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Although classroom computers have been with us since the 1970s, schools have only recently become truly ‘digital’. Now, every school seems full of digital devices and display screens. Anything that can be digitised is stored online. Lessons are live-streamed, resources are downloadable and communication takes place through apps and email. Behind the scenes, schools maintain [...]
This article is based on an extract from a chapter in Dunlosky J and Rawson K (eds) The Cambridge Handbook on Cognition and Education. New York: Cambridge University Press. Over the past 30 years, educational and cognitive psychology have amassed encouraging evidence that human understanding can be improved substantially when we add appropriate graphics to [...]
In recent years, the slideshow presentation has become so ubiquitous in our schools that it has become rare to walk into a lesson and not see one on display. However, teaching from a slideshow can either support or hamper learning, depending on the slideshow design. In my English classroom, I use slideshows for a number [...]
In the five years to 2012, UK schools spent more than £1 billion on digital technology, ‘an investment that did not necessarily result in radical improvements to learning experiences or attainment.’ (Luckin et al., 2012) But why might this be, and might those improvements actually be achieved? How technology might be disrupting progress Tracking In [...]
While there is no shortage of polarised (and polarising) debates in education, the question of whether or not schools should ban mobile phones has received particular interest in recent months. With a new law banning pupils from having mobile phones in France’s schools coming into force in September, and Damian Hinds and Amanda Spielman both [...]
This article reports the initial findings undertaken by a transnational team of academics and teachers funded from an Erasmus+ project entitled ‘Designing and Evaluating Innovative Mobile Pedagogies’ (DEIMP). We recognise that mobile technologies have been used inappropriately by students and do not deny that smartphones have generated problems and challenges for teachers, leading to concerns [...]
Based on over 30 years’ experience as a teacher and teacher educator, including research in over 50 schools looking at digital technology strategies, I believe that Bring Your Own (BYO) is the best mobile device strategy for schools. I use BYO to mean ‘you may bring your own internet-enabled mobile device into school to support [...]
I don’t think anyone would deny that there are barriers to the effective use of digital technologies in education: from the fundamentals such as a stable and secure infrastructure, through the social such as agreed and well-communicated policies, to the pragmatic such as professional development and training. The research seems clear: digital technologies can make [...]
In 2018, Secretary of State for Education Damian Hinds issued a challenge to the education technology industry to help solve some of the most pressing problems facing education. The issues he outlined included developing more inclusive teaching practices and improving access to flexible teacher professional development, as well as improving assessment and providing support to [...]
Even though ICT and digital technology have been on the agenda in education since the first BBC Micro rolled off the production line in 1981, a debate continues in which the signal is often lost in the noise. New products, ideas and initiatives come and go but as a profession we still seem undecided on [...]
Academic interest in digital technologies in education has been growing for a number of years. Whilst mobile digital devices and other technologies have become an entrenched feature of our everyday social and working lives, they are now also a well-established feature in UK secondary schools in one shape or another (Marres, 2017). As in the [...]
When he wasn't lecturing in psychology at Ohio State University, Sidney Pressey spent his down time building a machine that may one day replace him: a teaching machine. It was 1921 and the dawns of binary computing, early artificial intelligence and electronic displays had not yet broken. But Pressey’s machine was visionary and could mechanically [...]
This article is fundamentally about teachers and their expertise.  The teachers in this research study stood out for the intelligent way in which they adapted technology to enhance teaching and learning, drawing on students’ natural interest in all things digital because it features in all our everyday lives. Is there a causal relationship between improved [...]
The ‘blended learning’ strategy Blended learning is described by Garrison and Kanuka (Garrison and Kanuka , 2004) as ‘the thoughtful integration of classroom face-to-face learning experiences with online learning experiences’. This approach is particularly useful in building learning communities, and there is a reasonable body of supporting evidence for the benefits of digital learning technologies [...]
In the past decade, classrooms have begun to shift away from textbooks, notebooks, pens and pencils and towards electronic media. In college classrooms, increasing numbers of students are taking notes on laptops, and in high schools teachers are incorporating computers and tablets into their lesson plans. While there are advantages to electronic media, a growing [...]
Today’s students are the first generation to grow up surrounded by technology. Laptops, e-readers and other digital tools are almost omnipresent, both in and out of the classroom – and there are important questions about the effect of these devices on learning. My interest in this topic came from what I witnessed during student teaching [...]
