The New Learning Outcomes…

I was reviewing Jenny Luca’s  excellent presentation to EduTech2014 (here and embedded at the bottom of this post) when I came  across a reference to a recent paper that made me sit up!

It is called A Rich Seam: How New Pedagogies Find Deep Learning (here PDF 99 pages) and is written by Michael Fullan and Maria Langworthy.

Fullan is well known for his work on whole system reform and on advocating technology as a support to creative pedagogy. He wrote elsewhere that pedagogy has to be in the driving seat where technology is concerned. Langworthy is a major researcher in the educational space and writes on the future of learning.

Well, what made me sit up! There is a section entitled The New Learning Outcomes (p.64) which makes some very profound claims.


“…the “average impact” of the new pedagogies’ strategies in terms of a student’s additional months of progress beyond the average, is over seven months Such high-yield teaching strategies result in significantly more learning per year for the same investment. Over the course of a student’s schooling, the cumulative impact could be quite dramatic.

The challenging bit for teachers and students is that the new pedagogies require teachers and students to work side by side …Throughout the process, teachers and students continuously monitor the learning process, analysing what moves the learning forward most effectively, then refining or changing strategies to find what works best

This requires very hard work in redefining learning and in giving visible examples to those who may be skeptical. Fullan and  Langworthy do this.

Indeed, there is an example of good practice from Ireland. It is from Kate Murray, a teaching principal at Clontuskert, National School. Murray is quoted “When teachers and students connect the learning, it makes learners feel less like cogs in machines, and more like learning is something that is natural, instinctive and embedded in their aspirations and their world”(p.16).




Embracing Google Glass in an Irish classroom…

I am reading more and more about wearable technology.

In a sense it has been with us for a long time especially in terms of listening to music, but in another sense it is becoming more pervasive with really interesting developments in terms of health and fitness.

It set me thinking about secondary-schools and about Acceptable Usage Policies whenGlass the first teacher or student arrives in wearing Google Glass. What to do?

Why not embrace it!

Vala Afshar recently published 14 Google Glass Innovative Use Cases in Education.

Afshar was talking of the University, but some of his uses are applicable in the Secondary-school. I will highlight three them. I recommend you have a quick look at his Slideshare below.

  1. Incorporate Glass into Athletics
  2. Provide a simulated experience to students of an intense event
  3. Create a club to design apps for Glass

Now, I would just love to bring a Google Glass or Glasses into the classroom, explore them with the students and brainstorm the possibilities they see! Please Google….

The image “Glass in the Class” is from Gary King’s blog here.

…integrated, embedded, always on…

Okay eLearningIsland! So its been over two weeks since we last updated you!

I recently attended the Exploring CPD Programmes for Schools Seminar run by the Department of Education and Skills Professional Development Services for Teachers.

I tweeted at the time…


Maria Sheehan concentrated on using technologies to ensure effective feedback as part of an approach to Assessment for Learning, Blended-learning and teaching core Digital-competenciessome are well known, some are new on the block, some lend themselves to Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) – all would thrive in a wireless environment!

Some of Sheehan’s recommended technologies are

  • Annotations using Adobe Reader
  • ePortfolios via Google Sites
  • Wordle - an interesting example here was an exploration of the words used in examination questions
  • Padlet - Building walls of ideas and using it as a digital locker
  • Examtime especially for mindmapping
  • Socrative as a brainstorming and AfL tool with an interesting approach to using Blooms Taxonomy to set the questions
  • Animation
  • QR Codes

I like all of the above and indeed more were mentioned.

What we need in schools thought is not the ability to do these activities for one group or one class but to embed them across all ages, abilities and at all times.

There is not necessarily a need for every student to have a device, I have written previously about one device per group (here) but there is a crying need for connectivity.

We now see most secondary schools in Ireland with fast wired broadband – we now need to broadcast that broadband wirelessly around our schools or we remain likely to stay tied to the IT Project model rather than an integrated, embedded, always on approach that teachers and students are crying out for.