Wednesday, January 27, 2010

On the day Apple launches the iPad -this is better...

Apple Introduces Revolutionary New Laptop With No Keyboard

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Test Your Awareness: Do The Test

Great on cycle awareness BUT also an interesting discussion starter regarding some theological and philosophical stuff.

Eyewriter - making IT work!

The EyeWriter project is an ongoing collaborative research effort to empower people who are suffering from ALS with creative technologies.

It is a low-cost eye-tracking apparatus & custom software that allows graffiti writers and artists with paralysis resulting from Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis to draw using only their eyes.

The Eyewriter from Evan Roth on Vimeo.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Rethinking Teaching & Learning in a Networked Reality

View more documents from Alec Couros.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Manchester United bans players from Twitter, Facebook - Tech Central - Times Online - WBLG

Manchester United bans players from Twitter, Facebook - Tech Central - Times Online - WBLG

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Bill McLaren's most famous quotes

Bill McLaren, the BBC commentator known fondly as the voice of rugby, has died in his hometown of Hawick, Scotland at the age of 86. Here are a selection of the quotes which made him such a beloved figure throughout the game taken from The Telegraph (link)

On Phil Bennett: "They say down at Stradey that if ever you catch him [Phil Bennett] you get to make a wish."
On Jonah Lomu: "I'm no hod carrier but I would be laying bricks if he [Jonah L] was running at me."
On Grant Batty: "He plays like a runaway bullet."
On Gerald Davies: "His sidestep was marvellous – like a shaft of lightning."

Other favourites:
"It’s high enough, it’s long enough AND IT’S STRAIGHT ENOUGH."
"He’s like a demented ferret up a wee drainpipe."
"He’s like a raging bull with a bad head."
"That one was a bit inebriated – just like one of my golf shots."
"He kicked that ball like it were three pounds o’ haggis."
"The All Blacks that day looked like great prophets of doom."
"My goodness, that wee ball’s gone so high there’ll be snow on it when it comes down.
"He’s as quick as a trout up a burn."
"Those props are as cunning as a bag o’ weasels."
"A day out of Hawick is a day wasted."
*And it’s a try by Hika the hooker from Ngongotaha (Wales v New Zealand 1980).
"I look at Colin Meads and see a great big sheep farmer who carried the ball in his hands as though it was an orange pip."
"I’ve hardly ever had to pay to get in (the best thing in his view about 50 years of commentary at rugby matches)."

RIP the Voice of Rugby - we will miss you!

We need urgent action to improve our schools - The Conservatives

A future Conservative government would make schools in England test six-year-olds on reading and writing - and publish the results.

Read all about it here (link)

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Mobile Trends 2020

Check out this SlideShare Presentation:

Friday, January 15, 2010

Where do you see ICT in Education 5 years time?

Where do you see ICT in Education in five years' time?

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Big River Man - Martin Strel!

I think I might have a new hero...

Check out his site here - link

Thursday, January 07, 2010

The Big Freeze

This is an awesome pic of the UK taken this week...

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Scrap staffrooms - real example, it works

No staffroom at Mossbourne

Michael Wilshaw has scrapped the staff room and, along with other measures, has produced one of the most successful state schools in the country - Mossbourne Community Academy. He has no central staffroom and teachers have to take tea and coffee in 'learning areas' around the school, "I wanted staff and students in close proximity at all times so that, at vulnerable periods such as breaks when you get bullying and vandalism, pupils don't all head in one direction and staff in another". And this guy is lambasted by the left for being a traditionalist!

Rather than being embraced by Labour, it's the Conservatives who have been parading him around and inviting him to their conferences. Just for the record, his school from being one of the worst in the country now gets 85% A-C (including English and Maths), despite its deprived, and non-selective, intake.

Why staffrooms are bad?

When Malcolm Gladwell was asked what one thing would most improve education he replied, "Abolishing teacher staffrooms". He may have been right – a survey published in 2007 showed that teachers top the worst ‘gossips at work’ poll, with 79% talking about their colleagues behind their back. John Taylor Gatto, a National award winning teacher in the US gave up teaching quoting one of the reasons as he could no longer stand the culture of the staffroom.

Teachers may lose rank among their peer group if they don’t join in the gossip (Nias 1989) and, worse, may be subjected to rumour and gossip if they shun the classroom (Rosenholz 1989). These studies show troubled teachers, in particular, being at risk. Kainan’s 1994 study of staffrooms found that they were largely simple, colourless, monotonous, devoid of clear functionality and were often split into several cliques; veteran, novice, supply and student teachers. It was a clear hierarchy. Worse than this is the Hammersly study in (1984) that found conversation about students and their parents/carers, was largely condemnatory.

Is there a case for scrapping school staffrooms? No other professions have a ‘panic room’ just for managers to chill out, so why have school staff rooms?

posted by Donald Clark on his blog (link)

On discipline - A perspective from 1910

The following advice to teachers was published to the Masters of Berkhamsted School in 1910 when Dr Fry was Headmaster.
  • Find out how to get your influence; without it you cannot teach.
  • Do not shout.
  • Do not be glued to your chair.
  • Air your room: it takes trouble to do aright.
  • Make your boys respect their books.
  • If your arrival in a room does not secure serene respectful silence, you have no grip on your form.
  • Maintain your discipline with as few words as possible.
  • Force is not discipline, nor is temper.
  • Boys prefer order and the man who can keep it.
  • Cultivate the power of glances and silences: be a bit of an actor.
  • The best power is undemonstrative.
  • Do not seem to expect anything but order.
  • If one word secures attention, you are probable a disciplinarian.
  • Watch against allowing temptations to do wrong.
  • Do not scold. Enlist the class on your side.
  • Always acknowledge an unintentional injustice.
  • The less “black book,” the better discipline.
  • Be ambitious never to retort, except for serious moral offences.
  • Never goad into resistance.
  • Do not have too long a memory. Make a little allowance.
  • Do not mistake success for virtue.
  • The stupid often plod and fail. Remember how failure deters.
  • Be punctual.
  • Do not forget dignity altogether. Show sympathy.
  • Distinguish character in your own mind.
  • Don’t be funny, if you cannot easily control results.
  • Compel a tidy room.
  • Dismiss quite quietly.
  • Think over your failures to influence, and their cause.
  • The root of discipline is boys’ high respect for you.
  • No imposition that is not seriously examined can fail to demoralise.
Posted by Mark S. Steed on his blog (link)

About me

I am an African living in Scotland. A son, a father, an ex-husband, a boyfriend, a teacher and friend trying to piece together the stories that my God, my parents, my ex-wife, my girlfriend, my pupils and my friends are telling me, so that I can tell my own story. Thanks to all for your support and advice. I still love good coffee and popcorn.



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