Much of the discussion surrounding digital games tends to focus on the possible negative aspects, including children and young people spending too much time playing games, and violent video games leading to violent behaviours in real life. Actually, the evidence about the latter is mixed, with research often showing short-term effects on behaviour rather than [...]
Research suggests that difficulties in low-level transcriptional processes such as handwriting and spelling or capitalisation can affect the quality and fluency of text and restrict children’s capacity to generate and record ideas (Graham and Perin, 2007). Using speech recognition software (SRS) provides an opportunity for students to dictate, edit and review their work using voice [...]
The New Wave Federation consists of three high-performing local authority primary schools in Hackney, Inner London. Improving outcomes through academic success is central to our mission and we endeavour to equip our children with the skills and understanding to make appropriate and positive choices about their own learning (Thomas , 2017). Technology, and specifically the [...]
Technology for learners with literacy difficulties is used widely in higher education, but not yet in schools. A survey of students eligible for assistive technology funding at Southampton University, for example, found that only a small proportion had used it previously (Draffan et al., 2014). Yet assistive technology products and services can provide useful support [...]
In the last few decades, the evidence from neuroscience and cognitive psychology has enriched our understanding of how we learn (Bransford et al., 2000). Schools are increasingly deploying these findings to make students’ learning stick (Brown et al., 2014). From my own experience and conversations with fellow teachers, I noticed that one lesson is typically [...]
There has been significant talk recently about the place of, and the use of, the textbook in teaching both in primary and secondary schools, with Department for Education-approved texts being available for phonics and mastery mathematics in primary and a growing call, from some quarters, for textbooks to make a comeback in secondary. However, with [...]
For nearly all of history, people’s lives have been governed primarily by ignorance… But sometime over the last several decades… science has filled in enough knowledge to make ineptitude as much our struggle as ignorance. (Gawande, 2010, p. 8) My 15-year history teaching experience has been paradoxical: a subjective feeling that my workload has increased [...]
MOOCs (massive open online courses) allow anyone, anywhere, to access high-quality learning materials via online platforms. With a rise in online learning, and a growing recognition of how this can support continuing professional development (CPD) in the education sector, in 2016, the Girls’ Day School Trust (GDST) ran its first online course with social learning [...]
Photo by Neil Thomas on Unsplash
Denbigh High School’s vision statement is “high achievement for all is our shared responsibility.” Part of the Chiltern Learning Trust and located in Luton, the school serves one of the most socio-economically deprived areas and communities in the region, yet the pupils make outstanding progress and reach exceptionally high levels of attainment in relation to [...]
These days, the novice teacher has to contend with an array of evidence-informed strategies. If education is to be successful, the application of research evidence is crucial (Kime, 2017). Couple the evidence-informed direction with the imperative to develop a knowledge-led curriculum that allows teachers to become ‘curriculum makers’ (Young et al, 2014), and the workload [...]
Note: The author of this article is an Apple Professional Learning Specialist. ‘Well, that was fun!’ was a comment I heard after a recent professional learning session with teachers. We had focussed on using robots to teach computing. The teachers had all taken part, solved problems and there was a real buzz in the room. [...]
The National Curriculum states that ‘all schools should make provision for personal, social, health and economic education (PSHE)’ (Department for Education, 2014, p.4), and that this provision should be driven by best practice.  An outline of key aspects of effective PSHE states that the subject should ‘include lessons which are interactive, participative and engaging; students’ [...]
Using technology to promote student metacognition through ‘think alouds’ Claire Badger, Senior Teacher, Teaching and Learning, The Godolphin and Latymer School, London, UK The Education Endowment Foundation’s (EEF) Teaching and Learning Toolkit lists metacognition as its second most effective intervention (Higgins et al., 2018). One of the seven recommendations from the EEF’s recent guidance on [...]
The project: Digitalised Dialogues Across the Curriculum (DiDiAC)  DiDiAC is an international research project that considers how a free, web-based micro-blogging tool (Talkwall, developed by the University of Oslo: might mediate classroom dialogue. The project, which commenced in April 2016, is the result of a longstanding collaboration between research groups at the Department of [...]
This paper outlines the initial findings of a practitioner research project into the ways in which Google Classroom can be used to support classroom dialogue. These findings are taken from the first phase of a doctoral (EdD) study at Cambridge University. The setting for this ongoing project is an independent preparatory school that is making [...]
