Category Archives: Professional

Remembering Marion⤴

from

Like many colleagues, I was deeply saddened to hear of the death of Marion Kelt earlier this week. Marion was Research and Open Access Librarian at Glasgow Caledonian University Library, but more than that, she was a weel kent, well respected and well liked member of the open education community.

Marion was nothing if not tenacious and, as a result of her persistence, Glasgow Caledonian University became the first university in Scotland to approve an institutional OER policy. Marion gave an enlightening and entertaining talk about the development of this policy at the OER15 conference in Cardiff, and the extraordinary lengths she had to go to get it approved. I vividly remember her telling us about the months she spent trying to track down the institutional IPR policy, which she’d been told the OER policy had to refer to, only to finally discover that no such policy existed!

It was typical of Marion’s enthusiasm and generosity that she was more than willing to share her experience with colleagues here at the University of Edinburgh when we were developing our own OER policy and establishing the OER Service. GCU’s OER policy is one of three OER policies the University of Edinburgh’s builds on.

The GCU OER policy wasn’t the only contribution Marion made to the open education community. She regularly attended and spoke at the OER conferences, and just recently presented a paper at OER19 in Galway about the GCU Copyright Advisor, a really useful piece of work that I hope will stand as Marion’s legacy. The Copyright Advisor walks users through a series of questions to help them decide whether and in what context different types of resources can be used. The tool was developed for use within GCU but because it’s open licensed (of course), it can easily be adapted for use in other contexts and institutions.

We won’t remember Marion just for her contribution to the open education community though, we’ll remember her for her warm and generous spirit, her love of cats and music, fancy shoes and G&T. Marion’s colleagues at GCU have set up a Just Giving appeal in her name to benefit Cats Protection, a cause that was close to her heart, and which you can donate to here. CILIP Scotland have also written a touching obituary for Marion here: Marion Kelt (nee Murphie).

Marion at OER19

The annual ALT Scotland Meet Up this week was dedicated to Marion’s memory, and these are just some of the many tributes to her that have been posted on twitter.

Romeo and Juliet⤴

from

Today was the last performance of “Romeo and Juliet” which I directed at school. Although I have been seconded out of school since Christmas, I carried on with the project. I am so glad that I did.

It was astonishing.

These are the words I said at the end:

Back in the autumn, I announced that this year‘s school play was going to be Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet”.

“Ooh Mrs Carter.

Shakespeare. That’s ambitious!”

“Good luck with that!”

So why did I decide to choose this this play and go ahead, in spite of the challenges?

I chose this play precisely because it was ambitious. Because I know that when you are ambitious in your work with young people they live up to the ambition and they produce results just like the production we have seen this week.

I chose this play because we need to talk about the issues that the play brings up: we need to talk about teenage distress, about suicide and about the things that happen when we don’t listen to and love one another.

I chose this play because more than 400 years after his death, Shakespeare still has so much to teach us about life. The character in this play who perhaps appeals the most to me is Friar Lawrence because, in that scene where he talks to Romeo (after Tybalt’s death and Romeo’s banishment), he is full of mindfulness and solution -focus, even when the worst has happened and Romeo wants to give up. He represents the type of adult that we need to be when our young people are facing challenges that the world throws at them.

And although in “Romeo and Juliet” we ultimately see two young people who tragically make irreversible decisions, what I want to show you now is the young people here who chose this play and have shown us in buckets what young people are capable of when we believe in them.

I don’t think it’s overdramatic to say that drama literally saved my life when I was younger. believe fundamentally in the power of drama and the arts to bring out the best in our young people and this production shows why.

It has been an absolute privilege to work with this group and I’m incredibly grateful to them for their commitment, their team spirit, their care for each other and for me and for their massive enthusiasm.

The soundtrack to the show is here:

micro:bit iOS app: much improved⤴

from @ wwwd – John's World Wide Wall Display

Since returning to the classroom I’ve been using micro:bits with my class of 8-11 year olds. We have had a deal of fun with them, some of this is on the class blog.

We normally use pc laptops and chrome to access the MakeCode editor. In the second year I tried using the iOS app but out of a class only one or two children managed to get their micro:bits connected. At the time I put this down to multiple micro:bits and iPads in close proximity.

