Live 2 Learn

A few thoughts and ideas

Is gamification the answer? Maybe, maybe not.

A recent blog post was shared to me by a colleague. The short article stated that students are learning incorrectly and that gamification would improve student learning if used throughout education. See here for the online article from called ‘The way that students learn today is wrong‘.

The article makes the case that the stages that gamers follow in solving problems is akin to the scientific approach. This may be so, however, my initial response is to say that Read More

The AltSchool Initiative – Algorithms in Education


A colleague of mine recently sent me this link which presents a short movie clip showing the AltSchool initiative. This is a thought provoking piece.

AltSchool is developing a model of education that relies on modern technology to bring about tailored programs of instruction. The system marries sophisticated algorithms, resource development and adaptive instructional programs. It utilises algorithms that track student progress through ongoing formal, but predominantly formative, assessment and the use of quality teacher- and child-actionable feedback, built in to the learning process.  This is supported by the development and presentation of tailored resources, activities, assessment and experiences. Read More

What is it like to be your student?

Student Experience

The late Grant Wiggins (co-author of the Understanding by Design method of backward design with Jay McTighe) published this article on his website two years ago – It is the account of a teacher who shadowed Year 10 and 12 students for a couple of days. The takeaways stated by the author are very interesting and may be worth considering if you are reviewing your classroom practice and innovating within your schools.

What would it be like to experience being one of your students?

In the commercial world, in many industries and in IT-related systems and services, the experience of the user or client is a key factor in the design of products, services and customer experiences. It seems sensible that our students’ experience of their learning environment should be used as a key factor in designing the educational experience

This article and several of the comments are a worthwhile and thought-provoking read. Read More

Education, Coding and being Agile

CodingIn response to this LinkedIn post, I wrote a comment which turned out too long by a thousand characters or more!

Peter Grant initiates the discussion where Peter and the respondents make some thought-worthy points regarding STEM, particularly around the issue of coding. The discussion centres on the whether the promotion of coding and IT in universities is preparing students for the jobs of the future.

The comment I wrote went something like this…

Generally speaking, education is generationally slow to respond and often driven by federal, state, and local political agendas Read More

Learning Styles and the prevalence of saleable education products.

I wrote this in reply to an email from a colleague who sent me this link.

Informed educators have been pushing back against learning styles for years. Though you can use them in some low-stakes ways to enrich some teaching.

The use of educationally-related ideas to manufacture saleable products is a problem. Teachers who don’t have the time to filter the good from the ‘snake oil’ are sold millions of dollars of rubbish every year. Read More

A Critical Approach: Innovation and the Relationship Between Pedagogy and ICTs

What use paper?

I have recently been reading some good blog posts on the relationship between technology and pedagogy when considering mobile device implementation in the classroom. Eric Sheninger’s ‘Why Pedagogy First, Tech Second Stance is Key to the Future‘ is a sound account of some of the issues to consider when implementing mobile devices, or in fact any technology, within classrooms.

A few points I would make about innovation, particularly related to digital technology use:

Successful implementation of technology needs to be well planned at both the strategic and the operational levels. In many ways, the strategic and operational should, and will, inform each other. However, during the planning and re-planning cycle of development it is useful to consider strategy separately to the issues that are necessary to consider during operational programming. Read More

Geoff Masters’ ACER article on challenging our most able students


Having read this article by Geoff Masters, I attempted to leave a comment but despite using a range of browsers the comment function didn’t work. So here is my comment, please read the article first ..

This is a thought provoking article. My initial reaction is that I believe teachers, especially our highly motivated, passionate and professionally aware teachers, are very often in close agreement with Masters’ preferred approach and attempt to do what they can within schools which are structured according to the first model Masters describes.

Similarly, I believe that school leadership are often in very close agreement with Masters’ preferred approach and attempt to promote good pedagogy within their organisation but are working within a mandated and supposed curriculum, political, policy and often financial framework which keeps on reinforcing the first model described.

A major problem is that Read More

Being, not just practicing






(Image from by User:Primalchaos)

At my school this morning, a teacher presented a report on the recent ‘Artist in Residence’ event. We call this type of short presentation a TWEET (This Weeks Educationally Excellent Tip). The presentation takes only 2 to 3 minutes and starts us off for the week with an educational idea for all Secondary School teachers before we get down to the administrative items which typically dominates our start-of-week briefing.

This morning was an excellent example of blood-less brain surgery. In the experiences that the Art Faculty employed for their students they took the students from learning about art and media to Read More

Habit of Mind Zero

Mindfulness = Habit Zero (Image from Sergiu Bacioiu from Wikimedia Commons)

During the last few months we have been looking to introduce mindfulness at my school. Having started to introduce the Habits of Mind during the last 18 months the issue of mindfulness has been seen to be a good fit for our pastoral care programmes aimed at encouraging students to be emotionally resilient and our focus on developing success through the adoption of the Habits of Mind.

The more I look at the language of the Habits of Mind and mindfulness and consider the underlying mechanism of making our thoughts more deliberate and our minds more effective, the more I think that mindfulness and the Habits of Minds are different expressions of the same thing. More than this the principles of mindfulness place it as an overlaying structure that supports all the Habits of Mind as well as adding its own benefits for mental health and the functioning of the mind.

So maybe Mindfulness can be considered as Habit 0.

Discussions with pre-service teachers on ICT use

NetworkThis is a link to a forum I recently contributed to which discussed the use of ICT in classes and how to manage the use of computers in schools. The scenarios were well presented by the students and the discussion was very useful.
Fellow contributor was John Oxley and the forum was run by MIchelle Williams.

Image modified from Zigomitros Athanasios work at Wikimedia Commons