Touch-screen tablets and educational apps are gaining popularity in classrooms worldwide, with increasing investment by schools and governments (Tamim et al., 2015). In the UK, over 70 per cent of classrooms have access to tablet technology (Clarke , 2014). Tablet devices are mobile, lightweight and do not rely on the motor skills needed to use [...]
The context of 360-degree video in teacher education Video has been used as a professional development tool for teachers for some time. However, despite the benefits, there are a number of barriers to using standard video playback with trainee teachers, in particular their difficulty in recognising issues in teaching and learning, resulting from less well-developed [...]
What if lesson observations were no longer isolated ‘snapshot’ activities carried out behind closed doors? What if feedback was no longer ‘given’ to a trainee, but developed ‘with’ a trainee, acknowledging good practice and agreeing developmental priorities based on video evidence and shared reflection? These were some of the questions driving a recent video-enhanced lesson [...]
The UK needs more teachers, particularly in shortage subjects. One way in which this shortage is being addressed is through subject knowledge enhancement (SKE) courses; aspiring teachers lacking enough degree-level knowledge of their chosen curriculum subject can complete a fully funded course before commencing their initial teacher training. Canterbury Christ Church University (CCCU) was the [...]
It could be argued that all educators engage in some form of reflective practice when thinking about planning and assessment. What is not clear is whether teachers are finding time to reflect deeply – to think deliberately and purposefully about the learning they facilitate. With time a precious commodity, and new technology an ever-increasingly available [...]
While studying for my professional doctorate in education, I found myself reading Michel Foucault’s Of Other Spaces, in which he presents what he calls ‘heterotopias’ – spaces that exist parallel to mainstream social spaces (Foucault , 1984). I couldn’t help but see in this description a framework for describing #EduTwitter, a space in which teachers [...]
Note: The authors of this article work for LessonApp, an education technology company offering a product for teachers. Designing quality lessons is one of the cornerstones of teacher education in developed countries. For example, in Finland, lesson planning is based on the latest scientific research on learning and how to foster it. Achieving a versatile [...]
This paper considers how technology-rich authentic learning environments (TALE) can be achieved through mobile applications for teaching and learning within the subject ‘elements of business skills’. The affordances of technology open up a seamless authentic learning environment, which can effectively engage both individuals and groups of learners. This is a natural learning approach, where learning [...]
The use of Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) technology in education is nothing new; the first recorded use was a flight simulator used to train US Air Force cadets in 1966 (Page , 2000). However, it’s fair to say that VR and AR technology has not yet brought about the revolution we all [...]
Note: the author of this article is director of Carmel Bones Education Ltd, an organisation offering chargeable consultancy services to schools. Hands up if you fancy going on a school trip? Site visits are often amongst the highlights of a student’s school career – the jewel in the crown of many history departments. Due to [...]
Geographical information systems (GIS) are a powerful tool for the visualisation and analysis of geographical information (Fargher , 2017) – for example, combining population density and flood risk data to support environmental planning. There has been a global increase in GIS use in secondary schools over the past ten years, mainly due to the perceived [...]
Note: The authors of this article work for the London Connected Learning Centre, an organisation offering chargeable services for schools. Drop by the London Connected Learning centre in Clapham, South London, and most days of the week you’ll hear the excited buzz of children programming robots, learning about city planning by building cities in Minecraft [...]
The possibilities that technology offers us to improve learning are tremendously exciting. In the past few years, the question has shifted from whether technology should have a place in the classroom to understanding how technology can be integrated into lessons to achieve specific learning goals. But as technology advances at lightning pace, it can be [...]
The need for secondary school students to understand how to research and get the most from the huge array of resources and data available to them is clear to many teachers and librarians. The quantity of information readily available is enormous but it is our job to teach students to find quality information and use [...]
According to Young Minds (2018a), one in ten children have a diagnosable mental health disorder – that’s roughly three children in every classroom (Green et al., 2005) – and half of all mental health problems manifest by the age of fourteen (Kessler et al., 2005). Websites and applications have unlocked myriad opportunities for teaching and [...]
  I am very fortunate to have worked in two schools that promote and celebrate teacher development. As I attended a university in which exercises prior to laboratory sessions (‘pre-labs’) were part of the course, I wondered whether this model could be applied to my Year 9 chemistry class. I made a video on how [...]
