Monthly Archives: November 2015

Scottish Egyptology⤴

from @ Education Scotland's Learning Blog

Small - NMS EgyptEgyptologist Margaret Maitland from National Museums Scotland will introduce a few of the fascinating Scots who have contributed to our understanding of ancient Egypt and share some of the wonderful items they brought back to Edinburgh, including objects from a princesses’ tomb and 5000+-year old animal figurines.

Learn about what it takes to be an Egyptologist, as well as why and how museums have collected ancient Egyptian objects. At the end, we’ll have a short Q&A session for your class’ most burning ancient Egypt questions.

Join us live on Wednesday 9th December at 1.45pm. Register now – Scottish Egyptology

If you unable to join us for the live event you can always catch up with the recording at another time – Glow TV’s Watch Again.

Your Christmas Dinner – Where does it come from?⤴

from @ Education Scotland's Learning Blog

Small- Christmas DinnerJoin us on Tuesday 8th December at 10am as we meet some of the farmers involved in helping to produce your Christmas dinner. This is a busy time of year up and down Scotland as producers work towards the busiest food day of the year.

We will join a turkey farmer and a sprout farmer to find out what they are up to, as well as looking at how parsnips are grown and cream is produced.

Regsiter to take part live on the day – Your Christmas Dinner – Where does it come from?

If you unable to join us for the live event you can always catch up with the recording at another time – Glow TV’s Watch Again.

Technologies at Work – Real life, Real Time⤴

from @ Education Scotland's Learning Blog

Small - Technologies at WorkIn March this year Education Scotland published ‘Building Society: Young people’s experiences and outcomes in the technologies’. This impact review recognised how important this area of the curriculum is in preparing young people for the world of work.

Technologies at work is a series of Glow TV sessions that will allow young people to interact with people who have made a career through working in a range of different industries. Each month we will record and share links to interview/conversations with real people working in technology related industries.

These recorded films will be available through Glow Broadcasting and you can watch these at a time and place that is appropriate for you and your learners. You will then be able to login at a later date (which will normally be between 2 and 4 weeks after the recordings have been made available for a live Glow TV session) where you and your learners can ask the interviewee any questions.

An introductory video is available on: and Harry Boyce will be available during this Glow TV session on 8th December at 11am to answer all your questions.

Register now to take part live on the day – Technologies at Work – Real life, Real Time

If you unable to join us for the live event you can always catch up with the recording at another time – Glow TV’s Watch Again.

Genocide and Srebrenica⤴

from @ Education Scotland's Learning Blog

srebrenica2For anyone working on discrimination, the Holocaust and genocide, there’s a new education resource for secondary teachers based on the Srebrenica experience 20 years ago during the Bosnian civil war. It has been produced by a UK charity, Remembering Srebrenica, and the Scottish edition has just been launched.

– you have to register to get access, on the website’s resources/education packs page.


A #DigCit Lesson: An Amazing Skype Call with a Connected Educator⤴

from @ Edu Tech Stories

This post details how sharing a great post led to a Skype call, and how agreeing to pitch in and help out with the Digital Learning Scotland agenda and #DigCitSummit has got us here today. 

It also wonders if educators doing a quick 5 minute favour could get some connected educators to connect the unconnected and help them meet members of their PLN for the first time for some real life collaboration.

#CEduAD and #DigCitSummitUK Support
It's difficult to comprehend what impact accepting a Skype call with Connected Educator Marialice Curran on the 16th November is going to have on me as we are all so busy trying to make a conference happen in two months time.

What I do know is that I sure am grateful that I took it and that she is a member of my PLN.

In my post yesterday I highlighted how I have been exploring a number of opportunities and they sometimes need to be re-presented for a second or third time, I hope that we might be able to make #DigcitSummitUK work the first time round... including getting some Connected Educators across the pond!

As Connected Educators we are always trying to get others connected and let them know how online chatter leads to all kinds of innovation and offline collaboration.

I think my Skype call with Marialice is a pretty good example of this.

