Tag Archives: IDL

Is IDL just another Educational initiative?⤴

from @ The IDL Network

The education system is notorious for its ‘new initiatives’. Understandably, we repeatedly aim to raise attainment by motivating the less than enthusiastic learner, but instead produce short-term solutions that rarely fulfil this expectation. Each decade or so we find that success in engaging the disengaged continues to elude us. Many documents are written, many person … Continue reading "Is IDL just another Educational initiative?"

Climate Change Mitigating Technologies⤴


I had the chance to sit in on the cross-party group on science, in which there were two presentations on the topic, the first from Rebecca Bell, Scottish CCS1 on Carbon Capture and Storage. The second was given by Richard Gow, Drax2 on Bioenergy with Carbon Capture and Storage. The latter presentation called for policy help in rewarding negative carbon emissions, which are an odd omission from the accounting model used in climate change impact measurement.

Both provided a really useful understanding and overview of what carbon emission and capture is about and how it is working, with an emphasis on what is happening in Scotland within a very clear European context. I found the presentations, both neither slick nor sales-focused, extremely engaging and helpful in thinking about CO\(_2\) emissions.

There was a lively and wide-ranging Q & A session chaired by Craig Denham of the RSE. Questions were both technical and social: there was good representation of young people through, for example, asking about the skills required to find careers in CCS. My own question:

For teachers, are there any behaviours they can model for young people that will enable them to take a specific personal responsibility for action in tackling CO\(_2\) accrual in the atmosphere?

I suspect this was a question outside of the scope of the presentations (focusing on individual action) but it was picked up by Craig, which I am thankful for. Richard picked this up first and acknowleged the criticism of BECCS for being remote from personal action but pushed back against this by linking to personal choices such as taking less flights. Rebecca added to that by pointing to transport choices like taking your bike, or wearing a jumper instead of turning up the heating, which are easily modelled and reinforced by educators. She also pointed to SCCS resources related to CfE, and the LfS Scotland resources. I particularly liked the GeoBus Education Resources site which is designed to provide teachers with an introduction to CCS, providing experiments, activities, lessons and homework ideas as well as links to a number of other useful CCS education resources, which are linked to English Key Stage 3 and Scotland’s CfE: this pdf links the resource to the Experiences and Outcomes.

The resources available in the websites of both organisions are very accessible and immediately useful in schools in, for example, projects within the interdisciplinary topic of sustainable energy production. It is particularly warming to see the interest and promotion of positive problem solving through the cross-party group. I am thankful to them for opening up this session to interested parties and applaud the the work being done by SCCS and Drax.


The header image is part of an infographic available at SCCS.

  1. Scottish CCS is “a partnership of the British Geological Survey, Heriot-Watt University, the University of Aberdeen, the University of Edinburgh and the University of Strathclyde working together with universities across Scotland.” 

  2. This is the group that operates Drax Power Station which is moving from coal-fired to biomass and leads on innovation and development in the technologies of Bioenergy with Carbon Capture and Storage (BECCS). 

Context planners for our ‘new normal’⤴

from @ Digital Learning & Teaching in Falkirk Schools

Hi All 

We hope you have managed to enjoy a break in some form over the summer.  As we are all returning to a new normal and finding our feet, we are taking a break from providing CLPL for a short while.  We are working in the background to develop more CLPL sessions and other exciting STEM opportunities which we hope to bring to you later in the term.  For now, we would like to reassure you we are still here for any advice/support you may need, please feel free to contact us. 

We would like to share with you some resources you may find useful in this new normal.  Prior to the summer we worked as a team with all the RAiSE officers across Scotland to produce a resource for use by teachers on return to school.  The reasoning behind the creation of these resources was that pre-summer, there was the possibility teachers could return to a blended learning model.   We set to work trying to provide support for this model.  As it turns out we are not in a blended learning model, however, the resources created are still valuable in the teaching context we now find ourselves with some limitations on group work, resource sharing and potentially lengthy pupil absences.  As a result, we are publishing these resources now for use as you wish. 

