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TPEA Newsletter, No 1; October, 2019



 
CONTENTS
EDITORIAL

Dear ITTE and MirandaNet members,

Our two committees are busy  building our new partnership as the Technology, Pedagogy and Education Association (ITTE renamed tpea.ac.uk) and we expect that  by 2020 TPEA will have charity status.

In this context, MirandaNet and ITTE are launching our new association at BETT20 on Friday January 24th at 1500 in North Gallery (room TBA). The aim of the organisation is to influence policy and practice. As 'learned societies' with more than 30 years experience there must be ways in which we can effectively share our communities' wisdom. Our unique contribution to this field is in edtech research, initial teacher education and professional development. Our remit includes: the pedagogical application of digital technology by all teachers; developing the teaching of computing and digital capability; attention to the strands of information technology and digital/media literacy; and the effective use of digital technology in initial teacher education as well as continuing professional development (CPD) programmes and research.

Our current lobbying strategy embraces three major policies. Firstly, with this aim of influencing edtech policy and practice one of our intentions is to promote  a edtech policy and practice one of our intentions ia to promote a richer edtech curriculum based on a deeper pedagogical approach. A recent BBC programme records that computing in schools is in steep decline . We want to make suggestions to halt that drop and to help the DFE rethink how teacher training in computing should be conducted. We need to be prepared for significant political change as the two party system appears to be on the verge of collapse. But our learned societies have weathered these storms before in the last thirty years.

Secondly, on the point of pedagogical development, Professor Mike Sharples' talk on powerful pedagogies was well received by our community at our conference. His book, reviewed below, is based on  the outstanding series Innovating Pedagogy by the Open University. We are planning to do more to explain these pedagogies and apply them because they are core to how digital technologies are changing the way we think and learn. This approach would also help edtech companies to place their product or service in an established pedagogical framework. As we know these digital opportunities are also impacting on politics and citizenship that is an area we hope to promote.

Thirdly, we are talking to other organisations who want to share knowledge like the Chartered College of Teachers, the National College for Computer Education, Nesta, NCCE, ONEHE, Jaffa Foundation, EDUCATE UCL, BESA, UFI and the Council for Subject Associations. We have a particular partnership with MESHguides in their campaign to use ubiquitous international connectivity to improve the quality of the knowledge accessed through online CPD.  They are not suggesting there are universal truths but that, through technology access to world leading knowledge is possible and that alternative viewpoints and emerging knowledge can be easily included so that a teacher can weigh up the evidence before making a decision about their practice. The approach offers some exciting opportunities to communicate with professionals globally.

Hoping your will engage with our agenda in the coming year,

Regards to you all,
Professor Christina Preston,
MirandaNet Founder, TPEA vice-chair
NEWS
REVIEW OF OUR 33RD ANNUAL CONFERENCE
Our 33rd annual conference at Winchester was such an opportunity to share knowledge. For professionals like us pressure on our time has increased exponentially and funding for conferences is harder to come by. Perhaps that is why, for those of us who did find a will and a way to attend, this conference was particularly rewarding and fulfilling. We enjoyed the professional exchange of views and opinions with international experts that help us to validate our roles. But the mood was lightened with jokes and fun activities with colleagues helping to keep us stable and grounded in what for many seems to have been an exceptionally challenging academic year - too many members threatened with redundancy.

We did not encourage anyone to sit back and just listen - after all our delegates are experts in their own right. As well as workshop for early career academics, the programme encouraged debate through different approaches like Question Time, poster sessions, Teach Meets, networking, a Fish Bowl and a speed dating sticker swap.  As a result of these interventions we enjoyed convincing interaction in debate between our lead speakers, our delegates and our supporting companies: Cengage; IRIS Connect; Learning By Questions; Outset; and SMART. We were also delighted to have representatives from Naace, Nesta and BESA. You will find all the conference news here:

The  next annual conference that will be at Bath Spa University July 2020. We will let you have dates as soon as we can. Meanwhile we are planning for BETT20 in London. You can find more details below

