Category Archives: Professional

Domestic abuse – it’s not your fault.⤴

from @ Reach

Domestic abuse is when a person hurts, bullies or takes away the choices of someone they have a close relationship with. Scottish Women’s Aid have lots of good advice for young people about domestic abuse if this is happening to you or someone you know:

You may feel scared, angry, upset, depressed, guilty or confused. Whatever you feel is OK. There are no right or wrong feelings. Domestic abuse is not your fault. The person who abuses is responsible – not you or anyone else.’

Check out this film in which young people who’ve been through it explain why talking about domestic abuse can help.

 

 

The post Domestic abuse – it’s not your fault. appeared first on Reach.

Wikipedia is a very lovely place to be⤴

from @ ammienoot.com

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Today is Ada Lovelace Day and this has become a firm fixture in our calendar at the University of Edinburgh. It is one of our flagship Wikipedia editathon days, and this year we partnered with the School of Chemistry and took the event on the road to our Kings Buildings campus. You can see the full schedule here, and there’s event some OER there if that’s your cup of tea. We ate our body-weight in periodic table cupcakes. I personally ate polonium and arsenic and have lived to tell the tale.

As the closing event to the day we had a viewing of the excellent short film “A Chemical Imbalance” commissioned by Professor Polly Arnold, Crum Brown Chair of Chemistry. I had the distinct pleasure of chairing a panel discussion with Professor Arnold, Professor Jane Norman, and Dr Carole Morrison after the film and we discussed the ways in which we can recruit more women into STEM careers, and nuture and retain women already working in the field.

Earlier in the afternoon I had started gathering up some info on Katherine Isabella Williams, one of the 19 signatories to the 1904 petition to join the Chemical Society. This is a story that our colleague Dr Michael Seery brought to our attention through an epic Twitter rant earier in the year (What do you do with a dead chemist?) and since then he’s written a fine Wikipedia article on the subject. We spent much of the editathon today fleshing out biographies of each of the 19 signatories.

Someone else was also working on the same biography as me, so I spent a little time fitting my notes in around the existing page this evening. After that I happened to look at my notifications in Wikimedia, and spotted the following comment on my user page, from around a month ago:

Hello, this isn’t a very Wikipedian comment but I just wanted to thank you personally for creating an entry for my mother Ann Katharine Mitchell. She is in residential care with Alzheimers, serene and contented, and largely lives in the past. She was told recently that she had a Wikipedia entry and was flattered and delighted to see it (I’ve now made some revisions). It isn’t the purpose of your editing to give the subjects pleasure, of course, but thanks for doing so!

I created the page for Ann Katharine Mitchell on 11 October 2016. Ada Lovelace Day last year. Sometimes working with Wikipedia can be one of the nicest things one gets to do.

Ada Lovelace Day – Professor Elizabeth Slater⤴

from

Today is Ada Lovelace Day and unfortunately I am stuck at home waiting for a network engineer to come and fix my intermittent internet, rather than joining colleagues in Edinburgh for this year’s event celebrating Women in STEM.   Ada Lovelace Day is always one of my favourite events of the year so I’m gutted to miss it, especially as there will be periodic table cup cakes! However I’m planning to participate remotely so that I can defend my Metadata Games crown and I am also hoping to write a Wikipedia article about a woman from this field who was an inspiration to me when I was a student.

Vulcan hammering metal at a forge watched by Thetis. Engraving by Daret after Jacques Blanchard. CC BY, Wellcome Images, Wikimedia Commons.

Dr Elizabeth Slater was a lecturer in archaeology when I studied at the University of Glasgow in the late 1980s and it was as a result of her lively and engaging lectures that I developed an interest in archaeological conservation.  I believe Liz started her academic career as a scientist, before developing an interest in archaeometallurgy, and from there moving into archaeology. Liz taught us material sciences, conservation, archaeometallurgy, early smelting techniques, chemical analysis, experimental archaeology and the use and abuse of statistics.  It was her lectures on archaeometallurgy that really fascinated me though and it was from Liz that I remember hearing the theory as to why smith gods in so many mythologies happen to be lame.  One of the most common native ores of copper, which was smelted before the development of bronze, is copper arsenic ore, and when it’s smelted it gives off arsenic gas.  Prolonged exposure to arsenic gas results in chronic arsenic poisoning, the symptoms of which include sensory peripheral neuropathy, or numbness of the extremities, and distal weakness of the hands and feet.  It’s not too difficult to imagine that early smiths must frequently have suffered from chronic arsenic poisoning and that, Liz suggested, was why smith gods were portrayed as being lame.  This appears to be a relatively widespread theory now and I’m not sure it can be credited to any one individual, however it’s a fascinating story and one I always associate with Liz.

Liz left Glasgow in 1991 to take up the Garstang Chair in Archaeology at the University of Liverpool.  At the time, I believe she was the only current female Professor of Archaeology in the UK, Professor Rosemary Cramp having retired from Durham University the previous year.  Liz had a long and active career at the University of Liverpool, where she also served as Dean of the Faculty of Arts.  She retired in 2007 and died in 2014 at the age of 68.   In 2015 the University of Liverpool commemorated her contribution to archaeological sciences by opening the Professor Elizabeth Slater Archaeological Research Laboratories.

Liz does not currently have a Wikipedia page, but hopefully I can do something about that this afternoon.

