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There is a lot of talk about gamification in education and to a lesser extent using real games to enhance learning in schools. By real games I mean ones which have been developed for the leisure market, their primary focus being on entertainment rather than learning. Findings from the NP3 research suggested that the use of real games ...continue reading "Using real games"

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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"

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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"

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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"

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Your kids being digital is a guide for parent on supporting your children in using digital technology effectively to support their learning outside school. ...continue reading "Your kids being digital"

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Schools and teachers are constrained by accountability and assessment regimes. However, in my experience schools and teachers have a great deal of agency - they can and do respond very differently to similar external pressures. For example ...continue reading "Teachers have more power than they think"

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We know that summative assessment drives practice in schools. We also know that current forms of summative assessment inhibit both curriculum and pedagogical innovation because of their focus on 'knowledge' (as viewed in a knowledge based curriculum). The challenge is to find new forms of summative assessment which satisfy the criteria against which they will be judged. Those criteria should include: ...continue reading "Characteristics of effective summative assessment"

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This post attempts to summarise a Twitter thread about how to encourage student questions which went viral in August 2018. @MrsSasser ’s initial post explained how apparently small changes in the way she asked students if they had any questions had a massive impact on the number of questions that they asked. ...continue reading "Helping students to ask questions"

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Educational alignment - purpose, policy, practice, visionWe know that alignment matters in education (Butler et al 2018), particularly between purpose, policy, practice and your educational vision, as represented in the diagram above. However, ...continue reading "Educational alignment (and sociocultural theory)"

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A version of this article was originally published on the OU News Website on the 25th July 2018

It is clear from talking with parents that they are often torn between a recognition of digital technology’s importance in their children’s lives and concerns about excessive screen time, Internet safety, online bullying and ...continue reading "Supporting your child’s digital practices – some pointers for parents"

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