Monthly Archives: November 2017

LANGUAGE LEARNING IN SCOTLAND: A 1+2 APPROACH: Further guidance on L3⤴

from @ Education Scotland's Learning Blog

Education Scotland is evidencing many successes for Gaelic (Learners) from the implementation of the policy, Language Learning in Scotland: a 1+2 Approach. Teachers’ commitment to delivering Gaelic within the curriculum is acknowledged.  A presentation on the successes and challenges for Gaelic from implementing the policy is available here.  One such challenge is that there are many children learning Gaelic as L3 in primary schools for whom  a progression pathway into secondary is still to be identified.  However, a newly-announced change to how L3 may be delivered may assist with this.  In Scotland, we also have an important target to meet in increasing the number of speakers of Gaelic as part of the National Gaelic Language Plan.  For this, education has a key role.

Currently, at the primary stages, children who experience a coherent and progressive experience of L3 from P5-P7 may choose to continue with that language into S1 and to the end of the broad general education (BGE).  For purposes of planning the secondary curriculum, this language would become young people’s L2.  For this to be the case, children need to have achieved the second level by the end of P7.  In addition, there should be pathways to National Qualifications in the senior phase for that language.  The 1+2 policy has recently been relaxed to state that L3 may be the language that children continue with, as they move from primary to secondary, if schools are able to demonstrate that children’s achievements are “approaching the second level”.  To achieve this, the planning for the L3 language needs to result in a coherent and progressive experience from P5-P7.  This new arrangement does not replace the opportunity for schools to introduce more than one language as L3.

Here are some useful steps to guide how you may incorporate this new delivery model for L3 into planning for improvement:

  • Revisit your curriculum rationale, particularly in light of the local context, to ascertain if increasing the numbers approaching the second level of Gaelic (Learners) is a priority for your school.
  • Ensure strong links between primary and secondary specialists who are delivering Gaelic (Learners).
  • Work with the other primaries in your cluster and the associated secondary school to plan a coherent 3-18 experience.
  • Review the structure of the curriculum to see how you can plan learning, teaching and assessment to enable children’s achievements to be approaching the second level.
  • Review how well you use the contexts of the curriculum as a means of increasing outcomes for Gaelic and assisting young people in making connections in their learning.
  • Review how you are using Gaelic partners and organisations to increase the time allocated to Gaelic (Learners) in the curriculum.
  • Plan for progression and coherence by using the experiences and outcomes to show how you will develop knowledge, skills, attributes and capabilities of the four capacities.
  • Plan the use of Benchmarks for Gaelic (Learners) to set out clear statements about what learners need to know and be able to do to achieve a level across all curriculum areas.
  • Plan how you will integrate Gaelic (Learners) as a language in the life and work of the school.
  • Use the principles of curriculum design to plan learning to motivate children in their learning of Gaelic.  In particular, ensure that children understand the relevance of Gaelic, including for achieving a positive destination on leaving school.

For more information on the delivery of L3 in the 3-18 curriculum, please see Language Learning in Scotland: A 1+2 Approach – Further guidance on L3 within the 1+2 policy.  It is a matter for schools to determine the exact design of the curriculum, using the flexibility that Curriculum for Excellence affords them, to ensure that children’s achievements are “approaching a second level”.

Everything in moderation⤴

from @ Education Scotland's Learning Blog

A blog by Jamie Farquhar
Deputy Head Teacher of Dumfries Academy

Jamie Farquhar
Deputy Head Teacher of Dumfries Academy

I am a QAMSO.

Increasingly – in the second year of there being QAMSOs – colleagues know what that is. Good; it saves me unpacking the acronym to its full glory of Quality Assurance and Moderation Support Officer and it suggests we* are having an impact.

My role is to support colleagues in their understanding and application of Moderation in its widest sense through the lens of a particular Numeracy or Literacy level. In my case, this is Third Level Writing.

I am not an English Teacher. However, I am a passionate advocate for the Teaching Profession and of the Responsibilities of All as key priorities for our learners. I believe the Broad General Education (BGE) provides the platform for teachers to co-create a curriculum that meets the needs of individual learners, in individual schools.

To achieve this we need the confidence to spurn the false panacea of centrally distributed WAGOLLs (What a Good One Looks Like) and resist ‘mimetic isomorphism’. In other words; it’s not about teachers doing the same thing, in the same way, either through decree or by the copycatting of perceived eminence. Rather, we should aim for the contextualised consistency of quality; as a QAMSO I advocate achieving this through planning, professional dialogue, reflection, sharing, experimentation and evaluation i.e. through Moderation.

