwise known as @TeacherToolkit on Twitter and the TES. Previously, I had found the 100 ideas series uneven and, sometimes, dull. However, this series has been rejuvenated and the books have now been restructured to include not only the core ideas but also how to take the ideas further and tips on how to implement the new strategy. This makes the book more flexible and gives the content more depth.
The ideas themselves are a mix of traditional tips and thoughts, such as drinking coffeee in lessons – a no-no according to McGill and something I fully agree with, and more cutting edge ideas, such as the 5 minute lesson plan – which before the book was publsihed it made an online appearance and almost went viral via Twitter and the TES. Some ideas are not new but remind us of our core purpose while other like the 5 minute lesson plan are genuinely innovative and can be easily implemented with a significant impact. The coverage of the book is wide ranging from planning and marking to homework setting and is written in a catchy and accessible style. Also, you can dip in and out of the book always picking up a new idea or something that plants an idea which you can modify for your own teaching style.
But for me, the real highlight of the book is how it is linked with Twitter. Twitter is perhaps the most important CPD tool for teachers so far in the 21st century and I believe that this book is the first to latch on to this and link it to the teacher forum on Twitter. The book itself has a hashtag – #100ideas – and each idea is given a hashtag therefore encouraging readers to share thoughts and how they implemented each particular idea. I have done this [particularly with the One Off Homework idea or #OOH] and found that sharing this significantly enhances the value of the book. This new way of using social media alongside a teaching book is groundbreaking and something that others, will I am sure, follow.
This new volume is a great improvement from the old 100 ideas series and, I hope, there will be more to follwo from the @TeacherToolkit – a most impressive publishing debut.