A website for Gaelic teachers to share classroom resources has been created by Stòrlann Nàiseanta na Gàidhlig, the Gaelic educational resources organisation.
The website – www.– is a straightforward facility where teachers can pool their resources, to save time and effort. Material can be uploaded and downloaded and teachers are being urged to share their resources with the site, so they can then be made available to others.
All resources that are uploaded will be quality-assured by Stòrlann staff before they are shared for downloading, so teachers who make contributions can be reassured their vocabulary and grammar will be checked before being made publicly available. Stòrlannwill also do any design work needed, to ensure all resources are presented in the best possible light.
The resources are split into sections – for early years, primary, secondary, parents and general resources – and teachers are being encouraged to contribute towards building a bank of material that can be accessed by Gaelic teachers working at all levels across the country.
Some of the Seo Sibh resources are also editable files, so they can be tailored to suit.
Teachers who submit their resources will be clearly credited for the work, although they can opt not to be publicly acknowledged, if they prefer.
Stòrlannhave been receiving material from teachers for a while, and a facility for uploading resources has existed for a couple of years, but the Seo Sibh website has only recently gone live.
It also contains links to other sites, and to some of Stòrlannother material, but is mainly about providing a platform for sharing resources.
Neil Smith, Head of Development Services for Stòrlann, said the site had been created “to meet a need and respond to teacher feedback”. And he pledged that, as more and more resources are added, Stòrlann would keep developing it and increasing its functionality.
Seo Sibh is potentially “quite important for teachers” but he said that would depend on how much teachers used it. “We’ve put the facility there and it’s now up to teachers to use it. Some people are reluctant to share things but we would encourage them to share all their work because sometimes things they think are of little use would be of benefit to other teachers. There’s a bit of reluctance to share but it stops a lot of duplication of effort.”
Charlotte Mackay, a primary teacher at the Glasgow Gaelic School, is one of the teachers whose work is already available for download at Seo Sibh. And she was delighted to learn of the website’s existence, as she had lost the pen drive containing her original resources.
“That is great news. It’s actually really great news because I lost my USB stick that all that work was on. I’ll be quite happy to get that back. I will definitely send more stuff in. This is something we’ve been asking for for ages.”
Charlotte said Gaelic Medium Education did not have the same amount of resources as English Medium Education, so it made sense to pool resources. She added: “I like the idea that it’s being moderated as well, because a lot of people feel self-conscious about their work. This will make them a lot more willing to share resources.
“Quality assurance is great, because that will remove that barrier that teachers may feel self-conscious about having made a grammatical error or whatever.”
She described the file-sharing website as “invaluable”, adding. “If we get something that’s a template, we can adapt or change it.
“Sometimes you do feel you’re starting from scratch and it’s also about making the language standardised. Even for ourselves in the Gaelic school – and we’re a big school – one teacher will use one word for something and another teacher will use something else.
“I’m away to look at it now…!”
StòrlannChief Executive Donald W Morrison said: “Sharing Gaelic resources through Seo Sibh is a wonderful idea that is easy to engage with.
“Gaelic culture and education is jam-packed with positive examples of collaborative consumption being put to good use. As the Gaelic education sector grows the potential for the sharing of learning resources is there to be used. With the creation of Seo Sibh, Stòrlann is pleased to harness technology for the furtherance of a collaborative practice that benefits the Gaelic learning sector by extending the pool of resources available for use in schools.
“A little time invested in sharing pays great dividends to all – picking up on a popular Gaelic proverb: ‘An làmh a bheir - an làmh a gheibh’ (the hand that gives - the hands that gets).’”