What kind of education do we believe our children deserve?

TES | January 10, 2019

Here’s a late-breaking new year’s resolution. Let’s make 2019 the year when we regain our ambition for our profession, and for our children and young people.After all, if 2018 taught us anything, it’s that more of the same is merely likely to deliver more of the same. Take the publication in December of the Year 6 results. Here’s how the BBC reported them: "Primary school tables: poor pupils won't catch up for 50 years."And just in case we hadn’t grasped the gist of the story from such a headline, the first sentence of the report hammered home its dispiriting message: “If the pace of change remains the same as it has done since 2011, poor pupils will not catch up until 2070.”So, enough is enough. If we’re not careful we’ll look back to this era of convulsive social, political and technological change, and notice how there in the middle of it all, we stood, the teaching profession, allowing ambition to wither, with English education reduced to the platitudinous language of accountability and performance measures, the arts squeezed out of too many schools, the curriculum mechanistically narrowed.And if, as I sense, there is a growing hunger for a new educational direction, then it may just be that the secretary of state has done us a favour. Freshly-appointed to the position, Damian Hinds announced at ASCL’s annual conference last year that there would be a moratorium on any further curriculum or qualification change for the lifetime of the parliament.

Spotlight

The White Paper is a major policy initiative, strongly backed by the Prime Minister with a speech the day before publication and a four-page foreword to the document, as well as by the Secretary of State for Education and Skills herself. The Government’s aspirations for the White Paper appear to be that the proposals it contains will act as a catalyst for significant, permanent improvement in the schools system.

Spotlight

The White Paper is a major policy initiative, strongly backed by the Prime Minister with a speech the day before publication and a four-page foreword to the document, as well as by the Secretary of State for Education and Skills herself. The Government’s aspirations for the White Paper appear to be that the proposals it contains will act as a catalyst for significant, permanent improvement in the schools system.

Related News

ONLINE EDUCATION

Online Training Is Making Workplace Learning Faster and More Effective

Questionmark | September 08, 2021

New technologies are making workplace training more efficient, accessible and relevant than ever. Though social distancing measures are easing, employers should continue to invest in online learning to equip teams with the modern skills they need, says online assessment provider, Questionmark. Many employers shifted training online when it became impossible to deliver face-to-face programs. And 18 months later, senior leaders have noted several benefits which make the case not to go back. These include: Efficiency – online learning cuts out travel time and can speed up delivery. Personal relevance – online learning programs do not depend on a critical mass of employees coming together in one physical location. It is easier to tailor content to the needs of an individual. Frequency and agility – the business environment is constantly shifting. Modular, bite-sized training is often more effective at equipping workers with the modern skills they need. Online training is easier to deliver in small, more regular chunks. Flexibility – because participants do not need to travel to one place, people can log on at a time that suits their working pattern. Cost and convenience – there are no time or travel costs, so workers don’t need to down tools while they travel to and from a physical center. Of course, this also saves on the environmental impact of such travel. John Kleeman, Founder of Questionmark said: “Online training has emerged as a more effective way of upskilling team members and ensuring training is relevant to their constantly-evolving needs. It is essential that during and after the training, leaders test that people have learned what they should.” By testing participants during and after the training, employers can be confident that it’s worked. Where participants are failing to grasp the subject matter, managers can provide additional support. By testing skills and knowledge before the training, leaders can make an informed call on which team members actually need it. Assessments can reveal individual areas of strength and weakness and ensure training is more tailored. About Questionmark Questionmark provides a secure enterprise-grade assessment platform and professional services to leading organizations around the world, delivered with care and unequalled expertise. Its full-service online assessment tool and professional services help customers to improve their performance and meet their compliance requirements. Questionmark enables organizations to unlock their potential by delivering assessments which are valid, reliable, fair and defensible. Questionmark offers secure powerful integration with other LMS, LRS and proctoring services making it easy to bring everything together in one place. Questionmark's cloud-based assessment management platform offers rapid deployment, scalability for high-volume test delivery, 24/7 support, and the peace-of-mind of secure, audited U.S., Australian and European-based data centers.

Read More

ONLINE EDUCATION

BackTo.Biz Launches to Provide Free Online Learning Tools to Help Small Businesses Pivot, Recover and Grow

