Category Archives: Professional

A quality of knowing.⤴



If we are really serious about assuring quality in education, it seems to me that our greatest efforts must be focused on ensuring what I have come to to call a “quality of knowing.” This means that we draw on data that is far broader and more encompassing than test results and benchmarks, although of course we must make use of those if they have valuable insight to give us.

We must make sure that the “knowing” is achieved by drawing on the input of those who are the greatest experts in the child; that is, the child themself and the adults who care for the child.

It would appear that primary education is often better at tapping into this expertise than secondary and this needs to be resolved; it is not good enough to say that adolescents are less willing to engage (as they aren’t, given the right strategies) or that parents and carers have a reduced rôle to play during adolescence (as they actually have an equal or greater rôle).

We also need to ensure that teacher judgment does not involve any sort of negative pre-judging, prejudice or unconscious bias that may prevent us from seeing the true potential in each child. As humans we make judgements; it is instinctive and part of our primitive brain functioning to do so. But we as teachers are not primitive. We are professional and well-educated and we need to understand the power of human nature and be able to mitigate against it. A pause and a breath before we make a judgement about a pupil because we “know the reputation of THAT family”. A pause and a breath before we make a judgement about a pupil because of the way she behaved yesterday. A pause and a breath before we accept without filter a judgement that a colleague has made about a “difficult” child or class. 

That is not to say that we ignore what has gone before. If a child has behaved in an unregulated way the previous day, we need to be alert to this and know it, without expecting or pre-judging that it will happen again but being aware that it could.

Risk management is all about acting to mitigate against harmful or risky situations when there is likelihood that they could occur; it is based on facts, evidence and knowledge of context, rather than over-dramatic speculation or wild supposition. Accurate data about what has happened and why is a crucial part of risk management.

Part of knowing a child well is knowing when they have been unable to self-regulate, working out what has caused the behaviour and helping the child to manage the distress behind the behaviour. If we know a child well, we will be able to see behaviour for what it is, without resorting to labels such as “naughty”, “dangerous” or even “criminal” to describe the behaviour or even the child.

Knowing each child and young person within our care, resisting labels and using history to inform positively rather than label negatively; these must at the heart of what do in schools. This way, we will get the true measure of each child and be able to walk beside them as they develop their sense of self, their potential and their individuality.

Gert Biesta quoted from:

Biesta, G. (2008) Good education in an age of measurement: on the need to reconnect with the question of purpose in education. Published online: 2 December 2008 © Springer Science + Business Media, LLC 2008

ALTC Personal Highlights⤴


I’ve already written an overview and some thoughts on the ALTC keynotes, this post is an additional reflection on some of my personal highlights of the conference. 

I was involved in three sessions this year; Wikipedia belongs in education with Wikimedia UK CEO Lucy Crompton-Reid and UoE Wikimedian in Residence Ewan McAndrew, Influential voices – developing a blogging service based on trust and openness with DLAM’s Karen Howie, and Supporting Creative Engagement and Open Education at the University of Edinburgh with LTW colleagues Charlie Farley and Stewart Cromar.  All three sessions went really well, with lots of questions and engagement from the audience.  

It’s always great to see that lightbulb moment when people start to understand the potential of using Wikipedia in the classroom to develop critical digital and information literacy skills.    There was a lot of interest in (and a little envy of) UoE’s Academic Blogging Service and centrally supported WordPress platform,, so it was great to be able to share some of the open resources we’ve created along the way including policies, digital skills resources, podcasts, blog posts, open source code and the blogs themselves.  And of course there was a lot of love for our creative engagement approaches and open resources including Board Game Jam and the lovely We have great stuff colouring book.  

Stewart Cromar also did a gasta talk and poster on the colouring book and at one point I passed a delegate standing alone in the hallway quietly colouring in the poster.  As I passed, I mentioned that she could take one of the colouring books and home with her.  She nodded and smiled and carried on colouring.  A lovely quite moment in a busy conference.