 
Our 2019-2020 programme

BRITISH COUNCIL 18TH OCTOBER
We will be holding an event with the British Council and the Council for Subject Associations about successful projects on 18th October in London. Get in touch for more information. christina@mirandanet.ac.uk

BETT20  22nd – 25th January. Excel
We will be offering travel grants to up to four members who can help on the stand. Get in touch: christina@mirandanet.ac.uk

TPEA launch at @BETT20,  Friday 24th January 1500 - 1700
Another of the aims of our new learned society, The Technology, Pedagogy and Education Association http://tpea.ac.uk/ is to raise the profile of research that has been undertaken about edtech products and services whether this has been undertaken by academics or by the company. This exercise is intended to help schools to choose the best digital technologies to fit their needs.

TPEA Research Safaris @BETT20
In our new venture, we will be running three Research Safaris at BETT20, on 22nd, 23th and 24th  in which educators will be invited to attend a panel in the Staff Room with academics, educators and key company representatives about research findings (30 mins).  We will then lead tours to visit the relevant stands to look at the products or services (40 mins). TPEA will follow up with a report about the current state of edtech research. We will be canvassing this opportunity widely. If you would like to be there please book before the show.

The three topics this year are:  
  • Ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all: Panel Chair: Professor Sarah Younie, De Montfort University
  • Artificial realities for connecting classrooms: Dr Helen Caldwell, Northhampton University
  • EdTech Professional Development - Dr Elizabeth Hidson, University of Sunderland
Contact me with any research related to edtech products or services that you think is useful as we plan to collate a list of relevant reports on our website. This will also help us to decide on other themes to pursue in the future.

Professor Christina Preston, christina@mirandanet.ac.uk
TPEA launch at @BETT20,  Friday 24th January 1500 - 1700
 
All associates are invited to our TPEA launch that will be in a room on the North Gallery Suite on Friday 24th January from 1500-1700 and we are hoping people will join us for an early supper afterwards.
MEMBERS NEWS
What should any government be providing for teachers?
 
TPEA are joining in  a proposal to establish a Knowledge and Research Evidence Service collated and disseminated through Continuing Professional Development programmes. The underlying approach is that every government has a responsibility to provide online education knowledge services to keep teachers up-to-date.

For too long, international political organisations such as the UN and the OECD as well as individual governments have published papers saying something must be done to improve the quality of teaching.  Yet one of the most obvious interventions, making sure teachers can access the latest research-based knowledge to keep up to date, is not mentioned. Somehow it is assumed that teachers can find all the information they need on their own. But any health service making a similar assumption that staff could just somehow keep up-to-date without any provision of supporting services would quickly find that medical practice soon fell behind practice in comparable countries.

We propose that governments establish Education Knowledge Services (EKS) to co-ordinate development of a regularly updated, open access, online educational resources bank supporting continuing professional Development (CPD) for teachers, trainee teachers and teacher educators. The EKS would work with specialist subject/professional associations, research units (across all disciplines), government, businesses, commercial knowledge services and most importantly examination boards to ensure full coverage of topics relevant to teaching and open access for teachers to summaries of the latest research.

The benefits are that lesson content and teaching approaches are up to date and relevant for learners, employers and continuing education, thus bringing economic benefit to society and benefits to learners and teachers - potentially supporting teacher well being, satisfaction and retention as well as increased impact of research.

We will be explaining more about this initiative at our BETT20 launch and we hope you will put your influence behind this proposal in anyway you can:
Sarah Younie, Jon Audain, Marilyn Leask Christina Preston, Richard Procter
ICET 2020: July- dates to be confirmed. International Conference on Educational Technology

TPEA will be partnering ICET for their annual 2020 conference at Bath Spa University. TPEA will be adding schools leaders to the general ICET mix of leading academic scientists, researchers and research scholars to exchange and share their experiences and research results on all aspects of Educational Technology.  TPEA will have their own themed strand during the 3 day event.

