August 2020

Edtech - the route to equality for SEN learners?

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For many years, EdTech tools have served as learning supports for students who require additional attention from teachers or have special educational needs. Far from mainstream, they were implemented to aid teachers already being pulled in multiple directions.
 
However, as the emphasis is increasingly placed on inclusion and understanding the way individuals learn, we are seeing these same tools flooding into classrooms, with positive results for students across the board.

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Promoting learning and building understanding through assessment

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Ask yourself a question: What is the goal of teaching? For each of us as educators we may well have a wide range of answers that together sum up how we approach teaching. Perhaps it’s to prepare students for their future. Or to motivate and inspire the kids in our classes. Or maybe it’s to build their independence. We’re all hoping to create lifelong learners,  who look differently at problems, ask questions, communicate effectively and embrace opportunities. These goals are why we do what we do, and these are the goals that have enabled us to work through the challenges we have had in recent months as we shifted our approaches to remote learning. They are also the goals that will carry us through the months and years ahead and will help us adapt our instruction and our pedagogy to provide the very best outcomes for our students.

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The Cornerstones of Writing

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Writing is a beautiful thing. It’s not simply a process of using words in a systematic way. It allows us to communicate our thoughts and feelings, express our opinions, enthuse and excite others or demonstrate knowledge and progress.

Writing provides a means for personal reflection, thinking, creativity, meaning-making and sharing, as well as complementing other modes of communication. It’s our human technology for preserving speech. In the words of Voltaire, ‘writing is the painting of the voice’.   

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How can technology support personalised learning?

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Originally published on besa, August 2020.

As thousands of learners get ready to return to their schools and colleges, now is a good time for educational institutions to pause and reflect on the successes associated with online learning. As students and educators rapidly took to remote learning over the past few months, it has enabled many to gain a valuable insight into the benefits of online platforms and digital learning tools. And whilst remote learning environments don’t come without challenges, appreciation in the value of online learning has led to many questioning ‘what does the future of education look like?’ 

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Motivating students to engage in their individual education journey

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A recent TeacherTapp survey of teachers has suggested that engagement and motivation in general have perhaps been our greatest challenge through the recent period of remote learning. The evidence from the survey? Teachers estimated that students were spending on average two hours per day on learning. There are of course many reasons that contributed to this - an obvious lack of structure, a lack of peer support, encouragement or challenge, a lack of parental support, plus the radical change in lifestyle that lock down brought us all. But while some students have struggled with engagement and motivation, others have thrived with new found independence and autonomy by having the  flexibility in what and how they learn and the ability to focus on their own motivations.

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