Monthly Archives: January 2015

BETT 2015: finding the inspiration!

Upon trawling through the hundreds of gadgets, gizmos and so called ‘educationalists’ promoting the holy grail to ‘life after levels’ (also known as a ‘missed opportunity’), there were a few ideas at BETT 2015 worth a mention.  Most notable of all was the brilliant Elsium’s iPad band who opened the Saturday with some Guns N’ Roses and Killers all played through iPads – surely a great way to adapt already existing musical skills or inspire those to learn to play an instrument for real!

Firstly, DK’s ‘Find out’ online encyclopaedia. Designed for teachers, children and parents, it has a very user friendly interface, which includes a search engine, quizzes, galleries, videos, fun facts and, soon, a my stuff area for storing favourite sections of the website. Content is currently organised into traditional subjects or themes. Although, still quite limited in its content, it is sure to expand and is free to sign up!  Definitely worth a look if designing web based research lessons.

Google’s vision for education presentation was worth attending. The short video below gives an overview of what it means for a classroom or school to ‘go Google’.  Although maybe not for everyone, it’s worth knowing what and how companies such as Google are supporting education.  The second video outlines some of the specific apps that schools may benefit from.

The Lego Education presentation also made for welcome viewing, however, currently the pricing of the hardware is unfortunately a discouraging factor.


Finally, the most inspiring moment of the day…encountering the Steve Jobs Schools stand! According to their website their goal is ‘to prepare children for tomorrow’s world with today’s tools while focusing on developing their own talents. We encourage children, by means of an innovative new teaching approach and the most up-to-date learning tools, to develop their individual talents and teach them the skills that are crucial for success in the world of tomorrow.’  These are a series of schools based in the Netherlands, but are currently branching out further afield. The gentleman at BETT highlighted how the children have truly personalised timetables created for them based on their previous learning. Needless to say this is all produced on an individualised iPad. When the children need to learn a new skill they can attend a session with a teacher and no more than seven other students.  They then practise the skill in the comfort of the school and at their own pace.  It certainly looks impressive – check out the videos below explaining the rationale, ethos and values of the schools and take a look at the ‘How to build a Steve Jobs School’ manual…you never know!

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Visible Learning…at last!

It is hard to believe that it has taken this long to both post and create a page on our blog dedicated to the work of Professor John Hattie and his Visible Learning team, but it is here…at last!  ‘Visible Learning means an enhanced role for teachers as they become evaluators of their own teaching. Visible Teaching and Learning occurs when teachers see learning through the eyes of students and help them become their own teachers.’  As John Hattie’s mantra reads ‘Know thy impact!’

As quoted from the Visible Learning website, ‘John Hattie claims that “the major argument in his book [Visible Learning for Teachers] underlying powerful impacts in our schools relates to how we think! It is a set of mind frames that underpin our every action and decision in a school; it is a belief that we are evaluators, change agents, adaptive learning experts, seekers of feedback about our impact, engaged in dialogue and challenge, and developers of trust with all, and that we see opportunity in error, and are keen to spread the message about the power, fun, and impact that we have on learning.”
John Hattie believes “that teachers and school leaders who develop these ways of thinking are more likely to have major impacts on student learning.”  Take a look at the excellent video below made by Cheryl Reynolds, a senior lecturer at the University of Huddersfield, where she has put together John Hattie’s eight mind frames in an effective animation.

Hattie’s 8 Mind Frames

  1. visible-learning-for-teachers-by-john-hattieMy fundamental task is to evaluate the effect of my teaching on students’ learning and achievement.
  2. The success and failure of my students’ learning is about what I do or don’t do. I am a change agent.
  3. I want to talk more about learning than teaching.
  4. Assessment is about my impact.
  5. I teach through dialogue not monologue.
  6. I enjoy the challenge and never retreat to “doing my best”.
  7. It’s my role to develop positive relationships in class and staffrooms.
  8. I inform all about the language of learning.

To find out more about the influential work of John Hattie visit our Visible Learning page.

Categories: Teaching and Learning, Visible Learning | Tags: , | 3 Comments

Recommended reading

The most effective professional development is often initiated and determined by the teacher themselves. For many, this is achieved through engaging with the ever growing online community such as Twitter, blogs, TeachMeets etc.  However, for others the book (whether digital or old fashioned paper) is still their primary source of furthering their learning and practice.

Click here to see our updated recommended reading page.

Categories: Reading, Teaching and Learning | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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