Our new website
We are now entering a phase using the new  interim landing page (https://www.tpea.ac.uk) while the new website is being built. When this is ready MirandaNet members will be asked if you would like a dual membership. We are just putting together extra membership benefits for ITTE members and MirandaNet Fellows. If you are an ITTE member do not forget your membership renewal or you will miss all the new offerings. Amazingly, a few ITTE members have still not renewed their 2019-20 membership (due back in April). We will be sending out final reminder emails shortly so please renew as soon as you can!
A good career opportunity for academics


Professor Sarah Younie is the editor of the TPEA journal  that ITTE started with Routledge in the 1980s says, “Due to the increase in number of submissions, we need to recruit more reviewers. This is a good career opportunity for academics.  The criteria is that you must have published a paper in an academic journal. Please apply yourself and ask colleagues, who meet the criteria”.
hope this will offer a professional development opportunity and we can award associates a professional development certificate

Congratulations to Liz Hidson
MirandaNet Scholar and ITTE committee member Elizabeth Hidson celebrated her graduation as Doctor of Education from Durham University recently. Having trained as an ICT teacher, Elizabeth was also an ICT Advanced Skills Teacher and Lead Practitioner before moving into whole-school leadership, focusing on educational technology during time of the Building Schools for the Future programme. You will find more about her researchhere







Welcoming Tahirih Danesh
Tahirih Danesh’s contribution to the conference, Raising a Violence Free Generation, Education, Technology and Character, was important in the positive message she communicated about the potential value of social media. We have now persuaded her to join us and here is her profile.
I am an impact-oriented researcher with extensive experience in project development & management, international outreach & advocacy, curriculum design & delivery, fund-raising & donor relations. I am committed to tangible improvement in organisational and community systems & processes through change management, training & development of capabilities, and dynamics of inclusion through a methodical approach to human rights, particularly the right to education, as a means to enjoyment of economic, social and cultural development.

I enjoy innovative approaches to research & education including EdTech, policy & advocacy, and humanitarian efforts including in high risk environments. I work well with minorities and people of diverse cultures. I am a strong advocate for transparency, accountability and efficiency. I am a pioneer in character & civic education among post-conflict populations, both on- and off-line. I have provided expert opinion to media, governmental & international bodies, including those at the United Nations. I am open to interim assignments, both in the UK and abroad.I am available for public speaking engagements around social impact, human rights and education.

Welcoming Bernard Dady
Bernard is an Education & Technology Consultant and has worked closely with MirandaNet on research into edtech in the classroom. We wish him luck in his new role:
“I am an education and technology professional with over 30 years experience in the fields of edtech, teaching, learning and professional development. I work with forward thinking schools, private sector businesses in the education sector and SME’s. I support: development of strategy, the writing of bids, professional learning and implementation new technologies (especially Cloud services).
I have been developing initiatives and maintaining strategic partnerships between private sector organisations and educational providers since 2000. I have extensive experience advising on the design of new schools and integration of their ICT systems. I was recognised as a MirandaNet Fellow in 2016 for my work in building global professional knowledge in the use of EdTech for teaching and learning.
I have worked in education for over 30 years as ateacher (Sheffield), adviser/inspector (Kirklees), education action zone director (South Bradford) and local authority strategic manager (Bradford). Until early 2010 I was the BSF Programme Director for Tribal Group PLC, before moving on to become Head of Education Transformation at Gaia Technologies. In 2019I resigned this post to undertake work on a freelance basis, trading as BJDEDUCATION”.

Meanwhile in Manchester
High School Digital Audit
Manchester City Council in partnership with the Manchester Digital Skills Network has commissioned our member, John Sibbald, to carry out an audit of the current creative and digital ‘offer’ that  31 High Schools are delivering across the city.
The audit will be used to inform the priority actions for the Digital Skills Network Young people’s Sub Group.
It will also be used to inform the Manchester Digital Strategy and other Manchester City Council Strategies and strategic priorities including the Work and Skills Plan and Education Strategy. The focus will be on the school offer of IT, digital skills and computer science including the hardware landscape and budgetary constraints.

