Monday, March 23, 2009

Student Experience of Technology JISC09

A question and answer session on students experience in Higher Education with real students. Chaired by Editor of Guardian Education.

Ex Chair HEFCE ( HE Funding Council England)

Changing world - two years of people who are emmersed in Web2.0 - learners who spend more time on-line than watching TV. At least 70% of 13 year olds have a web presence. New forms of social interaction - much wider groups of friends. Attitudes may be changing learners expect to be more participants in the learning process and greater democratisation a feeling that they can take part and have a say - a more democratic view of learning. The students are generally more proficient than the staff.

The commercial world is providing the kit. Implications for pedagogy and assessement - turning tide on plagiarism for instance is like King Canute -we need new ways of asking questions. We need to encourage critical thinking and robust deep research.

Edinburgh University Persective

E-services - need to support - learning and teaching , socialising , suviving , administration, and researching. Students see this as a holistic whole- they expect on-line services to book student accommodation as well as learning and the rest. Could be hi-tech grannies and low tech 17 year olds. Intake is highly variable. Some students can be quite conservative what you do can't be experiments it actually has to improve the learning experience.

Technology still comes second to understanding your business - what are the obectives of your learning organisation.

Students now have access to primary sources that they never have had before - do staff and students and the system know how to fully exploit this. Need to think about value for money even in learing and teaching we can't keep adding more.

Glamour sales and after sales - youtube, facebook, itunes - might be big mismatch between what is out there and learners experience when they get to a particular department. Students want predicatability and level of service.

We need to share learning resources and systems across institutions to drive real value from a lot of this.

Northampton Example

Lecturers are changing their presentation styles - encourage learners to dig deeper to discourage cut and paste. We use plagiarism software - but to challenge learners to reference their sources properly. We use youtube and on-line video. We use and social bookmarking with cohorts of students - they add new references and help build course reference material. We use google docs and email rather than institutional one. We use text messaging around programme changes. E-Assessment working on policy and guidance across the institution. Accessibility is challenge too. Some students like video conferencing and will use this outwith normal working hours. Look at balance of on-line and printed teaching support materials.

Student Perspective

Third year languages student mature student- started off using to develop language skills -developed network of French friends who wanted help with their English. Then used live Mokka , Babel and other sites with online dictionaries and phrase translators - even come with virtual keyboards that can cope with French characters. Have now taken this informal learning and almost finished degree in French - personal learning network has played major part in this. This practice now been adopted by faculty

Jeff Haywood Vice Principal Edinburgh University Jisc09

Relationship of University to global economy is complex. We now expect students to move around - we reach out to them before they come and we do a lot of technogical mediation before they arrive on campus. When learners arrive they come into a cloud - they can use technology wherever they are on campus. Some universities are now trying to do this on campuses on other side of world which brings even more challenges.

We use virtual campuse in 2nd Life , itunes, facebook we build our reputation and deliver services in all of these spaces. We need support locally , nationally and internationally. Can staff work in distributed way across time zones ?

Interesting challenges in these areas :
  • Digital humanities
  • visualisation ,
  • data storage curation and preservation

  • process and content to mobile devices
  • games and virtual worlds, haptic
  • contribution and manipulation tools
  • e-assessment

  • global identity management
  • security
  • new digital library
  • technology rich spaces

We need to move forward in each of these areas and JISC can help in number of these.

Lorcan Dempsey Chief Strategist OCLC Jisc09

We have built things on a large institutional scale. University Libraries meant building large local collections and to be good you had to have a large pile of good stuff. As transaction costs come down it becomes easier to find things and collaborate there is less need to pile things up locally.
It is also easier and cost effective to outsource things - we should all be asking what business are we in - as the cost of tranactions go down.

Amazon, E-Bay are all about managing large sets of users - mobilising them and connecting them
Customer Relationship Management, Infrastucture, Product Innovation can all be outsourced or changed.

Libraries - need to look at this - How we source manage new information services, online services, repositories , on-line access even physical space for collections and for study. We need to move to more customised and personal services.

Our users work on web scale not institutional scale - this is even beyond national scale that JISC has provided. What are the new information services - are they institutional , national or do we need global services. Do we manage research and learning materials at local level and source all other external materials. Most journals even backcopies beginning to go on line.
But a national scale repository would free up institutional time. Google Digitisation has revealed that Unversities may have a copy of the book but in many cases they don't own the book. Discovery and preservation at local level of special collections is variable.

What local value to we get from this at local level - podcasts, videos, business records , website

Institutional scale is no longer appropriate - we need national and collaborative solutions but we also need more supra-institutional services - global multiscaler - and we are still working through how we get there. Challenge to JISC how you add value by persuading institutions to stop doing so many things locally. 43 Institutions trying to get DSpace to work isn't best way forward.

Juliet Williams Jisc09

Juliet Williams, Chairman, South West RDA

Innovate or die - we need to think unthinkable and look to our current crisis being the driver of our recovery. Social Enterprise can be driven by the technological revolution - there are new routes to market and new markets for products and services - opportunities too for new business models. Smaller Businesses will need to find new ways of partnering.
Education is key to economic competiveness but do we get good value for money - are young people really being prepared for employment and being given skills they need ?. Have we lost sight of what education is. Learning is not compelling enough , learning is a community activity and emancipating - we need culture of creativity and learning and enterprising individuals who can respond to new opportunities.

We need to abandon old pedagogies quickly and look at ways to stimulate creativity and innovation. We need to look at how we fund knowledge transfer and encourage learners to move out from University to lead their own businesses. New Zealand is great model of small country who have taken many organisations out on to the Web. SMEs can gain commercial advantage of using new technologies. In Cornwall new University partnership is working well with small creative companies to change the local economy. Educational establishments need to reach out and be prepared to take more risk at all levels. We need to rethink how we work with the community and commercial organisations.

Latest product an eco-surfboard - bio-degradable with higher performance than traditional oil based boards- about to be manufactured underlicence in number of locations from spin out company.

Higher Education in the Global Economy

I am at pre-conference session of JISC Conference in Edinburgh and I will be summarising sessions. Looking at technological changes and threats today. JISC look after educational infrastructure in Higher Education and their systems underpin Colleges and Schools in Scotland too. I am live blogging may need to come back to tidy this up.

Rashik Parmer Chief Technology Officer IBM
More than money being traded and different things being valued- carbon, IPR, other soft goods.
Moving from a world of data capture to how we unleish all the information to make smarter decisions - in maths, science , social science - new data visualisation tools.
Move towards service excellence - we need to think beyond 6 Sigma quality systems.
Information Cloud, Services Cloud , shared access to information and creation.
Security - How do we protect and manage data exchange.
Hybrid Transformation Systems - Moore's Law keeps going Petaflop Computer and Zitaflop on way supercomputing is will be able to condense Google infrastructure down to 2 or 3 racks in a server house shortly.

How do we inspire next generation to see opportunities in all of this.
We have staff around world working on same data sets.
How do we open up these data sets further - to help HE get access to the tools and datasets that we have. We need to be collaborative and unified to build value.
Shared services and infrastructure needs to move to include middleware and information services.