Clicker 6/7 as a teaching tool⤴

from @ Alan Stewart's AT Blog

We at ATSS absolutely love, and live by, Clicker 6 and 7. It’s so versatile. Many many teachers use it to support children’s writing but fewer, it seems, use it as a demonstration tool on their interactive whiteboards. The benefits of doing this are many – it provides a clear view of what’s being shown but can also be transferred to the pupil’s computer screen to allow them to work in exactly the same manner as the demonstration.

My son was working on Partitioning 2 digit numbers so I made him this to practise on. If I was demonstrating this to a class of pupils I’d certainly use my template – and let them use it to step them through the process.

par1

Download the above Clicker 6 template here.


Filed under: Assistive Technology Software, Cross curricular, ICT Support, IWB, Numeracy, Teaching & Learning

Growth Mindset, hmm…⤴

from @ wwwd – John's World Wide Wall Display

“the chance of people replicating this in schools is very small. Carol Dweck told me that they don’t have a single example of a school successfully changing pupils’ mindsets.”

from: Weekend read: Is growth mindset the new learning styles?

I’ve not really paid much attention to Growth Mindset. I missed Carol Dweck the year she was at SLF but I remember a lot of excitement.

More from the post a quote from Carol Dweck:

“I was asked once, ‘What keeps you up at night?’ It’s the idea that my work – which was designed in opposition to the self-esteem movement – would be used in the way that the self-esteem movement is used.”

Interesting read and Carol Dweck will be a guest on the Tes Podagogy podcast on 18 October I think I’ll huffduff that for a listen.

Also on:

Medium

Choosing Our Texts Carefully⤴

from @ Just Trying to be Better Than Yesterday

I suppose it’s the nature of reading, being an adult and a reader and having a pile of books that never seems to diminish, but I never read enough children’s or young adult fiction. It’s not something I’m particularly proud of or happy about but there you go.  Finding books for the kids in my classes is a hugely important and rewarding part of my job so keeping up-to-date with what’s new should be something I keep on top of. And there shouldn’t be an excuse. Walking through your local High Street bookshop, you’ll see an explosion of colour as books for young people are marketed so beautifully now; some of them are even fabulous.

I had the great privilege of reading two such books recently, both of which were linked thematically and blew me away. The first one is a book I’m teaching for the first time: Patrick Ness’s ‘A Monster Calls’. The second, ‘Noah BarleyWater Runs Away’ by John Boyne called out to me from a shelf in the school library. Both dealing with the difficulties of coping with loss and family illness, we follow the lives of our protagonists through mystical, magical worlds as they struggle to face up to family tragedy.  Both are beautifully written and heartbreakingly moving.

Like many, I first came across  John Boyne with the publication of  ‘The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas’. Despite the unsettling nature of the subject matter I found it extraordinary. The beautiful tale of two young boys and the friendship which see them through horrible times is both shocking and tragic.

‘Noah BarleyWater Runs Away’ has a more mystical feel. Noah runs away from home and finds himself in a toyshop run by an elderly man. The man’s stories allow Noah to reassess his choices and face up to the real reason he leaves in the first place. Slowly, we begin to see through the fantasy and see a little boy struggling deal with a painful truth about his family. ‘The thing is, she made me a promise, you see. And I think she’s going to break it. And I don’t want to be there when that happens.’ It’s a powerful and moving novel, and a hugely important one. The denouement will leave you stunned with mouth agape.

There is also a similar element of tragedy in ‘A Monster Calls’. Like Noah Barleywater, Conor is struggling to face up to his own monsters; the truth about his inevitable future. He is visited by a monster at 12:07 at night, with tales intended to help him. Conor fights against the monster until, slowly, the truth begins to emerge. ‘Many things that are true fell like a cheat. Kingdoms get the princes they deserve, farmers’ daughters die for no reason, and sometimes witches merit saving’. Patrick Ness seems to have nailed that ability to create characters struggling to find their way in the world. His prose is mesmerising, characters wholly believable and I love his writing.

The power of great literature provides us with opportunities to approach difficult subjects in the classroom. Our compassion for both Noah and Conor results in powerful conversations with children; conversations which allow them to develop empathy and, perhaps, to begin to understand challenges in their own lives. We must never underestimate the importance of what we choose to teach as, beyond the story, we can engage, affect and influence our learners and open them up to worlds they may never visit.


Fixing the Links⤴

from @ wwwd – John's World Wide Wall Display

I love the record of thinking and linking that now stretches back 12 years, 5 months, 4 days on this blog.

I don’t like the breakages.

A lot of the links on this blog are to the blogs of the school I used to work in in Glasgow, Sandaig Primary. The site is now gone. A lot of it is in the internet archive. I had hoped that the Amber plugin would sort that, but since the domain is now up for sale, the links lead to the sale page.

I could go through the posts and fix all the links. I guess someone with more understanding than me could do it in the database. I’ve opted for a cruder solution. I’ve added a bit of JavaScript to the blog which changes all links to Sandaig to the archive.

jQuery(document).ready(function() {
// Stuff to do as soon as the DOM is ready;

jQuery( "a[href^='http://www.sandaigprimary.co.uk']" )
.each(function()
{
this.href = this.href.replace(/^http:\/\/www.sandaigprimary.co.uk/, "https://web.archive.org/web/http://www.sandaigprimary.co.uk/");
});

});

This has probably broken something else and certainly is adding to the pile of oddities that I’ve added to the blog. But hopefully It means that links on posts like this: Impermanence and Comments will work.