Tag Archives: CPD

Twitter, cpd, actor-network theory and flânerie⤴

from @ wwwd – John's World Wide Wall Display

“BEST. PD. EVER!” Some teachers make bold claims for the way that Twitter supports their professional development, yet research into this area is rather limited. This study sought to gain a better understanding of the practices involved and the part that Twitter plays. It uses a sociomaterial sensibility informed by actor-network theory (ANT) to unravel the complex webs of relations which form, break apart and reform when knowledge practices are enacted in the mediated arena of Twitter.
To explore this rich but messy environment, I evoke the spirit of the Parisian flâneur to develop an ethnographic approach I refer to as ‘flânography.’

from: Exploring teachers’ professional development with Twitter: A sociomaterial analysis – Sheffield Hallam University Research Archive

Ian Guest’s phd should make for fascinating reading. I’ve followed along on his blog as best I could. The idea of twitter as CPD is a popular one that needs the sort of examination that Ian carried out.

We have interviewed Ian on Radio Edutalk about his phd back in 2016 and I am looking forward to talking to him again soon. He also published audio of some of his research interviews on Edutalk: CPDin140.

Reading this week…13th January⤴

from

The first piece is by Mark Ensor, and it’s about parts of teaching which are not seen, but happen all the time in a reflective classroom. The piece discusses lesson observations at one point. I’ve had a few of those and I wouldn’t rate them highly as something that has improved my teaching. The things that have improved my teaching are reading websites, tweets and books, high quality training and casual observations and chat with the wonderful folk I’ve been lucky enough to work with.

Here is teacherhead revisiting Dylan Wiliam’s formative assessment strategies. When I’ve heard or read Dylan, it is a good reminder that his key principles of formative assessment have become many things to many people. He doesn’t think all of them are a good fit with his initial ideas.

If you’re wanting some podcasts for the new year based on education Third Space has this list.

I’m very interested in the use of retrieval practice to secure pupil learning and I’m always looking for ways to use it in class. Here is one teacher’s ideas.

And here are some more ideas of how we can use recall in class.

A simple sketchnote to help develop depth in questioning from Impact Wales. And another one.

Day 24 of 365

Gordon McKinlay

Day 24 of 365

Scottish Borders – Teacher Industry Insight Placements⤴

from @ Education Scotland's Learning Blog

Scottish Borders Council provided 55 teachers with the opportuntity to find out first hand the skills required in  local  industries.

Sarah Rowson- Teacher of Modern languages from Berwickshire High School shares her experiences

Before the end of the summer term 2018 I spent two days with Rabbie’s Trail Burners as part of my Teacher Industry Insight Placement organised by Developing the Young Workforce Borders .

I spent one day in the Edinburgh headquarters being introduced to employees across the various departments and hearing about their roles in the organisation.  This was highly informative and helped me understand the structure and functions within the company.

The second day I spent on a day tour of the “West Highlands, Lochs and Castles” to give me a taste of Rabbie’s business from a customer’s viewpoint.

Since then, I have built on this link with Elaine Brannan, Head of HR, who is going well beyond the call of duty for my pupils.  I am running the SQA Languages for Life and Work Award this session, which includes an Employability unit.  Elaine has been in to Berwickshire High School to meet my pupils and has committed to coming back on several occasions to help them identify their transferable skills, create CVs and work on their interview skills.  She has also offered work experience to a small number.  Taking part in all these activities – and especially being interviewed and given constructive feedback – will be enormously beneficial for my pupils.  Elaine’s first visit last week was met with enormous enthusiasm, the most I have seen from this group for anything work-related!

My background is business-related (before I became a teacher) and both my experience and that of all the business contacts we have forged are really bringing home to the pupils the importance of identifying the transferable skills that they already have and developing them still further.  In this class our focus is not really the academic, but rather developing these young people in preparation to join the workforce in due course.  The placement I had with Rabbies has been invaluable here.

Cognitive Load Theory⤴

from

In 2017, Dylan Wiliam tweeted: “I’ve come to the conclusion Sweller’s Cognitive Load Theory is the single most important thing for teachers to know http://bit.ly/2kouLOq “  (see here for original tweet).