Challenge in UK we have JANET backbone but we have faced challenges to move passed this level of collaboration. Subject disciplines need to change to take into account service culture . IBM needs bright folk who understand service culture and can design services.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Extreme Sheep LED ART

One Man , His Dog and lots of disco sheep
Some people will get very "animated" about this ;-)

I used to use Herding Cats Video as warm up - may use this next time.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Microsoft and TED Talks look to Future

<br/><a href="" target="_new" title="Future Vision Montage">Video: Future Vision Montage</a>

I had a great meeting with Penny Sim from LTScotland - we used to work together at the Scottish Further Education Unit. It was good to catch up and we shared lots of good stuff - Penny highlighted this amazing talk on TED . It is mind blowing and I knew I had seen some of this somewhere before - I found it tonight - interesting to do a compare and contrast exercise.

Useful input I hope too for the Education 2020 Unconference that is shaping up so well on the Isle of Islay. If you would like to attend an education conference with a difference - I would say this is now the UK's hot ticket for 2009.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Vlogging Life From a Cupboard Somewhere

Following the publication of the Next Generation User Skills Report I was interviewed by Leon Cych. There is a fuller transcript on his blog especially for those who can't understand my Glaswegian accent.

We are just about to announce the what next - which will help with workplace productivity skills in Scotland and far beyond . There has been more interest in the report following the publication of Lord Carter's Digital Britain Report I am very grateful to Leon and colleagues from around UK who have promoted this bit of work.

On most Sunday evenings after the kids go to bed I try to drop into Edtechroundup I nearly always miss most of it- usually too much other homework - I get into the flash meeting for last five minutes - then I make do with looking at the recording and the transcript of the meeting. There is always a useful nugget and above all it is great to hear the struggles and victories of real teachers from across the UK and sometimes from further afield. If you get the chance join us - it will help you carry ideas back into your organisation- or why not have a look at the recorded meetings to give you a feel for Edechroundup and the flashmeeting tool.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Are you certifiable - well are you

A neat set of online tests for know it alls - who may one day go down the open source route but are too cool to actually ever take a vendor certification test.
Eh besides they might fail

Useful game to give to your long in the tooth IT support staff - who know it all anyway - they may have a fight over the answers and the wording of the questions .. when they don't get a high score ;-)

Well done Microsoft. .. Worth a look and a shot too if you have ever been a serious dabbler.

Partners in Learning

I am delighted that Ollie Bray and Musselburgh Grammar School are carrying the torch into the UK Finals of Microsoft Innovative Teachers Award in Reading this week and I have high hopes that they get all the way to Vienna and the final. I think we hear tomorrow.

I hope this story is picked up and put out to all Scottish Schools. The Partners in Learning Portal is coming soon to GLOW and gives Scottish teachers an opportunity to share Virtual Classroom Tours ( lesson plans and online resources) with a global audience. Education isn't about local anymore and it is great to have partners who understand this.

If you teach you should have a look at the innovative teachers forum and best of luck to the East Lothian Guitar Heroes.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Singularity University

Singularity University

On the day we hear that the bosses of the Royal Bank of Scotland and The Bank of Scotland lacked any formal banking qualifications.
Worth looking at these programmes from this new University - the challenges facing all of us are complex and multi-disciplinary and there is some interesting thinking going into the shaping of these programmes. The next big universities will be based anywhere - not just the ones we know already.

Posted using ShareThis

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Technology January

I just use the stuff - don't ever bore me with binary or any other technical aspect of the stuff .
I can usSee full size imagee it and if forced I can talk it - and if it is interesting then I have probably already had a go at it .
Never imply that you have to be terrifically clever to
a.Operate the stuff.
b. Control anyone else's access to the stuff.

Since Christmas two things have delighted me - I am really enjoying Apple TV . It seamlessly plugged into back of our TV and picked up our wifi - we actually don't use 80% of it's functionality but late night with a glass of wine watching last 10 years of family photos with Ken Burns Effect on, with our music from i-tunes playing as a sound track it is hard to beat.

The other thing that looks great is gmail voice and video chat. I have high hopes that we will soon be able to build an e-portfolio out of google aps. I was very impressed with it this week when I had a chat with Leon Cynch . There is some great coverage of BETT on his blog too.

BETT 09 Reflections

BETT is now two weeks behind me . Plea to organisers - you must have free wifi that works next year. I could have summed up by Friday of event.

Ollie Bray has spent a lot of time and thought and captured a lot of the technology I looked at on way around as has Andy Black from Becta. You can pick up a lot of buzz from a google search, technorati search or twitter search for BETT09.

Things have stuck with me

1. Patricia Wastiau, Principal Adviser – Studies & Development, European Schoolnet did a wonderful presentation all around why and how we get the learner to drive learning and our education systems - we need to move from content based to skills based curriculum. BECTA represents the UK in European Schoolnet.
2. Ricardo Semler, CEO of Semco and author of best-selling book ‘Maverick’ and ‘The Seven Day Weekend: Changing the Way Work Works’ - did a session that started with current teaching skill set and knowledge has been superceded ( so compelling that some education folks walked out as his presentation got into full flow ! ) Ricardo painted future of project based learning designed around the needs of the learners but still within a national curriculum. He has turned around education - interesting too that Brazil and South America have led on a lot of educational thinking. Is he the next Frierie ? where are the Scottish thinkers and doers ?
3.Andreas Schleicher, Head of Indicators and Analysis Division, OECD PISA, gave a stunning presentation on how quickly education is changing across the world - if you get a chance watch this - South Korea and some new ascension states in Europe all catch up with Finland while USA and UK stutter - I was most impressed on these stats with Australia progress in creating strong vocational system also really obvious.
4. Microsoft, Cisco and Intel - have started project with OECD to look at global curriculum and assessment models - worth watching this space - you'll see our own Ewan McIntosh on front door too.

5. The determination that exists in England to get broadband and a computer into the homes of every learner and to close any digital divide - more evidence of this - this week.

It was great to see strong Scottish contingent of real teachers at Teachmeet BETT 09. Only sorry I couldn't stretch my stay out any further - it was useful to have a stand at BETT and be able to offer a base for folks. We did very well on building up international and business links and I am sure this will be reflected in more posts over the year. I am still closing off actions. We offer a broad range of awards and have centres across United Kingdom - a fact that is little known in Scotland and seldom reported.

This was a good BETT and believe me there have been some pretty ropey ones in the past.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Saturday, January 24, 2009

BBC Won't Broadcast DEC Gaza Charity Appeal

For the first time in 43 years the BBC refuse to Broadcast a video form the International Disasters Emergency Committee. I couldn't find it on youtube or it would be appearing here.

Here is official line why public sector broadcasting in UK cannot support the International Community. Shame on you.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Yeah Friday

With best of intentions I did whole week at BETT last week and have been hammering through meetings this week and had a day in London today. I'm not catching up..
My wee brother sent me an image last night from a wall in Krakow that I'm going to stick on a t-shirt. A hero -it cheered me up no end.

