I'm a big fan of the Raspberry Pi and we have invested in a class set (with potable monitors) at Kingussie. We are using the Raspberry Pi's for various computing / maker projects at the moment. I am also enthusiastic about other similar devices such at the Intel Galileo and the new BBC MicroBit.
"The Raspberry Pi is a low cost, credit-card sized computer that plugs into a computer monitor or TV, and uses a standard keyboard and mouse. It is a capable little device that enables people of all ages to explore computing, and to learn how to program in languages like Scratch and Python. It’s capable of doing everything you’d expect a desktop computer to do, from browsing the internet and playing high-definition video, to making spreadsheets, word-processing, and playing games."
"What’s more, the Raspberry Pi has the ability to interact with the outside world, and has been used in a wide array of digital maker projects, from music machines and parent detectors to weather stations and tweeting birdhouses with infra-red cameras. We want to see the Raspberry Pi being used by kids all over the world to learn to program and understand how computers work."
IRIS Connect have dissected the paper on their blog and quite nicely condensed eight of the key tasks that Hattie believes need to be established in order to achieve conditions to nurture the collaborative expertise of teachers within a school.
The eight key ideas are:
1. Shift the narrative to collaborative expertise and student progression.
Hattie says, “re-framing the conversation away from its current focus on standards and achievement and towards progress is the first step. As well as recognising that everyone, from teachers and school leaders to parents and policy makers, should be working together towards ensuring every child receives at least one year’s worth of progress for one year’s input”.
2. Agree on what a year’s progress looks like across all subjects, schools and system levels.
Hattie says, “What a year’s progress looks like needs to be debated and agreed upon among educators. This will reduce variability in teachers’ understanding of challenge and progression for students and truly accelerate progress.”
3. Expect a year’s worth of progress by raising expectations that all students can achieve.
Hattie says, “Research proves that one of the greatest influences on learning is the expectations of students and teachers. When teachers have high expectations of their students, those students tend to be very successful in achieving their goals.”
4. Develop new assessment and evaluation tools to provide feedback to teachers.
Hattie says, “We need to find improved ways of helping students and teachers to better teaching and learning through assessment. Evaluation tools shouldn’t measure learning, they should help to shape it.”
5. Know the impact by making sure that all teachers take responsibility for the impact of everyone in the school on the progress of students.
Hattie says, “Schools need to become evaluators of impact and experts at interpreting the effects of teachers and teaching on all students.
Schools should create environments that enable excellent teaching and strong communication with a focus on making an impact, where teachers identify what success looks like and the magnitude of the impact before they start teaching.”
6. Ensure teachers have expertise in diagnosis, interventions and evaluation through teachers working together as evaluators though self-evaluation of their impact on their students.
Hattie says, “Teachers need to be experts at diagnosis, interventions and evaluation. They need to understand what each student already knows and where they need to go next, as well as what interventions to use to get them there and then how to evaluate the impact they have made.”
7. Stop ignoring what we know and scale up success by using the wealth of knowledge that exists in teacher communities
Hattie says, “We have an enormous wealth of knowledge already about how to address certain challenges that students face. Teachers should be encouraged to share and use the existing expertise that has been proven to work.”
8. Link autonomy to a year’s progress by studying teachers who are achieving a year of student progress and supporting teachers who aren’t
You can download the full report here and it makes interesting reading when you put it in the context of Scottish Education. I wonder how many teacher actually know what one year (or stage) of progress looks like within the context of the curriculum both in the BGE and Senior Phase?
Nice little video here on Open Education. Funny to think we are not pushing this more in Scottish Schools or that it doesn't seem to be part of any overall strategy (colleges and Universities are a lot further ahead of course).
We missed such a big opportunity at the start of the roll out of CfE - a real lack of vision and leadership from the top and perhaps a lack of understanding from those on the ground?
As Local Authorities (normally in their individual silos) across Scotland continue to invest in resource development and increasingly open and distance learning courses, perhaps the 'open'part needs to be the priority? At least insist that any money spent on resource development is done on the condition that the authors use a 'Creative Commons'Licence?