New TPEA partner

TPEA has started to work with Ufi VocTech Trust, a grant funder and investor focussed on digital tools to support learning for work – tech for vocational skills (VocTech). Here is their description of their activities: 
We fund projects where there is clear potential to achieve something great by using tech in a new way. This can mean development of new tech tools – but it can also mean taking well established tech and bringing it to a new audience or developing it in a way that helps people who have not previously been supported.
We have a really clear aspiration to support the  digital revolution in the vocational sector by funding development that puts adult vocational learners first and supports a community of educators, learning designers, tech developers, employers, enthusiasts, community groups, charities and investors – all focussed on learning for work.
Our funding is allocated through a grant call process and we release the upcoming funding dates every November at our VocTech Showcase. We believe in Demonstration Through Doing – all of our funded projects are designed to tackle a real problem and deliver impact to their end users, whether that be learners, educators or employers.
We live our principles and are a virtual organisation – you can find us here www.ufi.co.uk, and sign up for our newsletter, as well as follow us @UfiTrust on Twitter, or catch some of the Ufi network on the VocTech Podcast. We publish all of our call dates via Twitter and the newsletter, and you can find out more about the work we have funded via our website. We support an exciting and passionate VocTech community – come join us!
 
ASSOCIATES NEWS

Does the government represent us well in the EU?
The turmoil in politics is affecting our associate companies. Graham Newell, IRIS, gives his point of view about how the interests of education have been neglected in the wrangle.
“The official description of a recession is no growth over two quarters and that description, the public sector, including education, has been in recession for a very long time!  As a company, IRIS Connect has weathered the storm and now works in 28 countries and is still growing even in the UK.  Being ‘best of breed’ has helped but it has been hard, incredibly hard!
One of our strengths has been our willingness to forge partnerships and create alliances in all sectors. With schools, universities, organisations in the UK, in Europe and across the world. Groups like MirandaNet and TPEA are critical in providing advice, support, critical friendship and opportunities to network.
One organisation we belong to is the European SchoolNet.  It is a network of 34 Ministries across Europe and beyond.  Schools, Universities and industry collaborate around showcasing  best practice in pedagogy, andragogy and technology, research, projects and much more.  Guess which Ministry of Education does not belong? Often we have been the only UK company represented at meetings, conferences and shows.  We will continue to access this network through our European partners but if the UK wishes to be a serious player in educational technology it really must start to get its act together!  Rant over and I didn’t even mention Brexit … “

Where educators go to grow
In July colleagues from IRIS Connect interviewed Daniel Muijs, Deputy Director of Ofsted, about the latest changes to the Ofsted Inspection Framework and the impact it will have on schools from September. In this video interview, Daniel answers questions selected by school leaders and covers topics such as evidence-informed practice, domain specific CPD and teacher reflection.
Click here to watch the video from the start, or choose a point in the interview that interests you the most using our video index.Interview with Daniel Muijs: Ofsted Framework 2019.

What is ITELab? 3 ways to get involved in the coming months.
ITELab (Initial Teachers Education Lab) is an EC funded Knowledge Alliance project between higher education institutions and industry to foster innovation and knowledge exchange in initial/preservice teacher education (ITE).
1.Join our FREE 4-week online course -mooc – starting 14th October    
2. Designed for student and beginning teachers, to develop their pedagogical digital competence, discover new collaborative and active approaches to teaching and create their European professional network. Sign up for the course here or explore the course syllabus.
3. Encourage your university ITE colleagues to join the Autumn cooperation
4. Each of the 3 modules is structured along ECTS credit lines and linked to the DigCompEdu Framework. You can find more information about the modules and download their handbooks on the ITELab page.
Currently, 25 universities from across Europe will cooperate with ITELab in Autumn 2019 and implement the teaching frameworks, or their parts, in their curricula. ITElab welcomes any other universities who wish to join the ITELab Innovative Teaching Cooperation to register their interest here,
5. Join the Monthly Discussion ITELab forum on innovative teaching
Come and join the next ITE Forum, a series of short thematic seminars for all interested stakeholders for more information on the session, its attendees and resources, please visit the ITELab page

Tony Cann’s  killer idea

Learning by Questions (LbQ) participated in the Technology Pedagogy and Education Association conference in July after winning the Innovator of the Year award at this year’s BETT show. (LbQ)s was founded Tony Cann CBE, who also founded Promethean.  Martin George at TES interviewed the LbQ founder about what had motivated him to set up the LbQ charity. He found that Tony wanted to find a killer idea that would l do more than the interactive whiteboard ever achieved to transform education and reduce teacher workload.

