Friday, July 13, 2007

Assessment 2.0 updated

Some time ago I posted a message about Assessment 2.0 and since then I've worked-up the idea into a formal paper [PDF], which I presented at this year's CAA International Conference at Loughborough University.

The paper was well received - surprisingly so since I sort of expected the audience to defend their current VLE or CAA systems. In fact, most people agreed with the problems surrounding such systems and were open to the idea of permitting students to use the web services with which they were familiar.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Sorry for the lack of posts

I'm sorry that this blog has been so quiet during the last couple of months. There should be much more regular updates in future.

We're looking for additional authors so please drop me an e-mail if you would like to become a contributor to this blog.

Help for Science Students

An article in the Guardian reports that the Royal Society of Chemistry has announced that many undergraduate chemistry students are receiving extra maths tuition at university because they gave up the subject after GCSE level. British science students have a lower level of mathematical skills than those from China, India, and Japan.

The Royal Society of Chemistry is offering a £500 prize to a person who answers a sample question from Chinese university entrance tests correctly. Click here for the story.

On a related note, recent figures show that almost a fifth of Chinese pupils in English schools are registered as gifted against a tenth of white children. It underlines the dominance of pupils from China and comes days after scientists warned that economic stability was at risk because British students lagged so far behind those from overseas. Alan Smithers, professor of education at Buckingham University, said ‘We know from international studies that Asian children, particularly those from China, Japan and Korea do particularly well. It could be the work ethic or it could be the valuing of education within those cultures.’

Finally on science subjects, a report published by the Council for Industry and Higher Education is calling on the government to consider introducing financial incentives for pupils to continue studying Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) subjects at A level. The STEM Review: The Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths Supply Chain report is available here.

Increasing Use of Technology

Learning and Teaching Scotland now has a presence on the YouTube website. LTS’s first video posts come from Connected Magazine.

Meanwhile, an article in the Sunday Herald reports that Glasgow Caledonian University are investigating ways of using different online technologies such as MySpace and podcasts to enhance teaching and learning.

An article in the Guardian reports that an English school has attempted to tackle the issue of immigrant children being placed in lower ability classes due to their lack of English by introducing an online assessment programme which aims to assess ability using pictures rather than words.

Finally, art students at university are to stage their degree show in the virtual, online world of Second Life. Goldsmiths students have created digital versions of their art work which their Second Life characters will present in their online world. Click here.

CC4G in Edinburgh

e-skills UK has announced that the Royal Bank of Scotland Group and City of Edinburgh Council have formed a funding partnership enabling schools across Edinburgh to take advantage its CC4G (Computer Clubs for Girls) initiative. CC4G are out-of-school hours clubs that provide 10 to 14 year old girls with a range of specially-tailored activities designed to teach valuable technology skills while focusing on the girls' areas of interest. Currently, only around 15% per cent of Scotland's IT workforce is female. More than 30 Edinburgh schools attended a launch event hosted by RBS at its Edinburgh headquarters.

Growth of Mandarin

An article in the Guardian looks at the increasing amount of Mandarin teaching and learning taking place in both primary and secondary schools.

However, the Herald reports that although foreign languages are now taught in Scottish schools from primary six, experts say the fall-off in subjects such as French and German could harm students' careers and leave a generation without key skills. Click here.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Experiment in teacher participation

The Internet Safety blog is encouraging teachers and lecturers to participate in a small experiment relating to the contents of the Internet Safety unit. It will be interesting to see how this develops.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Web 2.0 And Narcissism

"Being on YouTube, having a blog, having an iPod, being on MySpace-- all of these things are self-validating, they allow that illusion that is so important to narcissists: that we are the main characters in a movie. Not that we're the best, or the good guys, but the main characters. That everyone around us is supporting cast."

Friday, December 29, 2006

Thursday, December 28, 2006