The next issue of the Digital Education will soon be out. Here's a brief guide to what's in it.Read More
Professor Sarah Younie and her colleagues are undertaking research about, er, research. Do you find educational research useful in your teaching? What would make it more useful? Please take part in a brief survey that is looking into questions like these.Read More
Fotojet is an online design application. Here's what I thought of it.Read More
A lighthearted look at rubrics as a form of assessment.Read More
A comic strip that, for me at least, encapsulates what has befallen the Computing curriculum in England.Read More
Has the Computing Programme of Study been an unequivocal success? In my article It Wasn’t Me Wot Done It, Sir! The Depressing State Of Computing As A Subject, I said that many students were voting against Computing qualifications with their feet, and also that girls were under-represented. Moreover, I stated that the situation was entirely predictable (many of us indeed had predicted it).
In this article I set out what I see as the key milestones in the journey to where we are now. I have included quotes from the sources, and also given the source in each case so that you can check out the sources yourself.Read More
What a fascinating idea: using drones as part of the curriculum. This book tells you much of what you need to know.Read More
The next issue of Digital Education is just about to be published. It includes a chance to get a free book, and a competition. Read on to find out what else is in it.Read More
Here in England, students are voting with their feet: the numbers studying Computing at higher levels are going down. I hate to say "We told you so" but....
It's not as if nobody warned 'them'.Read More
The Computing curriculum doesn't have to sound boring and nothing but coding.Read More
Listen to my interview with Vicki Davis about how to get the most out of #iste17 and other conferences -- and grab my book for £0.99/$0.99 or equivalent (plus VAT if applicable) -- a third of its usual price.Read More
What's my day looking like so far? Main item on my to-do list: don't die from the heat. My most-looking forward to item? Writing the latest issue of my newsletter.Read More
What does the latest research from Besa tell us about who schools listen to when it comes to ed tech product recommendations?Read More
Not everything is a million miles away or up in the cloud, when it comes to education technology.Read More
In my opinion, every teacher should be a researcher, and I think that especially applies to teachers who have some degree of influence of what education technology is bought and used.
- It's important to know what's going on in your field. Imagine going to a doctor who last updated his knowledge ten years ago, or even one year ago.
- If you hope to convince the powers-that-be to spend more money on technology, you have to be able to prove that it works, or at least that it's likely to work.
- Research and reflection are good ways to improve one's teaching. The research part helps to avoid the 'echo chamber' situation in which you only know what's going on in your own school.
- Read the research. This is not always accessible, either because of a paywall or because the language is too abstruse and abstract to be acted on quickly. Solutions:
- Check whether or not your status as an alumnus (assuming you have a degree) gives you access to academic journals online.
- Sign up to my newsletter, Digital Education. I often summarise research and review academic books in that, and it's free.
- Join the Association for IT in Education. Disclosure: I'm on their committee. You receive an academic journal called Technology & Pedagogy in Education, and that's worth a lot more than the subscription fee in my opinion.
- Attend conferences. A very accessible one in terms of cost, location, and down-to-earthness is Research Ed.
- Conduct research in your own classroom. You can do this even in a very quick and easy way:
- Know what the problem is you're trying to solve with the technology.
- Keep a note on what went well, what didn't go so well, and why.
- Get the kids' feedback too. I think having kids evaluate the technology is a no-brainer: they're the ones who are going to be using the stuff! I was pleased that John Galloway advocated this in a discussion hosted by the Guardian Teacher Network recently too.
- Read blogs. Some good ones to start with (apart from mine!) are:
Finally, do share your research and findings, whether from your own research or reading, with other people. If you haven't already done so, start a blog. Or share on Twitter or Facebook.
You might like my article, Education Technology research, and how it's reported
In case you became sidetracked earlier, here's the sign-up form for my newsletter, Digital Education:
8 conferences, and a whopping half price offer. What's not to like?Read More
The EdTechX Europe conference is coming, and I've secured a 35% discount for readers of the ICT & Computing in Education website, and 50% off for subscribers to my newsletter, Digital Education. Read on for more details.Read More
Why taking advice on what to wear for a conference talk isn't always a good idea.Read More
I’ve just read Everyday Sexism [Amazon affiliate link] by Laura Bates. Before I go any further, I suppose I ought to explain why. What does this subject matter have to do with teaching computing and ICT?
Well, I don't think there can be any doubt about the fact that a lot of girls are put off going into computing, whether as a course in school or in their career choices. So I wondered how far the kinds of issues girls face in school, especially in subjects like computing which are seen by too many people as a male preserve, are part of a wider picture.
In many respects this book is pretty depressing. It's bad enough that grown women have to put up with unwanted attention, but children?!
I think girls and women would find the book useful, to help them realise that lots of others experience the same kind of thing. I think boys and men should read it too, to find out how it must feel to be on the receiving end of sexist comments.
One of the things that struck me was the complaint that male teachers say things like, "Come on, you don't want to be beaten by a girl do you?". I can see why girls would feel belittled by that sort of remark, even if it was intended as a lighthearted means of galvanising the boys into making a greater effort.
I remember doing the opposite: saying to the boys in my Computing class that I'd like them to be quiet and let the girls answer, as I'd rather listen to a well-thought out response than some half-baked comment shouted across the room. Was that unacceptable too, do you think?
Most of the book might be described as 'relentless': wave after wave of intrusive and even threatening comments. For me, the best chapter is the last one, because it portrays women as strong and powerful rather than as almost powerless victims.
In this context you might like to read my article, Where are the girls in ICT and Computing?
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When it comes to teaching Computing, who's the real expert in what to teach and how to teach it?Read More