2017 Retrospective: Index of featured articles

At the end of December 2017 I produced a special Digital Education supplement, a retrospective of the past year in the form of one article from each issue of the newsletter. Here's the list of articles.



Fake news

This in-depth article looked at how fake news is defined, whether or not it’s illegal, how to deal with fake news, plus reports from the USA and UK. The article features an infographic about how to cover fake news in the classroom, and one of the links includes a video of a class in history as a “series of questions rather than answers”.

Link: Fake news revisited


Who’s the expert?

Most teachers aren’t naturally given to singing their own praises, but sometimes we in education really ought to recognise our own expertise. We’ve worked hard enough for it!

Link: Who’s the expert?


Educational research

Is there too much emphasis on numbers? Some people think quantitative research is often favoured at the expense of qualitative research. This is a short article with a few interesting links, and has been revised to include a heads-up about a forthcoming book.

Link: Education research


Randomised lesson plans

The idea isn’t as daft as it sounds. Why not devise a range of ideas that will get the point across, and then select the  work for pupils to complete by using a random selection process -- or let the pupils do so? This article tells you how to do so, and why, and has been updated to include links to other articles which deal with randomness.

Link: Randomised lesson activities


How to change lots of dates at once in Excel

Excel (or any other spreadsheet) is a great tool for keeping track of deadlines. But what if, after entering lots of dates, you realise that they are all wrong by a couple of days? This article tells you how to solve the problem very quickly. It also includes a link that the original article did not have.

Link: How to change lots of dates at once in Excel


5 Must-have conference apps

This is my personal list of favourite apps to have on my phone at conferences and other events. Updated with a couple of further links to even more apps.

Link: 5 must-have conference apps


It wasn’t me wot done it, Sir! The depressing state of Computing as a subject

Why wasn’t it a surprise to learn that girls are abandoning Computing? And why hasn’t anyone ‘fessed up to getting it wrong? This in-depth article explores issues and stats, with plenty of links to related articles. Slightly updated from the original with an additional link.

Link: It wasn’t me wot done it, Sir! The depressing state of Computing as a subject


Exclusive for subscribers! The General Data Protection Regulation

This article flagged up the in-coming General Data Protection Regulation and what it means for schools. There’s a link to guidance, and now an additional three links to useful articles, and an announcement.

Link: What the GDPR means for schools


Recipes as algorithms: food for thought

In this extended article I took a similar approach to that of some book review publications. I used two books as a starting point for a discussion about whether recipes are the most appropriate analogy to use when teaching algorithms, given the implicit biases and assumptions of the latter. This is an updated version of the article in that it contains a few extra links at the end.

Link: Recipes as algorithms: food for thought


A school calculator created with Visual Basic

This article describes my first proper project in Visual Basic: creating a calculator specifically designed to help me manage my departmental budget. Now with extra links to other relevant articles.

Link: A Visual Basic School Calculator


10 things to do when you attend an education technology-related interview

Here are ten pointers to things you might like to ask, and what to look for, when attending an interview for an education technology-related post.

Link: 10 things to do when you attend an education technology-related interview


Digital news

It seemed only fitting to end the 2017 Retrospective, with an article about news and fake news. Thi article looks at the latest research into people’s reading preferences, and their trust or distrust of various media.

Link: Digital news report