Learnometers

Investment sought for device to monitor 'learning conditions' for schools

The effect poor school environments can have on children undergoing tests and examinations can be tantamount to them “trying to run 100 metres in heavy boots”, says Professor Stephen Heppell.

He has just released research feedback to back up that assertion, just as his Learnometer monitoring invention is launched for crowd-sourced investment on the Kickstarter website.

Cameron, Cadoxton

Online literacy work amplifies what works offline – and south Wales pupils enjoyed the best of both worlds

Not content with creating world-class online creativity tools for primary children with Purple Mash, software publisher 2Simple set up an imaginative new vehicle for using this tools to maximum effect, Serial Mash.

It's a fruitful partnership with author Johnny Zucker that has created a charming series of highly engaging online books to get children reading and writing too. And its recent Serial Mash competition hooked pupils all over the world and sparked more than a quarter of a million reading activities.

neon sign

Tony Parkin delves into an edtech Meetup to check out the world of 'edupreneurs' and lucre

When C P Snow wrote of The Two Cultures he was referring to the contrasting worlds of the arts and the sciences, a division in educational philosophies that remains to this day. But maybe if he was writing today he might instead address the wider cultural gap between those who feel education should be free of market forces, and those who view it as a vertical market sector.

The latter believe a new breed of 'teacherpreneur' should be able to bring about revolutionary change to what they refer to as an education market ripe for development. 

Marco de Rossi and Nicolò Ammendola

Are learning platforms moving on? 'WeSchool' reckons on a paradigm shift     

Reports of their demise have been remarkably premature. Those who denigrate VLEs (virtual learning environments), or learning platforms as they are also known, have perhaps underestimated the desire of schools, teachers and learners to have their own secure space in which to communicate, collaborate and share materials.

Now, fresh out of Italy, comes an innovative new platform, WeSchool, which aims to disrupt expectations of digital learning spaces with an inclusive pledge to integrate anything that a school or department needs. 

OCR Computing

Exam answer in Computing textbook heralds more problems for OCR  

coverOCRcomputingStudents taking the OCR exam board’s GCSE Computing can gain marks simply by copying or reworking an exemplar “controlled assessment” contained in the official OCR Computing for GCSE Student's Book  which was published by Hodder Education in partnership with OCR back in in 2012. It's available from Amazon and most bookshops and is widely used in schools.

Teachers have already noticed similarities in assessments submitted by some of their students as a result of them using the same source, but it is not clear whether they are technically in breach of regulations as they are using a freely available resource from OCR. But there are serious advantage issues that are certain to be investigated by both OCR and Ofqual.