Steeton Primary and Eastburn Junior and Infant Schools are small primaries on the edge of the Education Bradford area. Both schools have been developing their internationalism – and use of IT – through eTwinning. As a British Council ‘eTwinning Ambassador,’ I train other teachers in the use of eTwinning. What is eTwinning? eTwinning is a [...]
Recently we have seen a dramatic increase in the amount of digital technologies available to use within educational environments, though there is debate around whether they are being used effectively (Casey et al., 2017); (Fullan , 2013). Whilst capitalising on the significance of digital technologies and their ability to engage learners, it is important to [...]
The high impact of effective feedback on learning is consistently emphasised in educational research (Hattie , 2009), yet providing pupils with timely, personalised and accurate feedback on a consistent basis is time-consuming. Fifty-three per cent of teachers responding to the Workload Challenge cited the detail and frequency of written marking required by their schools as [...]
Facilitating peer-based formative assessment through online quizzes Daniel Luxton, Teacher of Mathematics, Stanwell School, Vale of Glamorgan, UK Picardo (Picardo , 2017) identifies the benefits of regular testing through the use of online quiz platforms. Socrative provides a simple facility for teachers to devise and distribute quizzes. However, such testing does not need to be [...]
In January 2018, the Cambridgeshire Educational Trust launched an additional revision programme. We designed and built software to send personalised daily emails to parents of Year 11 students, providing them with revision questions to ask their child. The aim of the project was to help parents engage with their children’s revision. Each question would take [...]
In recent years, providing student feedback has become increasingly burdensome, to the point where it is now one of the biggest contributors to teacher workloads (Elliott et al., 2016). This considered, I want to ensure that the feedback I am giving is of good quality and that my students engage with it. I hypothesised that [...]
Note: The author of this article runs CyberCaesar, a chargeable online resource. Technology in the classroom should only be used to improve the learning experience. In this article, I reflect on the ways in which I have developed and used CyberCaesar, an online course to assist teaching and learning Latin in the classroom. Quizzes on Moodle [...]
Reading should be a joy at any age, but it can be so much more for children. It can help improve reading attainment, writing proficiency, text comprehension, grammatical awareness and vocabulary development, but young readers can also broaden their general knowledge, gain a better understanding of other cultures, and a deeper insight into human nature. [...]
City of London School for Girls provides students and staff with iPads, and all departments are encouraged to explore how best to integrate the use of mobile technology into the classroom. The music department has adopted the MusicFirst Classroom - an online platform where students can access cloud-based software and create a portfolio of work [...]
This article will explore the benefits and limitations of using iPad technology in lessons, through the lens of a historical example that could easily be transferred to examples in other subjects. It focuses specifically on the use of a presentation application called Prezi; although there are many ways in which iPad technology can be used [...]
Note: The authors of this article work for Firefly, an education technology offering chargeable products and services for schools.  Homework is part of the fabric of schools, but its value is frequently contested both in the press (Turner, 2018) and academia (Shumaker, 2016). The increase in school technology, such as online learning platforms, has created [...]
The author of this article is the settlor of the Bowland Charitable Trust, which finances Learning by Questions. This case study outlines the process adopted by the development team at Learning by Questions (LbQ) to develop an evidence-based app for the classroom. In particular, they were set the challenge of producing solutions that would: Provide [...]
Digital technology has the potential to transform pedagogy and improve the retention of knowledge (Leer and Ivanov, 2013); (Diemar et al., 2013), but many schools are not fully taking advantage of this due to the absence of a clear framework for technology integration. For many schools, this void is filled by the SAMR model, which [...]
The music education climate The music classroom is a different place to the one I studied in as a child, and quite different to the one in which I began teaching in 2004. The environment is very different in 2018; music departments are likely to have more computers in their classrooms (Savage, 2010; Ofsted, 2012) [...]
Imagine a world where every child in your Primary classroom is the proud owner and reasonably competent user of a smart phone. Perhaps in your school this is already true. Ignoring for the moment the full potential of this situation, including the use of the internet and social media for learning, this research focuses on [...]
Professional ownership and management of change One of the recommended long-term strategies to ensure the retention of teachers is to provide engaging and effective continuing professional development programmes (Preston, 2004; Younie, 2006; Davis et al., 2009; Pachler et al., 2011; Leask and Younie, 2013). However, releasing teachers from the classroom to undertake CPD is problematic [...]