Monthly Archives: August 2013

How could Pedagoo be improved?⤴

from @ Pedagoo.org

In a previous post I suggested that it might be a good time for us to reflect on what’s working with Pedagoo and what could be improved. David suggested IdeaScale as one way in which we could begin the discussion process…so I’ve gone ahead and set one up: http://pedagoo.ideascale.com/ I’ve transferred the suggested questions across [...]

#pedagoofriday for week ending 30th August 2013⤴

from @ Pedagoo.org

Oh man…the challenge was laid down…..   Great #PedagooFriday today. Check them out and add your own. The great @daveterron doing the pick this week. Let’s give him a job to do. — Kenny Pieper (@kennypieper) August 30, 2013 and I foolishly said: “Bring it on…” And you did. What a week. So many great [...]

Angela Constance blog – Make Young People Your Business Week Round-Up⤴

from

rsz_angelaconstance_174x201As Make Young People Your Business Week draws to a close, it’s fair to say this week has been a heartening experience.  I knew that hundreds of employers were well aware of the benefits that young people could bring to their business and already signed up to this.

This week was about persuading even more to embrace the challenge of reducing youth unemployment and developing their own young workforce.

The week started and finished with job announcements in Edinburgh and Glasgow.  During the week, as SSE started 100 Modern Apprentices across Scotland and we reported nearly 5,000 apprenticeships starts already this year – 500 more than the same time last year.

In Campbeltown, the First Minister announced a £4.6 million package of support for graduate placements, internships and jobs This will help maintain Scotland’s performance on graduate employment as best in the UK as highlighted in official statistics this week.

Many of my ministerial colleagues were involved in Make Young People Your Business week. The Minister for Local Government visited apprentices in Doosan Energy and graduate placements at Eclipse Blinds in Renfrew; the Transport Minister met young unemployed people and employers at a careers fair in Edinburgh; and the Health Secretary visited Street League in Lanarkshire to see how they’re helping young people into employment. Rounding off the week, the Ministers for Sport and Parliamentary Business visited Dundee United FC and saw how they are helping local young people.

We also took the opportunity to raise awareness of the aims of the campaign at large industry events. The Finance Secretary, John Swinney highlighted the financial support available to small businesses to recruit unemployed young people in his address to the FSB/SCDI National Small Business Convention. And, at the premier event of the ICT industry in Scotland, in my keynote speech I called on the hundreds of employers in attendance to make greater efforts to attract young people to their sector.

Make Young People Your Business is about supporting all young people into work and I was delighted to end the week with a visit to Enable Scotland to meet young people with learning disabilities, along with employers who were supporting them. I announced an additional £500,000 for the Targeted Employer Recruitment Incentive to help employers create work opportunities for young people with additional support needs. Importantly, if the employer is able to create a job for the young person, they can also access recruitment incentives available from local authorities.

We have come far in reducing levels of unemployment through programmes including MAs, our Opportunities for All guarantee offering a place in training or education for 16 to 19 year olds, and providing funding for the creation of thousands of jobs for young people. The support is in place for employers to invest in new talent. We need businesses to take advantage of that support.

So, there must be no let up. This week must serve as a platform for further progress, for more young people to gain the vital skills and experience to make them work ready, and for more employers to make young people their business.

Angela Constance

Minister for Youth Employment

 

The post Angela Constance blog – Make Young People Your Business Week Round-Up appeared first on Engage for Education.

The Ceannas Index⤴

from

The Ceannas Index – ceannas being the ancient Gaelic word for leadership – is a leadership diagnostic and planning tool.

The Ceannas Index is grounded in twenty years of leadership research and senior leadership experience. The Index uses a series of carefully constructed lenses on leadership that apply the power of metaphor to capture very complex concepts in a manner that is jargon free and immediately understandable.

The metaphors which cover the entire range of leadership characteristics are: the sculptor; the scientist; the builder, the gardener; the parent, the conductor; and, the villager.  Each of us will have elements of all of the above in our day-to-day behaviour and we will feel more comfortable in some of these modes than in others.  The metaphors that have been selected reflect a particular view of leadership, and one, which is focused upon enabling and supporting innovation and improvement.