Now I am going to eat Haggis mostly and drink whisky and see if I can stop working My twittering , friendfeeding, blogging, thinking about the future of education has got me pretty frazzled..

Looking forward to Homecoming Burns Night Dinner on Monday at Oran Mor great spot in west end of Glasgow.

Last year I posted an image of Red Rabbie - this year Marty ..
A man's a man for a' that..

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Wednesday BETT Last Session of Learning and Technology World Forum

Not live blogging as I can’t get on to the “free wireless” at BETT09 ( next year I’ll bring a dongle or a satellite dish) -session starts with video coverage from last few days – now available on Forum Website - presentations from last three days to be available too.

Learners Voice

Students presentation – voices from around the world . Have you asked the learners what they need in terms of ICT support or have you already decided ? – Have you given your learners a voice in this domain ? ( nice questions and I think in most countries at this level the answer is no, non, nein , niet etc)

Challenges for coming year from students across Europe – to ministerial audience.
You are all spending lots of money on big projects but maybe more small ones might have more impact – this has been lessons from the Internet small startups succeed....
People who run system don’t use social networking or games or any of the new things –means the models are still very top down and often not appealing to learners.
As you restructure the curriculum make sure that how to use new technology is part of this.
Now a days most parents work across Europe – but you still need parent child dialogue – many of students surveyed got into technology because of their parents .
New assessment criteria needed to free teachers to be more experimental
Can education be allowed keep up slow change we really need radical innovation
Change needs international collaboration – national systems are not really doing this yet
Why can’t education system work across borders – why not have a global curriculum.

Everyone is a learner now – and systems should reflect this – standard specifications needed – we can change and pick up knowledge and skills on-line when we need them.

What a great set of learners, I'm biased, I agree with most of this.

David Blunkett

If we had money the banking sector is getting now – too often we pretend we understand technology when perhaps we don’t Dolphin Pen mentioned and all technology for learners with special needs Learners who were excluded being included all over the world.

70 countries ministries represented at the Forum – Education Ministers should be able to use technology to make connections – directly. Thanks to Andrew Pinder for his great work - he is stepping down from BECTA.

Learning Grid planning started in 1998 Ed Balls and Jim Knight have done a lot but we still have not overcome digital divide – to ensure what is available in homes of wealthy is also available in homes without the means to access this learning. We need homes linked with school, college and university. We need to change procurement policies to let new innovative solutions in to the system there must be better ways of virtually providing a set of learning tools to every learner.

Will be announcements on further UK developments on Broadband – the world is opening up and we need to make it work for all learners – we need to simplify the way we speak about technology so everyone can understand it.

Ed Balls invites us back to World Forum Next year and hope is that we will all use conference on-line forum to help plan next years event.

Next dinner with Microsoft

Dinner at World Forum

Tipping last Tuesday's notes into blog -

Great music and dancing display from London pupils. Useful exchanges with Becta Directors and
Caught Chris Yapp – need to follow up around NGUS Report.

BECTA have done us proud with this event.- well done Doug Brown and team - some really useful networking – both with UK and International delegates. I am looking forward to reading Laurie O’Donnel’s take on ministerial stream.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Teachmeet and Teacheat

I was sorry not to get along to both of these events but happy to offer some sponsorship.
I am relieved to hear that Teachmeet at next year's Scottish Learning Festival will be on a normal school night and not a Friday.

You can get a flavour of teachmeet here and teach-eat too if you want to check out who can stick a whole pizza in their mouth at once.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

BETTO9 The UK Educational Technology Fair

I'll post more over next couple of days as I come back down to earth from what is always a very busy week in London . BETT is always a bit unreal sometimes portentous of a better reality and sometimes frankly it can be bit nightmarish too. One year electronic tagging of learners seemed to the fore ;-)

This year I think was a good one - there was a lot of content worth more than a second look, there were still all the electronic whiteboard peddlers but content rather than the technology was more to the fore.

There was an announcement from Microsoft, Cisco and Intel of a partnership to look at 21st Century Learner Skills and Assessment.
Cisco Press Release
Microsoft Press Release
Intel Press Release

(We stuck to Next Generation User Skills - we thought this was bold enough. In 1908 did they really know the skills we'd need in 1998 or even 1914 - Sample - 1908-1914 First Model T Ford, Movies with sound and Ecstasy were all developed in this period )

I can confidently predict that more educators or those who are interested in moving learning on a bit quicker will start using Twitter - was great as last year to meet with in real life or follow all the educational twitters around Bett - search for #Bett09 , #tmbett09, #bettr09 and you get a flavour both of the event itself and some of the great fringe events. Teachmeet and Bettr.

I got lots of detail on how the Home Access Programme will work to ensure that those who are digitally excluded have home access to broadband and a device/laptop in England.

As last year my days were filled with meetings our education vendor partners and others - who do so much to support vocational learning in Scotland and around the world. I have a few specific updates to follow.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

@LATWF London

Wireless went down at 5.30 last night - I am guessing network technicians went home and they closed the door - last sessions were great presentation from Alaska on redesigning the curriculum and from Commonwealth Countries on challenges they face.

Worth having a google for @LATWF there are couple of bloggers and more twitteratti here too.

Richard DeLorenzo, Leader in education reform and organisation restructuring
Mmasekgoa Masire-Mwamba, Commonwealth Deputy Secretary-General

Some key points..
Current status of schools in America - Schooling for all but only learning for some
Need leadership to embrace ambiguity and dissent -
Dealt with these challenges.
Unemployment in Alaska 52.3%
One College graduate in 20 years
50% of teachers leave every year.

Richard has taken seriously under performing school system and turned it around and written a book about the experience

Delivering on the Promise: The Education Revolution
Challenges in Commonwealth could fill a book -talk highlighted the inequalities but fantastic ambition that burns brightly.

Then informal buffet and networking.

This morning we were all buses out to schools in the London area I picked one that works with 5-18 years olds with profound Autism. Whiteboards and e-learning resources have had a dramatic impact on these learners. Really humbling. This afternoon is looking at library, museum and other learning infrastructure - I am foregoing to get through day job.

Monday, January 12, 2009

What is 21st Century Skill Set and how do we organise for it

Frank Green CEO of The Leigh Technology Academy(s) a visionary was Principal now CEO

Have rebuilt building to support changed delivery strategy

A trust that now runs two schools - in Dartford - year in six modular chunks - 6 reports per year
Vertical Tutor Groups - not age groups - children learn best from other children year or two older - this operates top to bottom tutor group year 1 to year 6 20 of them in one form class.
Vertical Curriculum - year 1 and 2 work together , year 3 and 4 work together
Double size spaces 60 children three teachers - much more like a primary environment
Runs a Mac environment - wireless and open to learners to bring in their own devices
You prepare lessons in a team and you make most of ICT Resource
Lessons children don't like are from teachers who haven't adapted new ways of teaching - and we monitor this.
Every teacher now needs to be a learner too..
Only move away for art, PE/Sport and workshop activity.
We use technology extensively across the curriculum it is not an option in this environment
Vocational Programmes - run large number of programmes
Schools within Schools to work at human scale
Industrial Links with all areas of learning
would like to be a consumer led school and get rid of timetable.
Students will ask for lessons when they need them - learners access learning 24-7
Teacher becomes your educational GP - on hand to help you when you need it
Deals with pupils who have failed 11+ in this area ( still in operation in this bit of England)
FE and HE Providers start having presence in schools - some learners are already ready to start programmes in these areas before they leave school

Gap national curriculum in England all about content but what employers want is all hard and soft skills. Example we have more science labs in UK Education than almost any other country but we hardly use these for practical things - we only have three labs but when they use this space they are doing lab work. - New focus has improved results.

