Saturday, April 21, 2007

The rise of teachers' blogs

Teacher blogging stuff from the Guardian (UK)

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Friday, April 13, 2007

Xavier pupils suspended after bullying caught on film


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Thursday, April 12, 2007

US Federal Study Finds No Edge for Students Using Technology-Based Reading and Math Products

umm ... duh!

see also

Andrews, Richard. (ed.) (2004) The impact of ICT on literacy education. London: RoutledgeFalmer.

This book is basically a collection of the studies listed below. If you don't want to buy the book, get the reports online at the EPPI centre.

Burn, Andrew, and Leach, J. (2004) A systematic review of the impact of ICT on the learning of literacies associated with moving image texts in English, 5-16. London: EPPI-Centre, Social Science Research Unit, Institute of Education.

Locke, Terry, and Andrews, Richard. (2004) A systematic review of the impact of ICT on literature-related literacies in English 5-16. London: EPPI-Centre, Social Science Research Unit, Institute of Education.

Low, Gordon, and Beverton, Sue. (2004) A systematic review of the impact of ICT in literacy learning in English for learners between 5 and 16, for whom English is a second or additional language. London: EPPI-Centre, Social Science Research Unit, Institute of Education.

Torgerson, C, and Zhu, D. (2003) A systematic review and meta-analysis of the effectiveness of ICT on literacy learning in English, 5-16. London: EPPI-Centre, Social Science Research Unit, Institute of Education.

Andrews, Richard, Burn, Andrew, Leach, J, Locke, Terry, Low, G, and Torgerson, C. (2002) A systematic review of the impact of networked ICT on 5-16 year olds' literacy in English. London: EPPI-Centre, Social Science Research Unit, Institute of Education.

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Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Holly and Sam

My sister was married today. A good day.

It's been a stressful couple of weeks for all of us. All the best Hol.


Tech threatens family bonding: study

A study conducted by Australian Telco, AAPT, has investigated a range of parental attitudes towards young people's use of technologies. 1000 parents were 'surveyed'.
About 40 per cent of Australian parents believe their children's fixation with technology is robbing the family of precious face-to-face time, a study has found.

The research by telco AAPT has revealed that 16 to 20-year-olds spend an average of 3.2 hours a day using technology.

This compares with just two hours of face-to-face communication spent with parents.

Almost half of the 1000 parents surveyed believed two hours was not enough time and would prefer about seven hours of face-to-face time with their children throughout the day.

Despite this, almost 80 per cent believe technology has dramatically helped their family to stay in contact.

Interesting stuff of course. I recall something about studies done on the very low average time most fathers spend interacting with their teenage children each day: less than a minute.

It seems to me that here again, in research such as this where parents are interviewed about the 'problems' associated with their children's technology use, the responses are inevitably negative, with undercurrents that appeal to fears about alienation, social fragmention, addiction, youth deviance etc while at the same time finding that people also recognise the ways communication technologies have enabled broader family interactions.

While these two different 'findings' seem to be in contradiction, they are fairly normal findings. One one hand you have a kind of moral discourse about what good or normal adolescence should be with behaviours which fall outside of this being seen as a problem. The problem is of course technology, or violent computer games or internet addiction, or some other technological deterministic view of the power of technology to influence social behaviour of itself, as if technologies have some power to take over humans, or to influence those with less moral fibre or less will power to resist the urges to give in to it.

On the other hand, the discourse of technological advanncement suggests that communication technologies have radically altered social behaviours and allowed us to do things that were not possible in the past.

I guess in the end these two different discourses are not that different.

Research like this taps into such discourses, fears, insecurities, hype and hope, and rather than offer anything new, tends to perpetuate the same kind of simplistic view of young people's use of technologies: as dupes, deviates or cyberkids.

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Sunday, April 08, 2007

Teacher performance pay model won't perform

Some important questions Minister Julie Bishop has yet to answer on teacher performance pay.

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Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Heroes we don't praise enough

Glyn Davis is vice-chancellor of the University of Melbourne. This is an edited extract of his speech to the Australia Day breakfast at Parliament House, Melbourne.

