To the adage "Never work with children or animals", I would add, "or technology" -- which is somewhat worrying given that I have been involved in educational technology for over 20 years.Read More
If you’ve thought about starting your own blog, but are not sure what to write about or what keeping a blog entails, then a course I’m teaching in December 2019 might be of interest.Read More
If you're serious about blogging, or at least intend to be, you have to do these 7 things.Read More
This article contains details of 20 websites for creating free cartoons and comics, plus Scratch, educational blogging, creating games, old sounds, and the international space station.Read More
Now, I understand this when it comes to a subject like science. I used to say to Elaine, over breakfast, things like:
“My congratulations to you, Sir. Your manuscript is both good and original; but the part that is good is not original, and the part that is original is not good.”
I thought it might be interesting to look at 10 ideas that have gained popularity in the world of educational technology and ICT in recent years, to see if they meet the “good and original" test”. Here are my considered, though possibly opinionated, views.
I don’t know what it’s like living in other countries, but here in England we are fortunate indeed. If I want to have a discussion on any subject at all, I can simply walk into the pub nearest to where I happen to be at the time, where I am virtually certain to discover a self-styled “expert” declaiming about the economy, or what’s wrong with kids today, or how to solve the financial crisis, or whether or not kids should be taught how to programme, or how the entire education system should be put right.
It took me an hour and 29 minutes to write a blog post this morning. Actually, it took me over two hours, because I thought about it last night. Fortunately, the amount of time I spent, which was about 1.5 hours longer than I’d intended, didn’t have too much of an impact on my work schedule, because I did the thinking last night whilst watching TV, and this morning I was the computer by 6am in order to get lots done before I started work.
But why am I telling you all this?
Because when I think of what I need to do to keep my blog updated every day, I realise what needs to be in place for a school blog to thrive. The answer is: a team.
Many years ago there was a television series in Britain called “The Cres”. Short for “The Crescent”, the series followed the day-to-day lives of the fictional residents of a street somewhere in England. Most episodes were engaging and humorous, and made compelling viewing. An article I read this morning reminded me of this, and made me think that a “hyperlocal” blog could work really well for a school.
I know it’s de rigeur to always include links in blog posts: it’s polite, gets you Brownie points with other people, provides a rich and rewarding reading experience, and generally helps make the blogging world go round.
But is always right?
I have found the Never Seconds debacle quite interesting. Story in a nutshell, in case you missed it: nine-year-old Martha Payne writes a daily blog in which she uploads a picture of her school lunch and reviews it. Argylle and Bute Council has some sort of nervous breakdown and issues an edict telling Martha that she isn’t allowed to take photos of her lunch, because catering staff are now in fear of their jobs. As a consequence, Martha’s blog gets over 5 million page views in just a few days, the number of comments on her posts soars from around 30 to over 2,300 in two days, and Argyll and Bute rescind the ban.
I attended a Westminster Legal Forum event about libel reform today, and someone asked whether bloggers were “real” journalists (or something like that). That sort of question implies that bloggers are somehow inferior to genuine journalists. I have to say, however, that when it comes to reporting on education policy, “proper” journalists do not always acquit themselves well in terms of accurate reporting. This was especially true in January 2012 in response to Michael Gove’s speech at BETT.
I’ve always felt a bit sorry for the people whose birthday falls on February 29th – it must be terrible, for example, on your 28th birthday to be given presents suitable for a four-year old. Seriously, though, it must be a bit depressing to have the chance to celebrate your birthday on the proper date only every four years. But this leap year, they can celebrate in style, with a blog post!