Stairways to heaven? Chris Abbott visits a very special learning space in Denmark (Photos: Claus Witfelt)
It’s the staircase you notice first. As you walk through the front entrance of Ørestad Gymnasium, you see it towering ahead, curving all the way up to the top of the building, which looks from the outside like just another office block in a fast-growing suburb of Copenhagen.
A new, driverless light-rail system will get you there in 20 minutes from the city centre, and many of the students travel from even further afield to attend their school. Now that might be a familiar situation in the UK but it is very unusual in Denmark.Read more...
Zondle financial crunch holds hope for future of education startups
Thousands of teachers and children worldwide were shocked to learn that popular games-for-learning website Zondle would close at the end of July. Startup education projects were dismayed too because Zondle is one of the brightest stars in the new wave of entrepreneurial education services.
But a massive, supportive teacher response jolted the key entrepreneur behind the service, Ben Barton, into a U-turn. "I am going to do everything in my power to make sure Zondle continues," was his response.Read more...
School websites are not giving value for parents, says new report
Most schools in England are merely scratching the surface with their websites. A survey of schools in every local authority has found that most are not fit for purpose when it comes to providing parents with the information they need.
But there is good news. The report, "Structure and function of school websites: The key to driving parental engagement in the digital age" (summary here), was created to help schools, and each of its conclusions is supported by constructive suggestions to help address their challenges.Read more...
Evolution has brought true inclusion for 'Wordshark 5' users, writes John Galloway
Wordshark has long been a perennial of the teacher’s toolbox for literacy. It has an enduring familiarity which sometimes brings pleasant surprises.
While Version 5 appears much the same as previous versions, the developers haven’t stopped building on its firm foundations to continue to create something even more useful. It is one of those programs that started out in quite a specialist SEN niche and has now grown into something much more inclusive.Read more...
New Terrapinn show succeeds with inspiration, but footfall worries shadow sustainability
If there was any doubt that teaching is also a performance art, Tim Rylands and Sarah Nield removed it in their keynote presentation at London's new Digital Education Show (DES) last week.
Along with other top keynotes, like Ewan McIntosh, Sugata Mitra and Sir Ken Robinson, they proved the point pf the organisers, Terrapinn, that educational technology shows should lead with the learning and inspiration rather than the tech. But while competition for BETT, now a corporate money-making machine, is welcome, disappointing visitor numbers clouded its prospects.Read more...
The Jaguar Cars Maths in Motion World Challenge is massive. Australian teacher Tanya Uren explains why
As a primary teacher who has always loved maths,I cannot count the times I have heard from students, or their parents, some of these classic lines: “I couldn’t do maths as a kid, so he/she won’t be able to do it either”; “You never use the stuff that is taught in maths, so why bother”; “I don’t have a maths brain and never will.”
Comments like these make me want to scream, shake sense into the person, or both. As expulsion from the teaching profession, and quite possibly criminal charges, are not preferred career pathways, I have striven to change this perception in schools and the wider community. And then I came across the Jaguar Cars Maths in Motion World Challenge.Read more...
The Beeb's new Micro will debut in September but teachers won't get it first, as hoped, writes Tony Parkin
Way back in November 2013, when the BBC's planned "Year of Making and Doing" was first discussed outside its hallowed walls, there was talk of a new device. Some hoped for a sort of updated BBC Micro, while others wanted the BBC to exploit the Raspberry Pi. Others were dubious that either of these would prove to be correct: their caution was well-placed.
When "Make it Digital" officially emerged in 2015, focus shifted to a far smaller and simpler device, previously nicknamed the BBC Bug, but now baptised and confirmed by the BBC as the Micro Bit. Indeed Sinead Rocks, head of BBC Learning, has dubbed it the initiative's "centrepiece".Read more...
Intrigued by teacher communities, researcher Kristen Weatherby sets her sights on Computing at School
For years we’ve talked about teachers being isolated in their classrooms and tried desperately to get them to form or join communities with their peers. Professional learning communities (PLCs), personal learning networks (PLNs), communities of interest, communities of practice (COPs), virtual communities, online communities, interest groups and knowledge communities, to name but a few.
This work has not been in vain. Teacher collaboration is a good thing. And the 2013 results of the OECD’s Teaching and Learning International Survey (TALIS) indicate that teachers who report collaborating with colleagues also report significantly higher levels of confidence in their own work (self-efficacy) as well as higher levels of job satisfaction.Read more...
What lies behind Apps for Good's success? STEAMED for one, and its use of external experts for another
It is not always easy to engage students, but one ‘real world’ learning experience has been firing the imagination of countless young people – the Apps for Good educational programme, which grew out of the favelas of Brazil.
Next week (June 18) sees the 2015 Apps for Good awards finals at London’s Barbican, so it’s a good time to look at one of the factors behind its immense appeal for schools – STEAMED - in this extract from Learning with Mobile and Handheld Technologies.Read more...
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- Ørestad Gymnasium – school of the future since 2007
- Zondle's silver lining – teacher partnership?
- School websites fail to reach parents – report
- Survival of the fittest – 'Wordshark 5'
- Digital Education Show ups event competition
- Turbocharged and global – it's Maths in Motion
- BBC Makes it Digital – a Micro Bit at a time
Founder of Education Fast Forward on the move again
Jim Wynn, one of the most successful UK school leaders to cross the line between school and the technology industry has move...
Stairways to heaven? Chris Abbott visits a very special learning space in Denmark
(Photos: Claus Witfelt)
It’s the staircase you notice first. As you walk through the front entr...