I became interested in Cognitive Load Theory through listening to Greg Ashman talking on the mrbartonmaths podcast.

In very simple terms, Cognitive Load Theory is about considering the limitations of pupils’ working memory at the point of initial instruction.

I decided to offer to run a workshop about Cognitive Load Theory at the Scottish Mathematical Council’s conference in Stirling in March, 2018, and this blog post will be a summary of my presentation. Note: the SMC conference was postponed due to adverse weather, and has been rescheduled for Saturday 19th May.

Influences

As well as Dylan William, Greg Ashman, Craig Barton and John Sweller, I have also read some of the work of Daisy Christodoulou and the paper by Kirschner, Sweller and Clark titled “Why Minimal Guidance During Instruction Does Not Work: An Analysis of the Failure of Constructivist, Discovery, Problem-Based, Experiential and Inquiry-Based Teaching”. Another great summary of Cognitive Load Theory can be found at this link.

Take a moment to answer this question before you read on:

 

What are some of the things that you know?

 

You know a lot of stuff. Some of it is important – like date of birth, phone numbers, passwords, pin codes. Some of it is not important – like the lyrics to Aga Do. Some of it is long lasting and easy to retrieve. Some of it is to do with what is happening right now – the brightness and temperature in the room you are sitting in. Some of it is to do with what happened tens of years ago and you probably can’t remember it right now. But it’s in there… What was the name of the teacher you had in Primary 1?

You know how to write but is that the same as knowing how to speak?

You know how to multiply numbers but is that the same as knowing how to count?

Is knowing that things fall towards the ground when they are dropped the same as knowing the formulae for potential energy and kinetic energy?

David Geary (2007) talks about two different types of knowledge: Biologically Primary and Biologically Secondary. Biologically Primary Knowledge includes things like being able to speak your native language, being able to read people’s body language and being able to make sense of how things interact in our physical environment. Biologically Secondary Knowledge concerns everything that has to be learned through effort. Learning a new language, knowing your times tables and being able to tie shoelaces are examples of biologically secondary knowledge. In fact, pretty much everything we teach in our classes in school can be described as biologically secondary.

Cognitive Load

To understand cognitive load, we must define what we mean by novices and experts and consider how they differ when learning new material. Novices are people who have a very limited experience in a particular domain. Experts are extremely knowledgeable in a particular domain. Novices and Experts think and learn differently. The differences are discussed further in this post by David Didau.

When we learn new material, our working memories are stretched significantly. Everything we think about contributes to working memory. It is thought that our working memories is limited to (7±2) items. There isn’t really an agreed consensus on the number of items that can be held in working memory at any one time, and it depends on many factors such as how complicated the items are and what we are required to do with them once they are in our working memories.

The main points here are:

  • our working memories are limited
  • everything we must think about uses up space in working memory
  • learning is defined as a change in long term memory (Kirschner, Sweller and Clark)
  • learning requires effort in working memory

There is no known limit to our long term memories. In the long term memory, information is organised in schemas.

You have schemas for everything. And you can have unlimited schemas (as far as we know). They can be vast or they can be simple. My schema for solving a Rubik’s cube is, like most of yours I am sure, vast and complex. But my schema for crochet patterns is very small – there are, I am assured, lots of different abbreviations used for different stitches, and these vary depending on the country where the pattern originated from etc.

A person with a highly developed schema for, say, solving simple problems involving differentiation (i.e. just finding the derivative of lots of functions) will have a more success learning how to find the stationary points of a function or the equation of a tangent to a function than a person who does not have that schema as well developed. A really good way to develop schemas is through practice of the component parts.

How can we tell if a student is a novice or an expert? We need to use formative assessment and perhaps diagnostic assessment before the first lesson in a particular topic. Note that a student who is an expert in one domain may not be an expert in another.

There are three main types of cognitive load:

Extraneous Load: caused by inappropriate instructional designs that ignore working memory limits and fail to focus working resources on schema construction or automation. This type of load is mostly environmental and always unhelpful for learning. This may include noise, unhelpful or unnecessary pictures/graphics/animations and poorly structured learning activities.

