Iraqi childrenIraqi refugee children shelter in Syria in 2012 (photo James Gordon via Wikimedia Commons) - millions of children are out of school

The UN's Sustainable Development Goals are crucial - and need to gel with the learning in schools too

It took media photos of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach to jolt many people into recognising the awful plight of refugees. But how many people know that 57 million children are currently out of primary education?

There is only one organisation capable of co-ordinating a solution, and that is the United Nations. Which is why "Preparing a Better World", the 14th Education Fast Forward debate, (September 24, 1-3pm BST) was devoted to the UN's new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

A long time coming – acceptance that it's not about the ICT but changing the learning and teaching
Interviewing Anthony SalcitoLearning with ICT: Microsoft’s Anthony Salcito in the Broadclyst TV studio hotseat. A previous incumbent was Michael Gover MP, grilled over funding the school hallThe OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) has confirmed what advocates of ICT for learning have said for years – that putting computers in front of children does not improve results.

And OECD Pisa boss Andreas Schleicher, in his foreword to the new report Students, Computers and Learning: Making the Connection, spells out what’s needed – “To deliver on the promises technology holds, countries need to invest more effectively and ensure that teachers are at the forefront of designing and implementing this change.”

Stairways to heaven? Chris Abbott visits a very special learning space in Denmark (Photos: Claus Witfelt)
Ørestad GymnasiumØrestad GymnasiumØrestad Gymnasium: a source of inspiration for new schools all over the worldIt’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.

 

Broadclyst hallDecoding the Future will also celebrate Broadclyst’s new hall (above), dining facilities and Cornerstone Teaching School

Primary school's challenge to policy makers on innovative learning in global online debate
A rural primary school in Devon that hosted its own global enterprise project with schools across the world will share the learning at its own “Decoding the Future” conference next Monday (September 14).

The aim of this multi-media event – it can also be joined on Skype and Twitter - at Broadclyst Community Primary School is to help create a “world class education system for a 21st century Britain" and it has attracted the attention of Microsoft education boss Anthony Salcito who will be flying in from Seattle to take part.

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.