Thanks, Professor Davis.
AUSTRALIA Day is an invitation to celebrate heroes — those extraordinary people who together made possible our large and successful society.

I come to praise a group of unlikely candidates who get little recognition for their contribution — indeed people who find themselves regularly pilloried in public discussion.

Democracy is underpinned by assumptions we take for granted — that, for example, every Australian can read and write and so participate in public life.

Our political system presumes, without much examination, that Australians understand the purpose and operation of democracy, the value of free expression, the importance of the rule of law, the intrinsic rights of every person.

There was a time, of course, when such assumptions could not be made — when education and literacy were not universal, when essential civic knowledge might not be absorbed at school, to be carried through life.

We had to learn how to live together in peace, and we did so in large part through education ... more

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How to be an education expert (and warrior)

This is by Mercurius Goldstein (what's in a name ... right!) posted over at Larvatus Prodeo. Keep it coming MG.

Mercurius says:
Well, here’s my review of “Dumbing Down”. Actually it’s a review I wrote for Dr D’s last book, but I’ve since found you can use to review everything he’s ever written. It’s a kind of meta-review.


You too can enjoy the public acclaim and consultancy fees that come with being an education expert! Just follow this prescription for success and a government grant can’t be far behind…

1. There is a crisis in education - your business depends upon it. Take every opportunity you can to point out the crisis in education. Think of it as advertising.

2. Teachers are Marxists. Teachers who deny they are Marxists are postmodern Marxists, which is worse.

3. Postmodernism is a world-view that makes it impossible for people to see that you are right. Postmodernism causes teenagers to challenge authority and spell badly. Before postmodernism, these problems did not exist.

4. There aren’t enough men in teaching. And by men, I mean real men, not these postmodern Marxist nancy-boys you see flouncing about our public schools (there’s something suspicious about them…). Be careful not to make too much of this however, because men will demand the same salaries they can get in other professions.

5. Repeat after me: repetition works. Studies have shown that a claim becomes true if you say it over and over again without listening to any alternative suggestions. Studies have shown that a claim becomes true if you say it over and over again without listening to any alternative suggestions. Try to make your claims truer than everybody else’s.

6. Paying for private education is a noble act of self-sacrifice, made by parents without any thought for the future social or material benefits that may result. Parents who send their kids to private schools love their children more and are better people than public-school parents. If public-school parents only loved their children more, they would be able to afford a private education for them.

7. Public schools are not failing enough students, and are heartlessly providing them with nothing but support and encouragement. Fortunately, there is lots parents can do to balance things up. Start by telling your child every morning what a disappointment they are to you, and provide them with years of shaming and criticism. This will result in a happy, well-adjusted individual ready to negotiate in the modern workplace.

8. Teachers are to blame for teenage delinquency, moral relativism, greengrocers’ apostrophes, multicultural policy and Leo Sayer’s comeback. However, to give credit where it’s due, we should remember that when young Australians make great achievements, or grow up to be decent individuals holding down a job and raising a family, it is all thanks to their parents.

9. In the modern classroom, students don’t do any real work. Instead, they get given namby-pampy “assignments” where all they have to do is think of a topic, find research materials, form a logical argument based on the evidence and make a persuasive presentation to their classmates. But since they do all that without copying anything down from the blackboard, they haven’t really learnt anything, have they?

10. The golden rule: If you ever let anybody think that Australian education is doing well, they won’t give you any gold to fix it.

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Monday, April 02, 2007

Click here to give 'em the flick

Danah Boyd is part of Mimi Ito's (yes and a whole bunch of others) Informal Learning project and here writes about relationships and myspace. I'm sure I have some data on this as well.

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Sunday, April 01, 2007

14-year-old girl in jail for shoving teacher's aide

This is almost too much to take. I have to read it twice. Is there something the paper is not reporting?

A 14 year old student shoves a teacher aide, is found guilty of 'assault on a public servant' and jailed till she is 21!

This cannot be right. This is an April Fools gag right?

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