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I am talking about theory in the sense of a framework for making sense of the world, what Abend (2008) calls 'Theory5' - so the title of this blog post perhaps should have been 'How might your theoretical framework inform your research?'.  We know that there needs to be alignment between your theoretical stance and your methodology, design, methods and instruments, analysis, and outcomes (the claims made) (Twining et al, 2017; Twining, 2018). But what does that look like in practice? I'm going to illustrate this ...continue reading "How might theory inform your research?"

As nobody wanted to give me a review copy I went out and bought this book, and I’m glad I did. It is a good book – it is an important book – indeed I think every researcher (whether coming from a positivist or interpretivist standpoint) would benefit from reading it. ...continue reading "Brief review of Quantitative Ethnography (Shaffer 2017)"

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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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"

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"

Last Friday Fiona Aubrey-Smith asked me a great question about the table that attempted to summarise the main points in some guidance that I had written for Computers & Education about qualitative research. It was great because it extended my thinking. Fiona's question was ...continue reading "Extending guidance on qualitative research"

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"

This article was originally published in The Conversation on the 17th July 2014

Back in January 2012, the now-departed education secretary Michael Gove said, “ICT in schools is a mess”. He went on to argue that what was needed was a rigorous computer science curriculum. Now, from September 2014, when the new national curriculum ...continue reading "Gove departs just as disaster looms for computing in schools"

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I have always assumed that there was a straightforward relationship between socio-economic status (SES) and opportunities to use digital technology outside school. However, ...continue reading "Digital technology, SES and disadvantage"

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Talkfactory was designed to help enhance the quality of debates in classrooms. It is a simple, free, web based app that ...continue reading "Talkfactory – a simple ‘real time’ data logging tool"