Cisco needed 1.5 million network engineers so they developed Cisco Academy . They could not wait for education systems around the world to change.

Curriculum upgraded every 6 months
Assessed on-line when you are ready along with a practical portfolio to evidence other skills

You might need a learning network in the future but do you even need schools in the future.
Ones that survive might look at this - some examples -

High Tech High, Alameda Community Learning Center, New Tech High Foundation, The Big Picture Company, Australian Science and Mathematical School (ASMA)
Could be argued that best school in America takes in drop-outs and has no timetable

I'd add Islay High School as model to look at ;-)

ICT in Education Global Philanthropic Perspectives

A session on what and where are the Global philanthropic initiatives in ICT
Rough Notes ..

Good news we work with these and more in Scotland - but couple we have not hooked up with.

Dawn Foundation Charles Hawkin ?? Canadian Charity based in Montreal - failure of education to develop young people for a global knowledge economy. 200 million dollars in a delivery platform working with 50 schools across Globe in next 24 months will - can't find this in Google.?
Uses Cisco's teleprescence network
Building a global classroom ( Cisco, Panasonic, Dell)Chicago , State of Illinois

Anne Rochelle Nokia Design
What are the unmet needs of the users - anywhere anytime learning and handheld learning and other ways to achieve this. Have an evidence base to help lead thinking working with partners - Pearson Education Mobile Learning Institute takes technologies into schools to create new system - 50 hours of staff development to show teachers how to use the technology. Materials are developed and shared by teachers and pupils - In South Africa a gaming programme developed for mobile phones around the science education. In philipines one million learners use a cell phone learning network and work with International Youth Foundation . Looks like content is with Pearson Education Foundation

Bill Fowler CISCO Learning
Equipping every Learner for 21st Century
As employers Cisco demand a different skill set and engaged for this reason.
In Morocco,Mexico, Jordan, Egypt and lots of places who can see how technology can change things quickly.- students are really the same the world over - Cisco goes out to find partners in countries and then works with the country to help them meet their needs. New Programme in Africa ..Teacher without Borders,

Dr Martina Roth Intel Director Global Education Strategy
Work in specific way to contribute at national and globla level - work in public private partnerships, Teacher Training project based learning and work with acadmia to get innovative thinking included not just research and development -
We offer number of programmes - 6million teachers trained in imprroving use of technology in the classroom
IntelTeach Programme and
IntelLearn Programme
We run biggest Maths and Science Competition in the World ( 1500 finalists 50 countries 4million scholarship.
IntelHigherEducation Programme 200 universities and 34 Countries
Will be announcement tomorrow from CISCO INITEL and MIcrosoft on more help for teachers and learners

Microsoft Partners in Learning Paul Goris ??
106 Countries - has touched 125 million teachers goal to reach 250 million aim to get pupils better access to technology and actively promote teacher skills and to promote leadership skills. Innovative Schools , Innovative Teachers and Innovative Students. Hope communnity of teaches sharing resources teaching materials not just ICT in the classroom. grow to around 10 million, we have an awards ceremony every year - this year in HongKong, Schools and pupils will have access to this next.

Oracle Education Foundation Director - Orla Nichorcora
Thinkquest for primary and secondary schools and Oracle Academy for Higher Education
Thinkquest now being used fairly extensively with global competitions - materials go back into Thinkquest library get 30 million hits a month used extensively. Partner with organisations and governments around the world. Working with Egypt, Jordan and other big global initiatives.

"Mark" from Pearson Education Foundation
An education company more than a technology company

They all take general programmes and try to make it sustainable - host countries need to have appetite to make transfomational change - all look for organisations willing to engage with multi-stakeholder partnerships and who understand the needs of their own learners.

Teacher Training Resource Bank

TTRB is a trusted repository and makes available a professional knowledge base to raise practice in teacher training to ensure that teachers and teacher trainers improve their own practice . The site provides an evidence base for people to change their practice. The database pulls together evidence and research on teaching and learning and the use of technology in the school space. The sources are from national stakeholders in England. ( HE, BECTA, Future Lab, Teachers TV, ITTE, GTC(England) ELearning Reports and many more)resources are mapped on to the teacher training standards in England.

Site contains orginal research and provides reviews of research and suggests key implications. Review of research. Reviewer get paid for this and part of their own professional development.

This aims to become one authoritative source for this. Supported by Training and Development Agency in Schools, Lighthhouse Education, Canterbury Christ Church University, Institute of Education, British Education Index. Quality assured content

The information and resources here will be used for teachers CPD as well as those coming in at entry level. Even comes with an e-librarian who can help with specific defined questions.

Site has been live for five years around 100,000 views per month
16,000 registered users - aim of session to promote international use - wonder if this is used extensively in Scotland ?

Big question how does evidence impact practice in your national system.

@LATWN 2009 Session One

pinching image from Andy Black who is sitting beside me. Image is of Andreas in full flow.

Doug Brown says hello to international audience -( just met Laurie O'Donnell from LTScotland , Stuart Robertson and a few other familiar Scottish faces over coffee we should do this more often in Scotland) In chair for event will be Willie Roe new Scottish Chair of Skills Development Scotland.

Stephen Crowne CEO BECTA says hello and introduces Andreas Schleicher to talk about OECD PISA study - best power points I have seen for while he is using latest statistics package for graphical explanation of statistics. Some great movements depicted - will be available through forum website.Australia get large number of people through vocational education at a relatively low cost. Have seen and heard this stuff before but very good presentation.

The skills that are easiest to teach and test are the ones that are less and less in demand. We fill people with content but not applied skills in real situations. Called Routine Cognitive Skills - we need job that involves non-routine cognitative skills - these are skill sets needed and the jobs that cannot easily be moved.

We need to assess how people solve problems work with others, coordinate and manage - how we synthesise find parters and solutions. Debate moves to Skills for 21st Century - how quickly can you become a specialist how fast can you evolve and adapt and solve new problems this is real test.

Evaluation and Assessment systems need to change - identified as driver of change.

UK - High Average Performance but Low Social Equity - some countries have achieved High Educational Performance and High Social Equity.