What is...
24th Sept
8-9 weeks ago I turned my attention to Scottish education as a result of Chris van der Kuyl's keynote on Raising a Digital Nation (You should watch his presentation... It's inspired). I write my first of 17 posts in support of the #DigiLearnScot agenda. These 2 Links have a summary of my 8-9 weeks with Scottish Education:
Dear PLN: Thank you for helping to make this happen...What a Result!
30th Sept
As I am not familiar with the Scottish Education community I do what I've done for the last 2-3 years, I curate data and am led be what the data tells me. I met Malcolm Wilson early in my data search as he sent me a link to his blog and I can see that this is a labour of love... A lot of work has gone into this.
As I kept exploring the data I kept bumping into Malcolm's work, the data told me that that there was a great culture going on there... and BOY! The data sure didn't lie!

2nd November
I meet with Malcolm (@
claganach) and his colleague Stuart Lennie (@IsItSwitchedOn) I knew I'd find something special, but I didn't quite expect this:

After this meeting I spend some time exploring Malcolm's blog because it is inspired with regard to the quality of the content and how supportive it is for teachers exploring the tech.

This blog is a treasure trove of education goodies that others would want to and should be made aware of:. I'd highly recommend scheduling some time to explore this blog: 

9th November
As I was exploring Malcolm's blog I come across his Walking Safely Along the Digital Highway

I think to myself "I know who would appreciate this Aladdin's cave of Digital Citizenship goodies" and Tweet it out to Marialice and other #DigCit moderators and get this Tweet in reply:

16th November: DigCitSummitUK Week 1 
Marialice and I have a Skype call that has taken up most of our waking lives and has the connection go from member of our respective PLNs to firm friends extremely quickly.

When I wrote to the Education Minister Angela Constance about my ideas there was interest in my ideas and I was referred to Jim Fanning. Jim and his colleagues have been extremely supportive.

Dear PLN, The Education Secretary asked me if you'd help get Scotland Connected
I would be grateful if Connected Educators could follow Jim (@JimFanning3), Mairi Thomson (@Mskishine), Bob Baldie (@BobBaldie), Louise Foreman, Ian Stuart (@IanStuart66) and (@DigiLearnScot) please also say hello to Scottish educators by using #DigiLeanScot & #ScotEdChat.

Here's a list of Innovate my School's (@InnovateMySchl30 Edu Tweeters to Follow in Scotland hope people in my PLN will connect and get to know them before #DigCitSummitUK

Please also take a moment to have a look at the Governments Consultation on Digital Learning and Teaching

23rd Novemner: DigCitSmmitUK Week 2
Through a mixture of having to deal with an unexpected event, inexperience (Only my second week as a #Cmgr) we make some  minor errors in our approach but resolve them quickly.

Julie Szaj (@Shyj) and Craig Kemp (@MrKempNZ) become super involved and, in my humble opinion come up with some solutions and ideas that could be the making of everything that's gone on as we enter week 3 of #DigCitSummitUK planning.

Their fresh perspective (fresh pair of eyes physically and metaphorically) has been significant. Thank you both! 

30th November
Here's where we are at on the first Connected Educator Appraciation Day:

1) A Conference being organised in 3 months time which has the added complication of

2) The bold goal of not just trying to get the two organisers from overseas to the event... but we're exploring ideas that could help get 20-30 Connected Educators from another country so they can meet with members of their PLN IRL. In 2 months? 

That's gonna take some hustle! I better get on the phone and make some calls! I make this reference not because I have experience as a supplier and have sales experience. I say it because sales is a vital part of the EdTech ecosystem, but not in the way they are employed today.
Dude Cold Calling is for Losers
I am in sales and I used to hate it, I couldn't wait to reskill and leave it behind. Today I am proud of my sales experience because I use those skills to help educators. If this last 3 months of pitching in with #DigiLernScot and #DigCitSummitUK isn't enough evidence, I hope this is: Sales in Edu - The Fox of EdTech

Equally if people are wondering about "Why the focus on companies with this" I would ask you to bear with us, we are in the start of week 3 of #DigCitSummitUK planning and we will provide a clear and well thought out rationale.

In the mean time I would like to make you aware of the source of the current suggestion/model/idea. As with my exploration of Scottish education 12 weeks ago started with using the data to identify the bright spots I did the same with suppliers at conferences at ISTE in 2013 and again in 2014.

         #CEduAD: Mad Learning with a Connected Educator

3) As well as suggesting Connected Educator Appreciation Day to thank the many EdChat Moderators and connected educators I wanted to demonstrate the comment that Julie uses often #BetterTogether

Through listening to educators there appears to be a desire for more collaboration and less sales calls and/or sales reps at conferences with their scanners.