Intrinsic Load: caused by the natural complexity and structure of the material that must be processed. Necessary for learning – it is what makes it worth learning. Some things are harder to learn than others, based on their complexity and the prior knowledge of the learner. Learning capital cities is pretty easy – I tell you that Paris is the capital of France, you understand what I mean (as long as you know that France is a country and you have an idea of what Capital means) but if I tell you that the area under the curve sinx from 0 to pi/2 is 1 square unit you need to know quite a few things in order to understand it. The intrinsic load depends on two main factors – the complexity of the material and how knowledgeable you already are in that specific domain.

Germane Load: caused by effortful learning, resulting in schema construction and automation. This is the effort required to actually learn material (if our definition of learning is “a change in long term memory”).

As teachers (or “instructional designers”) we need to ensure we do the following:

  • Minimise extraneous load – consider the environment and anything you make students think about that isn’t to do with the new learning.
  • Minimise intrinsic load – break down the problem for novices. Present small parts at a time before approaching a whole problem that requires several new steps.
  • Maximise germane load – by reducing extraneous load and making the intrinsic load more manageable for learners, schema construction is much easier.
1

There is an additive relationship among the three types of Cognitive Load. If we get too much in the total, pupils become cognitively overloaded.

The Phonological Loop

The part of the working memory that processes written and spoken material is called the Phonological Loop. When you read something, you generate a sound in your head. When you listen to someone speak this is also processed as a sound. If you are trying to read something while someone is speaking, you get cognitively overloaded straight away. As teachers, we should avoid things like reading out slides or, even worse, talking about slides that have text on them while the students are reading the slides. For novices who are not familiar with the content, this will cause them excessive cognitive load. More on this when we get to the modality effect.

Cognitive Load Effects

I will mention 6 cognitive load effects briefly, and give some examples of each one.

  • Worked Example
  • Expertise Reversal
  • Redundancy
  • Split Attention
  • Modality
  • Goal Free

The Worked Example Effect

At the point of initial instruction, novices benefit from seeing worked examples. An effective strategy is to present a worked example to the class (you can use questioning about the parts that they can already do – this isn’t necessarily chalk and talk) followed by the class completing a very similar problem for themselves. When I do this, my classes don’t copy the worked example, but they do write their solutions to the problems they will try into their notes. When we discuss the problem as a class and go over the correct solution (or a correct solution) they then have the chance to change their answers. The worked example should allow all pupils who are paying attention the chance to get the problem correct without too much of a demand on their working memories. This allows them to see the ways that the parts of the example interact and allows easier formation of schemas. Some examples of worked examples are given below:

2

This is taken from Nathan Quirk’s board (our probationer). Each example is completed alongside a problem for pupils to complete.

Questioning and discussion of steps is what makes this effective. Cannot just be pupils following the same steps without using their brains.

3

These worked examples and problems were supplied by Chris McGrane.

The Expertise Reversal Effect

It has been shown that worked examples are more useful for novices than they are for experts. As expertise grows through experience, worked examples are no longer needed, and in fact can cause unnecessary cognitive load (extrinsic) for experts. Instead of presenting experts in a particular domain with worked examples, it is more beneficial to have them solving problems. Learning through problems is only possible when a strong foundation of knowledge has been built up by the student.

The Redundancy Effect

Any information that is additional to the problem is redundant information. For example, when students are solving geometry problems, an annotated diagram alongside text that tells you the lengths of the sides and the sizes of the angles (which are already marked on the diagram). In this case one of these sources of information is redundant, since the problem could be fully understood with just one of them.

Here is an example:

4redundancy

The text to the left of the diagram is redundant information. The diagram could be fully understood without it.

We can cope with this as experts, because we look at this question and instantly think “Pythagoras!” but remember that novices do not work in the same way. A novice needs to process everything in the problem.

Other sources of redundant information include teachers reading out slides and drawings/images on slides and worksheets that have little to do with the problem. At the point of initial instruction, these additional things are not helpful for learning, and so they should be avoided.

