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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    Racial bias in algorithms

    From the UK Open Data Institute’s Week in Data newsletter

    This week, Twitter apologised for racial bias within its image-cropping algorithm. The feature is designed to automatically crop images to highlight focal points – including faces. But, Twitter users discovered that, in practice, white faces were focused on, and black faces were cropped out. And, Twitter isn’t the only platform struggling with its algorithm – YouTube has also announced plans to bring back higher levels of human moderation for removing content, after its AI-centred approach resulted in over-censorship, with videos being removed at far higher rates than with human moderators.

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    Gap between rich and poor university students widest for 12 years

    Via The Canary.

    The gap between poor students and their more affluent peers attending university has widened to its largest point for 12 years, according to data published by the Department for Education (DfE).

    Better-off pupils are significantly more likely to go to university than their more disadvantaged peers. And the gap between the two groups – 18.8 percentage points – is the widest it’s been since 2006/07.

    The latest statistics show that 26.3% of pupils eligible for FSMs went on to university in 2018/19, compared with 45.1% of those who did not receive free meals. Only 12.7% of white British males who were eligible for FSMs went to university by the age of 19. The progression rate has fallen slightly for the first time since 2011/12, according to the DfE analysis.

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    Quality Training

    From Raconteur. A recent report by global learning consultancy Kineo examined the learning intentions of 8,000 employees across 13 different industries. It found a huge gap between the quality of training offered and the needs of employees. Of those surveyed, 85 per cent said they , with only 16 per cent of employees finding the learning programmes offered by their employers effective.

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    News from 1994

    This is from a Tweet. In 1994 Stephen Heppell wrote in something called SCET” “Teachers are fundamental to this. They are professionals of considerable calibre. They are skilled at observing their students’ capability and progressing it. They are creative and imaginative but the curriculum must give them space and opportunity to explore the new potential for learning that technology offers.” Nothing changes!

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