So taking all the information together I wondered what would happen if Connected Educators did what they already do, which is share the the tools that they love with their PLN, as I found in the first month of #EdTechChat.

  • As we are #BetterTogether what would happen if Connected Educators gave a big shout out about the tools that they love? 
  • Would this save on the companies sales and marketing budgets and allow them to contribute to replicating the conference bright spot of ISTE2014? 
  • Would it encourage other suppliers to sell less and collaborate more until "Product Market Fit" achieved and the service was bought... not sold?

I don't know the answers to these questions but I do know that I don't see too many sales people get many positive comments on social media for educators and especially at conferences.

I also know that I was the only supplier to be invited to the video hookup to celebrate EdTechChat's frst anniversary celebrations... So I'll keep doing what I'm doing.

#DigCitSummitUK: An Amazing story

I don't know how this story will end, I don't how many people will be speaking or attending this event.

I don't know how many, if any educators we'll get to the event, my attempts at getting funding for ISTE has failed twice now... once because educators didn't like the idea and this year because suppliers didn't seem too interested.

Regardless what happens I think that suppliers and Connected Educators see the value in getting connected, and that educators have struggled to encourage the unconnected to get connected. 

I hope that the best of educators, their ability to reach enough people to get a conference to this stage in Two weeks, the innovation of tech companies and the Fox of EdTech giving everything he's got will give you a good story to tell about how


I don't know about anyone else involved with this but this is the biggest kind of collaboration I've ever been involved with, and how did the story start? It had 3 simple ingredients that anyone can do:

1) There was a random Tweet based on sharing an interesting post
2) There was a Skype to discuss the post further and how to develop the idea
3) There was the offer of help and a 5 minute faviour (Which lead to 2 rather tiring weeks but we won't mention that at the moment!)

Pay It Forward... A 5 Minute Favour
My 5 minute favour has become a rather tiring 2 weeks. I wonder if any educators who like what I've done might be willing to "Pay it Forward" to help get our kids connected and collaborate with kids at other schools... Because you never know where being connected might take you or what two people with some shared interests might achieve.

Skype have a Skype-a-thon on the 3-4th December where they'd like to cover 1,000,000 virtual miles.

Inclusive Education: Take Action!⤴

from @ Enquire - young people's blog

hearing 3In October, 70 young people from all over Europe got together in Luxembourg to talk about how schools in their countries make sure all children are included in school life. The event was organised by the European Agency for Special Needs and Inclusive Education. (You can watch a video of the event here.) Derrick Hughes, from Cumnock Academy, and Mark Stewart, from Our Lady’s High School in Cumbernauld, travelled to Luxembourg to Continue reading

Mad Learning with a connected Educator⤴

from @ Edu Tech Stories

In this post I detail how and why the collaboration between Susan Bearden and Mad Learn has been the inspiration behind the idea of suppliers supporting Connected Educators to get to the inaugural #DigCitSummitUK, how the partnership is still strong after 2 years and why both educators and suppliers should check Mad Learn out. 

2013 was my first attempt at curating ISTE data.

In my Connected Educator Appreciation Day Post I highlighted that I saw the future of sales after seeing the level and extent of Word of Mouth referrals.

So what did I do after joining EdTechChat for the first month? As this was a dedicated EdTech forum I wanted to see if this was typical. I tried to curate the Tweets from all the chats over the same 6 week period.

What was I looking for? Ironically, what I was looking for is what I found this week when I asked my connected educators who they'd be happy to represent at #DigCitSummitUK.

I was looking for the great companies that educators talk about so that I could:

1) Find out what they were doing differently, and

2) Send them my resume

I did manage to down load this data (It only took a month) but didn't do too much with it... There were over 200,000 rows of Tweets, in 6 weeks... In 2013 when there were 159 chats. I dread to think how big that sheet would be today.

It's certainly a good idea if you're in EdTech sales
 I finished downloading this data in June 2013 and there was an ISTE Thingy that people were talking about... What is this ISTE thingy? Asks I, to no one at all because it was the wee small hours.

Detention for the Naughty Teachers!
For those that don't know ISTE is a very pecular form of torture which I think educators who have mis-behaved during the year get sent to for punishment, a 3 day detention for teachers.

What's that? ISTE's a good thing, that educators voluntarily go to? 13 miles walked while attending 1,028 presentations and reading 500,000 Tweets... and that's educators idea of fun? 
OK we'll have to agree to disagree on this point.

