Marco de Rossi and Nicolò Ammendola

Are learning platforms moving on? 'WeSchool' reckons on a paradigm shift     

Reports of their demise have been remarkably premature. Those who denigrate VLEs (virtual learning environments), or learning platforms as they are also known, have perhaps underestimated the desire of schools, teachers and learners to have their own secure space in which to communicate, collaborate and share materials.

Now, fresh out of Italy, comes an innovative new platform, WeSchool, which aims to disrupt expectations of digital learning spaces with an inclusive pledge to integrate anything that a school or department needs. 

neon sign

Tony Parkin delves into an edtech Meetup to check out the world of 'edupreneurs' and lucre

When C P Snow wrote of The Two Cultures he was referring to the contrasting worlds of the arts and the sciences, a division in educational philosophies that remains to this day. But maybe if he was writing today he might instead address the wider cultural gap between those who feel education should be free of market forces, and those who view it as a vertical market sector.

The latter believe a new breed of 'teacherpreneur' should be able to bring about revolutionary change to what they refer to as an education market ripe for development. 

GEC Lebanon

The 2016 Global Enterprise Challenge shows that when it comes to sharing good practice, schools do it best

Judging started this week for the remarkable 2016 Global Enterprise Challenge, a "startup" event for primary schools, which has stimulated six months of creative classroom work by 715 pupil "edupreneurs" (some of them secondary) in 20 schools across 15 countries. Children collaborate and compete as they form their own companies to design, develop and market their own products.

And it's all been created and organised by teachers and pupils in a rural Devon community, at Broadclyst Community Primary School.

OCR Computing

Exam answer in Computing textbook heralds more problems for OCR  

coverOCRcomputingStudents taking the OCR exam board’s GCSE Computing can gain marks simply by copying or reworking an exemplar “controlled assessment” contained in the official OCR Computing for GCSE Student's Book  which was published by Hodder Education in partnership with OCR back in in 2012. It's available from Amazon and most bookshops and is widely used in schools.

Teachers have already noticed similarities in assessments submitted by some of their students as a result of them using the same source, but it is not clear whether they are technically in breach of regulations as they are using a freely available resource from OCR. But there are serious advantage issues that are certain to be investigated by both OCR and Ofqual.

Nicky Morgan

Besa director Patrick Hayes isn't convinced by the government's new-found discovery of edtech 

One of the most surprising aspects of the Department for Education (DfE) White Paper "Educational Excellence Everywhere" was its bold announcement that it had decided to move into educational technology.

Evidently tackling the teacher shortage and transforming every school into an academy on a shoestring budget wasn’t seen to be a challenge enough; the DFE seems to think it has the bandwidth and expertise to get on a par with some of the finest companies from Silicon Valley and, of course, London’s own Silicon Roundabout.