The Index embraces an optimistic and appreciative view of people, as opposed to a deficit view that focuses on people’s weaknesses and deficiencies. It recognises that we are all different and that we bring our own strengths to any given situation that can complement the strengths of others.

The Ceannas Index is not to be confused with personality or psychometric tests. Instead, the Index is founded upon a belief that our leadership decision-making behaviour is less to do with our personality, and more to do with the default positions that we have unconsciously and automatically learned to adopt when faced with challenges.

By allowing the leader to consciously view such challenges from different perspectives, it frees them from their intuitive and automatic response to a situation. Daniel Kahneman, the Nobel Laureate in economics, described this as the difference between thinking “fast” and “slow”, where “slow” thinking is conscious, rational and rule-based. By applying a “leadership decision framework”, the leader can begin to develop a more rational approach to leadership problems, while providing them with the building blocks with which to identify and implement powerful solutions.

The Index has two interconnected applications. The first application is as a leadership diagnostic questionnaire for individuals, teams and organisations. The questionnaire enables identification of the default leadership positions and provides a very detailed summary that has been found to be of real benefit to leaders and teams that work under pressure. Another difference between the Index and personality tests is that participants can repeat the questionnaire a number of times over months or years to discover if they have been able to consciously shift some of their own leadership behaviours.

The second application for the index is as a decision-making and planning tool.  All too often we set about tackling a problem in the same way that we have tackled similar problems in the past. The difficulty with such a approach is that our strategy is usually focused upon the creation and delivery of a ‘plan’ which has not taken account of our leadership behaviours.  By stopping and considering the problem through the lenses of the Ceannas Index we can begin to create strategies which are truly innovative and which are much more likely to succeed and generate economic, public or social value.

As part of on-going research and development 50 free leadership diagnostic licences are available for personal use – contact me at don@drummondinternational.com if you would like to take part.

Liz Cameron blog – Make Young People Your Business Week⤴

from

Liz Cameron 178 x 201“I passionately believe that young people are the driving force of Scotland’s future. The innovation and insight of our talented young people is a valuable contributor to growing Scotland’s economy.

In my early career, I established the Local Employer Network which brought together businesses and secondary school pupils with the aim of developing ‘work skills’ and an enterprising work ethic. This ignited my passion to tackle head-on the challenges of unemployment and underemployment.

I have maintained a keen interest in supporting the journey young people embark on at school and follow through to further education to starting a career. As Chief Executive of Scottish Chambers of Commerce, this led me to establishing a new initiative – the Graduate Recruitment Incentive. Through this, we have harnessed the power of the Chambers of Commerce network and its influence with local businesses to place 100 graduates into new, permanent jobs.

This, I believe, is what Scotland needs; a visionary outlook from the Chambers of Commerce which enables our graduates to work in Scotland, for Scotland.

“I am delighted that this pioneering initiative will now be rolled out across the country, with the endorsement of the First Minister, Alex Salmond and the Minister for Youth Employment, Angela Constance through Make Young People Your Business. This collaboration is testament to what can be achieved when business and government come together for a common purpose.”

Scotland is hungry for growth. I am confident that the business community will answer our shared call to make young people our business by unlocking their entrepreneurial spirit to support the creation of 270 new, permanent jobs for Scotland’s graduates.”

Visit ww.graduateincentive.co.uk for more information

Follow Liz Cameron on Twitter @LizCameronSCC

Join the conversation on Twitter using #NewTalent

 

Liz Cameron

Chief Executive, Scottish Chambers of Commerce

 

 

 

The post Liz Cameron blog – Make Young People Your Business Week appeared first on Engage for Education.

The Ceannas Index⤴

from

The Ceannas Index – ceannas being the ancient Gaelic word for leadership – is a leadership diagnostic and planning tool.

The Ceannas Index is grounded in twenty years of leadership research and senior leadership experience. The Index uses a series of carefully constructed lenses on leadership that apply the power of metaphor to capture very complex concepts in a manner that is jargon free and immediately understandable.

The metaphors which cover the entire range of leadership characteristics are: the sculptor; the scientist; the builder, the gardener; the parent, the conductor; and, the villager.  Each of us will have elements of all of the above in our day-to-day behaviour and we will feel more comfortable in some of these modes than in others.  The metaphors that have been selected reflect a particular view of leadership, and one, which is focused upon enabling and supporting innovation and improvement.