Moderation is about skilled professionals working together to plan, evaluate, feedback and feed forward learning to all learning partners. Moderation is groups of teachers subjecting the entire learning process to rigorous professional scrutiny and so trusting and being trusted in their judgements. Through collaboration we empower a move beyond consistency of practice to an increased confidence in individual judgements, planning and interventions.

The Moderation Cycle provides a framework through which to embark on this process. In my own school, we accessed the cycle through the Evaluation stage by leading engagement with the Literacy Benchmarks and developing professional confidence in making judgements of CfE-levels. This starting point was chosen due to a familiarity, within a secondary context, of judging work against set standards in the Senior Phase. The challenge is to move thinking and practice from summative evaluation of output to include moderated planning of input; to ensure we are teaching and supporting what we later assess.

We have begun. Our Literacy Strategy produced Evidence which, as well as debate over CfE-levels, led to dialogue about the evidence’s relevance and validity. This demanded we reflect on our Assessment tools; which asked questions about the effectiveness of our Learning and Teaching and learners’ understanding of what they were learning and how well they had learned it (Learning Intentions and Success Criteria).

Colleagues then began to revisit their planning (Es and Os) to reflect learning and the Learner more holistically. This provided a range of on-going and holistic Evidence which demonstrated strengths, successes and nextsteps which informed Feedback, Reporting and planning of the next learning experience and so on. The principles of the Moderation Cycle as applied to Literacy have started to impact on practice in other curriculum areas and beyond the BGE.

The Moderation Hub provides an incredible resource to support this work. I will use it extensively in my QAMSO role to support Professional Learning in schools. The Hub provides off-the-shelf material for Professional Learning Workshops and e-learning. I recommend it to all Literacy / Numeracy Leads and Professional Learning Coordinators. I also commend the Moderation Cycle and Hub to all school leaders as a means to lead and evidence genuine Quality Assurance of Learning and Teaching.

The workshops take a little time as they work through each stage of the cycle, asking colleagues to reflect on examples and craft improvements collaboratively. A commitment to mutual engagement and knowledge creation through the Moderation Cycle should lead to a sustained shift of culture and improvement in outcomes for learners that simply being ‘given the answers’ cannot hope to achieve.

The Moderation Cycle provides the framework to be autonomous, contextually-aware, professional leaders of learning.
This QAMSO’s advice: Follow the Cycle – Co-Create – Trust your Judgements.

*There are lots of us: Each Local Authority has a QAMSO for each CfE Level from Early to Fourth in Numeracy, Writing and Reading.

Celebrating Book Week Scotland⤴

from @ Engage for Education

Deputy First Minister John Swinney visited Forthview Primary School in Edinburgh today to celebrate Book Week Scotland and the delivery of this year’s Read, Write, Count bags to Primary 2 and 3 pupils across Scotland.

The Read, Write, Count initiative gives practical support to parents and carers to help them get involved in their child’s learning. Read, Write Count bags are delivered to all children in Primaries 2 and 3 alongside Bookbug bags which are gifted to Primary 1 pupils and Read, Write, Count ‘home kits’ which have been delivered to P4-7 classes in selected schools for the first time this year.

As part of the visit to Forthview Primary School, Mr Swinney met Primary 2 pupils who were reading stories and doing counting activities from the Read, Write, Count bags with the help of Primary 7 buddies.

Mr Swinney said:  “Evidence shows that parental involvement has a significant positive effect on children’s achievement and I was pleased to hear how Read, Write, Count helps children and parents have fun while learning together.

“I want to see standards and attainment improving and literacy, numeracy and health and wellbeing are the priorities for our children’s education. Parental involvement and engagement plays a prominent role in our national plan to tackle inequality and close the attainment gap between our least and most disadvantaged children.”

The Scottish Book Trust worked in partnership with Scottish Government, Education Scotland and Creative Scotland to devise and deliver this year’s bags. In total, 453,450 free books will be gifted to children in Primaries 1, 2 and 3 during Book Week Scotland.

Marc Lambert, CEO of Scottish Book Trust, said: “We are delighted to be gifting the ‘Read Write Count’ bags during Book Week Scotland as there is no better time to celebrate the joys of books and reading. Each bag contains books and activities especially chosen to encourage learning and storytelling in a fun way that engages the pupils’ interests, and supports their learning in the classroom. Book Week Scotland encourages reading for pleasure and the ‘Read Write Count’ bags build on this.”

www.readwritecount.scot

The post Celebrating Book Week Scotland appeared first on Engage for Education.

Innovating with Open Knowledge⤴

from

Earlier this year I had the pleasure of working with Morna Simpson, of Girl Geek Scotland, on Innovating with Open Knowledge, an IS Innovation Fund project at the University of Edinburgh, that aims to provide creative individuals, independent scholars, entrepreneurs, and SMEs with the  information literacy skills to find and access free and open research outputs and content produced by Higher Education.