Some teachers tell me that the reason they read out slides is that they do not trust their pupils to read the slides for themselves. A simple fix in this case is to simply put a picture on the slide that represents the idea being discussed and to simply say the things that would have been text on the slide.

The Split Attention Effect

This occurs when two or more sources of information must be integrated in order to make sense of the whole problem or idea. This can easily be eliminated by integrating the two sources. This differs from the redundancy effect in that both pieces of information must be thought of together to make sense of the whole.

Here is an example from a Higher Maths past paper:

5split1

A simple fix:

6split2

The equations could easily be added to the diagram, thus removing the need to interpret two sources of information to make sense of the whole.

The Modality Effect

This concerns the way that new information is presented, whether it be auditory, written (which is also auditory by the time it is processed) or visual. We can cope with listening to speech and seeing something in a diagram at the same time without impacting on cognitive load. This is better than integrating text and a diagram. Have you ever been on a museum tour with a headphone set? This is effective because it is easier than reading text then looking at things. Yes, it’s saving us from having to read – effort – but also it cuts down on reading (with eyes) and seeing the exhibits (with eyes).

What we can’t do is listen to something while listening to something else. We can’t read something (which uses visual channel and auditory channel) and listen to someone speaking.

A diagram for a question (or to demonstrate a relationship) that would normally have text alongside it can be replaced with just the diagram and the teacher narrating over the top. If you have pupils who need the written form too (not all of them will) then you can give them a written copy, but it will be better for everyone else if they hear the question and see the diagram rather than having the text, which you will probably redundantly read out, and the diagram too – you get the split attention effect if they have to read about the diagram while looking at the diagram.

The Goal Free Effect

This effect concerns the idea of “problem solving search”. When novices are presented with a problem such as the one on the left in the diagram below, they tend to think of the whole problem in one go and suffer cognitive overload as a result.

7goalfree

Taking the specific goal out of the problem and re-framing it as is shown on the right eliminates problem solving search so that the novice learner may use any angle facts they know to fill in as many angles as they can. When the problem is framed this way, novices are able to make sense of the individual steps they take, and this allows them to assimilate long term memories of angle facts.

Discovery Learning

The idea that novices can learn new knowledge through discovery learning is flawed due to what we know from Cognitive Load Theory. Kirschner, Sweller and Clark (2006) state that “The goal of instruction…is to give learners specific guidance about how to cognitively manipulate information in ways that are consistent with a learning goal, and store the result in long-term memory”. Discovery Learning does not easily facilitate this. I used to attempt to teach Pythagoras’ Theorem through a discovery task. The class would investigate the relationship by matching around 15 squares to the correct 5 triangles by finding the sides that matched. No relationship yet discovered. They then had to measure the lengths of the sides of each square and work out the areas of each square.

8pythagoras

Only a small number of pupils in the class managed to calculate the correct areas, and nobody noticed that the two small squares had a combined area that was equal to that of the large square. So I reluctantly told them that this relationship would exist. “It doesn’t work on mine! 3.1 squared plus 3.9 squared doesn’t make 5.2 squared”. If only they could measure accurately. This type of discovery investigation task looks lovely – I was observed by a depute head teacher doing it with a second year class. His comments were “You could just feel the learning in the room – they are so engaged”. No you couldn’t and their engagement was with glue sticks and scissors. They only learned Pythagoras’ Theorem in the last few minutes when I explained it quickly before the bell. They still were not convinced that it works because for their squares and triangles it didn’t work. It was a discovery learning failure. I now start the Pythagoras’ Theorem topic by telling them that the two small squares have the same total area as the large square and I demonstrate it with a few Pythagorean Triples (3, 4, 5), (5, 12, 13). We sketch a diagram of a right-angled triangle with three squares every time we answer a question. The success rate is much higher and they feel like they are doing pretty advanced maths. The paper by Kirschner, Sweller and Clark in the references list is well worth a read for more on this, as is listening to Greg Ashman and Daisy Christodoulou on the @mrbartonmaths podcast.