Anyway, I follow this bizzare event on Twitter and let's just say I know what life is like for a wheel on a fruit machine because that's what my eyes were doing when looking at the Twitter stream.

All these great resources but no one can read them all whether people are at the event or a group that call themselves #NotAtISTE (I know a hashtag for people who are not there! ...I think that must the stick that admins use for borderline cases, they have sit in class and are made to watch the Twitter stream until their eyes get so sore that they cry and the admin's message is "If you don't buck up your ideas next year that will be you!")

Curating ISTE Data
As with the EdChats I wonder, who's bottling all these links so people can review later? No one that I am ware of has effectively curating this data set and I've made various attempts for the last 3 years, and think I cracked it this year!

Patience with Curating ISTE data
(That post will pick up on the story from there.

The Good Guys of EdTech
My reasons for curating this was the same as the EdChats, I was looking for the good guys... Where are the bright spots at EdTech conferences?

I curated the ISTE data in 2013 and, as with the EdChats that's as far as it went, the idea was put on the "For Later" shelf (See 
An Iste Bytsie Post... with some Big Conference Data and Mining Data... Nuggets of Gold and Pearls of Wisdom.
Lessons from Education Pioneers:
How to Lead Future Focused Change
However, I was to find the bright spot 12 months later... or more accurately, The bright spot shone so brightly that it was difficult to ignore and has been something that I have been looking to model ever since.

Tweeching Sales People
Like all Connected Educators EdTechChat Moderator Susan Bearden encourages other educators get connected, she had developed an app with her students and then thought if they can do it so can I!
Susan created the @TweechmeApp and launched at ISTE 2014.

As a salesperson who was researching the relationships between educators and EdTech suppliers looking for the problems and the solutions... Given what I was focusing on and all the research I had done this was by far and away the highlight of ISTE2014 for me!

If you don't believe me, go take a look at:

1) The Trouble with Conferences... Confessions of an EdTech Salesman 

2) How closely the #DigCitSummitUK model for getting Connected Educators to the event matches what the collaboration with Susan Bearden and Mad Learn looked like at ISTE2014.

The Future of Learning will be Co-Created
Collaboration and co-creation and then educator and supplier pitching in with the sales when "Product Market-Fit" has been achieved... The best possible advocate at an event and at the lowest possible cost.

I've kept an eye on Mad Learn since then and they have built on this successful partnership by taking a very different approach to sales...I can't imagine they put too many cold calls in.

Susan is a #DigCit Moderator and wants to come to the #DigCitSummitUK and Mad Learn is one of the companies that she would be happy to represent: Susan Bearden Fav Tech Tools.

#DigCitSummitUK's commitment to anyone supporting Connected Educators is that they'll do all they can to deliver a return on investment for this support, I would like to make a personal commitment regardless

Paying It Forward... And Backwards

Mad Learn whether you are able to support Susan with this or not, I'd like to "Pay it forward... And backwards"

I'd like to thank you for bring a bright spot that has shone so brightly that your example has guided me to here. I would like to "Pay it Backwards" by encouraging educators to take a look at what Mad Learn does.

I'd like to "Pay it Forward" by recommending to sales people and EdTech companies by suggesting that they take a look at your strategy with engaging educators.

The relationship with Mad Learn and Susan is at least 2 years old now, many working relationships might have gone sour by now... The proof is in this pudding and it appear to still be tasty, so go check out the recipe of the Mad Learn Secret sauce.

In case funding isn't forthcoming for my friend please encourage unconnected educators to download the TweechmeApp so that Susan's entrepreneurial spirit will get her here. 

Peer and self assessment⤴

from @

I have seen students self and peer assessing with no guidance, structure or success criteria. In my opinion it doesn’t work. If the students knew what to do well and how to improve they would have done it in their own work in the first instance. Comparatively, I have seen some fantastic peer and self-assessment […]

introduction to particle physics⤴

from @ fizzics

There’s a nice guide to particle physics on The Particle Adventure web site.  The site has it’s own free apps for android & apple devices that are worth installing.

Here’s Prof Cox with a two part summary of particle physics.


and a short video with just the quarks


The video below was made before the Higgs boson was confirmed, so please bear that in mind.  It’s still a nice video though.


Learn about the world’s largest neutrino detector in Antarctica.