The Index embraces an optimistic and appreciative view of people, as opposed to a deficit view that focuses on people’s weaknesses and deficiencies. It recognises that we are all different and that we bring our own strengths to any given situation that can complement the strengths of others.

The Ceannas Index is not to be confused with personality or psychometric tests. Instead, the Index is founded upon a belief that our leadership decision-making behaviour is less to do with our personality, and more to do with the default positions that we have unconsciously and automatically learned to adopt when faced with challenges.

By allowing the leader to consciously view such challenges from different perspectives, it frees them from their intuitive and automatic response to a situation. Daniel Kahneman, the Nobel Laureate in economics, described this as the difference between thinking “fast” and “slow”, where “slow” thinking is conscious, rational and rule-based. By applying a “leadership decision framework”, the leader can begin to develop a more rational approach to leadership problems, while providing them with the building blocks with which to identify and implement powerful solutions.

The Index has two interconnected applications. The first application is as a leadership diagnostic questionnaire for individuals, teams and organisations. The questionnaire enables identification of the default leadership positions and provides a very detailed summary that has been found to be of real benefit to leaders and teams that work under pressure. Another difference between the Index and personality tests is that participants can repeat the questionnaire a number of times over months or years to discover if they have been able to consciously shift some of their own leadership behaviours.

The second application for the index is as a decision-making and planning tool.  All too often we set about tackling a problem in the same way that we have tackled similar problems in the past. The difficulty with such a approach is that our strategy is usually focused upon the creation and delivery of a ‘plan’ which has not taken account of our leadership behaviours.  By stopping and considering the problem through the lenses of the Ceannas Index we can begin to create strategies which are truly innovative and which are much more likely to succeed and generate economic, public or social value.

As part of on-going research and development 50 free leadership diagnostic licences are available for personal use – contact me at don@drummondinternational.com if you would like to take part.

The #5MinResultsAnalysis by @LeadingLearner and @TeacherToolkit⤴

from

The beginning of many school years often starts with an analysis of the previous year’s results.  This can be a complex and time-consuming business which can send a number of more “statistically challenged” teachers heading for a darkened room to lie down in.  There is a balance to strike between having enough data to analyse … Continue reading »

Telling Tech Tales…What’s the EdTech Story?⤴

from @ Edu Tech Stories


"Are you sitting comfortably? Then I'll begin..." is the only one way to start this weeks post.

I realise that this reference will be lost entirely on the younger generation and any non-UK followers, this is from a kids TV show when I was young called "Listen with Mother" and this weeks' 
post is all about story telling.

How important is getting to grips with story telling in business? According to Shane Snow It will be the #1 skill in the next 5 years, and I tend to agree with him.

I would not know where to begin with this this in demand skill if it were not for Hubspot, who had their Inbound Marketing conference recently or for Bill Aulet, who has a new book on "Disciplined Entrepreneurship."

I have also just finished my most challenging project involving, what I hope is, the creation of good, relevant content. All of which has led me to reflect on my endeavours to get to grips with the art of story telling.


Day 1 - Culture Starts
I remember reading an article about the culture at Hewlett Packard and, when asked a question about their policy about looking after staff and they said something along the lines of; 

"We just decided from day one to look after our staff" and added "You're corporate culture starts on day 1"... you can't get to a certain size and then say "OK what's our culture" 

An organisations' culture will develops in a vacuum if its not carefully cultivated. So after reading some great books I realised  that culture starts on day 1 and a vital part of your culture is to have a good story to tell. The concept of good story telling is how the Te@ch Stories logo evolved.
"Our priority is company culture, and our belief is that is we get the culture right, most of the other stuff - such as delivering great customer service or building an enduring brand or business - will happen as a natural by product of our culture. It all goes back to our belief that, in the long term, a company's brand and culture are really two sides of the same coin" Tony Hsieh in the introduction of Tribal Leadership

When Lou Gerstner was commenting on his time as IBM CEO, when he was turning the fortunes of the company around he said;


“I came to see, in my time at IBM, that culture isn’t just one aspect of the game – it is the game.” 

