After nearly 24 years working at the Open University in the UK - most recently as Professor of Education (Futures) - I have decided to move to Australia (as Professor of Education (Innovation in schooling and educational technology) at the University of Newcastle (in NSW). Several people have asked me 'Why?'.
During my inaugural I asked participants to rank how important they thought a number of different possible 'learning outcomes' would be in 2033. The results are shown in Figure 1 below. As you can see the highest ranked item was ...continue reading "What should be learnt?"
Reflective practice is widely recognised as an important element of professional development - Habib (2017) for example, claims that the most important quality of a good teacher is their ability to reflect upon their practice and adapt it as a result. However, reflective practice misses out some other key characteristics of effective CPD. ...continue reading "From reflection to practitioner research – the best form of CPD"
On 3 April 2019, the Department for Education published a document called ‘Realising the potential of technology in education’. Now I don’t want to get hung up on the name of the document, but having read it, I ought to draw your attention to something fairly basic here. The word ‘realise’, according to most dictionaries, can be used to mean ‘become fully aware of something’ or ‘cause something to happen’. This DfE strategy document doesn’t ‘realise’ anything. ...continue reading "The DfE EdTech Strategy doesn’t ‘realise’ anything – But Teachers do"
Effective professional development (PD) - professional learning if you prefer - is critical to maintaining and enhancing practice (and thus learning) in schools. However, the most common forms of PD for teachers tend not to be effective - in the sense of leading to positive changes in practice which lead to improvements in young people's learning. This begs the question - what does effective PD look like? ...continue reading "Characteristics of effective CPD"
Whilst PoL in theory is a powerful tool to support professional learning and collect data about practice (e.g. assessment) we needed evidence about its efficacy in practice. This post provides an overview of the PoL in Early Years Pilot, explores its impact and draws out lessons for PoL's implementation in other settings. ...continue reading "PoLEY Pilot Report"
Extending my previous post on curriculum I wanted to explore the issues of who should define the details of what students do in school and the extent to which they should have a choice about whether to participate or not. This builds upon work in the Schome Park Programme, which used a wiki, forum and island in Teen Second Life™ to give hundreds of 13 to 65 year olds a radically different experience of what education could be like. ...continue reading "More thoughts on curriculum"
High stakes summative assessment drives practice in schools (because these are the metrics against which schools and teachers are judged). Traditional exams, which are the predominant form of summative assessment, cannot capture evidence about many 'learning outcomes' that are seen as being critical - such as collaboration, real problem solving, creativity, or persistence. AI, in the form of data mining, may offer a solution. ...continue reading "AI and assessment – mining learning outcomes"