Monthly Archives: June 2006

Teacher Training Resource Bank

Any UV researchers particularly those working in schools and who want help with resources should head over to this website ttrb offered by the TDA, funded by Microsoft. The online e-librarian is a free service, use it!

This resource came from Marilyn Leask Head of Effective Practice and Research and Dissemination of the TDA in a day long conference at Anglia Ruskin University Chelmsford.

Marilyn started by pointing out that the rate of required adoption for teachers is increasing rapidly. She cited the TVEI initiative in the late 80’sthe first example of the government bypassing the ‘system’.

The big challenge however, is what evidence is there to base changes in practice – a key concern is that changes are based on evidence not anecdote!

The role of teacher as researcher is at the heart of Marilyn’s belief about a key element of teaching but how do they access knowledge that is available, but not being forced to use only established publishers who often see no profit in much valuable research.

Marilyn made the case for a systematic review of the huge body of research evidence out there by the practitioners and researchers working collaboratively to work on projects that are well grounded and substantial. Small scale research does not provide the evidence required on its own, but if co-ordinated and combined with rigorous methodology it can contribute significantly to the knowledge base.

She then ran off a list of other professions who already have large only databases of research to support her argument for an educational database and made the argument for such a resource for education.


Another cool tool!

Another bit of fun, this time from From Cluster Maps. “See at a glance where your site’s visitors are located: instantaneously, even when the numbers are enormous! Visitors don’t need to click on anything: just viewing your page is sufficient.”

I am not sure if this will work fully just embedded in a blog post, I might need to hack my Index page, but we woill see! Thanks to that erstwhile blogger, Nick Billowes of CORE Education for this one:^)

Posting to weblogs

Playing with the integration of NetNewsWire and MarsEdit (found at the same site) which allows the grabbing of content via RSS feeds, working on them in an editor, and then the re-posing to a Blog – a key attributes of a personal learning environment. If it works, this is neat tool I will be using in the future….

Important news below:^)

Rooney & Gerrard back in training: “Wayne Rooney and Steven Gerrard take part in England training at their Baden-Baden headquarters.”

(Via BBC News.)

A collective and collaborative learning model – Barbara Ganley

Keynote from the first UK Edublogging conference.

Some quickly typed notes from the conference….

Barbara central argument was the view that schools cannot keep pace with technology in society. As computer ratios appear to near sensible ratios in schools, the technology has moved along and left the desktop computer behind with the ‘real world’ that school children live in being one of high specification digital phones, texting technology, communication and learning on-the-move!

Barbara detects a backlash against the empowerment that new technologies are bringing. Society at large doesn’t understand new technologies and consequently doesn’t have the ability to talk about it. An example being that email is used to communicate with older generations and those in power – between themselves, they use text, mobiles, etc.

The news is bad, cheating, porn, plagiarism and this results in institutions feeling the pressure to react against it, clamping down on the exciting new opportunities and in effect trying to keep out the real world.

Barbara identified one problem that results in some of the bad news is that children are not encouraged to use technology thoughtfully, but are told to use it mindlessly.

She identifies a rift between what is possible and desirable and what parents and authority want and will allow at this intersection of new and old literacies.

Barbara’s message is to evangelise, be proactive, spread the word, and risk failure. She argues that unless we collectively do this just as the revolution starts to get some legs and run, cultural and institutional inertia will chop its legs off.

I suppose the question is, can we join up these isolated instance of change and build it into something bigger?