Since the Finch Report and RCUK’s Policy on Open Access,  universities increasingly make their research outputs available through a wide range of open channels including Open Access journals and repositories, data libraries, research explorer services, and research and innovation services.

Free and open access to publicly‐funded research enables the research process to operate more efficiently, disseminates research outputs more widely, fosters technology transfer and innovation, and provides social and economic benefits by increasing the use and understanding of research by businesses, governments, charities and the wider public. Open Access is also in line with the government’s commitment to transparency and open data, and it contributes to the global Open Knowledge movement more generally.

However it’s not always easy for those outwith academia to know how to access open research outputs, even though they are freely and openly available to all.  In order to improve technology transfer we need to do more to disseminate Open Access research, open knowledge and open content to the general public, creative individuals, entrepreneurs and SMEs.  This is the challenge that the Innovating with Open Knowledge project sought to address.

Innovating with Open Knowledge has produced a series of eleven open licensed case studies featuring a wide range of innovative individuals and companies that have used the University of Edinburgh’s open knowledge outputs to further their projects, products and initiatives.  The case studies are composed of video interviews, supplementary text transcripts, learning activities and search tasks, and they demonstrate how entrepreneurs and creative individuals can find, use and engage with Open Access scholarly works, open science, images and media, physical resources and maker spaces, open data and open-source software.

Case Studies

Innovating with Open Knowledge also features expert guidance on finding and accessing open knowledge from the University’s Centre for Research Collections and OER Service, and from the National Library of Scotland.

Please feel free to reuse, revise, remix and redistribute these open resources.

Innovating with Open Knowledge, CC BY-SA, University of Edinburgh

This project was funded by the University of Edinburgh IS Innovation Fund, with generous support from Gavin McLachlan, CIO,  and Hugh Edmiston, Director of Corporate Services. The project was steered by Melissa Highton, Assistant Principal Online Learning, and managed by Lorna M. Campbell, Learning, Teaching and Web Services.  All video and text resources were created by Morna Simpson, Girl Geek Scotland and Enterprise Porridge Ltd. Graphic design by Interactive Content Service, University of Edinburgh.

LANTRA 2017 – Career Workshops and Skills Events⤴

from @ Education Scotland's Learning Blog

The latest event in a series of  workshops and events on career pathways and skills development in the land-base, aquaculture and environmental industries, will take place on Thursday, 14 December, Westerwood Hotel, Cumbernauld (10am – 3pm). (contact: 01738 310164 or Scotland@lantra.co.uk)

Two recent LANYRA career workshops run for SDS career staff, teachers, DYW regional groups etc. were held in Perth & Lanark. Here are the links to the presentations from industry speakers :

LANTRA’s website offers plenty of information on  exciting and rewarding jobs in this industry sector, especially for Modern Apprentices. Find out more by signing up for our quarterly newsletter or contacting us LANTRA directly.

And:  The new rural skills video has just been published and can be viewed on  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=omCE4wlikqo

RE: Listening to John Johnston’s Microcast 12: Podcatching Thoughts⤴

from @ wwwd – John's World Wide Wall Display

Listening to John Johnston’s Microcast 12: Podcatching Thoughts by Aaron DavisAaron Davis (collect.readwriterespond.com)
I am really interesting listening to your Microcasts John. Chris Aldrich is right, I need to look into Huffduffer. It is something that I see mentioned here and there, but have never got around to exploring.- percolator - fragmentum - Henrik Carlsson - Colin Walker - Colin Devroe I am really interesting listening to your Microcasts John. Ch...

Hi Aaron,
Thanks, microcasting, at least in the quick and dirty fashion I am using certainly cuts down on the time needed. I am listen to more and more microcasts and less longer form one.

I wonder if you would be interested in trying a slowcast in the style Alan is trying, It’s Out! Episode 1 of The Puerto Rico Connection – CogDogBlog. I think I just invented the word slowcast, but the idea of taking time to think and respond might be attractive?

Pupils across Scotland invited to take part in the John Byrne National Drawing Competition⤴

from @ Education Scotland's Learning Blog

Budding young artists in Scotland are being urged to enter the fourth annual John Byrne National Drawing Competition.

Since the launch of the competition in 2014, thousands of pupils across Scotland have submitted their artwork to be judged by the renowned artist and playwright himself, John Byrne.

The competition, in partnership with Education Scotland, is aimed at pupils from primary four through to third year.

John Byrne, along with a selection panel, will choose the overall winners and 30 runners up, whose work will then be exhibited at Paisley Museum and Art Gallery on Friday 16 March.

John said: “I’m really excited to launch the fourth year of the annual John Byrne National Drawing Competition and see the creative flair and talent that we have within our schools.