I have occasionally tested new versions of the app and the most recent one seemed a lot better. It displayed the webpage code editor in app and flashing seemed simpler. Today wanting to move our micro:bit guitar project on when the PCs were in use elsewhere in the school I decided to give the app another run. I am very glad I did. Everything about the app seemed to be better. I think that coding and flashing to the micro:bit for an iPad is simpler than using a pc. We had no problems in getting code written and flashed to the micro:bits.

I’d highly recommend the app if you have both iPads and micro:bits in your classroom.

I’d also recommend the Microsoft MakeCode Guitar project. I’ve been working with a mixed age group class and the mix of tech and ‘art’ fits very well. Some of the younger children are getting their first experience with coding and the art and construction can keep them motivated when the coding concepts get tough.

iMovie gets Greenscreen⤴

from @ wwwd – John's World Wide Wall Display

I was delighted to see this update coming to iMovie.

I had a very quick play, simple and seemed to work very well. Perfect timing for our micro:bit project.

 

 

Adult Learning Strategic Forum Scotland (ALSFS) update⤴

from @ Education Scotland's Learning Blog

Community Learning and Development Policy transferred from Education Scotland to the Scottish Government in September 2018. Prior to this transfer, the Strategic Forum for Adult Learning, supported by Scottish Government and Education Scotland had been tasked to “develop a national framework for adult learning that outlines the key priorities in delivering adult learning in Scotland”. As a result, the forum developed the Adult Learning Statement of Ambition.

 The Scottish Government is committed to supporting and developing adult learning.  With this in mind, the new CLD Policy Team has worked with the adult learning sector to refresh this forum to create the Adult Learning Strategic Forum Scotland [ALSFS]. The forum’s revised membership and terms of reference were approved in April 2019. The ALSFS is anticipated to operate until 2023.

 The ALSFS will provide strategic advice to the Scottish Government in support of adult learning policy and in particular on matters of direction, performance and planning. Their current focus is to build on the Statement of Ambition and develop a new Adult Learning Strategy for Scotland to be launched sometime in the spring of 2020.  At the Adult Learning Conference at Newbattle Abbey College on 22nd May, the Minister for Further Education Higher Education and Science: Richard Lochhead, announced that the ALSFS would be chaired by the former principal of West Lothian College Mhairi Harrington.

 The ALSFS will continue to consult across the adult learning sector and more widely with other areas of the education and skills system and significant organisations in the public private and third sectors. The Adult Learning Conference in May provided an opportunity for both discussion groups and workshops on the priorities for adult learning and what should this new adult learning strategy aim to deliver for the people of Scotland. The Minister made it clear in his speech that this strategy must be about more than ambition and characterised by delivery and action

 While consultation is and will be essential, the ALSFS has recognised the sense of urgency in the development of the strategy and that clear direction and focus is also needed. To that end it has tasked several members of the ALSFS to form a working group to take the strategy forward. The members of the working group are:-

 Ray McCowan – Workers Educational Association                       

Jackie Howie – Learning Link Scotland

Emma Whitelock – LEAD Scotland

James King – Scottish Prison Service

Jane Logue – CLD Managers Scotland

Wendy Burton – Scottish Union Learning

Sandra Grieve – Newbattle Abbey College

Bonnie Slade – University of Glasgow

Nicola McAndrew – Scottish Government

Elisha Fisher – Scottish Government

Lindsay MacDonald – Education Scotland

 The group met the day after the Adult Learning Conference and have agreed to meet once a month until the strategy is delivered in the Spring of 2020. Work has begun on a survey aimed at ensuring that learners are fully involved in the consultation process and will have a significant say in the strategy’s development. At the same time they are building on the large amount of work already undertaken to develop the key themes of the strategy.  They are considering how they can promote an intensive week of consultation across the country in the early autumn to get some focus on the development of the strategy. The aim is to deliver the first draft of the strategy and to circulate this out for extended consultation by late autumn 2019.

 The intention is to keep stakeholders across the sector fully informed on how the work of the ALSFS is progressing. This will be achieved through regular updates to the sector following on from each monthly meeting of the ALSFS.

 

Literacy Activities using Book Creator⤴

from @ Alan Stewart's AT Blog

All of us at ATSS are fans and long time advocates of Book Creator – it’s so easy to use and yet so powerful for myriad projects across the curriculum.

Here, the guys at Book Creator asked Kurt Klynen to make a book full of ideas for Literacy across the curriculum. It’s well worth a look.†

Read the book here.

Click here for many more reads from the Book Creator Library.