Thursday, December 31, 2020
What a year of loss and struggle for so many people. The impact on the economy and on people’s lives won’t really be clear until the end of next year. I know how fortunate we have been in the roles we are in, in that we enjoy a degree of job security and we have been able to help others.
Professionally it’s been great to see staff and learners rising to the challenge of new ways of learning. I work with a great team who have been working flat out.
It’s been great too to see how our two school age children have adapted to online learning and monthly changes in the schooling system - they both miss sport most of all and socialising out of school, but generally their enthusiasm for learning has not suffered. Blended learning really does work.
Personally, it’s been very long hours and dealing too with navigating family illness and the stresses and strains of the new enforced domestic arrangements. We’re so lucky to have a garden and a dog and this space and companionship have kept us all sane. The scottish weather was kind too when we made our great summer escape to Lewis and that made all the difference to recharging our batteries.
Along the way I lost a couple of good pals, in normal circumstances I’d have been present at the celebration of their lives. Watching remembrance services remotely , Zoom meetings and WhatsApp groups just don’t cut it.
I sometimes make predictions for the year ahead - I don’t think I could ever have predicted a year like this.
I hope things get back to a new normal where online learning is embedded in how everyone learns. I hope too we see a new system of national assessment in Scottish schools. We need some better national leadership around this. There is a lot of good learning that could come out of this pandemic. I am ever hopeful.
As the economy changes - I expect to be busier than ever , we have ambitious plans for the year ahead and the demand for digital learning and associated skills are not going to diminish. My inbox is perpetually full with requests for support.
May the New Year bring you and yours good health, happiness, prosperity and a timely dose of Covid Vaccine.
Tuesday, December 29, 2020
I am doing a bit of tidying up and catching up on some posts that should have appeared earlier in the year. What a strange yet busy time it has been. In early November I was asked to contribute to this global conference on assessment. You can find my modest contribution from a College perspective in day three of the proceedings.
Beyond Multiple Choice #BMC2020 ( worth clicking on timestamp below videos to see running schedule)
It was a really interesting conference given the world's reaction to CoVid - suddenly on-line testing came into its own - in ways that may surprise you - if you watch one session have a look at final session of the day about how the national testing system in Scotland is operating and the political pressures around this. It's all about putting the learner at the centre.
My slides below - if you have an interest in following this global community you can join the linkedIn Group.