It was great to hear Charlie talking about the enduringly popular and infinitely adaptable 23 Things course, and what made it doubly special was that she was co-presenting with my old Cetis colleague R. John Robertson, who is now using the course with his students at Seattle Pacific University.   I’ve been very lucky to work with both Charlie and John, and it’s lovely to see them collaborating like this.

Our Witchfinder General intern Emma Carroll presented a brilliant gasta talk on using Wikidata to geographically locate and visualise the different locations recorded within the Survey of Scottish Witchcraft Database.  It’s an incredible piece of work and several delegates commented on how confidently Emma presented her project.  You can see the outputs of Emma’s internship here

Emma Carroll, CC BY NC 2.0, Chris Bull for Association for Learning Technology

I really loved Kate Lindsay’s thoughtful presentation on KARE, a kind, accessible, respectful, ethical scaffolding system to support online education at University College of Estate Management.  And I loved her Rosa Parks shirt. 

Kate Lindsay, CC BY NC, Chris Bull for Association for Learning Technology

I also really enjoyed Claudia Cox’s engaging and entertaining talk Here be Dragons: Dispelling Myths around BYOD Digital Examinations.  Claudia surely wins the prize for best closing comment…

Sheila MacNeill and Keith Smyth gave a great talk on their conceptual framework for reimagining the digital university which aims to challenge neoliberalism through discursive, reflective digital pedagogy.  We need this now more than ever.

Keith Smyth, CC BY, Lorna M. Campbell

Sadly I missed Helen Beetham’s session Learning technology: a feminist space? but I heard it was really inspiring.  I think I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve been able to hear Helen talk, we always seem to be programmed in the same slot!  I also had to miss Laura Czerniewicz’s Online learning during university shut downs, so I’m very glad it was recorded. I’m looking forward to catching up with is as soon as I can.

The Learning Technologist of the Year Awards were truly inspiring as always. Lizzie Seymour, Learning Technology Officer, Royal Zoological Society of Scotland at Edinburgh Zoo was a very well deserved winner of the individual award, and I was really proud to see the University of Edinburgh’s Lecture Recording Team win the team award.  So many people across the University were involved in this project so it was great to see their hard work recognised.

UoE Lecture Recording Team, CC BY NC, Chris Bull for Association for Learning Technology

Without doubt though the highlight of the conference for me was Frances Bell‘s award of Honorary Life Membership of the Association for Learning Technology.  Frances is a dear friend and an inspirational colleague who really embodies ALT’s core values of participation, openness, collaboration and independence, so it was a huge honour to be invited to present her with the award.  Frances’ nomination was led by Catherine Cronin, who wasn’t able to be at the conference, so it gave me great pleasure to read out her words.

“What a joy to see Frances Bell – who exemplifies active, engaged and generous scholarship combined with an ethic of care –being recognised with this Honorary Life Membership Award by ALT.

As evidenced in her lifetime of work, Frances has combined her disciplinary expertise in Information Systems with historical and social justice perspectives to unflinchingly consider issues of equity in both higher education and wider society.

Uniquely, Frances sustains connections with people across higher education, local communities and creative networks in ways which help to bridge differences without ignoring them, and thus to enable understanding.

Within and beyond ALT, we all have much to thank her for.” 

I confess I couldn’t look at Frances while I was reading Catherine’s words as it was such an emotional moment.   I’m immensely proud of ALT for recognising Frances’ contribution to the community and for honouring her in this way.

Frances Bell, Honorary Life Member or ALT, CC BY NC, Chris Bull for Association for Learning Technology

And finally, huge thanks to Maren, Martin and the rest of the ALT team for organising another successful, warm and welcoming conference. 

ALTC Keynotes: Data, Dialogue and Doing⤴


Social Media Dream Team, CC BY Lorna M. Campbell

Last week the ALT Conference took place in the magnificent McEwan Hall at the University of Edinburgh.  Chaired by Melissa Highton, Keith Smyth and Louise Jones, the conference was a huge success, thanks in no small part to the ALT Team, and a large number of volunteers from across the ALT community.   As Martin Weller pointed out in his blog post, The Meticulous Informality of ALTC, it takes a lot of hard work and expertise to make running such a big conference appear so effortless.  And as always, it was a real pleasure to be able to contribute to the conference as part of the ALTC Social Media Dream Team.  I even got a badge this year!

