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We are familiar with micro credentials - things like digital badges. One of the claimed advantages of micro-credentials is that they enable you to assess competences (knowledge, skills and dispositions) that cannot easily be assessed or captured using traditional metrics (e.g. exams, essays). Assessing competences (e.g. leadership; resilience) often involves looking at what people do, looking at their practice, at their ability to apply 'knowledge' in particular contexts. This creates a problem, which nano-credentials will help to overcome. ...continue reading "Introducing nano-credentials"

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"

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"

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...continued from part 1

The Funnel of Influence from The Context

We know that there are many different influences affecting a Context. For example, if we think ‘big picture’ we can recognise the effects of Culture, Politics, Global Shifts, Economics, Media, Law and ...continue reading "The Funnels of Influence (Part 2)"

This article is a short informal summary of an extensive literature review undertaken as part of a recently published EdD thesis. Aubrey-Smith, F., (2020) An exploration of the relationship between teachers’ pedagogical stance and the use of ICT in their classroom practice. EdD Thesis. The Open University.

As teachers, what we say, what we intend to do, what we live out through our actions, and what we implicitly believe, are often subtly different (Tannen, 2015). Each of these are a result of many different influences. ...continue reading "The Funnels of Influence (Part 1)"

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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"

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)"