The problem Tony has been working on for the past 15 years is the lack of personalisation and real-time information in the classroom. The solution he has come up with is a new classroom app with 50,000 questions and instant feedback for pupils. Crucially, teachers using LbQ can see in real time how their pupils are performing, allowing them to give immediate and personalised feedback to those who need it.

There are three main elements to a teacher’s day: planning, teaching and assessment. Technology can be used to alleviate the struggles of workload, but there is a lot of edtech that appears to take over from the teacher. That is not what LbQ sees for the future of UK classrooms.  The aim of the LbQ programme is to support and complement teachers.
Alan Walker,  Learning by Questions; TES Article

Trackers and Teachers
At Outset we have been very busy over the summer. Our portfolio for initial teacher education now has 7 different trackers for trainee teachers and NQTs. The initial tracker was based on criteria designed by http:// www.nasbtt.org.uk This has served teacher training providers well. But increasingly providers have been keen to define their own criteria to support the development of novice teachers and we are now in a position to offer bespoke solutions. One of the trackers available enables us to offer portfolio support for the Early Career Framework. We are now seeking Appropriate Bodies as partners to work with in offering this to NQTs.

Attracting the interest of universities remains a barrier to our growth. Many utilise generic systems such as Moodle and Blackboard. Through Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI) our platforms can be easily integrated with such systems.
Our new website to support mentor development is now live. This is based on the National Standards for ITT Mentors and is designed to assist mentors in auditing and monitoring their professional development. We are looking for schools, academy trusts, universities, SCITTs and other bodies that wish to work with us in supporting their mentors. The portfolio is an ideal tool to support accreditation.

Our third portfolio site, designed in conjunction with the University of Buckingham, supports the professional development of SENCOs.

We’re excited at how our projects are developing. Please contact Neil Brading neil.brading@teachersstandards.com if you are interested in any of our products or are interested in exploring other portfolio-related possibilities with us.
EDTECH NEWS

National Centre for Computer Education
You will find the second newsletter for the new NCCE body here:
Each half-term they explain, “we present a selection of current research and evidence, hear from teachers embedding this evidence in their practice, and show you ways in which you can get more involved in computing education research”.
In this issue:
  • What physical computing devices are teachers using at Key Stage 2?
  • Sharing and communicating Pedagogical Content Knowledge (PCK)
  • What is pair programming, and how are teachers using it?
NCCE explain that they need our input to make Research Bytes as useful as possible: tell them what you want to see in this newsletter via this feedback form:
TPEA have suggested that they canvas our members for up-to-date research.
FEATURED IMAGE
Cognitive Load Theory?
Image Credit: City of Boston Archives CC BY
BLOGS

Teacher CPD
Despite everyone’s best intentions, in-service professional learning for teachers remains one of the most poorly delivered aspects of our education system. Is the time right for Teacher CPD through e-learning? Bernard Dady compares some options.  Link (Pdf downlaod)

The Power of Professional networks
After the fantastic TPEA conference in July, I was left invigorated by what people can do when they come together. It made me reflect upon another time in my life when I was part of a professional group that really made an impact. Emma Goto discusses the usefulness of professional networks for spreading great ideas and practice. Link

Meta-narrative research review
Keith Turvey and Norbert Pachler, two of our stalwarts in edtech research, have put together this  meta-narrative review which is  available open access here:

Assessing Computing and ICT strategy
It is always worth reading Terry Freedman’s articles at ICT and Computing in Education. Here is an amusing textual analysis of Damian Hinds DfE education technology strategy, Realising the potential of educational technology in education.

The article is worth a read:
I think the first thing to note is that I'm tempted to echo Dr Johnson's comment about a dog walking on its hind legs: "It is not done well; but you are surprised to find it done at all."
It's been a really hard slog to get the governments since 2010 to see any potential in education technology at all, so from that point of view I suppose this is a step in the right direction. However it suffers from a number of drawbacks”…..
 