I’ve written before about my experience of livetweeting the ALTC keynotes, and how it differs from tweeting from my own personal account.  When I’m providing formal social media coverage I also have a different experience of actually participating in the conference, and listening to the keynotes in particular.  I tend to be so focused on listening, summarising and typing, that I often get to the end of the keynote and realise that I can barely remember even half of what the speaker has said! So it’s really useful to me to be able to look back over the livestreams and the tweets and to read all the post-conference blog posts to fill in the gaps.

One of the things that really struck me this year was how closely all three keynotes focused on the key conference themes of Data, Dialogue and Doing. 

Revisiting the affordances and implications of interconnectedness and socially mediated publicness

– Sue Beckingham, Sheffield Hallam University

Sue set the scene with a wide ranging opening keynote covering the long history of the myriad technologies that collect and process our data in various ways, shapes and forms; from the panopticon to the Echo Dot, via keystroke tracking, store cards, VLEs, facebook and the invisible algorithms of the web.  Sue asked how many of us read the terms of service of the websites and apps we sign up to? How many of us know how our data is being used?

Sue also highlighted the pros and cons of engaging with social media. Twitter can be toxic, filled with disinformation, misinformation and fake news, but it can also be invaluable for promoting research, disseminating crisis communications, highlighting achievements, and building community.  Sue stressed that it’s no good banning social media, we need to have meaningful conversations with students about how their data is being used. And we also need to ensure that those who are marginalised from our education communities are accepted, wanted and drawn in.  Sue quoted Fosslien and West Duffy who define “diversity as having a seat at the table, inclusion as having a voice, and belonging as having that voice be heard”. Social media can enable diverse voices to be included and heard but we need to be cognisant of how our data is being used by these platforms.

Sue Beckingham, ALTC keynote

Sue Beckingham, CC BY NC 2.0, Chris Bull for Association for Learning Technology

Watch Sue’s keynote

Critcal Pedagaogy, Civil Disobedience and Edtech

– Jessie Stommel, University of Mary Washington

Jessie picked up on many of the themes Sue introduced.  Within a framework of critical pedagogy and digital agency he explored the interfaces between agency, data and technology, and how the tools we use as educators influence our relationship with our students.  Jessie urged us to ask hard questions of vendors and to engage students in this critical evaluation.  What assumptions about learning and teaching does a tool make? What data does it collect? Who has access to it? Is it accessible? To visually impaired, to introverts, to extroverts? 

Jessie argued that while some tools can be hacked to good use, others have bad pedagogy baked in and are problematic to the core.  It was no surprise that the tool he chose to shine the spotlight of critical evaluation on was Turnitin.  It’s easy to critique Turnitin from many different perspectives, not least of which is that it effectively has a monopoly on student writing, with a staggering 98% of UK HE institutions subscribing to its services.  Jessie highlighted Turnitin’s problematic Terms of Reference but, perhaps more importantly, he also argued that Turnitin has suspicion of students baked into it and entrenches the belief that students are not to be trusted.

“We are opting in to a culture of suspicion of our students and Turnitin enables this.”

Jessie reminded us that our students are human beings not data assets.  We need to trust our students, to learn from and with them, and we need to believe what they tell us about how they learn.  Throughout his keynote Jessie returned again and again to Paulo Friere and bell hooks with their focus on learning as a space of wonder and marvel and the importance of generating excitement, joy and pleasure in education. Quoting bell hooks Jessie reminded us that 

 “If we’re not talking about joy we’re doing something wrong.”