Great Content. Great Products
I want engage with educators in a way that is welcome and will add value to their work. In order to achieve this on a sustainable, long term basis I feel that two things are vital;

1) Provide good, relevant and useful information... creating good content is vital
2) Having great products - Which requires the ability to articulate your vision in early stage development and the benefits of the product when its ready for roll out 

When you read books by Dan and Chip Heath, Brian Halligan, Geoffery Moore, Nancy Duarte and Bill Aulet you are never quite the same again (Never mind edtech sales... I should be in book sales the number of books I recommend on this blog! - Note to self speak to Ken Royal once I finish this post).

All these books have had a profound effect on me and led to the creation of Tech Story which was a direct result of reading about the importance of creating good content, and writing in a way that makes your ideas and concepts tell a story so that it "sticks"

Whats in a Name - What's the Tech Story? 
The Tech Story article was praised by those that read it and I liked how the logo looked, so developed it a little further. The reasons I ended up opting for Te@ch Stories for my Twitter account and Blog was for a number of reasons. Every time I see the Teach stories logo;
  • The Font and colour reminds me that I want to help bring technology in education to life, that any tech project I work on should have a compelling story.
  • The @ reminds me that but it's not a tech story - this is not tech for the sake of tech
Its the  not the !!Reminds me that the te@ch should be an epic adventure and bring learning to life
  • The way you present your ideas is so important! To give your idea the best chance you need to have a compelling story.

    You need to convey to your audience that you are aware of the issues and care about finding a solution in an interesting and  memorable way... at the very least that you should respect your audience enough not to waste their time or bore them with "death by power point!"

  •  Another aspect of this logo are the bright colours, this is designed to remind me that;

    1) 
     The priority with the tech is that they are great toys that make learning fun

    2) That the logo is Fun... Just because its work doesn't mean that it can't be fun! Why go to work when you can go to fun?!
Nancy Duarte encourages us to deliver great presentations,  Shane Snow, Hubspot and MIT Sloan highlight the value of great story telling and Steve Jobs advises simplicity.

"In a meeting about MacIntoch support documentation, someone said that the industry standard was that user manuals should be written at 12th grade reading ability level. Steve Jobs replied "No. It should be written at 1st grade level...maybe we should get a 1st grader to write it" he added manual comment."
The Steve Jobs Way

The way you convey your idea or  vision regarding a new product/idea/solution can be as important to the products success, and can matter as much the products functionality. David Ogilvy has a great statement to remind us of how to think about our customers with marketing campaigns;

"The consumer is not an idiot. she is your wife… your friends and family” 
David Ogilvy 


Being succinct, compelling and keeping it simple are areas that most people would benefit from and, personally,  I look forward to the day that I successfully put Nancy Duarte's advice into action!

    Writers Block!
    I am about to publish my latest report "Technology in Education - Algorithms and Relationships" which looks at the importance of the educator-EdTech supplier relationship which, believe it or not highlights the importance of sales people... It would appear that Edtech salesmen are not dead; but they do need to evolve to avoid extinction! 

    This EdTech report has taken almost a year to pull together and the main reason for this is because the report is designed to appeal to different groups, and finding the right reference material, structure and content that would have the potential to be compelling to all stakeholders was extremely challenging.

    But through this content it looks like it has paid off immediately as I may have the opportunity to produce a video for the report in the style of Sir Ken's Shifting Paradigms, which is a great way make ideas stick.  

    Bringing Stories to Life
    While I know that I want my presentations and content to be as compelling as the ones that Duarte showcases, you're not always sure about how you are doing.

    But one thing that I do know is that I would never have had the confidence to try without Dan & Chip Heath's book to highlight the value of trying as well as a practical "how to guide." 
    It's perhaps not surprising that a book about making your idea's memorable has you hooked after 2 pages.

    "Made to Stick"  opens by asking you to recall details of a, the Kidney heist, which is about a page long and information from a 6 sentence corporate jargon.

    The first story is vivid and has the concepts that make a great story - simple, unexpected, concrete, credible and emotional. The second is uninspiring corporate mumbo jumbo jargon.

    The Master Tech Story Teller
    For anyone who wants to see the delivery and results of a great story teller who creates great products - how to bring your ideas and technology to life, then there is no better example than Steve Jobs....and I'll leave you in the capable hands of Nancy Duarte who will tell you about the secret structure behind Steve Jobs presentations and other great talks.