Finland debate on teachers rewards and fact that teachers play large part in developing the system - much more engaged - a lot of local responsibility but still national system . If you get accountability systems right teachers drive educational reform and quality at a local level. Best systems have teachers who can make strong professional judgements at a local level. Not direct relationship either between investment in systems and performance of systems

Monitoring will continue through to 2018, individual , institutional and systematic factors
harder how do you measure growth between primary and secondary schools. How do we bridge gap between formative and summative assessment. PISA uses computer delivered dynamic assessments will be fully implemented by 2012 - you get tailored adaptive assessment.

All about how assessment can change if we want a better system - what I signed up for when I came to SQA - I still wonder how much schools and universites are ready for the major change in assessment system that needs to take place - we'll see as we push ahead with Curriculum for Excellence.

Learning and Technology World Forum

Over next two days I will blog around what is happening at the Learning and Technology World Forum organised by Department for Children Schools and Families , BECTA and DIAS this is an invitation event for global educators - planned to run before many of attendees will move on to BETT. This is great idea and would be useful to do on back of Scottish Learning Festival.

Day 1 8am we get briefing on English education system structures, agencies, policy drivers - huge wall of information for 8am. Hope these slides are available later.

Mark Briscoe BECTA - "Childrens Plan" and plan for "World Class Skills" are key policy documents main drivers will be that local centres will choose what technologies to use - money to be invested at local level less central funding from government initiatives.

Shift from ringfenced funding to local decision making - one remaining push home access 300 million pounds being devoted to buy equipment for households and families who are being digitally excluded. Expectation that education system will be able to reach into every household how this happens will be planned at local level.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Twitter What , Why and Who I Follow

I see John Connell , tongue in cheek , is pondering why we blog and Tim Buckteeth (sic) is looking for the three reasons why we use twitter.

I am amazed that at the moment three hundred people now choose to follow me on Twitter - though I don't do regular trawls through the follow list - it may be that the list is full of automated spambots of one kind or another. You know waiting to steal my id or tell me unprompted about latest bestest thing I don't want to know about. At least up until this point I have had no tweets of the kind I get spammmed with in my inbox. I am receiving no kind offers of friendship, surgery or non-prescription stimulation.

However, I do know from the feedback I get that there are some great real people on the list too who have offered many kind and helpful comments - and if you can be bothered reading this thanks for the follow.

Why and What I Post

I tweet (I hate this term) about the daily grind and excitement of working deep inside the educational establishment , domestic fun and when I find a tool or site that looks interesting.

If it needs more explanation or I feel I might want to go back and look what I am saying later - I use a Blog Posting for this. If I analyse my twitter use further I'd say -

The daily grind -tweets - are to relieve the monotony ;-) but I usefully get feedback from kindred spirits and good ideas too from round the globe and from those in Scotland who pick up what is going on.
Domestic fun ones are usually aimed at few folk who follow me locally in Glasgow
The when I find a tool or useful something- is when I hope I give back to my PLN.

Why and Who I follow

I follow far more folk on twitter than I do say with Google Reader or other RSS reader and my network now extends far beyond people I know or was aware of through my interest in learning -I think this has been main impact of twitter.

Unfortunately for my sleep patterns - I have always suffered from an eclectic nature I have just finished a stint looking after half of all the vocational areas in Scotland -my brain is packed with every imaginable occupation and their training and development needs . I also looked after Core Skills so I am interested in how we engage with vulnerable learners too and the development of core and soft skills in life long learners.

Who I follow is in reality pretty erratic - I set out to follow those in my immediate area of interest which is vocational learning and assessment ( I take this to cover on-line learning , e-portfolios, vles ) and new work/life skills like digital literacy and anyone who looks to have found ways to turn around the learning and teaching paradigm.

I am interested in business, social change and entrepreneurship at all levels. I do believe that education is about income earning and I do believe that entrepreneurship is catalyst for change. If you are Scottish or UK twitterer in one of these groups likely to get a follow.

But I love fun , travel, music and mucking around with technology and I may be following you just because one day you said something that caught my eye on Twitter Search.

I stay with you if you have conversations I am interested in and tweet occasionally - if you document everything in your life and broadcast to all rather than use direct messages to your closest followers - or suddenly become some sort of sales person then I quietly drop the follow.

Monday, January 05, 2009

New Year Message and New Job

I had one of those familar conversations over Christmas with an HE Edtech who is giving up and going back to medical research. He reports that 10 years on and there is still too much research and papers based on 10 learners using pretty basic tools - was discussion forums now some web2 tools but not transformational and delivery in most UK HE still stubbornly the same. Same picture painted of HE Education research on use of Educational Technology in Schools and in Colleges ( I have hardly ever seen any informed research on edtech and vocational learning in UK from UK HE) - with noble exception of OU who I think are miles out in front on delivery side.

Made me look again at last year's predictions
I don't see huge movement in any sector I am enjoying twitter and maybe it will be tool to at least open more folks eyes to all that could be done to transform learning and I'm going to do my best to get more folks on board in my new role as Head of New Ventures at SQA.

Officially I started in post in October but now as new office comes together I think things can start getting underway - watch this space.

Seven Things and Happy New Year

Laurie O'Donnell has tagged me asking me to list seven things about myself others might not know ( not to mention may not be very interested in ) Looks like a useful way to enter the blogosphere in the new year. I have also been asked to tag some others.

Here are seven things I can acceptably share ;-) I'll save the darker secrets for the memoir.

1. I have worked in secondary schools, further , higher and community education.
2.I've danced on Top of the Pops Studio in audience and appeared in an episode of Grange Hill
3.I've been juggled inside a barrel in my kilt on stage at the Beijing Opera
4. I've made a Sun headline and a court appearance for sending off a head butting player as a rugby referee
5.I have worked all over Scotland but I have always stayed in the same area of Glasgow - The St Mirren end of Paisley Road.
6. At various times I have served on the NILTA, ALT , JISC Boards and committees at UK level and I did a stint at the Scottish Funding Council looking at the ICT development needs of Further Education Staff in Scotland.
7. I believe people are innately clever, inquisitive achievers, but that the expectations and structures in most life long learning systems do not serve them well - the next wave of change will be a global curriculum in some areas and that will really challenge the established order - goodie ;-)

And can I tag - Bobby Elliott, Noel Chidwick, John Edmonstone, Walter Patterson, Nick Morgan, Andrew Brown and Neil Winton and forgive me if you have been tagged already.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Digital Literacy The Next Generation User Skills Report

We are always looking for what next especially in the computing and ICT area. There is a minefield still to be sorted out around who teaches young people and adults the basic skill set they need to be digital citizens. Many of the people who inhabit the blogosphere assume that everyone under a certain age are already growing additional thumbs to cope with all the technology they use and those who teach in the computing area feel they are natural deliverers in this gap. There is also no consensus around what the basic skill will be for adults.

Most studies show we are not adopting technology in efficient ways and that we do need support in learning the basic skill set. It is also the case that as technology becomes ubiquitous it will not solely be the job of learning technologists to ensure that citizens can bridge the digital divide. In Scotland we have a productivity gap in the workplace - which higher order ICT skills could help close.

The starting point needs to be trying to define these.