Jessie Stommel, ALTC Keynote

Jessie Stommel, CC BY NC 2.0, Chris Bull for Association for Learning Technology

Watch Jessie’s keynote:

Learning, Teaching and Technology

– Ollie Bray, The Lego Foundation

Ollie certainly brought excitement and joy to his keynote when he handed out packets of Lego to the entire audience and challenged everyone to make a duck in 40 seconds! We ended up with as many different ducks as delegates, but Ollie pointed out that every duck was meaningful to the person who made it. Furthermore, the activity itself was meaningful because it was actively engaging, socially interactive, iterative and joyful. These are typical characteristics of a playful experience and they are also characteristics of an excellent learning experience.

Ollie challenged us to think about how we could reimagine learning as it could be, while still working within the distinct boundaries of our education systems and social contexts.  Creative skills are highly contextual and it’s important to develop personalised skills that suit specific needs. 

Picking up on another of Jessie’s themes, Ollie noted that we hear a lot about learning from our students, but less about learning with them. If we want young learners to be creative, we need children and adults working together in co-creative learning teams.   Despite the rhetoric that AI will “solve” education, solving complex problems comes down to people, pedagogy and leadership.

Making Lego ducks at ALTC

40 second Lego duck challenge, CC BY NC 2.0, Chris Bull for Association for Learning Technology

Watch Ollie’s keynote:

One of the things I loved about Ollie’s keynote was that it rippled out beyond the bounds of the conference.  Lots of delegates took the Lego duck challenge home and posted pictures of ducks made by their families.  These are the ducks my family made.  I’m sure they’re meaningful to them somehow :}  

Lego ducks

Meaningful ducks? CC BY Lorna M. Campbell

Portlethen Academy: Raising the profile of skills in learning and teaching.⤴

from @ Education Scotland's Learning Blog

Every classroom has a poster for Skills for Learning, Skills for Life and Skills for Work. Pupil-friendly definitions of these skills were produced by a working group of staff. Teachers are asked to make reference to these skills in their learning intentions and success criteria and in the content of the lesson itself. The impact of DYW is discussed in the videos:

Head Teacher

Young People

All S1 pupils are recording the development of these skills in a Skills Passport booklet during DCT. The main purpose of the booklet is to help the pupils document the skills they are developing, the subjects in which they use these skills and the evidence they have to support their judgements on how well they are progressing with particular skills in learning, life and work. The booklet also includes sections on profiling, SMART targets, reflection, mental health, recognising wider achievement, subject reports and self-evaluation.

The school has used several key methods to ensure that the strategy has the desired impact to the learners:

  • Researched examples of skills frameworks and received valuable input from Larbert High School after seeing their materials on the National Improvement Hub
  • Decided to develop their version of a skills framework and to link it to our tutor time programme for tracking purposes
  • Established a staff team to develop the framework and materials
  • Introduced the focus on skills to staff at collegiate session.
  • Introduced the focus on skills to pupils at year group assemblies.
  • Produced a set of posters for every classroom
  • Obtained feedback on reference to skills for learning, life and work through pupil focus groups where 5 pupils are selected form various year groups once a week.

The school believes that the changes have impacted on their learners, the key indicators:

  • Promoted skills development in learning and teaching
  •  Ensure staff are consistently embedding skills development in their classroom practice
  •  Ensure pupils know what skills they possess
  •  Helping pupils develop the ability to confidently articulate the skills they are developing
  •  Ensure pupils can utilise these skills across different subject areas
  •  Ensure pupils realise the value and importance of skills they develop in school and how these relate to the world of work

This is a journey for staff and young people, the key points are:

  • Staff are referencing skills development in their lesson planning
  •  Pupils are noticing the increased focus on skills and realising their value as they progress through the school
  •  Pupils are becoming more aware of how often they are using different skills
  •  Pupils are realising the value of transferrable skills
  •  Pupils are realising the importance of skills for their future careers

Porthlethen see DYW as integral and underpin out their work with young people by making the links between skills and the workplace. They refer to the school as just another workplace, which reinforces the link between education and skills for work. The skills framework has helped by providing a clear focus. It has allowed them to monitor it through their focus groups, and they can reference it more easily due to the visual nature of their posters. When they have speakers or reference areas of employment in their career of the week they ensure skills are highlighted.