Terry has also assembled a number of essays on assessment that members might find useful: link
 
RECENT REPORTS

MIRANDANET Knowledge Hub
MirandaNet Fellowship boasts a comprehensive Knowledge Hub (mirandanet.ac.uk) that has been documenting Fellows' articles and papers since 1992 as well as resources and reports relevant to the edtech community. We suspect that some of the many visitors to the website are interested in the history of computers in education. We also have reassembled the research from Becta.

We also aim to publish important reports that are suggested by members: For example, the latest list of findings from the Education Endowment Fund in edtech in schools. link (pdf)
Please keep sending us information that other educators in our field might value. We will now be keeping MirandaNet as an archive and continuing the posting on the new TPEA Knowledge Hub. Web editor Rob Ellis rob@icttalk.co.uk

Government launches Early Years App competition
On the 31st July, the UK government released further information about the Early Years app project announced last February. As part of this scheme, families in 12 pilot areas in England will be offered free access to two apps focused on early language, literacy and communication. The aim is to encourage parents to use screen time constructively and to interact with their children through meaningful activities. In this latest development, companies have been asked to submit apps to a competition to select that apps that will be offered to families. More information can be found here

Details of the process and the criteria for selecting the apps has also been published. The criteria were developed by a team led by Professor Jackie Marsh and may be useful as a tool to evaluate apps more generally.

Digital Literacy for Children
Exploring definitions and frameworks (Scoping Paper No. 01) © United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), New York, (2019)
This scoping paper and meta analysis of the digital literacy is a working document. Because Digital Literacy can be  interpreted in so many ways  The report looks and discusses some of the current frameworks available in order to to understand the current digital literacy policy and practice landscape; and suggests that digital literacy  frameworks must be flexible enough to be applied to different contexts and that they should be technology neutral. Download the paper here
 
Please keep sending us information that other educators in our field might value. We will now be keeping MirandaNet as an archive and continuing the posting on the new TPEA Knowledge Hub. Web editor Rob Ellis rob@icttalk.co.uk
 
 
USEFUL LINKS
Educate newsletter
Ros Luckin draws our attention in the EDUCATE newsletter which mentions their second Demo Day on 29th November,  “This follows up from the hugely successful inaugural event last year, and which will include the third ever EdWards ceremony. We invite as many of you as possible to attend and participate in this event, so do check out the schedule and make a note in your diaries.  Register here:
You will find the autumn edition here:

Promoting online child safety.
Jane Hernandez is a volunteer in safety and secure online educational program to help others stay safe and secure online. She sent us an important guide which has just come out which is very thorough on child safety online:
Jane Hernandez recommended this saying, “I liked the way they summarized each section with actionable items for the parent/teacher”. link
 
FEATURED VIDEO
David Jaffa

David Jaffa, Jaffa Foundation, gave a valuable talk at our conference about how to nurture young people and ensure they are employment ready. The life skills to flourish are very predictable (11:15)

We believe the future of the workplace is highly predictable and the skills needed to thrive are already very clear (yup!)

The future economy will be much bigger than today’s. So how do young people find a place they can flourish, contribute and thrive in a rapidly changing world?

While many things are changing, there are also factors that are stable over time, things we know are true today, and will be equally true decades from now. The factors we can bank-on long term enable us to build strategies with great certainty. This works both for individual careers and for the education system as a whole.

Economic forces are making some skills super valuable, while others are going the way of the dodo. Our Economic Ranking of Skills is a practical framework showing which is which.

1. Direct Wealth-Creation (TOP)
2. Character
3. Leadership
4. Portable Job Functions
5. Product / Service Delivery
6. Knowledge (BOTTOM)

Jaffa Foundation's mission is to promote the life skills young that people need to flourish. We are building a curriculum around the economic ranking of skills and looking for collaborators. Together, we can help produce a generation of world-beaters.

David Jaffa
Chief of Crazy Ideas
Jaffa Foundation
Get in touch at www.jaffafoundation.org.
 

