Tag Archives: Culture

Professional Learning: Never been better?⤴

from

Through the Into Headship programme, I was fortunate enough to listen to Gayle Gorman at one of our national conferences. She spoke passionately about taking the politics out of education in what can be seen in her quote below.

Move from a politically driven to a professionally led system.

Gayle Gorman, HMIe Chief Inspector, Education Scotland (April 2018)

It made me consider the importance and value of professional learning and the huge potential we have already within our education system. And made me reflect on there never has been a better time in Scottish education for professional learning.

Professional learning is at the heart of the GTCS Standards, enshrined in How Good is Our School? 4 and a key feature of professional practice across Scotland.

National Model for Professional Learning

In light of our recent move to the online world, it is now time to reflect on the professional learning opportunities available to all in Scottish education and beyond. Arguably, the way in which we engage with our learning will change as a result of organisations, charities, Education Scotland and local authorities adapting to this new world. Will we ever attend a course in person again? Probably. However, we may experience a wider range of opportunities as people are now comfortable with attending online lectures and conferences. It may in fact open up more opportunities where previously people were unable to attend.

With a five yearly focus on Professional Update and an annual review process encouraging all teachers to reflect on their learning, I do feel like we are in a good position. However, is it tokenism and does this help with our drive for high quality learning and teaching? That is a question teachers will need to reflect upon individually, however I think it does and believe that high quality PRDs link in with school improvement which in turn impacts on pupils learning.

I would argue that there is an increasing shift away from attending a course. We now have podcasts and blogs being developed at pace right across the education system. There are also pop events and conference organised by and for teachers. It is encouraging to see this organic movement but does beg the question what the formal organisations responsible for the delivery of professional learning are doing about it. For example, the recent change to the Scottish learning festival which will now be organised by the professional learning and leadership directorate instead of the wider education Scotland. And what about the role of local authorities? Teachers are professionals and are more than skilled and capable to collaborate themselves however are they being failed by the wider formal structures which should be providing a service? I’ll let you comment on that!

The focus on leadership development has also been a key focus, and remains so. With the development of the framework for leadership and the many online learning modules created to support the different categories:

Professional learning

School leadership

System leadership

Middle leadership

Teacher leaderhsip

I do think we are now at a stage where our professional learning opportunities are excellent in terms of the choice and breadth, however we do now need to consider the depth and quality of professional learning. Perhaps this is where we need to consider again a masters level approach so that each professional learning engagement is supported by a university and contributes towards something like a qualification. This would help bring coherence to our overloaded system and also support the idea of high quality in depth learning.

Lastly, we need to recognise the potential knowledge and experience within our schools, universities and local authorities as it currently stands. Each school could have specialisms which they could share their experiences in which may foster greater collaboration. We need to reduce our reliance on courses which are paid for. The reason for this is that as budgets tighten then fewer people can benefit from this and I believe we don’t always have the quality when CPD companies churn out another course with little consideration for the person attending. If we had a greater collaborative culture across schools where we could regularly share in our own in-house developed programmes, this would reduce the competition aspect within education.

Therefore, I believe we have many opportunities in the years ahead and that there has never been a better time to engage in professional learning in Scottish education.

I’ll leave you with a few questions:

1. What is needed to ensure every teacher values their own learning just as much as the learning of the young people?

2. How do we ensure effective collaboration to build upon the organic movement already taking place? Do we need organisations like Education Scotland and local authorities to fulfil the role of professional learning or is this up to individuals?

Please feel free to comment underneath the post on twitter.

The Magic-Weaving Business⤴

from @ edublether.wordpress.com

Sir John Jones is the most inspirational speaker there is on the educational speaker circuit at the moment. He is funny, passionate and down to earth kind of guy. It was a joy to hear him speak and I would recommend you read his book.

International School Meals Day – Pupil Event⤴

from @ Education Scotland's Learning Blog

Join us on International School Meals Day 2017 (Thursday 9th March)at 1.30pm to make the connection between people across Scotland and share your food experiences.

This year the theme for International School Meals Day is Food, Culture and Heritage. We are encouraging children and young people (supported by their teachers or other adults) to share ‘stories’ about their culture, heritage and associated food – this could be family food traditions, food that is loved (or not!) in their country or festivals, ceremonies and celebrations that take place.

During the session we will investigate the provenance of school food in Scotland. Do you know where your school food comes from? Can you find out from your catering staff in time for the Glow TV session? In particular this session will look at where bread comes from, the different types of bread to be found here in Scotland and across the world, and the role of bread in our diet.

Overall, the aims of International School Meals Day are to:

* Raise awareness of the importance of the nutritional quality of school meal programs worldwide
* Emphasise the connection between healthy eating, education and better learning
* Connect children around the world to foster healthy eating habits and promote well-being in schools * Share success stories of school meal programs around the globe
* Highlight research activities in school meal programs around the globe
* Raise awareness of the hunger and poverty issues being addressed through school feeding programmes (programs)

Sign up to take part live on the day – International School Meals Day – Pupil Event.

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.

#ReadAnneDiary Campaign⤴

from @ Open World

anna_frank-infograph1 (1)Today is World Intellectual Property Day and colleagues in Poland and the Netherlands have chosen this date to launch the #ReadAnneDiary campaign which aims to highlight the EU’s current confusing and outdated copyright framework. Readers of this blog will know how strongly I feel that important historical and cultural heritage artefacts are openly licensed and freely available to all, so this is a campaign that I am very happy to highlight and support.  It seems more critical than ever to ensure that important works like The Diary of Anne Frank are freely available for all of us to read and to learn from. 

