Archive for the ‘Angela Blog’ Category

#blimage

July 27th, 2015 by Angela Rees
Curiosity got the better of me and I had to find out what the #blimage was going on in my Twitter feed. Turns out there’s some viral edu-blogging going on. Give someone a picture and challenge them to turn it into a learning related post. This youtube video from the originator @AmyBurvall explains it nicely. […]

Wales National Digital Learning Event 2015

July 15th, 2015 by Angela Rees
Jen and I went along to the National Digital Learning Event and Awards in Cardiff earlier in June. We handed out Taccle books and went to some workshops. There were a few to choose from but I attended a technocamps session which explored some ways of teaching computer science using lego bricks, (build a simple lego structure, now explain to your partner how to build an identical structure without them seeing what you have built) using people, (direct your person around the room using simple commands) and using Cargo Bot. I like what technocamps do, kit like Lego Mindstorms is pretty expensive, so they take the kit around to secondary schools and colleges across Wales for one day workshops. For lots of ideas about how to teach computing, coding and programming for the rest of the year you could check out the Taccle2 blog and the Babitech page. In the afternoon I had fun playing with Sonic Pi , which uses code for composing and performing music, you can see me in the video below (just after the 2 minute mark) getting flustered because there was a mistake in my loop. Don't let that put you off, it was really good fun and a great way to get instant and useful results form your code. [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MRq1W7ffdDE?rel=0] The best thing about the day was seeing the great things being done across Wales with Ponty locals Big Click scooping the Commercial Digital Project Award [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GRVhWD9sjkY?rel=0] You can see all of the other inspirational kids and teachers getting their tech on at the Hwb website with projects like e-safety, coding with minecraft, creating an interactive local map and staging a robot wars competition. Keep an eye out for next years entries, Welsh kids are good with technology, the competition should be tough!

On the BabiTech iPhone

July 15th, 2015 by Angela Rees
Originally posted on Babi Tech:
I’m sure you’re all dying to know which apps made it to the current BabiTech list. If there’s something missing that Babis 1 and 2 really need to have, stick it in the comments and we’ll try it out. Toca Boca Toca Boca’s Hair Xmas, Toca Builders, Toca Band, Toca…

London Tech Week 2015

July 1st, 2015 by Angela Rees
I had a pretty exciting and busy couple of days in London during their annual technology week. Straight off the train I met Vini from Quizalize which is hands down the best online quiz creator for educators I have used yet with the added bonus feature of live feedback. I don’t think they are embeddable but […]
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    Zero Hours Contracts

    Figures from the UK Higher Education Statistics Agency show that in total almost 11,500 people – both academics and support staff – working in universities on a standard basis were on a zero-hours contract in 2017-18, out of a total staff head count of about 430,000, reports the Times Higher Education.  Zero-hours contract means the employer is not obliged to provide any minimum working hours

    Separate figures that only look at the number of people who are employed on “atypical” academic contracts (such as people working on projects) show that 23 per cent of them, or just over 16,000, had a zero-hours contract.


    Resistance decreases over time

    Interesting research on student centered learning and student buy in, as picked up by an article in Inside Higher Ed. A new study published in PLOS ONE, called “Knowing Is Half the Battle: Assessments of Both Student Perception and Performance Are Necessary to Successfully Evaluate Curricular Transformation finds that student resistance to curriculum innovation decreases over time as it becomes the institutional norm, and that students increasingly link active learning to their learning gains over time


    Postgrad pressure

    Research published this year by Vitae and the Institute for Employment Studies (IES) and reported by the Guardian highlights the pressure on post graduate students.

    “They might suffer anxiety about whether they deserve their place at university,” says Sally Wilson, who led IES’s contribution to the research. “Postgraduates can feel as though they are in a vacuum. They don’t know how to structure their time. Many felt they didn’t get support from their supervisor.”

    Taught students tend to fare better than researchers – they enjoy more structure and contact, says Sian Duffin, student support manager at Arden University. But she believes anxiety is on the rise. “The pressure to gain distinction grades is immense,” she says. “Fear of failure can lead to perfectionism, anxiety and depression.”


    Teenagers online in the USA

    According to Pew Internet 95% of teenagers in the USA now report they have a smartphone or access to one. These mobile connections are in turn fueling more-persistent online activities: 45% of teens now say they are online on a near-constant basis.

    Roughly half (51%) of 13 to 17 year olds say they use Facebook, notably lower than the shares who use YouTube, Instagram or Snapchat.

    The survey also finds there is no clear consensus among teens about the effect that social media has on the lives of young people today. Minorities of teens describe that effect as mostly positive (31%) or mostly negative (24%), but the largest share (45%) says that effect has been neither positive nor negative.


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