These context planners are for Early, First and Second level to include Es and Os from across the curriculum (not just STEM).  The planners provide opportunities and complete resources for: home based learning, classroom working and IDL (Inter Disciplinary Learning) experiences.  Consideration has been given to pupils having to work relatively self-supported, potentially without access to technology and individually rather than in groups for practical work.  These resources could prove useful in completing practical work outside of group work.  They could be used to support pupils in periods of extended absence or fully in a classroom context and simply provide resources for learning. 

Each planner has an overview which outlines the whole context for learning and all the experiences which could be taught.  It shows the Es and Os which would be covered, highlights where tasks could be complete at home and which tasks are IDL.  The links to the resources for these tasks, worksheets, powerpoints, videos are all in the overview. 

Please use an up to date browser to access this resource ie Firefox, Chrome or Edge (not Microsoft Explorer) 

If you are in an up to date browser then you can access the resources by clicking on the images below.  If you are internet explorer then please copy the link to this post into one of the other browsers and then you can click on the images for the resources. 

Early Level

First Level

Second Level

The full resource can be found here. Context planners

Any feedback or questions you have on these please feel free to contact us: Barbara Hanning gw14hanningbarbara@glow.sch.uk or Laura McCafferty gw11mccaffertylaura@glow.sch.uk


from @ Education Scotland's Learning Blog

Small - iOrienteeringiOrienteering allows us as educators to enhance learners experiences of outdoor education through the use of technology. Once set up it will engage learners with Orienteering, develop a wide range of Significant Aspects of Learning, promote IDL and provide you with the context for a flexible learning environment.

So join us on Thursday 8th October at 3.45pm to find out more about this exciting Outdoor Education experience – Register now in Glow TV.

Drops in the ocean⤴

from @ Odblog

Today, we switched the focus of the elective class to the sciences and, in my opinion, our far too understated links with all three. This is a potentially rich vein of engagement that I think we as geographers frequently miss out on. Our subject lends itself so well to many of the practical elements of the sciences and students frequently tell me that they enjoy science "because of the experiments". We have built this learning through experiment and experience into part of the elective and focused on oceans today, using climate change as the context to discuss ocean acidification. There are already some fantastic resources available through the Catlin Arctic Survey and Digital Explorer which we used for the basis for today's activities. We also employed the S3 experiment write up structure that is used in Biology after discussion with my colleague, Mrs Morrison. 
I was confident in teaching part of this theme but wanted to make sure I wasn't teaching bad science, so I invited a colleague, Mr McDermott, to see if we could co-op on this. It's fair to say that we were both delighted with the outcomes. The students conducted experiments comparing carbonated water to still water, using 'sea' water and fresh water which they then carbonated themselves through straws, comparing PH change rate over time and prepared for next week, where we will look at being ocean detectives, followed by a look at ocean currents and how meltwater might influence energy distribution. The student engagement was first class, the learning was pretty much all through enquiry, the context (something that Mr McDermott stressed the importance of in our later conversation) was real and the results were not uniform. This led to anomalies and the realisation that unexpected results are not always wrong results, as long as they can be explained or improved. The concept of oceans as a carbon store was explored, but the real eye opener for me came after the lesson.
When we discussed the lesson from each others subject background, Mr McDermott and I actually learned quite a lot from each. For example, I now know that temperature increase diminishes the ability to absorb CO2 and can therefore link this to skewed results but, most importantly, the increasing acidification of oceans in polar regions. This also led us to discuss methane locked in the seabed and how increasing temperatures are likely to release it which, again, links back to climate change and greenhouse gases. This was hopefully a lesson which students enjoyed and has given me another angle to teach it from when we build on the prior learning next week. I was also sent a link by Jamie Buchanan Dunlop on twitter to this (
http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2013/may/07/arctic-threat-ocean-acidification) which brings a marine biology element to the climate change and when we discuss oceanic circulation as part of the theme, there are ties with physics.  This is a small step towards proper interdisciplinary learning, a drop in the ocean to use an obvious pun, but the possibilities for its expansion seem very real if this is an accurate snapshot of the outcomes.