Wednesday, May 29, 2013

More from Sir Ken Robinson - How to escape education's Death Valley

I have posted two previous TED presentations from Sir Ken Robinson, both of which have been entertaining, informative and funny.  Here's his latest, I am sure you won't be disappointed!

Sir Ken Robinson outlines 3 principles crucial for the human mind to flourish -- and how current education culture works against them. In a funny, stirring talk he tells us how to get out of the educational "death valley" we now face, and how to nurture our youngest generations with a climate of possibility.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

What do children need to succeed? GRIT!

This from the TED website:

'Leaving a high-flying job in consulting, Angela Lee Duckworth took a job teaching math to seventh graders in a New York public school. She quickly realized that IQ wasn’t the only thing separating the successful students from those who struggled. Here, she explains her theory of “grit” as a predictor of success'.

To find out more about grit, watch the six minute video below.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Mandarin language programmes in New Zealand schools

Here is an interesting editorial from the New Zealand Herald.  It is very reaffirming to those schools in New Zealand who are implementing Mandarin language programmes for students.  The editorial starts:

'The drums are beating for more children to learn Mandarin. The Prime Minister wants more pupils to consider it. Education expert Wendy Pye goes further. She wants it to be compulsory for all New Zealand primary schools to offer children a chance to learn Mandarin. Compulsion would be a step too far. But it is not difficult to understand why there should be every encouragement for children to learn the language'.

To read the editorial in full, click here.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

A Tech Divide in Schools?

This article, from today's Dominion Post, investigates the impact and value of technology in schools.  The article starts:

'Education historians want teachers to question whether iPads and tablets are the way of the future for today's schools - but they don't wish for learners to live in the past. 

Professors Howard and Gregory Lee, education historians at Massey and Canterbury universities respectively, are calling on their fellow educators to ingest a grain of salt with suggestions that e-learning will enhance education quality'. 

My view is that when there is a considered plan and strategy for the implementation and use of technology in schools, the likes of iPads, tablets, netbooks and Google Apps for schools are extremely powerful and beneficial tools. 

Another point to consider is the reducing cost of technology; a $300 mini laptop or a $500 tablet is able to do more than what a $2500 desktop could do only a few years ago.  Additionally, there is a wealth of free resources to use in the world of technology, Google Apps for Schools being a prime example.

To read the Dominion Post article in full, click here.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Staff 'Reading' Club

A 'Reading' Club has been set up at St Mary's School for staff.  The aim of the club is to examine critically articles, presentations, You Tube clips; in fact, pretty much anything to get us thinking about education and our approach to teaching and learning.  Our first 'reading' is Dan Pink's thoughts on motivation.