Monthly Archives: November 2015

Tech-Related CPD with Action Research

Always intent on bringing BPLC colleagues – as well as other followers of this blog – up-to-date news about recent developments in the field of Ed Tech, on Friday 6 November TCSC attended a Naace event in Nottingham. The focus was on ensuring CPD has an impact back at school, after staff have attended training events.

Mirandanet is a network of like-minded professionals with a passion for ensuring research has an impact, through top quality CPD, in the classroom. A selection of “Mirandanetters” presented their current areas of research.

Peter Twining  spoke about his involvement in “New Purposes, New Practices, New Pedagogy”, or “NP3” Children lead digital lives, and this project explores the impact of children’s digital practices outside of school on their outcomes within school. Peter urged those present to complete the “YOTs” survey, which will inform further research in this area. Schools are able to access a dashboard of their data and evaluate how effective their use of children’s digital skills is. He also mentioned “Swivels“. These are movable iPad stands that connect via Bluetooth to a microphone clipped to person being filmed. The iPad tilts and swivels to keep the subject in the frame for the duration of the video recording.

Charles Crook of Nottingham University spent time explaining the different themes within the study of learning that are available to teachers as Action Researchers:

  • Behaviourism – contingency matters
  • Constructivism – less is more
  • Cognitive Science – builds representative richness
  • Socio-cultural theory intersubjectivity – enormously strenuous mental activity – the reason why teaching is so tiring! – outsource your thinking!
  • Connectionism – serial operations for a parallel processing machine (the brain)

Roger Broadie presented the principles of 3rd Millennium Learning as a driver for higher achievement.

Essentially, technology never acts alone but enables better pedagogical practice. So, which tech impacts the most on pedagogical practice to tackle difficult educational issues? Despite diverse approaches to investigating this key question, there is some commonality: pupil engagement with their learning.

Naturally, this leads to more questions, not least, how is higher level engagement achieved? Via a virtuous cycle, in which pupils have a genuine external audience for their work, which generates feedback and progression. Data on achievement is shared, pupils understand and develop confidence to learn more and apply their learning to new areas, collaboration is increased, and more of their work can be published. It’s a whole school approach.

To establish where your school is regarding pupils engagement, you are invited to take part in this survey. Teachers create a login and set up their class survey. Pupils click on Pupil Survey from the home page and enter a code previously generated by their teacher. A full analysis of your school’s pupils’ engagement data can be obtained by emailing Roger.

iCatalyst is a scheme being run by Mirandanet in conjunction with De Montfort University, Leicester. Our lovely colleagues at Ofsted are now asking for evidence of “research active” teachers when they come to visit. iCatalyst is an action research programme of professional development (worth 30 points towards a Master’s degree) that supports teachers in ensuring their tech-related CPD has a positive impact on children’s learning outcomes.

There are “Sprint” and “Insight” alternative programmes within iCatalyst, depending on your school’s level of interest, and whether you want to develop your project into a full Master’s qualification.

Finally, to pan-European research into the effectiveness of educational app design. If you or your students are involved in app design, Please spare a couple of minutes to complete this survey.

If you or someone you know is in the business of app design, please take a couple of minutes to complete this survey.

And above all, remember that technology is the catalyst, not the reaction.