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November 28, 2009



Fantastic post Ollie. Much of what you say is completely relevant to other subject areas and you have raised many issues that have got me thinking about my classes.
Two wee points:
1. I think the rise in multi-touch technology is going to have a big impact in how we interact with devices and will influence the content that applications have to offer. In my subject I think this is going to have a big impact for example 3d modelling or desk top publishing is going to become much more hands on and intuitive.
2. You say how you think that CfE is about thinking about things differently and then doing things differently. Completely agree but I think there is a subtle point here. When teachers say 'we are already doing that' it is the thing that they are doing which is probably highly relevant to CfE. Yes they need to think about things differently and they need to do things differently but the thing that they are doing doesn't necessary need to change. It can be pretty off putting when you feel as if you need to re-invent the wheel instead it just needs pushed in a different direction.

Ollie Bray

Hi Krysia - thanks for your comment

I couldn’t agree with you more about multi touch technology. I see it having massive impact not just for your subject but also particularly in the early years. The multi touch functionality of windows seven is likely to be a game changer here – I wonder if education manufacturers have realized this yet?

I take onboard your point about CfE and teachers saying that they are doing it aready. But my worry is that teachers should be thinking about CfE as the ‘whole curriculum’ and not as individual activities from subject departments to fulfill specific experiences and outcomes. I also agree that teachers do not always need to re-invent the wheel and that also the feeling of re-creating everything can be off putting. Collaboration across Scotland is the obviously important here and I still don’t feel there is enough of this going on

BUT, from speaking with professionals at the moment. There seem to be a lot of teachers who are adapting curriculum materials (absolutely fine) and developing new materials (absolutely fine as well) but with no strategic plan to make sure that their work integrates and compliments the work in other part of the school and in the case of secondary schools builds on a child’s experience of level 2.

As you prepare for August 2011 – how much work have you done with your associated primary schools?


Yes, I am speaking from my own point of view and I see a snapshot of what is going on throughout education through my school and deptartment.
That said, my school just now is attempting to focus on precisely what you ask - departments working together and transitions between primary and secondary. Unfortunately I think senior management have got a bit of a struggle on their hands in getting the teachers on board with this. As you say (I can't agree more) there is a short sighted view point of many teachers where you get a situation with departments 'using' other departments as in 'We'll do this project and then we can use the Geography dept to do this and the Tech dept to do this'.
Personally I struggle to be able to see an overview of a childs whole school experience. How and why will the experiences in my subject (Tech) compliment the stuff the get up to elsewhere - this is where class teachers need a bit of help with when developing courses for 2010. So, yes I agree with your point and it is a big issue.
The primary school links are something that my school is working on and I hope that by next August I can answer your question with "A lot"!

Ollie Bray

Great stuff Krysia – really looking forward to working with over the next few months on the hapics work. See you soon. OB

Nick Hood

Thanks for the excellent survey of some of the good things taking place in Scottish Science Education at the moment, Ollie: I'll be bookmarking this post on delicious for its great links.

Sinclair and I will be running a workshop at the ASE conference in Dunblane in March to share some of the things we're doing.

It's worth stating that the technology is just a tool to be used in conjunction with professional development to enhance teaching and learning in Science. Alongside keeping abreast of developments in gadgets (such at the WiiMote Interactive Whiteboard solution I am showcasing at Glenwood on Monday), teachers have to keep right on top of cognitive science, neuroscience, developmental psychology, curricular (from 3 to 18), social and scientific developments, all of which should be influencing the day to day practice of the classroom science teacher.

I wonder if we all properly appreciate the magnitude of this task and the weight of its responsibility.

Ollie Bray

Hi Nick,

Thanks for your comment – my presentation wasn’t really an overview of good practice in Science Nick. I’m sure that there are lots of better things that are going on – I only could really mention the limited things I had time to research in preparation for the talk.

I completely agree with you as technology being a tool. I did my best to make this point on slides 39-40 (appropriate use of technology). I also pointed out that technology might be a way to engage some of our more reluctant learners.

You are also right about CPD again on Slide 69 I suggested that ITunesU might be an appropriate way for staff to keep up to date with scientific development and professional development. I also suggested it would be a valuable resource for Higher and Advanced Higher Students.

Look forward to hearing about Sinclair and your presentation in Dunblane in March. I might even try to get along – if they let me out to play.

I do however share your worry the magnitude of the task ahead and the weight of the responsibility is huge.

See you soon. OB

Rebecca Burgess

Ollie I got forwarded your presentation from my line manager and can I just say it is fantastic!! I am a VS ICT teacher at Primary level and think the links you have given will be invaluable.

As a specialist teacher I have time and interest to research these further. I do think that some class teacher feel they do not have the time to use these new technologies immersively in their class. As they do not have the time to learn to use them.

I have to say this is a time when I am envious of the class teachers as one period makes it hard to find the time to use some of these technology resources.

I find that the technologies can be used throughout the stages as you have suggested my P4's created their own website to advertise their Enterprise project.

Thanks for the Inspiration keep it up


Nick Hood

OB, I don't suppose you'd be able to fix that link to my site, would you? It seems to point to the w.w. telescope thing...

Cheers, have a great Christmas.


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