Portlethen are working hard on partnership and engagement with industry. Curricular experiences through DYW include:

Breadth of careers
Mock interviews
Rural skills
Air traffic control
Enterprise day (S2)
Micro Tyco
MWOW ambassadors
Hospitality (chef of the week, Royal navy chefs)

Next Steps
They have started formally recording and documenting skills development and progression in S1. They are looking at creative ways to record and document skills development as this cohort become more mature and progress through the school. They will formalise the inclusion of skills development in lesson planning, learning intentions and success criteria to ensure a consistent approach by all staff.

For example, staff create a range of lesson starters focusing on particular skills. A pupil will then select a skill to be used in the lesson starter.

When asked for advice that they could pass to others, they suggested:

  • Having a visual display of the skills you are focusing on
  •  Reference skills in all aspects of the lesson where appropriate
  •  Help pupils realise the range of skills they possess
  •  Ensure pupils know which skills they are developing
  •  Help pupils transfer these skills to different contexts and subject areas

“The framework diagrams give me a key point of reference in planning lessons and for reference in class.” Teacher

“I like the framework because I can click on it and see what it means” S1 pupil

“Having the framework on your website helped me link my presentation to the skills required to work in the catering industry in a way that pupils could understand”  DYW presenter

Sharing practitioner enquiry results⤴

from @ School Leadership - A Scottish Perspective

One of the issues that can sometimes get in the way of staff thinking around practitioner enquiry is the expectation that we somehow share our results, either at the end of a particular enquiry focus, or even during the process itself. In my experience some staff can feel very threatened or insecure about sharing their findings, outcomes and insights from any enquiry process, no matter how hard senior leaders might strive to allay such fears. This post is an exploration of  why we might wish to share, as well as some simple ways that you can disseminate outcomes, that are relatively straightforward, but are nevertheless powerful tools within the enquiry process.

The first thing I would say is that we all need to see collaboration and sharing as key elements of any enquiry, not something that is bolted on at the end. For our enquiries to have the greatest impact, for ourselves, colleagues, schools, and  even the system, we need to be collaborating and sharing, not functioning in isolation. All enquiries have value, and contain learning not just for the individuals carrying them out, but also for others in the system, even when they go awry or do not have the expected impacts. Each enquiry contributes in a small way to the collective knowledge of the system as a whole, though their greatest impacts are for individual teachers and their learners. Having the input of colleagues throughout the process is beneficial to everyone, and may well help individual enquiries  develop greater insights and have deeper impacts. Beavering away on your own can be very limiting and exhausting in a number of ways. Being involved in professional dialogue, and sharing, throughout the process, is helpful to all, and should be seen as an important element of any enquiry process.

When collaboration and dialogue are expected and supported throughout, it is much more likely that deeper insights will be gained, and that pedagogical or curricular changes made will have greater impacts than the focus of any one particular enquiry. Which is one reason why school culture, built on mutual, collaborative, professional trust, is so important.

Having said that, I do think it is important that we take the time to reflect and share our final thoughts and insights after we having been enquiring into issues around improving learning for any period of time. This is important for us, as individuals, but also for colleagues, and our settings. The big question is; 'How do we do this in such a way that makes it accessible to everyone and is not seen as some sort of sword of Damocles hanging over us at the end, or beginning, of a school year?' Practitioners should not be concerned  by having to 'share' their results with colleagues, or others, and the more comfortable they become in this, the better the shared understandings. This is not a 'test' at the end of an enquiry!

How we shared our work with colleagues, was something that I never recognised as an issue, until I had to facilitate this for the staff in the two schools I was leading. After our second year involved using practitioner enquiry for professional learning, we thought it would be a good idea to finish the year with a joint CAT (Collegiate Activity Time) session, where teachers would share, for a no more than five minutes, what they had been doing, and the insights gained. in the first year we had held one to one discussions with staff for the same purpose, and to offer more support. It became quickly apparent that not everyone was comfortable sharing to a larger group of colleagues. In response, we suggested that they could present this in any way that felt comfortable to them. This could be a five minute talk through of what they did, a poster, a Powerpoint, scrapbook or any other way they felt comfortable with, but which included the key elements of their enquiry. We wanted them to share the issue they identified, the professional reading they did around this, the change they identified to test out, how they selected their focus group, how they captured data, insights gained, what worked and what didn't, in terms of impact on learning? Then, to reflect on their next steps. It sounds a lot, and it can be, but it is possible to collate this information quickly and simply.

