Showing posts from November, 2022

Education needs free, safe spaces for creation, collaboration and discussion.

[ P.S. An abridged version of this post was published in TES magazine 22nd December 2022  ] Safe spaces in which Scottish Educators can discuss, debate, share our thoughts, enquiries and practice are few and far between these days. Barely have we had we chance to draw breath post-Covid (no pun intended), but we find we are already diving into a period of National Discussion , examining the findings of a slew of reports and a flurry of thought papers (among them opportunities to redefine the place of the Four Capacities and of IDL in our schools).  In such a time of flux, we would benefit from a safe place to share and explore ideas,  but our options are instead reducing. The Future is behind us Could relics from our recent past be our best shot at establishing grassroots opportunities to collaborate, share and discuss - as Pedagoo provided for a while - regardless of our geographic or digital locale, so that we might optimise this season of reform and renewal? Blogs and Wikis w

Developing Digital Skills for Citizenship

I recently read Stepping into a Virtual Reality Classroom for Teacher Training (  and I was intrigued to see the situation in Myanmar pre-pandemic described in very similar terms to how I have previously described the situation here in Scotland today:  ...teachers often lack not only digital skills themselves, but also the pedagogical breadth to meaningfully engage students in inquiry-based activities that make the most of access to technology The  Myanmar: Connect to Learn  project site details the issues faced by their schools when it came to developing digital pedagogies: It was clear that knowledge, skills and infrastructure were all lacking. The same concerns raised in Scotland. Having just supported an authority with upskilling teaching staff and deploying thousands of devices into the hands of staff and students alike, I feel I have a good understanding of how these three factors impact on education here. The ongoing work being undertaken by a number of organisation

From the Archive (3): Targets I set myself in 2010.

 The following excerpt is from a much longer reflective piece I wrote in 2010 as a student teacher. I've included it below to force me to reflect on how my practice has changed over the subsequent 12 years.

Using Digital Intentionally

Since first appearing here, this post has since been posted on the Education Scotland PLL blog . In my last blog, I asked leaders to think about how they might liberate the minds of their staff teams. To adopt “intention” instead of “instruction” based leadership strategies. The notion of ‘intentionality’ has been at the fore of my thoughts for some time. Whilst discussing the benefits of digital tools, and training staff and students to maximise those benefits, I have been in the habit of asking leaders and teachers about their intended use of digital as part of wider school improvement ambitions. Often, the responses have outlined a drive to integrate digital tools into classroom activity or develop digital literacy amongst staff and students. Recently, though, I was told “I want to see the devices used in every lesson”. It may seem counter intuitive, but I reacted negatively to such all-encompassing digital goals. In another conversation, an early career teacher rightly asked me abo