The Next Generation User Skills Report has a look over the short range horizon. It looks at developments in US , Europe rest of UK and looks at defining a basic set of skills and identifying the gaps that exist in provision. It does not tackle the who and the how.

We are going to use it to help us shape what we put into this space. In Colleges and the workplace and we will share it with our colleagues who look after the assessed element of the Schools Curriculum in Scotland. I think there is a lot in this report for policy makers in the rest of UK . We hooked up with an ambitious project in Yorkshire and Humber to help give us the UK perspective that we needed. I am really grateful for the work that David Kay, Bob McGonigle, Barbara Tabbiner and Walter Paterson put into this.

A really useful Christmas present. We launched the research on Friday at Heads of Computing Conference for Scottish Further Education. More details on what we offer in this space can be followed on the SQA Computing Blog and the official SQA Computing home page.

Love of Education: A Shifting Paradigm - for LeWeb08 by Robin Good

Education can change any time we want.
I hope next year there are a few more Scottish voices like Robin Good's - I like the bit at end on -the rise of the professional independent educator - I have seen folks like this come out of the UK College and Univesity system . Ewan Mcintosh probably first export like this from Scottish School system and I think watching the blogosphere we have couple more in the making.

I am still not sure about how many of those in school system are ready to drive through changes required.

A few more talking heads like this from across Scotland would do lots to stimulate dabate. It sure beats more dissertations on comparative education systems.. or blogs about why change can't happen.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Microsoft Innovative Teachers – UK and European Competition Details

I am going to circulate this through some more official channels. This email arrived today to ask that SQA and LT Scotland get news out. A number of Scottish centres and teachers benefited from earlier rounds of the Partners in Learning Project. Here is hoping we get some bodies to the European Finals and on to the World Final this year. If you twitter or use an rss feed reader - then why shouldn't you be first to know.

The details of the UK virtual competition can be found by joining the Innovative Teachers Network (ITN) at The top ten entries will be invited to the UK Innovative Teacher Forum to be held in Microsoft Reading on 20 th February 2009 to share ideas and for selection to go forward to the European round (travel and expenses will be paid by Microsoft).

The ITN contains further details of the competition, examples of best practice and a forum to discuss the competition and pose questions. Entries will be sought that demonstrate technology making a difference in the classroom, are innovative and are transferrable in enhancing the learning & teaching practice of other teachers. The closing date is 1 st February 2009 .

A selection of teachers from the UK competition will go forward to the European Forum to be held in Vienna on March 24 th – 26 th (travel and expenses will be paid by Microsoft). UK teachers will be able to share best practice with others from all over Europe and also compete for places at the world final to be held later this year (this year’s world final was held in Hong Kong).

Friday, December 05, 2008

Tennent's Lager

Hey it is still good and an interesting study in denotation and connotation.
I can see why I liked this advert then and I still like it - those crafty corporate advertisers or was the guy in advert giving the finger to the Saatchi Bros and coming up for job at Leith Agency.

Scotland - The Homecoming 2009

We're doing our bit at SQA with a Burns Supper in January and more stuff through the year . Not sure about celeb version of this I liked it better when it advertised my then favourite lager.

For international audience if you find a way to escape the credit crunch then next year is a good one to visit Scotland. The Tartan Carpet is out

Open ID not enough

Just a wee footnote - yesterday I Pete McCudden I am looking at how to secure big internet experience for young people. I am not sure if there is any other work going on in this area in Scotland. Pete is happy that I post his contact details

Open ID means you only need one password for everything but we still can't authenticate with any degree of certainty who you are. Systems like Netidme give us more of the authentication we need around who we are dealing with on-line. They have system that works for big people and a parent/guardian hook up for the under 16s.

I am looking at it from point of view of delivering assessments and perhaps having trusted communities for learners. Info will also feed back to Internet Safety qualfication.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Networked Student

Useful think piece for those who want an example of how all the bits fit together.

It's from Wendy at link arrived in a tweet and I was eating my porridge - so sorry for no plug - we've got some folks working like this but still a tiny minority in UK

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Curriculum for Excellence

The results of consultation are published today and we now move into the development phase for the qualifications. I spoke to Roderic Gillespie today and he is looking for Curriculum Specialists, Policy Managers , Technical Editors to form teams that will build the awards on what has been done to date.

No small challenge - I've done it twice as a practitioner in my own subject area. Those who carp contructively and loudest about the system can sometimes be best at engaging with this. Reform like this does drive change in system and while there will be lots of consultation as developments start moving forward, it always beats being a spectator, unless of course your contribution to education is to be a perpetual critic ;-) and hey we need you too.

I've just got my fingers crossed we make the system a bit more vocational this time.

If you read this and may be interested in leading on design of qualifications in schools please contact and he'll let you know what lies ahead.

I can't believe Standard Grade isn't disappearing any faster and I'm sure most things will be built to accommodate e-portfolios and roll on and off e-assessment.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Moon For Christmas

I was wondering what to do for my 100th blog post as a reborn blogger. Out of the blue Noel Chidwick my blogging partner from 00-03 got in touch.

Now the founder of the New Curiosity Shop He was the first guy I knew who worked with Moodle in UK and walked the walk - he left security behind to set up virtual education services.

He is not edupunk but eduprog. Check out and progressive in all he does.

Here's Noel's Christmas message.

'Here’s something to get you into the Christmas spirit - pop along to our band website

And play the video of our new Christmas song ‘We're Going to the Moon For Christmas’. - See if you can work out which one is supposed to be me.

It’s relentlessly chirpy and will have you humming along to the chorus all the way home – Noddy Holder eat your heart out.

We’re giving it away for free, so you can stick it on your iPod, but we are also asking folk to contribute to UNICEF – there’s a link to the UNICEF site alongside the song.

Oh, and it is educational too – you’ll learn all about the Apollo 8 mission, 40 years ago this December.

Turn up the volume as loud as you can!

Best of all, forward this message to anyone you know.'

Even as an old punk I find it hard to beat this worthy and creative message.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Shaping Scotland's Digital Future

I promised I would wait to see what was reported about Shaping Scotland's digital future before I blogged about it. In the event the coverage in Herald and Sunday Herald only scratched surface of the event which covered a lot more than was reported.

Here are bullets from my 15 minute slot on podium at Glasgow Science Centre.