We wanted these sessions to be relaxed, and for each teacher, and their colleagues to view them as a continuation of the conversations they had been having already throughout the year. It is amazing how teachers, or adults, who can feel completely comfortable speaking in front of a class or school, can suddenly lose that confidence when they are asked to speak in front of colleagues. One of the big changes that came out of practitioner enquiry for us, was an increase in confidence amongst staff to have those conversations and to make such presentations, both in their own school and elsewhere.

We all quickly recognised there were lots of different ways to present any enquiry results to colleagues and others. All are valid, as long as they incorporate the  key elements and learning from the enquiry process. Sharing your results and insights should be viewed as just another part of the enquiry process, one which encourages more reflection, analysis and hopefully promotes deeper insight, but one which needs to be undertaken in a way that works for you and your context.

I have been very fortunate to visit many schools to see and hear staff reporting back on enquiries and sharing their learning. Some of the ways I have seen this done are detailed below. They may help you on your own journey, or you might have found other ways that have worked particularly well for yourself or colleagues. Key is to keep such reflection and feedback proportionate and manageable. The importance of enquiry lies in the process, and how it changes your thinking and your practice, to better lead learning for all your learners. What tool works for one, may not work for another, and you may change your mind over time, that's okay and should be expected.

Some ways of feeding back on your enquiry:

1) A short written report. I would suggest two sides of A4, with bullet-points as to the main messages. Keep this succinct and focused. Can be shared easily with colleagues, school leadership and others, if desired. You could submit this beforehand, so that colleagues might consider a question or two they would like to ask at a discussion session. Some people find this easy to do, others prefer a different method.

2) A short, five minute, presentation on your enquiry. Again, keep to the main points of the process, followed by your reflections and insights. Photos, either on a screen or to hand around, as your speaking can help inform what you are saying, and deflect some of the attention from yourself. Generally, pictures and illustrations mean less words and make information more accessible.

3) A Powerpoint, or other tech tool, of no more than ten slides, that tells the story of your enquiry, leave a little time for questions. Keep the writing on each slide to a minimum and illustrate with photos to tell the story. Again, this deflects attention from the speaker, and onto the message and your insights. As this is a tech tool, it is easy to share a copy with colleagues following your presentation.

4) Produce a poster of your enquiry process. When we first did this, the posters were created by hand, and we left it to the individuals to design their own posters, again asking them to include all the key elements. Some used technology to produce a poster, and eventually we had some produced professionally, as research posters, after we had provided staff with a range of templates they could use. Such research posters have become more and more common in higher education, especially for short presentations. These can be photographed for further distribution.

5) Keep a scrap-book or illustrated diary of your enquiry process. Some staff prefer this method and theses records are easy to share or talk through with colleagues. They should include photos and samples of work, as well as the insights you gained from your analysis of the enquiry data. Pictures and illustrations can be very powerful in helping you explain your enquiry, especially when accompanied by one or two thoughtful sentences of  explanation.

6) Instead of having whole staff sharing sessions, you can break this down into small groups or triads, who share their findings, using any of the above methods. Some staff will feel a lot more comfortable in this type of structure, and it can produce more focus and engagement, depending on how it is organised. For example these could be organised in departments in secondary settings, or by focus of the enquiry, or across stages in primary settings. One person from each triad could feed back to another one, to help spread information shared.

7) I visited North Berwick High School to see staff talk about the impact of their enquiries. All staff who had carried out an enquiry presented their results on 'washing-lines' hung up in the school hall. They produced an item of clothing, T-shirt, pants, trousers, etc., which they had drawn on card or sugar paper, and onto which they put details of their enquiry process and outcomes. These were hung on string lines around the hall. Staff could wander around looking at the 'washing' and asking questions about the different enquiries. Some staff still gave more formal presentations, but I did think this was an innovative and creative way to present some very powerful enquiries, which was completely accessible and non-threatening to participants.