BackTo.Biz | August 31, 2021

A coalition of leading businesses and non-profits today partnered with Howard Schultz, the emes project, and CreativeLive to announce the launch of BackTo.Biz: a free online learning program created to help small businesses develop knowledge and skills to accelerate their recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. Featuring a collection of 400+ individual video lessons, articles and tools from a diverse and renowned set of innovative entrepreneurs, the BackTo.Biz program is designed to help small business owners expand their knowledge and skills on a wide range of topics, including: hiring talent, selling online, building their brands, pivoting business models, creating new revenue streams, finding their ideal customers, managing stress and more. The BackTo.Biz program was funded by former Starbucks ceo and chairman emeritus Howard Schultz and the emes project, and co-created with CreativeLive, a global leader in online learning. To reach as many small businesses as possible and share additional best-in-class learning resources from top tier brands, BackTo.Biz has teamed up with a coalition of non-profit and business leaders to raise awareness of the program, including: Ascend, Chase, Community Reinvestment Fund USA (CRF), Facebook, Grow with Google, Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses, Intentionalist, Main Street America, Microsoft, Reimagine Main Street, Salesforce, Starbucks, Shopify, and CO— by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. "Small businesses, the very fabric of our communities, are struggling due to seismic changes in consumer behavior and the economy that have been unleashed by the COVID-19 pandemic," said Howard Schultz, former Starbucks ceo and chairman emeritus and founder of the emes project. "BackTo.Biz provides valuable lessons and skills to help small businesses adapt, pivot, and thrive in this critical moment." "Online learning has the power to help small businesses develop actionable skills to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic," said Chase Jarvis, ceo of CreativeLive. "The free content taught by a diverse group of renowned entrepreneurs on BackTo.Biz will help small business owners recover and grow stronger than ever before." ABOUT BACKTO.BIZ BackTo.Biz is a free online learning program created specifically for small business owners brought to you by CreativeLive, a global leader in online learning. Featuring a collection of 400+ individual video lessons, articles and tools from a diverse and renowned set of innovative entrepreneurs, the BackTo.Biz program was developed to support, inform and inspire small business owners as they navigate the seismic shifts to the economy and consumer behavior caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Read More

EDUCATION TECHNOLOGY

Verizon introduces BlueJeans for Remote Learning

Verizon Sourcing LLC | October 28, 2021

Verizon Business today announced new BlueJeans Meetings enhancements, including a bundle of features to support hybrid and remote learning. Available as part of specific BlueJeans Meetings plans, or for education customers at a special discounted rate, the new BlueJeans Remote Learning feature pack allows instructors to build a custom teaching experience without the overhead associated with hosting traditional online classes. Despite connectivity, education and delivery challenges faced by universities and corporate training leaders at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, teachers and students are realizing the benefits of leveraging remote learning tools for education. Adopting an engaging approach to online teaching could further improve operations and students’ experiences. Intended for the classroom setting, online instruction or corporate learning sessions, BlueJeans’ Remote Learning features focus on making the teacher a central part of the learning environment and provides the opportunity for educators to bring their own unique style into the remote setting. “Teachers are telling us they’re lost, and they’re struggling to keep students engaged in today’s live virtual setting. Having to spend time playing administrator and technical support expert is minimizing their ability to think through compelling, interactive ways to deliver the curriculum virtually. By bringing together our comprehensive education, collaboration and training features into one consolidated experience, we’re making it easy for teachers to operationalize their learning environment so they can go back to focusing on what matters most—educating students.” Amy Jefferson, Head of Americas Revenue and Growth, BlueJeans by Verizon Simplified, Customizable Classroom Management By turning on the Teacher Dashboard, BlueJeans provides instructors with all the necessary classroom management tools they need in one place, making it easier for educators to navigate the complexities of virtual teaching environments so they can focus on having fun with teaching. Designed to save teachers time from the administrative duties of hosting a virtual class, these tools provide easy access to arrange students in gallery view or spotlight a presenter, share content, chat and so much more. Furthermore, going beyond “just meeting” virtually, instructors will now have the ability to build a custom teaching experience that is best suited for their lessons, students and teaching style. This dynamic view intelligently arranges participants on screen, giving full visibility to the instructors of everything that’s happening in their classroom. ​Inclusive and Engaging Learning Environment As a core element of effective learning, student engagement has traditionally been harder to unlock in virtual settings. Optimized for student engagement, BlueJeans’ Remote Learning features allow the entire class and instructor to collaborate and engage with the information being discussed. The always accessible chat wizard, breakout sessions, participant reactions, intelligent highlights and multi-participant whiteboard increases opportunities for everyone to engage during a live teaching session. Key Remote Learning features include: Customizable Layouts: See your entire classroom in one view along with all the tools needed to effectively run and manage your session. Flexible Views: View the entire class in gallery view or the way you like. Sort the video layout on participation level, alphabetical or in priority of raised hand first. Student Rosters: Know your audience. Keep track of who is joining the session and who is in the waiting room (if activated). Floating Chats: Never miss a beat or simply multi-task with the new floating chat wizard. Continue messaging while sharing content, whiteboarding or annotating. Teaching Apps: Elevate the effectiveness of remote learning sessions with quick access to all the essential teaching applications, such as Collab Board, Breakout Sessions, Polling/Q&A and Smart Meeting highlights. About Verizon Verizon Communications Inc. was formed on June 30, 2000 and is one of the world’s leading providers of technology and communications services. Headquartered in New York City and with a presence around the world, Verizon generated revenues of $128.3 billion in 2020. The company offers data, video and voice services and solutions on its award-winning networks and platforms, delivering on customers’ demand for mobility, reliable network connectivity, security and control.

Read More