I strongly believe there is place for both Open and Commercial Education Products (in fact even commercial can be open!).
Unfortunately, we still live in a society where so many good education tools get suppressed by their commercial rivals. Maybe BBC Jam isn't exactly a great (or particularly pure) example of an Open Education but its a good example of how the learner lots out in the long run and the public purse suffered as a result.
As we move into a position this year in Kingussie where we can start really thinking about how we digitise our curriculum to the maximum benefit of our leaners we will also aim to do this by opening up the resources we develop to the eider education community.
In the post I mentioned the proposed large solar-powered drones that are a key part of the project to distribute the Internet to remote areas via Laser. Although it sounds like a late April Fools Joke - the whole idea and concept is very true. As I also said yesterday, whether you agree with the project or not you just can't fault the original thinking and design that has gone into making this happen.
The drone (code named Aquila after the eagle in Greek mythology who carried Jupiter's thunderbolts) is a very impressive piece of engineering.
The V-shaped, carbon fibre prototype weighs between 880lbs. and 1,000lbs. It has a wingspan bigger than a Boeing 737 and is capable of flying at altitudes between 60,000 feet and 90,000 for three months at a time.
"The Aquila is just one part of Internet.org, the Facebook-backed organization that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg launched in 2013, aimed at bringing Internet connectivity to the remaining 10% of the world's population who lack access. The service partners with local telecomm companies and developers to offer a free, basic Internet experience with access to things like Facebook, Wikipedia and BBC News."
As I say, very impressive - and also further proof that Facebook is a lot more than we perhaps think it is as well as being led by a truly innovative, very human and forward thinking CEO.
I believe, projects like Internet.org will create a rapid increase global communication and with it global competition - but is the Scottish education system ready to accept the challenges and benefits that ambitions projects such as this will bring?
Internet.org is an ambitious Facebook-led initiative bringing together technology leaders, non-profits and local communities to connect the two thirds of the world that doesn't have Internet access. This lack of access is due to a combination of factors such as devices being too expensive, service plans being too expensive, no mobile networks, content not available in the local languages, limited power sources, poor networks that are unable to support a large amount of data and local populations unsure of the value that the Internet could bring.
Interestingly the main resistance seems to be from people who already have access to the Internet (including all the benefits it brings) but are now keen to make a lot of money out of providing connectivity to others. Or, by groups of people who argue that it will create a two tear system of partial and full connectivity (which is bizarre when the alternative is full and no connectivity?).
Whether you agree with its principals or not you can’t help admire the sheer ambition of the project which includes providing connectivity my lasers through a series of solar powered high altitude gliders that have a wing span larger that a Boeing 747 but weight less than a car!
What I love about the project as well is how much societal progress we could make by increasing the potential of online global collaboration from 33% towards 100%. Of course, with an increase in potential collaboration on this level and with it an increase in global competition the UK will need to ‘up-its-game’ in terms of the digital skills and the innovation agenda within schools.internet.org
Lets hope someone in the Scottish Government Learning Directorate / Education Scotland has this as a standing item on their ‘Education Futures’ agenda. Projects like this that will rapidly up the levels of global competition (which is not a bad thing) will literally be here in no time.
First week back at school this week. Things are already busy and students seem pretty happy with their examination results and staff are gradually falling back into the swing of things.
This was my favourite photo from last year. Taken just before we broke up for the Christmas holidays - schools can be great fun and rewarding places to work as long as you don't fall into the mindset trap.
"It is ultimately only our own thoughts that help us or hurt us. Once our mindset changes, everything on the outside gradually changes along with it." (source)
Join me on this exciting European Schoolnet Academy Course covering the hugely important topic of developing digital skills in our classrooms. Digital skills are already an essential requirement for young people to succeed in an increasingly digitized society. Not only are these skills demanded for an increasing number of jobs, they also are a requirement and a right of citizens, if they are to be functional in today’s society.
