Institutional memory and education technology | Terry Freedman

Elephant, by Geralt CC0

One of the problems facing the education technology community is institutional memory loss. (I’m sure it affects every community, but my field of expertise is ed tech.) This occurs when an organisation’s or a community’s wisdom is lost over time.
The reason may be a sudden, and in my opinion ill-judged, decision by a new headteacher to get rid of older (aka more expensive) staff. Yes, money will be saved, which in an era of diminishing budgets is more important than ever, but ‘hidden’ information…

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What I’ve been writing: articles around education technology: innovation, parental engagement, teaching programming and digital illiteracy | Terry Freedman

Writer, by Waldryano. CC0 licence.

This is a round-up of articles I’ve written recently. They cover a variety of topics in the ed tech sphere, not all of them on this website. Hopefully you’ll find something of interest.Innovation
I half-jokingly (but only half jokingly) said to Lord Jim Knight at the EdTechX Europe conference last June that there was far too much innovation in education these days. What I was really getting at was the constant drive to ‘improve’ things even when they’re working perfectly well.
But when you…

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7 suggestions for how to treat willful digital illiteracy in education | Terry Freedman

We should expect people in education be technologically literate.

Reading through people’s blogs, especially those of educators, one thing that strikes me is what a nice bunch we are. Everything people say about barriers to implementing the use of educational technology across the school  is correct, but I also believe that part of the problem is our willingness to make allowances.
It is usually at this point that people who know me call me a grumpy old man, but in my mind I am an angry young man! Surely there are some…

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An education technology co-ordinator’s spring-cleaning checklist | Terry Freedman

The bare essentials: coffee, water, notebook, computer — and a good book!

If you happen to teach Science and would like to show your students the second law of thermodynamics (everything tends towards entropy or disorder if left to itself) in action, then contact me to arrange a visit to my desk. Over time it gets worse and worse, until I can no longer see what’s there, find anything, or even think. I’d show you a photo but I’m too ashamed to be honest.
And so it was that a couple of days ago I had a massive clear-out –…

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Making and coding | Terry Freedman

Guest article by Derek Blunt.

Just because everyone says something is good, doesn’t mean it is.

One of the biggest growth areas in educational Computing at the moment is what may broadly be called “making”. Whether it’s constructing objects using Lego bricks, experimenting with the BBC Micro:bit or experimenting with an Arduino, the so-called “Maker Movement” has now entered the classroom.
But does it actually work? And by “work”, I mean: does…

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The importance of research in education | Terry Freedman

Planning is useful, but is it effective?

I attended the conference of the National Conference of University Professors recently. One of the speakers at the event, which was titled Research Excellence and Publishing Seminar, was Professor Marilyn Leask. 
She asked: “Where is the research on lesson planning?”
We may do things without knowing if there is any research about that approach, or what the research says. Perhaps we may even justify that by taking the view that if we get it wrong, ie it turns out that what we’re doing…

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I’m not paranoid, but… | Terry Freedman

Last week I ran a day’s training course in assessing Computing. I was determined to make sure that nothing, absolutely nothing, went wrong. So, I copied my files (PowerPoints, videos and other stuff) to my laptop.
But in case my laptop went wrong, I out them all on a usb stick as well.
But in case that went missing, I sent them all to my Kindle.
But in case that got stolen, I emailed them to myself too.
In the event, all I needed was my laptop after all. 
Then, towards the end of the day, I went to show the class a Padlett I’d created.
But the wi-fi in the venue decided to disconnect…

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