Interdisciplinary Learning

This is a great way for pupils to apply what they have already learned in different and unfamiliar  contexts. The trouble is, often interdisciplinary learning attempts to teach new content through interdisciplinary learning projects. It is not fair on novices to expect them to synthesise new material at the point of initial instruction. I’m not saying that Interdisciplinary Learning is a bad idea. What I am saying is that, when designing learning experiences, we need to be mindful of the fact that we are experts and that our pupils are novices.

Classroom Displays

Classroom displays often contribute to the extraneous load we impose on our learners, particularly when the displays are engaging. With this in mind, I have removed as much clutter as I could from the walls in my classroom. All of my displays are now on the back wall (my pupils sit in rows, facing the front). The only things worth looking at on the wall at the front of my classroom are the two whiteboards. Examples of pupils’ work are shown using the visualiser and do not become wallpaper on my walls. The walls at the side are plain, with the exception of the fire evacuation instructions. Perhaps you’re not ready to give up your classroom displays, but please consider what they add to the learning in your classroom. If it’s formulas for pupils to use, are you happy that they don’t need to commit these to their long term memories, and instead just rely on them being on the wall?

If you only remember three things from this blog post:

  1. Novices and experts learn differently
  2. Working memory is limited
  3. Effects: Worked Examples, Redundancy, Split-Attention, Modality, Goal-Free

 

References:

Barton, C. (2017) ‘Greg Ashman – Cognitive Load Theory and Direct Instruction vs Inquiry Based Learning‘, Mr Barton Maths Podcast.

Barton, C. (2017) ‘Daisy Christodoulou – Assessment, Multiple Choice Questions, 7 Myths about Education‘, Mr Barton Maths Podcast.

Barton, C. (2018). How I Wish I’d Taught Maths. John Catt Educational Ltd. Woodbridge.

Christodoulou, D. (2014) Seven Myths About Education. Routledge. Oxon.

Didau, D. (2018). When do novices become experts?. [Blog] The Learning Spy. Available at: http://www.learningspy.co.uk/psychology/novices-become-experts/ [Accessed 7 May 2018].

Geary, D.,(2007). Educating the Evolved Mind: Conceptual Foundations for an Evolutionary Educational Psychology. In: Carlson, J. S. & Levin, J. R.  eds. Educating the Evolved Mind. North Carolina: Information Age Publishing, Inc, pp1-100. Available online at:  http://evolution.binghamton.edu/evos/wp-content/uploads/2008/11/Geary01.pdf

Kirschner, P. A., Sweller, J, & Clark, R. E., (2006). Why Minimal Guidance During Instruction Does Not Work: An Analysis of the Failure of Constructivist, Discovery, Problem-Based, Experiential and Inquiry-Based Teaching. Educational Psychologist, 41(2), 75–86 Available online at: http://www.cogtech.usc.edu/publications/kirschner_Sweller_Clark.pdf

NSW Department of Education (2017). Cognitive load theory: Research that teachers really need to understand. Sydney: Centre for Education Statistics and Evaluation.

Sweller, J. Story of a Research Program. Education Review. Available online at: http://edrev.asu.edu/edrev/index.php/ER/article/viewFile/2025/545

Willingham, D. T. (2009) Why Don’t Students Like School? Jossey-Bass. San Francisco.

 

Perth and Kinross Council: Learner Profiles and Profiling Guidance⤴

from @ Education Scotland's Learning Blog

The following documents provide guidance and support materials  developed  by Perth and Kinross Council to support the profiling process and the creation of  learner profiles:

  1. PKC Profiling and profiles 3-18
  2. Perth and Kinross: ‘A Skills Framework – creating a standard together’

 

 

Kingussie High School: Profiling employability skills and wider achievement⤴

from @ Education Scotland's Learning Blog

This DYW ‘interesting practice’ exemplar provides a synoptic overview of the profiling format adopted by Kingussie High School. It also outlines its systematic approach of capturing and reporting learners’ wider achievement both within and out with the school in recognition of its significant contribution to the development of employability skills.  This is part of the school’s wider DYW implementation plan with the aim of supporting learners’ progression towards sustained and positive destination.