Schools and teachers need support to work with their students to develop a wide range of digital skills that ensure young people leaving school have the skills required by the labour market and by an increasingly digitized society.
The course aims to guide teachers in how to develop a range of digital skills and to introduce them to the tools and resources that are available to them. At the end of the course, teachers should be able to design lessons that focus on a range of digital skills, make use of innovative tools to assist their own and the students’ work in this area.
The course is organized around thematic areas of digital skills that are relevant at all levels of primary and secondary schooling. In 6 modules it explores the definition and role of digital skills generally and then looks at specific skill areas and how to address them in the classroom. The focus of these modules is on how pedagogically the skill area can be addressed and what tools there are available to help the teachers and students.
At the end of the course participants are required to prepare a final lesson project which can be submitted as part of the eSkills for Jobs Awards competition. The course is part of the eSkills 4 Jobs campaign by the European Commission where you can also find additional resources about the topic.
Enroll now and help us spread the news by tweeting #eSkillscourse and joining our Facebook group here.
Professor Mike Sharples and I worked at a European policy gig for Intel in Stockholm back in October 2012. I was presenting on education transformation though 1:1 (or 1:many) while Mike gave a fascinating overview of mobile learning (including a historical and research perspective). I've been following his work ever since and I have enjoyed watching the Open University (OU) Open Learn Project and his own FutureLearn Project grow with time.
Mike (Professor of Educational Technology at the OU) is the lead author of the Innovating Pedagogy 2014 Report. The report sets out to explore new forms of teaching, learning and assessment as well as helping to guide educators and policy makers.
The report is split into ten sections and in a way is not dissimilar to the annual Horizon Report (from the The New Media Consortium) in that it tries to identify the potential impact of a specific trend on education along with a rough idea of to when the concepts might be adopted into the mainstream.
Massive open social learning:Free online courses based on social learning
Learning design informed by analytics:A productive cycle linking design and analysis of effective learning
Flipped classroom:Blending learning inside and outside the classroom
Bring your own devices:Learners use their personal tools to enhance learning in the classroom
Learning to learn:Learning how to become an effective learner
Dynamic assessment:Giving the learner personalized assessment to support learning
Event-based learning:Time-bounded learning events
Learning through storytelling:Creating narratives of memories and events
Threshold concepts:Troublesome concepts and tricky topics for learning
Bricolage:Creative tinkering with resources
The report itself makes fascinating reading for both teachers and school leaders and the links to individual case studies are also very helpful in exemplifying practice.
At the end of July 2015 the OU announced that Education (Technology Enhanced Learning) as one of its priority research areas for the next five years. This will build on the OUs existing success as a European leader for innovations in learning technologies, which have historically broken down barriers globally.
Indeed as we increasingly work to develop distance learning models within the Senior Phase of The Curriculum for Excellence lets hope that some of the key architects build on some of the valuable lessons and blended learning methodology developed by the OU over the last 45 years which is fundamentally about real people, rich content, robust discussion and rewarding progress.
Through my work with the-learning-crowd I’m involved with ENABLE, an EU Funded project that aims to develop social and emotional learning skills as a means of building resilience in young people so that they can better understand and become more responsible and effective for their online and offline social interactions.
ENABLE stands for European Network Against Bullying in Learning Environments.
In the beginning of July, the project consortium launched the ENABLE Hackathon to encourage young people to work in teams with a mentor to reflect on bullying (what it is, the consequences, how it can be stopped, positive actions against bullying, etc.) in an environment geared to improving their online skills whilst celebrating their problem solving skills and creativity. You can read more about the Hackathon here.
As well as the Hackathon one of the most exciting aspects of the project will be the development of educational resources based around SEAL (Social & Emotional Aspects of Learning) as well as considering how they can be integrated into curriculum across Europe curriculum. Part of this resource development will include a comprehensive teacher support back and advice on national implementation.
Dr Jenny Thomas and I are acting as advisers to the project and also have a role in external evaluation.
For more information on the ENABLE project visit the website
The Project partners are listed below (we have assembled quite a bunch!) -