- there is a clear skills and confidence gap among deliverers in schools , colleges and workplace in adopting best practice in integrating digital tools into teachng and learning.
-in some sectors this holds back potential innovation in delivery and assessement
-learners and industry would like assessment on demand but to a national standard intelligent use of ICT could deliver this and does not have to be an objective test ( yuch)
-Provided that evidence is authenticated, valid and reliable we can already and do accept evidence in most mediums. The sector chooses how they want to assess. ( evidence on youtube, flickr, blog. wiki all possible see SQA guide to assessment and SQA Assessment 2.0 papers.) It will be good to see greater innovation coming through Curriculum for Excellence in school sector.
- Our challenge is from OfComm we are a nation of consumers of rather than a nation of creators and this needs to change
- We have one of best qualified workforces but lowest productivity in the world
-We need to move from passive transmission models of learning and more broadly top down ways of working to much more active and contributory states both for those in learning and those in the workplace.
- We need to challenge belief that low tech industries should be low tech workplaces- there is not an industy in Scotland which is making the best use of technology.
- ended by asking audience about what they do as well as belonging to social network ( audience mainly young digital natives)
- How many of them googled the speakers before they came along today.
How many thought about managing a digital identity
Had multiple identities
- use msn , twitter or other for more than personal close friend activity
Used virtual worlds as well as Bebo, Facebook etc
Shared creations more than their identity
Images created through Flickr or other
Music mixes , music that had composed
Publshed video from their telephones
Used delicious or digg and other collaborative tools to help with you learning

Interesting and reflecting the Ofcom study most of audience were happy consumers but not active creators. They need more support to build their personal learning networks.

We have just completed a UK study on Next Generation User Skills which we'll stick into this debate shortly.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Dr Mark Milliron

Hands up Clap you hands and clasp your hands - what thumb ends on top.
Either your right or left thumb this is natural . Try and do it the other way around and it feels very odd - Some nice hokey left brain right brain chat as warm up. Read to end for conclusion.
Best books on changes we are facing.

"Hot Flat and Crowded " Thomas Friedman is a depressing read but read last chapters what needs to change gets more optimistic.
"Who's Your City" Richard Florida - place is more important and quality of life you need to be more diverse and specialised.
"Competing on Analytics"- Thomas Davenport
"Social Intelligence" by Daniel Goleman
"Life Entrepreneurs" Christopher Gergen

You can now invest in place - put the right infrastructure - and people will like working there. Big thing in among US States at moment is that they are competing to have best Internet Infrastructure. If you have this and some other things every valley can be silicon valley.

Rise of Medical Industrial Complex
Biotech , Nanotech , Genetic Identification, Significant Viral Threats , Informatics and greater patient power,

People are turning off their landlines and only using mobile phones
Homes are all going wireless
McDonald's have gone wireless
Gaming now bigger than movies average age 33.
Use great Wii advert to demonstrate how people engage
You can play games over the internet - grandparents do this
Serious Games Site gets a plug
There is a virtual school with science labs just come on line.
pinball - atari - now Wii Use social networks "rate my" Holographic classrooms have arrived in US ( $30,000) to install - you can walk through heart or human body. You can import a holographic but real Spanish speaker into a language classroom.

If you had real analytics and predictive modelling on your students - you would be able to give them tailored support event tailored learning - just like Amazon.

We need Critical Learning - to process all the dramatic changes - being active reflectors not passive reflectors - analytics are going to try and keep you in a velvet furrow

Most people get jobs through social connections and most people get fired through interpersonal connections - how do we get social learning more formally into the curriculum. The better you get along with people the more employable you will be - a teacher as a role model who mostly works on their own - needs to be challenged or pupils need to see educators working in teams.

We need project based learning, collaborative learning, service learning and socially networked learning - we need courageous learning - you need to be a rookie every year - to get out of your comfort zone and this will keep your neurons tuned. Good for you and for your employers.

Cave people ( Colleagues Against Virtually Everything) we need to get them gently to stand to one side. We need to change what we do and how we do it.

Right thumb on top and your sexy.
Left thumb on top you are sneaky.
Sneaky Sexy if neither

3D Google Tour of Ancient Rome

Dr Anne Limb and Helena Kennedy Foundation

Ann Limb

Key note one at Scotland's Colleges Conference

Dr Anne Limb on work of Helena Kennedy Foundation . The power of small social actions to create greater social mobility . One of the things they have created is a charity to fund support for learners moving from Further Education into Higher Education . But still big problems in HE system and not just with learners from non traditional backgrounds struggling to get in the more damning statistics are those from non traditional backgrounds who drop out. Most Universities in England have funds to widen participation that remain unused and unclaimed
(I think it is same in Scotland)
Helena Kennedy Foundation gives bursaries to able vulnerable learners as identified by FE practitioners across range of disciplines now 150 bursaries a year.
I wonder what would happen if a social entrepreneur did same for some Scottish schools where participation in further education can be really low. The Foundation give learner money and a mentor for length of programme. We need to break mould and change feeling among many learners .. If at first you don't succeed you don't succeed.. example success strory being used is learner from minority group who is now a Barrister. Foundation has a 90% success rate so far ..

Practice and Innovation Conference Scotland's Colleges

Interesting and innovative start to SFEUs conference a series of mini dramas on the theme "walk a mile in my shoes" just great characters insecure school leaver, adult returner , Polish ESOL student, a new start FE teacher and new start head of department and all the challenges they face . Challenge to audience all around how we offer complete support to our learners and our teaching staff and develop our College leaders .. a full service - and customer service is what it is all about in further education. Forum Interactive organised this superb.

We have been asked to look at how learner induction could be improved and how induction of new staff and new college leaders could be improved.

Great sessions on each with great role plays in between each mini session - beats power point

Coming up next...

Dr Anne Limb on social mobility and social justice

Dr Mark Milliron CEO of Catalyze Learning International College Leader from American Community College System

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Frankie Boyle

I used to catch him live when I could in Glasgow and now watch him on TV now or on YouTube. He makes me really uncomfortable - perhaps a bit misogynistic. He arrived in my kitchen in a Sunday Herald interview this morning and one thing he said chimed strongly with me and my own formal schooling...

"I find education really horrendous ..

"That whole thing of having to move on to the next class when the bell rings , so that obedience is more important than what you're studying"

A Summerhill type thought for the day.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Shape of Things to Come

On occasion a howler appears in the press. I normally put it down to the commercial desperation that drives the struggling press. Journalists don't get a lot of time to check their facts and harassed editors need to the fill the yawning space beside the adverts and the inserts. It can also be cheaper to commission a piece or even to to do a spot of vanity publishing.

There was a teaser in this week's Times Educational Supplement - I am probably boosting circulation already. "The Dark Side of Glow" Headline the Internet is not Glowing. The full piece will appear in the Scottish Education Review.

There are some useful questions that could be directed GLOW'S way - and I am looking forward to reading the full article. In this piece the author appears to take a Swiftian look at change- I suspect fun will be poked at the good old days - the chalkboard shuffle - the scent of banda fluid - and photocopier only for office admin use only. I am guessing but suspect there will be digs at both the electricity companies and the publishing industries for conspiracies to get light and books into schools.

In among these red herrings I would hope to find the informed hard questions that Higher Education always challenges the school system with.

Given the suitably retro tone of the piece in TES I have attached a retro piece from Stephen Heppell .. I guess this is the kind of forward thinking that led to the creation of the world's first Schools Intranet here in little old Scotland.

Derek Robertson offers a much more intelligent critique of the piece here.

Friday, November 14, 2008


I picked this up from Jane Knight's blog similarities between our successful Sports Store game and this financial awareness/ lifestyle were immediately apparent in the game play and scoring system.