This case study has been developed to contribute to professional learning for practitioners at all levels working with children and young people from 3 – 18. It is structured to both inform and to support reflection on existing strengths and areas of development around profiling within the context of DYW.

The  exemplar focuses on three specific elements:

  • E-Portfolios
  • Wider Achievement Reporting
  • Visual CV’s.

What was done and why?

Profiling is a key component of a student’s development at Kingussie High School. It built E-Portfolio through Google Sites which allows student to store a variety of pieces of information about themselves, their learning and their skill development, digitally. In recognition of significant impact of wider achievement on the development of skills the school records and reports on this regularly.  The information contributes to the wider profiling and reflection process of learners.

In order to support learners in articulating their skills and career aspirations the school has developed visual CVs linked to their skills framework.

What is its impact?

The above components are part of the school’s wider DYW ambition to foster career aspirations and increase the employability of learners. It also contributes to the wider attainment of learners, which has significantly increased over the last 3 years.

This ‘DYW Interesting Practice’ exemplar has been summarised in the following document: Interesting Practice in Skills DYW – KHS – Version 1

This PowerPoint presentation offers an overview of the development work in this area: ESProfilingDYW_AB_KingussieHS (2)

Reflection:

You are invited to use this exemplar to reflect on the following questions:

  • To what extent do I engage children and young people in meaningful discussions about their skills development and assist them in profiling to support their career journeys?
  • How does my/our current practice relate to the profiling guidelines expressed within the CfE Briefing notes ‘Profiling and S3 Profiles’?
  • To what extent do I make use of relevant digital and online resources, in particular My World of Work?
  • How well do I use profiling with children and young people to discuss their progress particularly at transition stages?
  • To what extend do I support children and young people in the planning of future learning and envisaging career pathways?

Scottish Power Energy Network – CPD event for teachers and practitioners: 28 March 2018⤴

from @ Education Scotland's Learning Blog

This is the first in a series of four opportunities which allows DYW representatives, teachers and educators to gain in-depth insight into what SP Energy Networks look for in candidates.

 The event will take place on 28 March 2018 and will run twice on that day. Attendees will have the choice of either a morning slot from 9-12 noon or an afternoon slot from 1-4pm.

The programme as follows:

  • Two sessions per day AM/PM with 32 places open for registration on each.
  • 30 minute presentation/interaction session on SP Energy Network activities and talent pipelines we have including Graduate, Craft Apprenticeship, Power Engineering, Engineering Foundation and Year in Industry programmes.
  • 1 hour tour of the training centre inclusive of a hand skill and overhead line demonstration.
  • Concludes with a 30 minute question and answer session.

 

The event will take place at the SPEN Training Centre in Cumbernauld:

ScottishPower Energy Networks,  Dealain House,  72 Napier Road, Wardpark, Cumbernauld, G68 0DF

 Booking should be made in the first instance through the Marketplace website. If you do not have access to Marketplace then please register your interest by contacting Alison Nimmo, DYW West Lothian at: Animmo@dywled.org 

Future events are being planned for the following dates: 13 June, 14 Sept, 16 Nov 2018.

 

Skills development through outdoor education: Fully funded CPD opportunity⤴

from @ Education Scotland's Learning Blog

The Outward Bound trust (Loch Eil) is offering a free CPD opportunity to for teachers /practitioners and employers to explore partnership working around skills development and employability .  

During a 2 day seminar the team at Loch Eil will demonstrate how the outdoor context can develop core skills relevant in supporting young people to realise their  future aspirations and career pathway.   The seminar will make reference to skills development in relation to the Career Education Standard, attainment and wider achievement. 

More information about the seminar and how to sign up here.

Contact:

Freda Fallon,

EDUCATION PARTNERSHIPS – SCOTLAND

The Outward Bound Trust

Loch Eil Centre, Achdalieu

Fort William, PH33 7NN

T 07919 887716

W outwardbound.org.uk

Also:  Access the Outward Bound interesting practice exemplar here.

