Teaching kids to code outside the curriculum and classroom

This is from Emma Mulqueeny (@hubmum), a friend, a prime mover of Young Rewired State (http://youngrewiredstate.org/), and tireless advocate of young people building a better world through coding. Here she describes the practical and (I would say) agile steps that an initiative called Computing at School (http://www.computingatschool.org.uk/) is taking to help schoolkids to learn to … Continue reading

Managing shared resources and reclaiming the commons with the School of Commoning

The number of new initiatives that are reimagining learning in some way continues to grow. Compared with the US, where initiatives are entrepreneurial in spirit and mass-scale in ambition, those in the UK seem more to be modest, organic and many are growing out of existing institutions (especially universities). I came across the School of … Continue reading

Will @schooX do for school-level educators what Mendeley does for academics?

SchooX is just starting out and it’s not yet clear what tricks it has up its sleeve to support learning, teaching, discovery and accreditation — or whether it will be “just another social network” with a skew towards education. Or as they put it, in one of my least favourite words, edutainment. What’s interesting is … Continue reading

Will this alternative to the spreadsheet+filestore approach to VLEs fly?

I’m predicting that we’re going to see more cut-down alternative forms of Virtual Learning Environments and Learning Management Systems. The argument (whether you’re convinced by it or not) is that VLEs are just big tracking spreadsheets which have become increasingly bloated with successive iterations of poorly-integrated bolt-on functions. If that is the case, then alternatives … Continue reading

Rough notes from yesterday’s meetup with @andrew_davis, creator of Social Media Fundamentals course

Here are some rough notes with minimal editing from our meetup yesterday. If you’re near London, please join our group to keep up with this series of meetings. Andrew Davis started by outlining his career path. After graduating from Roehampton University in 2000 and failing to make a proper living from DJing for a year, … Continue reading

If you step back, kids achieve the impossible, emergent properties are always astonishing – Sugata Mitra at ALT-C

The full transcript of Sugata Mitra’s keynote to the ALT-C conference last month will be published shortly but I took some notes to embed my own learning. I thought these might be helpful to others, as they’re easier to skim than either a full transcript or 54 minutes of video. The (or A) Future of … Continue reading

The principles & practice of home education: intvw with a parent on how she & her sons improvise their learning

Below are just a few excerpts from a lengthy interview I did with a friend of mine, whose teenage sons have been educated at home. Home education includes a range of approaches, and Annie places herself at one end of the spectrum. Quite a few thought-provoking perspectives (at least that’s how it seemed to me). … Continue reading

Notes on “The Classroom Experiment” (BBC/Dylan Wiliam)

Here are my notes on two one-hour BBC programmes about innovation in methods in an English secondary school. It was billed as “One professor, one term, 24 students” and featured some faintly contrived dramatisation and character development, which TV producers seem to think is necessary to make anything watchable. I’ve stripped that out so there’s … Continue reading

Alistair Fitchett (@unpopular) on the challenges of achieving radical, far reaching change in schools

Also an interesting perspective on the government’s Free Schools initiative and the risk that ‘take up’ will come not from those committed to transforming teaching and learning (can we still call them ‘progressives’? probably not) but from private and niche interest groups. Clipped from unpopular.typepad.com It is the thesis of this book that change—constant, accelerating, … Continue reading

Useful update on the #OLPC initiative in South America

Clipped from http://www.toolsandtaxonomy.com Uruguay has committed to providing every child in primary school their own device for use at school and home. These are not wealthy nations; this reflects a commitment to raising levels of basic skills and educational performance across the continent. While such aims are targeted in the future, supporting this level of … Continue reading