Was at launch of primary version this week at Abbeyhill Primary in Edinburgh with Maureen Watt - it is being rolled out by Young Enterprise Scotland.

Fun with Finances: Moneytopia GamePlay the new online finance game, Moneytopia: The Big Dream, just launched by the FINRA Investor Education
Foundation. You and your family can have fun while learning to apply
fundamental principles of money management and investing. Seasoned game
developers and financial experts made Moneytopiapossible to offer you savvy
financial guidance as you and fellow players make a lifetime's worth of
financial choices.

Similarity ends there, language and focus reflects money management game developed for American military personnel - but - an opportunity for some one doing financial awareness in UK to take a serious look at this though. I think money management is going to be at opposite end of scale from wealth management for most of us in coming years.

Question how can we get summative assessment to be as effective and as fun as achieving a high score in a game.

Some will still scoff but its is how we train pilots and surgeons .. and fits into vocational learning just fine.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Partners in learning

I am sure there are lots of programmes that do this kind of thing - but it is great to see this project movingP1000548 on - worth having a look at the partners in learning blog and joining the innovative teachers network .

I am not aware on another project on this scale.

Here is the team in Hong Kong

Busy month

It is approaching the silly season when every chamber of commerce and or industry sector we work with has some kind of annual awards or other bean feast. Will be interested to see if looming recession has any impact on these - diary is filling up fast ..

In meantime I am getting my teeth into government review of qualifciations in hospitality and tourism and I am limbering up for the next instalment of Shaping Scotland's Digital Future next tuesday at Glasgow's Science Centre.

Today looked at Close Protection awards for export to India and afternoon with Partners in Learning will all be in press this or next week.. phew ..

Monday, November 03, 2008

Did Ye Ken

This is great version of Shift Happens polished up by Ian McRobert, Ian Lowson and assorted HMIE with a final polish from Andrew Brown LT Scotland - can we get this on SQA Jiglu Group
Did Ye Ken
View SlideShare presentation or Upload your own. (tags: shifthappens didyouknow)
Blogged with the Flock Browser

Sunday, November 02, 2008

4IP and Ewan McIntosh

4iP Logo Great to see 4IP building momentum we have some good ideas and looking forward to seeing what we can bring to the party.

Can see why Channel 4 is doing this. If you have wireless broadband and apple tv or host of other gizmos you will already be enjoying an advert free TV schedule designed by you.
You Tube , VeohGoogle VideoBlip TV , Blinkx, RevverJoost

Great to see Ewan bringing his social networking skills to the fore - lots can be joined up here - Colleges have been gagging for an initiative like this for last 15 years or more. Well done Channel 4 and keep leading from front Ewan.

Learners are already out there making , producing and distributing their own programming. I hope someone will correct me but unlike lastfm which was out there from the UK in the music space we don't have a UK presence in the video space.

Now if only we could personalise learning to this degree .. blocked in schools literally and metaphorically
Blogged with the Flock Browser

Thursday, October 30, 2008

To Blog or to Twitter

Busy and very productive week - Interesting piece on Radio 4 as I drove in to office on Monday - is blogging dying and/or are users switching to things like twitter.
I now use twitter once a day and blog less often. Piece was on at 8.40 am

I have said before I was an early adapter and blogged 2000 - 2002 and switched it all off in end - I think this time there is a more active community developing and web2 and cloud computing makes the experience more fun and productive.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

HHL08 Hand Held Learning

For first time in last three years there was not an SQA rep at Hand Held Learning Conference. However there was a strong Scottish contingent on the programme pleased to see Derek Roberston of Consolarium getting an award. JISC mobile resources for Hairdressing too.

I am still of opinion that wifi in schools and Colleges is the way to go with it being opened up to allow cheap Ultra Portable Computers or learners own lap-tops on to the school network and if we were being truly enlightened to create wifi hotspots for the community.

Schools should be better than Starbucks at this - but hey ;-)

Of course there is space of any other mobile devices too..

But above all it would makes best use of hard won educational bandwidth and allow reliable access for all. Islay High has got first bit of this right and this model should be rolled out.

Also presentation from Laurie O'Donnell on educational changes - nice presentation that compliments thinking on curriculum for excellence but interesting take on small projects - which seems counter intuitive in a small country with so many local authorities - I am guessing but I don't think he meant to be as firm as this on local enterprise. Assessment 2.0 still don't think there is realisation that door has been open for while on this.

Worth sharing around teams

If you are getting up to speed with Twitter worth doing a Twitter Search for HHL08 and you will pick up lots of nuggets from the conference.

Monday, October 06, 2008

BETT 2008

"by spring 2008 every pupil should have access to a *personalised online learning space *with the potential to support an e-portfolio"

Was the theme of Bett in January 2008

Watched this for a while in England . Interesting debate at

Also some quite interesting communities for those with interest in education technology and school sector and refreshingly open.

We are moving at a range of different speeds towards having ICT Infrastructires across School system in UK none with the ambition and vision of GLOW - but will be interesting to see what emerges in different bits of UK.

Walt Disney - Chicken Little - 1943

A friend sent this on this morning - parallels with panic in the financial sector. You can tell too that cartoons were for grown ups in 1943.

Are we less or more visually literate now than we were in previous centuries when bulk of us could not read ?
and does numeracy help us in current crisis ?
Is there a voice of reason to be found in the media?
Where are the foxes - one thing is certain like any economic crisis some will be reaping a harvest from this crash.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Do you want to see into the future ?

Programme: Innovating e-Learning online conference 2008
and following from last post - here is a shameless plug for an online conference . If you want to hear what is happening in the University system this is best place this year to hear it - best guide too at moment to what will happen on-line in most non workbased learning environments too. A glimpse into the future
JISC leads the way. Most of the work pioneered by JISC underpins educational computing across UK .

BECTA Web 2 Survey

The lastest BECTA study just makes me mad. - Web2 even Web1 is such a fantasic learning resource and yet learners in schools get more access to it at home than in school.

No I don't want learners sitting in front of terminals all day and not interacting and no I don't think technology is answer to all ills .... and I get really fed up with anything that starts .. there is a lack of studies can see why being an academic did not hold my attention.

Worse this reports says teachers can cope with all this stuff too - only just not at school. Do as I say not as I do.. thanks Bob Harrison

When will these reports get better.

Last bit of report sits well with discussion on unblocking more of the web for learners - would be good place to start in opening discussion.

This is a great piece of work by BECTA it is chasm it exposes that is scary. (but we knew it was there)

I probably should leave well alone My territory is Colleges and the workplace and we are not short of challenges in vocational learning landscape. Could start home learning ;-)

Amazingly learners arrive post school and can cope with virtual learning environments and eportfolios - amazing as they adapt their knowledge of platforms that they use socially not because they have depth of experience of these in the main in the school system. ( it may be that VLEs are so well designed and amazingly easy to use - only kidding )

But there is a lack of studies ... perhaps an argument for keeping web2 out of secondary ;-) I am sure I hear a researcher sharpening their pencil.

Can you tell I've been on a train for six hours today.