Mathematical Mindsets – Jo Boaler.⤴

from

I am working on (and shall be over the summer holidays) an online MOOC – Mathematical Mindsets, run by Jo Boaler.

If you haven’t come across Jo before, find her on the Twitter, google her or read her books. I love her methods for maths and the way she links them with growth mindsets.

I intend publishing some of my work here.

In my first piece, Jo shared three pieces of research onto brain growth with us and asked us to share our feelings about how this should impact schools.

 

Taxi Driver Evidence.

“You may have seen me show the evidence from London black cab drivers who have to undergo complex spatial training, at the end of which, they have a significantly larger hippocampus in the brain. At the end of being taxi drivers, when they retire, the hippocampus shrinks back down again.”

 

Taxi driver response:

This research shows that a brain that is being used develops and grows and that when the brain is not being used it regresses to its initial state. So in school I guess this means that we need to keep children thinking about their maths. The children who probably end up thinking about their maths are the mid-ability ones upwards who, if we are not careful are fed a diet of ‘more of the same with bigger numbers’. These are the children who are ‘high fliers’ who then plateau in their maths learning.

We need to use real-life challenging problems and investigations and games with all learners to ensure brains keep growing.

 

 

Half-Brain Case-study. “You may also have seen me show the girl who had half her brain removed. The doctors expected her to be paralyzed for many years or even for her whole life, but she shocked them by regrowing the connections she needed in a really

short space of time.”

 

Half-Brain response:

This research shows that the brain is a wonderful thing which scientists are still understanding…slowly in some cases.

In school we need to encourage our children to make connections within their brains to ensure that they keep developing. Brains don’t get full! We need to share this learning about re-wiring of brains with the children so they come to associate hard learning with something like a gym visit or fitness training – a development; and improver.

 

Stanford Case Study: “They brought 7 to 9-year-old children into the labs at Stanford, and half of them had been diagnosed as having mathematics learning disabilities, and half of them hadn’t. And they had these children work on maths under brain scans.

And lo and behold, they found actual brain differences. And the children diagnosed with learning disabilities actually

had more brain activity than the other children, more areas of their brain were lighting up when they worked on maths.”

 

Stanford response: Initially, this research seems to show that pupils who are thought have learning disabilities are working harder to keep up with (and by definition be not as good at maths as) their peers. Their brains are working harder, which means they will feel more tired during a maths lesson, be more stressed and require more breaks. We need to think in schools how we treat these children who are working harder, and it’s certainly not good enough to say X is not good at maths. It also suggests that schools need to find time to work closely with our ‘poorer maths attainers’ to get an understanding of where there learning is and to give them strategies to learn and develop their maths. – In an ideal world this can be done through group work and talk partners also.

Google Education Roadshow @kingussiehigh #NDLW17 #digitaldifference⤴

from @ OllieBray.com

Kingussie Event - OB Keynote

Well it is the end of National Digital Learning Week in Scotland (#NDLW17).

I started the week by hosting and keynoting the Scottish leg of the Google in Education UK Roadshow at Kingussie High School and finished the week by having my latest resource 'Leading a Digital Learning Strategy' published by the Scottish College for Educational Leadership (SCEL) as part of their Framework for Education Leadership. More about that here.

The Google Event had a real buzz about it on Monday and it was great to have an opportunity to work with the wider roadshow team, who are currently touring the UK as part of the Google in Education Fuel the Future Tour. A special shout out must go to Louise Jones, Oli Trussell, James Leonard and Dean Stokes for their excellent presentations - I certainly learnt a lot and realised that there are lots more features within G-Suite for Education that we could be exploiting at school.

It was also great to have 20 local authorities represented at the event and a good blend between practitioners, local authority advisors and policy makers. I am interested to see what G-Suite looks like within Glow when it becomes available as part of the productivity suite in August this year.

Kingussie Google Event - May 2017

The theme of this years National Digital Learning Week was making a #digitaldifference and for a little school in the middle of the Cairngorm National Park I think we certainly punch well above our weight in terms of making a #digitaldifference. The map below is a nice illustration of just some of our influence in the last week.18527383_10158619884970702_49681753105711023_o