Monthly Archives: July 2013

How are teachers using social media?

Fascinating post on teachers’ use of social media. Perhaps the quickest and most effective ‘do-it-yourself CPD’ available…

Joe Kirby's blog


“The internet: probably the most important human invention since the printing press…”

A long-overdue technological revolution in education is at last under way, says The Economist.


This week, The Economist ran a briefing on education technology. As long ago as 1913, Thomas Edison predicted the motion picture would make the book obsolete in the classroom. Though it ‘has been on the verge of transforming education for over a century, this time it looks as though it will’. This time is different, The Economist argues, because of high-speed networks, cheap tablets, big data, online gaming, adaptive software and private equity. In 2012, around $1.1 billion of venture capital was invested into edtech in the US alone. Pearson has spent over $9 billion in the past decade on technology. As Bill Gates said in 2013, ‘this is a special time in education’.


History tells a different story. ‘This time is…

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How to be an expert teacher

Great thoughtful post collating ideas on what it takes to be an expert teacher, reflecting on what we mean by expert. Lots of these around at the moment, so will try to pull together for our own PA version over the summer!

Class Teaching

10000HoursIn his book ‘Outliers‘ Malcolm Gladwell claims it takes 10 000 hours of sustained and deliberate practice to become an expert in a particular ‘skill’ – whether it be chess, playing the violin or basketball.  For teachers, this would amount to 10 years of classroom practice.  In his recent post on ‘deliberate practice’ Alex Quigley says that Geoff Colvin argues that it is closer to 3000 hours – so 3 years in the classroom.  In reality, there are so many factors to take into consideration, that it will differ from teacher to teacher – so somewhere in between these two figures seems likely, with this sort of pattern:


What is pretty clear though, is that teachers get better and better through practicing and refining their repertoire of teaching strategies over the years. And the better teachers, do this with greater focus and determination – it is not left to…

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T & L activity of the week – Two stars and a wish

The most effective feedback provides learners with an opportunity to take on board the feedback and respond to feedback. Teachers should then provide further feedback after learners have attempted a solution.

 two stars

  • In the example above, a specific task was given as a wish in order to help the student bridge the gap
  • The student completed the task next to the blue sticker.
  • In the student response box a peer explained whether the wish had been met.
  • The teacher briefly checked the feedback.