Remote Learning, The Cathedral and The Bazaar

COVID-19 has forced schools to offer some sort of elearning service. It has forced schools, essentially, to swivel and offer something they’re not used to, at a time of high stress and uncertainty. As teachers, we tend, naturally enough, to look for “solutions” in the direction of education for what works: academic research on elearning, guides on “live teaching” and, less loftily and perhaps more pragmatically, stories from any schools that have managed an even half-way successful prototype.…

Some edtech maths

Have been doodling on the back of a napkin this evening about edtech and its cost-benefit.

Let’s say a new technology is being introduced into your school, with the promise of “50% better learning for all”.

Let’s assume the following:

  • your class has 25 students
  • you teach them your lesson 4 hours a week for 30 weeks
  • each hour each student progresses on average “1 unit of progress” which we’ll call 1P.

3D Education

I am finding Charles Koch’s framework for education more and more useful. If nothing else it helps me place some of the drier research on things like dual-coding and spaced retrieval in the context of a richer, more human approach and what Jeremy Barnes calls “Albert Hall Moments”.…

Jack Welch and Rates of Change

This, from Jack Welch, makes a lot of sense:

“I’ve always believed that when the rate of change inside an institution becomes slower than the rate of change outside, the end is in sight. The only question is when.”


Given how quickly things are changing outside schools, it makes me wonder how best to keep the rates of change inside them up to speed.…

21st Century Soup-Spilling

[post_intro]There’s a lot of talk about 21st century education. There are the skills that children need, the jobs that don’t exist yet, the access to learning anywhere and all the wonderful things the internet enables us to do. All of this is valuable, I think, but I wonder how much it is side-stepping the real issue?[/post_intro]…

Notes from Roland Barth

Roland Barth’s “Improving Schools From Within” is comforting and inspiring in equal measure. Well worth a read.

My notes:

Communities of Learners

School is not a place for important people who do not need to learn and unimportant people who do.

Private Schools and Private Tutors

I have nothing against private tutors – let me say that straight out. But I think without openness in the communications between tutor, child, parent and school everyone suffers significant problems for schools, parents and children. Equally

The Problem for the School

Heads of Department, in fact private schools in general, draw a huge amount of succour from their results.…

The Effects of School Are Overplayed

John Hattie’s book Visible Learning is a (dense) treasure trove of statistically backed educational research. He looks at 800 meta-analyses of school research and then analyses them for effect. The idea is essentially to try to come up with a way of measuring how much good various initiatives as compared to, say, a child’s natural development.…