Archive for the ‘chalkface’ Category

Welcome to Chalkface

February 2nd, 2010 by Dirk Stieglitz

Chalkface is an area where we are planning to collect together all those posts that deal with stuff to do with classroom practice.

There are several reasons for doing this.  One of them is that I am basically never going to get it together to write a blog.  If I have something to say, I just squat on Graham’s blog whenever I feel like it and so far he seems quite happy with the arrangement. I think it’s pay-back time for all the nights he has squatted on my sofa.  Despite peer encouragement, I just know that the pressure (real or imagined) of having to write regular entries would freak me out. My life is just not that interesting for goodness sake.  So this is a place where I can post stuff occasionally.

Secondly, the reality of Pontydysgu is that we dabble in a lot of areas. As you can see from the rest of the site, sometimes we just play with ideas – blue-skies stuff that may or may not lead anywhere and may or may not be useful. We also do proper grown-up research that people pay us to do and where there are clear outputs in terms of books or papers or conference presentations. Most of this will be behind the tabs on ‘projects’ or ‘publications’.  But, unlike a lot of education research organizations, we are also lucky enough to be involved with sharp-end delivery work.

Like most people in Pontydysgu, I work across all these areas. However, the place I feel most at home is working directly with teachers and kids in the classroom and I thought maybe our web site should be a bit more focused in the way we reported on these activities.

Lastly, I am a bit fed up with all these websites which are purportedly targeted at trainers and teachers but which are actually for researchers talking about trainers and teachers.  Wrong – trainers are totally shallow – I should know, I am one of them. The reason trainers look at a website is to get ideas that they can use in practice.  Preferably with Yr 8 tomorrow morning.

Yes, there are loads of brilliant resource-rich websites out there (would be interested to know which you rate and for what) so why are we establishing another?  Well simply because I’d like practitioners to realize that the PD site is for them as well as for the researchers. The other reason is that despite the sheer number of these swapshops for teachers,  e-technologies is still a bit under represented and good, open content, open access ones are even more thin on the ground.

So – I’m going to post the occasional entry here but if anyone else wants to add a post, please send it to me, jenhughes [at] mac [dot] com or to anyone else on the PD team and we’ll stick it up. Regular contributors can have their own password.

We are interested in actual ideas for ‘Things To Do”, reports on stuff you have tried, what worked and what went pearshaped, your favourite resources, other great websites, personal classroom problems looking for a solution. All these may involve e-technologies and social software or they may not. I am also keen to cross sectors and disciplines as most ideas can be scaled up or down or adapted for different age ranges with a bit of imagination.

Jen Hughes

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    MOOC providers in 2016

    According to Class Central a quarter of the new MOOC users  in 2016 came from regional MOOC providers such as  XuetangX (China) and Miríada X (Latin America).

    They list the top five MOOC providers by registered users:

    1. Coursera – 23 million
    2. edX – 10 million
    3. XuetangX – 6 million
    4. FutureLearn – 5.3 million
    5. Udacity – 4 million

    XuetangX burst onto this list making it the only non-English MOOC platform in top five.

    In 2016, 2,600+ new courses (vs. 1800 last year) were announced, taking the total number of courses to 6,850 from over 700 universities.


    Jobs in cyber security

    In a new fact sheet the Tech Partnership reveals that UK cyber workforce has grown by 160% in the five years to 2016. 58,000 people now work in cyber security, up from 22,000 in 2011, and they command an average salary of over £57,000 a year – 15% higher than tech specialists as a whole, and up 7% on last year. Just under half of the cyber workforce is employed in the digital industries, while banking accounts for one in five, and the public sector for 12%.


    Number students outside EU falls in UK

    Times Higher Education reports the number of first-year students from outside the European Union enrolling at UK universities fell by 1 per cent from 2014-15 to 2015-16, according to data released by the Higher Education Statistics Agency.

    Data from the past five years show which countries are sending fewer students to study in the UK.

    Despite a large increase in the number of students enrolling from China, a cohort that has grown by 12,500 since 2011-12, enrolments by students from India fell by 13,150 over the same period.

    Other notable changes include an increase in students from Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia and a fall in students from Saudi Arabia and Nigeria.


    Peer Review

    According to the Guardian, research conducted with more than 6,300 authors of journal articles, peer reviewers and journal editors revealed that over two-thirds of researchers who have never peer reviewed a paper would like to. Of that group (drawn from the full range of subject areas) more than 60% said they would like the option to attend a workshop or formal training on peer reviewing. At the same time, over two-thirds of journal editors told the researchers that it is difficult to find reviewers


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