Going to work in the dark and traveling home in the dark is just one of the many challenges of living in northern Europe in the Winter. It is in this context that I want to post about a meeting I had on Tuesday 19 December with Norman Drummond founder of Columba 1400 My meeting was at 0900 in Edinburgh and I left home just before 7, having scraped a thick layer of ice from my windscreen before I could drive to Dundee station to get the 0713 train. That.more
Like every other an educational professional I am interested in the contribution that schools make to our society, culture and economy. The Scottish educational tradition has long recognised that preparation for life as a worker is part of the wider learning for life. It is only very rarely that you hear anyone in Scotland argue that training for work is all that schools should be concerned with. We are all poorer if schools do not also emphasise the rights and responsibilities of citizenship, as well as give young people the wider knowledge and skills not only to understand but also.more
I have had a pretty mad few weeks will wall-to-wall meetings and not taken the time to blog. I can't believe my last post was on the 29 November. I plan to commit some time over the next couple of weeks so look out..more
My 10 year old daughter's class had a vist from Careers Scotland advisers yesterday. It is great to see careers input at this early stage. The aspirations of her classmates were very much as expected including footballer, pop star, model etc - and why not! My daughter said that she couldn't make up her mind what to do when she grows up but it was between two jobs ... either Director of ICT [my job] or Derek's job. When asked what Derek does she couldn't give a job title but only describe it as 'he works with my dad playing computer.more
I spend Wednesday of this week in Cardiff with some of the civil servants who are responsible for the national school ICT agenda in Wales. Kerry, Paul, Keith, Edwin and Debbie were great hosts and I really enjoyed the opportunity to talk around some of the key issues that we are all grappling with. In educational terms Wales has been very close to England, sharing a ‘National Curriculum’ and a common qualifications framework. However, since devolution the Welsh education system has started to diverge from the English system. The recent announcement that Wales will move to a baccalaureate is a clear.more
Yesterday afternoon I was doing some work in the house and listening to the football on Radio Scotland. The featured match was Hibs v Inverness Caley Thistle and as usual at this time of year a two minute silence was observed before kick-off. I always think about my paternal grandfather during these times. I wear a silver ring on my left hand that my grandfather made out of a South African coin at the end of the so-called Great War. It has '11.11.18' engraved on it beside his initials 'M J O'D'. His experience of that war can only be described.more
I spoke to Stephen at a Becta conference on 'Harnessing Technology' in Birmingham last week and want to bring him up to Scotland to work with us on our strategy. Stephen's blog is well worth reading, not just for the deep insights he offers but also for the important historical perspective that he contributes. I have copied one of Stephen's recent posts on computer games and learning as an excellent example of the quality of his thinking. Note the copyright to Stephen. ' Play to learn, learn to play'more
The other day I was sitting in the cockpit of our boat, moored up at.
Travelled down to Birmingham on Monday afternoon to attend the Becta ICT in Excellence Awards. I am not the biggest fan of awards events but know that we need to do better at recognising and rewarding innovative practice that impacts positively on the life chances of our young people. I had the honour of sitting with Mari Wallace and the headteacher of Isobel Mair School, a special 5-18 special school in Clarkston, East Renfrewshire. The school won the Inclusion Primary UK award and was described by one of the judges as 'an outstanding, creative and innovative school'. Having spent evening.more
I attended and spoke at a conference organised by Children in Scotland this morning in Cumbernauld. The theme of the event was improving the life chances of our children and young people. I was speaking on education for citizenship and A Curriculum for Excellence and enjoyed covering ground that goes beyond the ICT/Technology area that I usually cover. I am passionate about the importance of citizenship in education and delighted that 'responsible citizen' is one of the four capacities of the new curriculum. Schools are working hard to involve children and young people in decisions and are increasingly interpreting citizenship in.more
Over the next couple of months we will be developing our Learning and Technology Strategy. I am going to use my blog as a way of thinking out loud and seeking comments/contributions from beyond LTS. So what will the strategy look like? I want to start with three questions:more
- Where are we now? [Evaluate the Evidence] Will also need to ask how we got here and what lessons we need to carry forward. I think it was Hegel who said something along the lines of history repeats itself first time as tragedy and second time as farce. We need to make sure.