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The COVID-19 crisis raised many issues about the purpose(s) of schooling, views about what should be learnt and what learning looks like, and who is responsible for young people’s learning. The rapid move from face to face to online schooling involved some amazing and some terrible uses of digital technology. Perhaps most glaringly was the difference between those who tried to maintain formal schooling, with virtual lessons interspersed with ‘independent learning’ (which in practice often meant filling in worksheets) and those who used it as an opportunity to spark young people’s intrinsic curiosity and capacity to learn. In both cases digital technology was critical. However, in the latter case so too was having a digital mindset. ...continue reading "Trust, Empowerment and Learning with Digital Technology"

In any school, some decisions are made for you by your headteacher and some decisions you inherit from your students and their beyond-school lives. However, many decisions are completely down to you. Let’s take a look at why you have more decision-making power than you may think. ...continue reading "Trust and empowerment of teachers"

So, what changes do we need to make to our current practice so that we too can adopt similar Digital Mindsets? Notice the language used by these headteachers (taken from the previous post in this series):

  • “I don’t hear my teachers talking about the difficulties that students are facing, I hear them talking about what they are doing about those difficulties”
  • “I only ask that they look at the students in front of them and think about how they are moving those students on”

Their focus is on ...continue reading "What can you do in practice?"

Some of the most important changes you can make relate to the nature of your relationship with your students and the degree to which you treat them as responsible and capable young people. The table below provides some examples of changes in ...continue reading "Trust and empowerment of students"

You can probably think of lots of good reasons why you can’t use digital technology in the ways we have been suggesting in the previous posts in this series:

  • We don’t have enough devices
  • I would have to totally change how I teach
  • I’m not very confident with digital technology
  • The students will be distracted from learning

...continue reading "But I can’t because …"

Encouraging students to bring their existing expertise – from other classes, from their home and social worlds, into our classrooms expands possibilities (Twining et al., 2017), but also removes another bottleneck: ...continue reading "Concluding the series"

In a previous post I set out five models of provision spanning face to face to fully online (and well designed) courses. That failed to fully capture at least one 'blended' model. I have reconceptualised the models - resulting in this new 'framework'. ...continue reading "Models of provision v2"

In previous posts I have talked about the characteristics of effective CPD and have argued that practitioner research is the best form of CPD. In this post I extend the argument to suggest that schools need to become research invested. ...continue reading "Teachers as researchers"

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I have to admit that I’m not a fan of rubrics – preferring non-standardised forms of assessment – and perhaps because most of the rubrics I have come across have been pretty terrible. So I thought I’d have a go at developing a better one. ...continue reading "The halfbaked academic rubric"

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By Dennis Sherwood

We all know that old cliché 'Necessity is the mother of invention', and events over the past nine months have validated its truth: that wretched virus has caused many new things to happen, from enhanced remote teaching at all educational levels to the ever-closer development of a vaccine.

Why has there been such an outburst of the discovery of new ideas, of creativity? ...continue reading "Thinking differently about creativity"