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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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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"

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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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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"

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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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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"

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Most people would accept that our education systems need to change to reflect the world around them. However, there isn't general agreement about what those changes might look like or indeed what the purposes of education should be in the automation age.

A traditional academic approach would be to carry out research and then publish findings in a refereed journal article. I have a number of concerns about that ...

  • academic research is often dependent upon external funding - which often distorts both the research focus and approach (and at times willingness to publish findings)
  • the process of publishing academic research findings is generally slow and what gets through the review process may be distorted by views of what counts as high quality research (e.g. by the metrics used in research assessment exercises such as the Research Excellence Framework (REF) in the UK)
  • we already have a great deal of evidence (from theory, practice and research) that is relevant to education - but much of these seems to be ignored. For example, research that I led looking at the implementation of the then government's Information Communication Technology (ICT) strategy concluded  that

...continue reading "Why halfbaked?"

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