“Recently, Anne Frank’s famous diary has been in the spotlight because of a copyright dispute about when the literary work enters the public domain. After some intricate legal calculations, it seems that the Dutch version of The Diary of Anne Frank is now in public domain (as of 2016) in Poland, but not in the Netherlands or other EU countries, due to specific aspects of their copyright laws. The patchwork of EU copyright rules are too confusing, and the public is paying the price by not having access to some of their most important creative and cultural works.

On April 26, Centrum Cyfrowe is making available a digital version of The Diary of Anne Frank at the website www.annefrank.centrumcyfrowe.pl. Unfortunately, due to the restrictive territorial rules regarding copyright, the website will only be accessible for users inside Poland. Yes, you read that right: access will be blocked for anyone attempting to view the site from outside of Poland. Why are we doing this? We’re doing it to draw attention to the absurdity of these types of copyright rules. The Diary of Anne Frank is an important historical work—published originally in Dutch in the Netherlands. It should be available in the public domain across Europe. Yet now, it will not be accessible anywhere except for Poland.”

Centrum Cyfrowe
http://www.annefrank.centrumcyfrowe.pl/


#ReadAnneDiary Campaign⤴

from

anna_frank-infograph1 (1)Today is World Intellectual Property Day and colleagues in Poland and the Netherlands have chosen this date to launch the #ReadAnneDiary campaign which aims to highlight the EU’s current confusing and outdated copyright framework. Readers of this blog will know how strongly I feel that important historical and cultural heritage artefacts are openly licensed and freely available to all, so this is a campaign that I am very happy to highlight and support.  It seems more critical than ever to ensure that important works like The Diary of Anne Frank are freely available for all of us to read and to learn from. 

“Recently, Anne Frank’s famous diary has been in the spotlight because of a copyright dispute about when the literary work enters the public domain. After some intricate legal calculations, it seems that the Dutch version of The Diary of Anne Frank is now in public domain (as of 2016) in Poland, but not in the Netherlands or other EU countries, due to specific aspects of their copyright laws. The patchwork of EU copyright rules are too confusing, and the public is paying the price by not having access to some of their most important creative and cultural works.

On April 26, Centrum Cyfrowe is making available a digital version of The Diary of Anne Frank at the website www.annefrank.centrumcyfrowe.pl. Unfortunately, due to the restrictive territorial rules regarding copyright, the website will only be accessible for users inside Poland. Yes, you read that right: access will be blocked for anyone attempting to view the site from outside of Poland. Why are we doing this? We’re doing it to draw attention to the absurdity of these types of copyright rules. The Diary of Anne Frank is an important historical work—published originally in Dutch in the Netherlands. It should be available in the public domain across Europe. Yet now, it will not be accessible anywhere except for Poland.”

Centrum Cyfrowe
http://www.annefrank.centrumcyfrowe.pl/

“ruby on wheels” is about to go on Indian wheels⤴

from @ Ruby on Wheels

I’m going to join the “College on Wheels” project organised by the University of Delhi. As a member of staff of the University of Edinburgh, I’ll be supporting students as they join 1,000 others on a train journey across part of India. The website has more information:

“… around 1,000 students and staff will travel by train around India for one week in September.

The train will travel from Delhi into the cultural, economic and agricultural heartland of Punjab, allowing the travellers to better understand the dynamics of the region’s emerging economy, as well as its importance in terms of farming and heritage.

It will also travel to Amritsar, the spiritual centre for the Sikh religion; Ludhiana, the industrial hub of North India; and Chandigarh, the first planned city in post-independence India.”

Visa is organised, I’ve had some of the vaccinations, and now I have to think about what I’ll wear!

Should be a very interesting trip.

 

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Mapping the Past, Present and Future⤴

from @ Digital Signposts

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I have recently spent quite a bit of time watching, David Rumsey's inspirational keynote describing how digital technology and visualisation can aid the understanding and interpretation of historic maps; thus building new knowledge, not only of the maps, but about people, the societies they lived in and  the prevailing culture and values of the time.

Using Google Earth overlays, historic fly-throughs, 30ft globes, and virtual worlds
this 40 min video is awesome, the screen capture above offers a flavour.  Indeed it is one of the best uses of virtual worlds that I have come across in a long time. 

The Creative Commons licensed Rumsey Map Collection accessed through the Luna Browser,  is a good example of how digital technologies can refocus our interpretation of other cultural artefacts, for example, posters, photographs or moving images, in order to shed new light on our past and our present.

The idea of digitally synthesing of old and new is beginning to gain momentum, and there are projects, open to students and educators, including Hypercities which explores layers of time through city maps, or HistoryPin which crowdsources old photographs and superimposes them on Google Street View. 

Even if mapping isn't  your personal interest, digitised archives or artefacts can provide a stimulus for meaningful learning designs and contexts for all stages of learning. Applying digital tools to data we already have allows new interpretations and ways of using the data which makes this a very rich field for educators to explore using digital technologies.

And whilst at first glance, some of the artefacts and ideas from the past may seem absurd today;  in context, they reveal the hidden codes for our future, which are gaining recognition amongst an emerging cohort of paleo-futurists, digital humanists, digital anthropologists and archaeologists who participate in innovative projects and networks.  As Tom Seinfield from the Found History blog states:

"innovation in digital humanities frequently comes from the edges of the scholarly community rather than from its center—small institutions and even individual actors with few resources are able to make important innovations."

 This is highly encouraging and it is certainly an area I plan to spend a lot more time studying and working in.