8) You could provide staff with an electronic pro-forma which they then populate. This would be an aide-memoire to the enquiry process itself, but would remove the pressure of having to think about how you are going to present your work, rather than focusing on the process itself, and your learning from it. Such a tool would include something like the following headings:

Enquiry question:
Baseline data:
Professional reading:
Focus group and criteria:
Intervention or change implemented:
Re-collection of data:
Analysis of data: 
Evaluation of enquiry and of impact for learners:
Next steps:

It should not take staff too long to complete this, some of it as they go, and can be shared easily as a starting point for more dialogue with colleagues or others. Its the thinking behind the answers that's really important, not so much the answers themselves. Conversation about these can tease out the nuances of the enquiry outcomes and the process.

This is by no means an exhaustive list of ways to present enquiry results, but all of them are relatively quick and simple to do. The whole point of considering how to present the results of any enquiry is to promote further thinking and reflection of enquirers. Enquiry is complex and needs to be seen as organic, changing as we go, rather than a mechanical, linear process. Anything that causes us to keep thinking and reflecting is to be welcomed, and hopefully leads us towards those dispositions of enquiry that Marylyn Cochran_Smith and Susan Lytle, and others, have spoken of.

Some other positive by-products of such reporting is we are completing meaningful self-evaluation  for ourselves as individuals, and for the setting in which we work. We are demonstrating in a real way how we are meeting the GTCS Professional Standards and are using the Model For Professional Learning to inform our own learning as adults and professionals. We are also demonstrating a focused, voluntary collaboration that will produce individual and collective improvement. But, most importantly of all, we are articulating how we are striving to improve learning outcomes for all our learners, by better understanding ourselves and our impacts on that learning.

wwwd – John's World Wide Wall Display 2019-09-04 19:03:19⤴

from @ wwwd – John's World Wide Wall Display

Liked Dom Pates on Twitter (Twitter)
“Key tips on mobile film making, in #DIYFimSchool Part II - consider lighting and audio, and be prepared. Plus, use apps. Hat tip to @lee_ballantyne for sharing the full resource

The linked guide looks useful and simple enough for primary school: DIY Film School

Update from the Adult Learning Strategy working group⤴

from @ Education Scotland's Learning Blog

Following on from our last update, posted after the highly successful Adult Learning Conference at Newbattle Abbey College,  the Adult Learning Strategy working group, a subgroup of the Adult Learning Strategic Forum for Scotland, has met on several occasions. There have also been meetings with the new chair of the Adult Learning Strategic Forum for Scotland: Mhairi Harrington, to discuss progress with the strategy’s development. As you might expect, the final document is still a number of months away so a great deal of work is still needed before a first draft of the strategy is available for consultation. At this stage however the group is pleased to report that the outline of a strategy, based on all the prior consultation and feedback from the sector, is beginning to emerge.

The working group are clear that any new strategy should be aligned to the National Performance Framework so the key deliverables within the strategy will contribute to one or more policy objectives. A draft vision and mission has now been developed and some broad areas of focus and key delivery themes are gradually being formed. All of these developments and proposals from the working group were discussed at a full meeting of the Adult Learning Strategic Forum for Scotland on 20th August and an update to the wider sector will follow about the continued shaping of the strategy.

The strategy working group has also been looking to find ways and means to engage directly with learners and ensure that any strategy fundamentally meets learner needs. A survey questionnaire is now in the final stages of development. This will be tested in the next few weeks with several small focus groups before wider circulation later in the year.  This will also provide a snapshot picture of adult learning in Scotland so please help us by sharing the survey so that this data is as robust and representative as possible.