“It’s really important that we give young people opportunities like this to use their imagination and express their creativity and love for drawing. This competition is a great way to showcase their talent and, once again, I look forward to seeing the remarkable variety of entries.”

Last year’s competition winner, Cameron Lawson (S3) from Cedarbank School, West Lothian was selected from over 4,000 children and young people from across Scotland. Cameron said: “My art teacher encouraged me to enter the competition I was really surprised when I found out that I’d won but it was great to see my artwork on display.  I would encourage pupils to take part as it’s a great experience.  My advice would be to try your best and use your imagination.”

Ron Cowie, Senior Education Officer at Education Scotland, added: “Art and design is an important part of the curriculum and this competition aims to encourage pupils across Scotland to develop their drawing skills and be creative. Education Scotland is proud to be involved in this competition as it is a great way to promote drawing in schools.”

To help pupils with their entries, we’ll be sharing a top tip from John each week on the Education Scotland Facebook and Twitter pages.

The closing date for entries is Friday 23 February 2018.

John Byrne National Drawing Competition 2017 – Competition Rules FINALfor competition rules and information about submitting entries.

After the Wiki rush⤴

from @ ammienoot.com

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Last Friday I led a Lost Literary Edinburgh Wikipedia editathon as part of the Being Human Festival. It focused on forgotten women authors that have been surfaced again through the enormous text mining activity that underpins the LitLong project.

“…might there be other voices to hear in the chorus? Other, less familiar stories? By letting the algorithms do the reading, we’ve tried to set that familiar narrative of Edinburgh’s literary history in the less familiar context of hundreds of other works.” (About Litlong)

Over the course of the day we had 20 participants either physically in the room, or contributing remotely (thanks @WikiWomeninRed).

Quite a few of the participants left wanting to come back and do one of our “Train the Trainer” sessions so that they can learn to run their own events. Hopefully they got a good sense of what running a training session needs to cover having seen myself and Sara Thomas deliver sessions. Ewan McAndrew has also made some great open resources available online at the TES website to support running Wikipedia training sessions and of course there’s our Wiki Basics SPLOT (which incidentally seemed to work very well – largest number of users pre-registered for an editathon ever!).

What may be less visible is some of the other work that goes on around an editathon to make it successful. So here’s a handy list:

In advance:

  1. Research. You need a list of articles to create or improve in advance of the event. Muireann Crowley did a brilliant job of pulling this information together for this editathon. This is foundational stuff – an editathon will lack focus without this.
  2. Swag. Stickers, t-shirts, bags, pens, badges, Wikipedia handouts. The infamous “Citation Needed” keyrings. A little something to take away or use as prizes.
  3. Snacks. Editing is lots of research and thinking. Tea, coffee, sweet things, fruit all keep the energy levels up.
  4. Advertising: Set up a wiki events page, whatever booking system you plan to use, and knock yourself out on social media. Use some of the research info to highlight things people could focus on in the editathon to try catch the imagination.

On the day:

  1. Tagging: Get users to write on a board which articles they are working on. As articles are created, add a template to their Talk pages to identify them as being created as part of this event. Also make sure all new user accounts created have included a template on the User page identifying them as new accounts.

    Screenshot of Litlong editathon template. No rights reserved by me.
  2. Helping: Be familiar with the main sources of information in advance – you are probably going to have to help editors find information on the day, and also answer queries about the best way to reference or cite information. If you have a friendly Librarian, get them involved in editathons if you can, because this is their super-power. You will also need to help move pages from Draft or Sandbox into the main (Article) space for new users.

After the event:

  1. Impact: Use a tool like the Outreach Dashboard to track all the pages edited and improved and do your stats to quantify the impact of the event. You may have your own reporting requirements, but it’s always good to update the Wiki events page to note the outcomes of the event.
  2. Thanking: Make up a template thanking participants for taking part and add it to the Talk page for their User profile. Use it to highlight how many pages were edited/improved/new resources added etc. Include follow on actions, sources of more information, mailing lists, related projects. Whatever you think will help participants to continue outside the editathon activity. Thank them again. Pictures of virtual snacks can be a nice idea.
  3. Aftercare: Monitor the articles created for a week or so afterwards, particularly checking the Talk page and watching for any suggestions of deletion / significant improvement required. Be prepared to put up the Wikipedia Bat Signal if that happens (aka yell for help on Twitter).

Running editathons isn’t just about generating content, it’s about building open knowledge community and capacity. Follow up is important.

My follow up after the event is to take Ewan’s template slides and adapt them for myself. They worked pretty well for me, but I need to put a little of my own voice (and bad puns) into them. I may well create an online version rather than Powerpoint slides because I’m really enjoying the SPLOTPoint format for this kind of resource. I’m reliving my late 1990s technical authoring dreams all over again….