• Amen:

    “Children shouldn’t be subjected to Teams.”

    @siracusa, ~53 mins into ATP, episode 428

  • Our Professional Learning Community breakfast club continued today with a discussion abut metacognition:

    All good teachers implicitly understand and support the metacognitive development of their students, but too rarely have/take the time to explicitly explore the topic.

  • The first meeting of our virtual Professional Learning Community breakfast club is tomorrow morning. The topic? Retrieval Practice. Want a primer?

    PDF: Retrieval Practice Guide

  • Current favourite tools for teaching Maths (synchronous, remote):


    And good old PDFs with an iPad and Apple Pencil.

  • 2004 - SQA launch SOLAR built on Adobe Flash

    2017 - Flash deprecated

    2020 - Flash ‘End of Life’d

    2021 - SOLAR requires Flash-embedded viewer app

    Scotland needs an open, national conversation about digital/remote assessment. And investment.

  • There is too little talk of addressing poverty, and too much expectation on education to ‘fix’ it:

    Closing the poverty related attainment gap remains a top priority for this Government […]

    – p22, 2021 National Improvement Framework and Improvement Plan

  • Does any country have a COVID-19 education policy other than whether to open or close school buildings? Or have schools/teachers independently adapted?

    “We have had an educator-led revolution in the last year.”

    — John Hattie, Putting Learning First and Centre webinar

  • Disappointing to see the @BBCNewsnight team so poorly present COVID-19 hospitalisation data from the four UK nations.

    The numbers are depressing enough as it is, without giving misleading impressions by comparing four charts with varying scales.

    Newsnight charts of COVID-19 hospitlisations in four UK nations
  • First day back (so to speak) for 2021. Schools have been thrust into remote learning once more, and yet again teachers - doubtless mirrored nationally - are up to the challenge and entirely focused on supporting our pupils. A visceral reminder that teaching is a vocation.

  • Scottish Exam Cancellation Doublespeak

    The Scottish Qualification Authority, our nation’s government-sponsored examination and qualification body, run the vast majority of exams in almost all of Scotland’s schools. That significant governmental bond brings with it both the funding and accountability necessary for its … read more

  • Amazing collection of videos on learning to program with Swift Playgrounds - presented by Sahana, aged 7.

    Swift with Sahana on YouTube.

  • Black Lives Matter - An Educational Perspective

    I thought long and hard before I become the umpteenth middle-aged, white man in a well-paid profession with a good life to pontificate about privilege and the events, both current and historical, that necessitate the Black Lives Matter movement. But I keep coming back to the fact that it’s … read more

  • ResearchEd has cancelled events due to lockdown, and have reacted with ResearchEdHome (@researchEdHome).

    Live now: Helping Students Think Critically about Internet Sources with Daniel Willingham (@DTWillingham)

    A whole month of daily webinars planned so far on Google Docs.

  • Remote learning and teaching is a brave new world for many teachers and pupils (and their parents). That is especially true as classes move towards using live/synchronous lessons.

    Take a breath. Subject knowledge and pedagogical expertise is still the backbone of a great lesson.

  • As a new school term starts, we have rearranged our May In Service day to provide whole school training on virtual learning and teaching.

    Over 100 teachers learning how to use Microsoft Teams using Microsoft Teams. It’s turtles all the way down. 🐢

  • Very strange day.

    Working from home, unwell and isolated, while waiting on some clarity from the SQA.

    Missing an entirely unexpected last day at school for many amazing pupils, and many more also cheated from their chance at sitting their exams.

    Very strange indeed.

  • Great intro to P vs NP-Complete from Jade at Up and Atom:

    Is this thing that doesn’t look like this other thing really that thing?

  • One to One - Reflection

    As a new term begins in a brand new decade, it’s as good a time as any to reflect on technology in our classrooms. I have now worked in my current school for longer that I have been with any single employer; at the start of the 2010s I was Head of Computing. This gave me and pupils in our … read more

  • I wonder how few schools even knew of the existence of SQA Performance Reports?

    Perhaps they should be wrapped into a national QA framework for all schools? Rather than being sold as a service.

    Exam body service ‘benefits private schools’ - Tes

  • Having used simulations at uni, when I first worked with a specialised hardware neural net in ‘94 it felt like unleashing a superpower - and yet now our phones have capabilities almost unimaginable to 25 years ago me.

    The Beauty of Deep Neural Networks - Art of the Problem

  • TL;DR - key to positive wellbeing is getting good sleep and having good relationships.

    UK Department of Education publish a report on Children and Young People’s Wellbeing

  • TES pick one part of a DoE report and run with a clickbait headline:

    TES: Mental health: homework ‘linked to unhappiness’

  • WalesOnline: School completely bans mobile phones and teachers say kids' behaviour changes

    Or perhaps a highly visible and empowered staff are making a positive impact on improving relationships?

  • Equality and Privilege

    A little while back I read an article in the Guardian on gender imbalance in the most prominent roles within the biggest UK companies. A little further reading confirmed that this was not limited to the UK - not that I was surprised. It’s a topic I wanted to explore further for our school … read more

  • Edinburgh schools already have 5700 iPads deployed to staff and pupils, and expanding? It seems 1:1 is officially a thing.