The outcomes from the meeting of the Adult Learning Strategic Forum for Scotland on 20th August and the feedback from the learner questionnaire will shape the efforts of the working group over the next few months. A number of sector stakeholder events will be planned around the proposed themes and areas of focus. These will be led by members of the working group and will give everyone further opportunities to comment on and contribute to the next stages of the strategy’s development.

The working group will continue to update the sector regularly and hope that you and your learners will join us to share your views in the months ahead, as the strategy develops.  All opportunities for engagement will be promoted widely through the usual channels.

Listened: Tide ep 119⤴

from @ wwwd – John's World Wide Wall Display

Listened TIDE ep 119

Listened: TIDE

The last show recorded before Dai’s death. A moving intro by Doug followed by a typical Tide.

Dai’s comments about classroom relationships spoke to me. I’ve am now in a very small, two classroom school that means I get the same pupils for several years. This feels very much like Dai’s experience with older pupils. Relationships are quite different when you have taught a pupil for 3 years.

I also especially enjoyed the second last segment of the show, “AirDrop crossfire”, airdrop is used many times a day in my class but I had no idea about this.

It has been interesting and enjoyable listening to the ebb and flow of conversation between Dai and Doug over the episodes, my agreement on many of their opinions goes back and forth too. I enjoy the thinking aloud and working things out on air. The joint podcast make you feel close to the broadcasters, Dai and Doug were a good mix balancing each other nicely.

My thoughts are with Doug and others close to Dai.

Looking forward to ALTC: Wikimedia, Academic Blogging and Creative Engagement with OER⤴


Not content with liveblogging the ALTC keynotes, gasta sessions and AGM, I’m also going to be taking part in two presentations and one panel.  Yikes!  So if you’re interested in learning why Wikimedia belongs in education, how to develop an academic blogging service based on trust and openness, and supporting creative engagement through open education, why not come along and join us 🙂

Wikipedia belongs in education: Principles and Practice

Wikipedia belongs in educationTuesday Sep 3 2019, 2:45pm – 3:45pm, Room 2.14
Lucy Crompton-Reid, Ewan McAndrew, and Lorna Campbell

This panel session, featuring short presentations and audience Q&A, will outline the thinking and research that underpins Wikimedia UK’s education programme, present some of the work that’s been delivered as part of this programme over the past few years, and discuss opportunities for future educational partnerships. We’ll also highlight the ways that you can get involved in this work at an individual and/or institutional level, and the benefits of working with Wikimedia in education.

Read more.

Supporting Creative Engagement and Open Education at the University of Edinburgh 

Thursday Sep 5 2019, 12:15pm – 1:15pm, McEwan Hall
Lorna Campbell, Stephanie (Charlie) Farley, and Stewart Cromar

This joint presentation will introduce the University of Edinburgh’s vision and strategy for OER and playful engagement, showcase examples of some of the playful approaches we employ, demonstrate how these help to foster creative approaches to teaching, learning and engaging with our collections, and reflect critically on researching their effectiveness.  Come along and see real world examples of how supporting openness and playful engagement at the institutional level can foster creativity and innovation, and gain inspiration about how these approaches could be used in your own contexts and institution. You’ll also be able to pick up one of our free “We have great stuff” OER colouring books! 

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Influential voices – developing a blogging service based on trust and openness 

Thursday Sep 5 2019, 2:00pm – 3:00pm, Room 2.14
Karen Howie and Lorna Campbell

This presentation will reflect on the first year year of the University of Edinburgh’s new Academic Blogging Service.  We worked closely with academic colleagues, to take a broad view of the different uses of blogs, including reflective blogging, writing for public audiences, group blogging and showcasing research to develop a new academic blogging service that launched in October 2018. The service incorporates existing tools (inc. those built into our VLE and portfolio platforms), improved documentation, new digital skills workshops and materials, and a brand new centrally supported WordPress platform ( to support types of blogging that were not well catered for previously. The philosophy of our new blogging platform was to start from a position of openness and trust, allowing staff and students to develop their own voices.  Come along to learn more about our Academic Blogging Service and find out about the free and open resources we developed along the way.

Learn more. 

Look forward to seeing you at ALTC!