Bookmarked 7 Ps of Platform Education by an author
Social media research is not pop-cultural. It is a mechanism for understanding the very real performativity in platform education.
Naomi Barnes explores the effect of the platform economy on education. She breaks this investigation down into seven considerations: platforms, publics, profiles, produces/prosumers, professional expectations, policy and performativity. In closing, she highlights three points to be taken from all this: platform education is here and there is no pragmatically viable way to avoid it, social media policy makers should be aware of the ebbs and flows of social media platforms and factor that into workload and human resourcing, and policy makers must be aware of the effect of their presence on social media. This touches on the work of Ben Williamson and his book Big Data in Education.
Replied to Good Teaching by Adrian Camm
What I am sure about is that there is no one formula for great teaching and that’s what makes our profession such a rewarding one. Just like learning is a deeply personal endeavour – so is teaching. Teacher quality does matter. We want great teachers teaching the eager young minds of tomorrow. We also have to work with those we currently have in the profession and understand that teaching quality matters more.
I always find ‘good teaching’ intriguing. In part I hear Bruce Dixon/Will Richardson yelling that it is ‘all about learning’, but then I have Gert Biesta discussing the purpose of education. Thinking back over all the different contexts that I have found myself in I feel that ‘good’ was as much about working with the students in front of you or the staff next door. One lesson I learnt early in my career is that not every strategy works in every situation. I wonder then if ‘good’ is as much a verb as it is an act described?
Replied to Consolidation is not a dirty word by Dr Deborah M. Netolicky (the édu flâneuse)
Consolidation doesn’t mean there is no work to do. It doesn’t mean standing still or stagnating. It means doing better what we are already doing now. It means connecting in with one another to learn from each other, celebrate, challenge and share our expertise. It means continuing to develop shared understandings and shared practices, and looking back occasionally to remind ourselves of how far we have come.
I really like this focus on celebration and consolidation Deb. We can become so wedded at times to the notion of transformation, yet transformation comes as we consolidate bit by bit. To me I think this is what Richard Olsen was trying to get at with the Modern Learning Canvas. It is about the small things, doing them well and going from there.

Also on: Read Write Collect

Bookmarked Making Change in Education II – Complexity vs. Lean Six Sigma (learning isn’t like money) by dave dave
We can’t talk about improved learning without considering the impact on teacher wellness.
Dave Cormier discusses the work of David Snowden around complicated and complex distinction. A complicated problem is one which can eventually be broken down into achievable parts and solutions, whereas a complex problem is one that cannot actually be solved. The danger of lean methodology is that there is a tendency to focus on the measurable over the meaningful.

We are confronted by the complicated/complex division everyday in education. Do I want to know if a medical students has remembered the nine steps of a process of inquiry to work with a patient or do I want to know if they built a good raport? How often do we choose the thing that is easier to measure… simply because we can verify that our grading is ‘fair’. How often do we get caught in conversations around how ‘rigourous’ an assessment is when what we really mean is ‘how easy is it to defend to a parent who’s going to complain about a child’s grade’.

Bookmarked ‘A wall built to keep people out’: the cruel, bureaucratic maze of children’s services by Jake Anderson (the Guardian)

In a system cut to the bone, gaining access to the support we had been promised for our daughter’s special educational needs was an exhausting, soul-sapping battle.

Jake Anderson recounts the journey associated with gaining support for their daughter, who has ASD. He discusses some of the stresses:

At the end of a day in this terrifying place, Alice got home hyperactive, angry and frustrated. In addition to the head tics, she now suffered from severe stomach pains and dizziness. Her disquiet would peak before bed. Aged 13, she still needed one of us to lie with her, soothing and calming her, before she eventually dropped off (also aided by melatonin).

One of the things that stood out was the blur between private and public connected with the privatization of government contracts:

Following an assessment in November 2013, we received a letter from Virgin Care. We found it baffling. It read: “As Alice’s language skills are delayed but in line with each other, her needs can be best met within the school environment and her case is now closed.”

My wife attempted to translate for me: Alice was significantly behind in her cognitive development. Not only did this diagnosis feel incorrect, but also, for reasons that were never fully explained, it absolved Virgin Care of any duty of care and handed the responsibility over to Alice’s school. This seemed utterly ridiculous, not least because the letter then detailed all the specialist strategies that Alice’s teaching assistant was obliged to deliver.

Liked A Gradgrind ethos is destroying the school system | Simon Jenkins by (the Guardian)
Pisa, Whitehall and Ofsted are obsessed with maths not because algebra is the key to happiness, or geometry to great riches, but because it is easy to score globally. Bereft of an ideal of a good education, government, and especially central government, likes anything that yields mass data. It holds the key to control, to the regime of rewards and penalties that underpins modern administration and its funding.
Liked ‘School shaming’ and the reactionary politics of neotrads by Benjamin Doxtdator
Along with phrases appropriated directly from the so-called alt-right, a small group of neotraditionalist educators have invented the concept of ‘school shaming’ to make their reactionary politics seem, well, less reactionary. Criticize a school for how it treats students, and you’re ‘school shaming’. Talk about structural racism and curriculum, and you’re playing ‘identity politics’. Oppose calls to shore up the authority of teachers in the face of supposedly out-of-control youth, and you’re ‘virtue-signalling’.
Liked The History of the Future of High School by Audrey Watters,Kitron Neuschatz,Lia Kantrowitz (Vice)
Masking the real history of high school in America also helps the DeVoses of the world obscure legitimate problems the education system has always faced—problems that have been deliberately created and maintained. Funding inequality and racial segregation are rarely the focus of these sorts of stories about an ever-unchanging educational system. The dominant narrative instead tends to point to teachers or curricula, or even bells and early start times, as the reason schools are “broken” and that students aren’t being adequately prepared for the future.
Liked I'm calling bullshit on our education system by JL Dutaut (Tes News)
What makes us good teachers isn’t the school’s or the system’s expectations of us. It is our expectations of ourselves. The value we provide is in the classroom, in our collaborations with colleagues, and in what we do for our students and communities. It will never be on the lesson plan, in our performance management, or in justifying ourselves to superiors. We all have our DBS certificates. It’s high time we de-bullshited our education system. And Damian Hinds and his ilk had better muck in, lest they finally convince us that being a politician is the ultimate bullshit job, and the only non-bullshit job left in education is supply teaching.
Liked Students as customers by Clint Lalonde (EdTech Factotum)
I do believe that educators need to continually kickback at the notion that students are customers because it fundamentally changes the nature of our relationship, boiling it down to dollars and sense. Getting a post-secondary education isn’t like buying a new car. Deep learning has to be driven by something other than economics and the more the language of consumerism seeps into our conversations, the more education adopts values that mimic the market. And we are not the market.