Contents

BOOK REVIEWS

Practical Pedagogy Mike Sharples
We live in a period of intense and sometimes, on social media, fierce assertiveness about the right or the wrong way to organise and provide useful education. It is important to avoid closure, to keep exploring and reduce the risk that a monoculture of teaching and learning will emerge as if there is but one way for students to learn or for teachers to teach. This book, offering forty new examples of ways to organise teaching and learning, is a useful and interesting contribution to this exploration, broadening our understanding of the methods and practice of teaching, or pedagogy.
 
The book is a selection, slightly revised, of pedagogical frameworks adaptable to a wide range of educational settings drawn from an annual series of reports titled ‘Innovating Pedagogy’ published by the Open University Institute of Educational Technology from 2012-2019 (with further editions to follow). Aimed more deliberately at practitioners this is not necessarily a book to read all at once because it is not a continuous discussion on the theme of pedagogy. Instead, it is more like a compendium of different ways to think about and to experiment with the organisation of teaching and the creation of activities through which learning might be stimulated.
Read the rest of David Longman's review here http://tpea.ac.uk/book-reviews/
 
Book Reviews for Carers & Educators
By T. T. Danesh (PhD 2020)
Natural Born Learners
Authored by Alex Beard
Published by Orion
ISBN: 9781474604710


This is not going to be your typical edubook review. This one is written by an human rights researcher, who over the past two decades, came to notice, and now advocate, a growing trend Beard advocates well: education as the solution to every ordeal we face today. The edubook is not typical either. Far from the usual academic or pedagogical bores with eschatological undertones of do what I say or die, Natural Born Learners presents a kind of around the world in 80 days travel diary of an educator noticing the vibes of the edussance we are experiencing, with a balanced understanding of theoretical and practical leaps that are revolutionising the fortunes of our global family. Read the full review here.

Unlike other avant garde edubooks focussing on technology as the messiah saving the soul of education, Alex Beard dispassionately examines the protagonists of learning culture: the individual, the institutions and the community. Fully cognisant of the Oxford Martin Report, our innate need for purpose or the 21st Century imperative to develop human capacities of creativity, compassion and cooperation, Beard travels the world to distil first-hand information and insight about the meaning of life as none other than learning, ‘from talking to dying’ for individuals. He also offers specific recommendations to institutions involved in  learning--the competitive giants set up to meet the demands of industrial revolution two centuries ago--to seek ‘collective leaderships’ with the foresight to harness the forces of 21st century. Last but not least, Beard enriches our understanding of community as an integral part of learning based on love, connection, and communication, giving away the universal secrets to success in learning: ‘human plus machine plus better process’.   

Little book of Algorithms
There is little doubt that children find algorithms difficult – the quantity of material available on computational thinking and programming is huge but the link between them is not always evident.  I was hoping that this little book would be one of the elements in establishing that there is a link between computational thinking and programming.  It didn’t do it for me - but that isn’t to say that it isn’t a useful contribution linking algorithms to python: it is and it scaffolds knowledge between the two. 
The full review by Lynne Dagg can be found here 




 
FOR YOUR DIARY

CFSA and TPEA with British Council 18th October 2019 Programme to follow.
10 Spring Gardens, St. James's, London SW1A 2BN

28th November 2019 EDUCATE DEMO DAY Register here https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/ucl-educate-demo-day-2019-tickets-66462953483

 TPEA at BETT20  22nd, 23rd, 24th 25th January 2020 Excel, London (url)

Bett is the first industry show of the year in the education technology landscape, bringing together 800+ leading companies, 103 exciting new edtech start-ups and over 34,000 attendees from the global education community.
They come together to celebrate, find inspiration and discuss the future of education, as well as the role technology and innovation plays in enabling all educators and learners to thrive. 22-25 January 2020 at ExCeL London.
 

We are always keen to review books, videos, blogs or podcasts by members. Let us know if you have anything in progress. We would also like to extend our panel of reviewers. Please get in touch with me if you would like to be a reviewer: christina@mirandanet.ac.uk

Our previous book reviews are here: http://mirandanet.ac.uk/mirandanet-journal/book-reviews/

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