    In the event that you like my blog/reports and would like to explore this skill that will be in demand within the next 5 years then my recommendation would Go out and get; 

    Disciplined Entreprenuership - Bill Aulet, 
    Made to Stick - Dan & Chip Heath 
    Slide:Ology - Nancy Duarte 
    Inbound Marketing - Brian Halligan 

    If you don't like the content I produce then at least I've got another 4 years to hone these skills. Like the development of the logo I have a little time to improve and get it right... but with my Te@ch Stories logo I'm unlikely to how important this task is to the culture I want to establish.



    I'm not sure if I'll have an idea that will change the world... but if I get it right I may have one that makes a difference in Edtech.

    Sector Panel meeting⤴

    from @ SQA Computing blog

    The Sector Panel for Computing & IT met today. The Panel meets once per year to provide advice and support to me and my team about strategic developments in the sector. There was an excellent attendance today, with 18 people attending, representing schools, colleges, universities, training providers, employers, IT vendors, and professional bodies.



    We have recently expanded the membership of the Panel to try to get more diverse views, and today's meeting certainly achieved that goal. There was lively debate around a number of issues such as employment trends, CPD needs of Computing teachers, e-learning, digital literacy, and Modern Apprenticeships, among many other topics.

    We had a particularly interesting discussion about CPD for teachers in colleges. The new HN awards are state-of-the-art in terms of their contents and several college representatives reported problems ensuring that teachers were able to deliver the new units. One of the actions I will take forward is to report this concern to those agencies with special responsibility for CPD in the college sector.

    We also had a good conversation about Virtual Learning Environments (VLEs) compared with "open solutions" to e-learning that utilise social meda.

    It was good to hear the employer representatives so up-beat about the demand for Computing staff now and in the future. A number of recent reports have commented on the shortage of skilled IT staff. It was also heartening to hear college representatives report huge demand for places on their Computing courses.

    Chris Morrow of E-Skills UK is a member of the Panel and told the meeting that he is leaving E-Skills in September. Chris has been a good friend of SQA over the years and will be missed.

    The Sector Panel is not a talk shop. After every meeting we create an "action list" that we work through to ensure that the Panel makes a real contribution to the sector.

    I plan to change the name of the Panel from "Computing and Information Technology" to just "Computing" to reflect the change in terminology that I have previously described.

    We're always looking for new members of the Panel so please contact Caroline if you would like to know more about its work and consider joining it. Although the Panel only physically meets once per year, we use social media to keep in touch throughout the year so it's a great way of finding out what's going on in the sector and contributing to the work of SQA.

    The Changing Face of Social Media⤴

    from @ .........Experimental Blog

    Dorpsomroeper / Town-crier
    When I started blogging regularly in 2000 I knew that social media or social publishing was the future for most things. But it would take a long time for the world to catch up.

    When I moved from the Scottish Further Education Unit to the Scottish Qualifications Authority in 2003.  I was not really surprised by the high degree of suspicion around things like blogs and then things like twitter .
    Even though I have always made it clear that I used these things in an unofficial capacity.  I was not doing it to be subversive simply to reach the parts of the world that a more official means never really reaches - perhaps that is subversive. I was pleased too to see schools and what was then Learning and Teaching Scotland staff getting the blogging bug.

    I have to say everyone in the end was always reluctantly supportive of what I was doing usually when I pointed to who and where we were generating business through my use of social media - but there were always a sometimes silent  majority  and sometimes some quite vocal and threatening pokes, usually from other agencies,  that would have quite liked a bit less blogging and tweeting from my direction .

    The world has changed - I enjoyed reading our organisation's  latest social media metrics report this month.

    ·         Within those authors directly referencing SQA, we are encouraged by the continual engagement created by Joe Wilson and Tahir Mohammed, with both authors continually growing their following and becoming authoritative voices in the education sector.

    Yes we do social media metrics now -  and  we now have an organisational social media policy.

    I hope that means that New Ventures and innovation is getting a bit closer to the heart of what we do and not that I am now being overtaken by events.

    If you are a lone educational blogger or twitterer in your organisation - keep the faith and keep sharing - it really will be alright in the end.

    I would still like to see a much longer list of SQA staff on this list and I think that many other public organisations have a long way to go too.