Category: technology

Technology, creativity and the power of the natural world

I am currently in Sydney, having flown in for a week to work with new principals in the Association of Independent Schools in New South Wales, as well as with other internationally minded teachers and school leaders. Wonderfully, my visit coincides with the annual Vivid Sydney festival, where landmarks such as the Botanic Gardens, the …

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Computers in schools: a scandalous waste?

Nothing replaces a great teacher: this is the premise which stands behind the recent comments by Dr John Vallance, Head of Sydney Grammar School, that computers in schools are a waste of money and have done nothing to improve grades. Teaching, he says, is about “interaction ­between people, about discussion, about conversation … If you’re …

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‘The mortal in the portal’: how the online world strengthens our capacity to be truly human

I am indebted to Richard Ovenden, the University of Oxford’s Bodley’s Librarian, for the title of this blog; speaking last week at a City of London Livery Company Event in Vintners’ Hall, he used the phrase during the course of his fascinating (and passionate) insight into the work that librarians now do to educate their …

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Why we need the Arts in a STEM world

I am a great believer in the power of technology – in its broadest sense – to take the human race forward. I appreciate the power of innovation and creativity in science, technology, engineering and maths, and I know that we must invest in teaching our young people about the value of these subjects, because …

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It IS rocket science – and we CAN all do it

I am very proud of my new felt bookmark. It is a visible and tangible reminder of the recent NCGS conference I attended in the U.S., and I have taken great delight in the past few days in showing it to friends, family, acquaintances and, in my enthusiasm, sometimes complete strangers. It consists of two …

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Computer coding: definitely women’s work

The movie choice on BA0067 from Heathrow to Phildelphia on Saturday was very apt for educators who were headed to the conference of the National Coalition of Girls’ Schools in Richmond Virginia, which takes place from 22 June to 24 June. The theme of the conference is ‘From STEM to STEAM – Girls’ Schools Leading …

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Online or offline – preparing girls to manage social media

At Ascham this past week we held an excellent CyberSafety Forum, led by Susan McLean, well-known for her no-nonsense approach to how we protect children from the dangers on online activity. Her presentation and the subsequent discussion, while looking at all the possibilities for online engagement which lie in wait for young people, had a …

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Navigating the social media minefield

Schools tend to be cautious about social media, and with real reason. In school, we see it in daily use amongst young people: schools, remember, see many hundreds – thousands, even – of young people in close proximity to one another, and as educators in schools, we gain an insight into their lives that is …

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Tulisa: a role model and inspiration for broken Britain?

I have been thinking a lot about female role models recently, and so was drawn to the Daily Mail online article this week which reported an interview in Look magazine with Tulisa Contostavlos, singer and X Factor judge. In the interview, she described herself as an “inspiration for broken Britain”; I was intrigued. I was …

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Social media – the good news

Working with teenagers, a considerable amount of the educational discussion about social media focuses on the negative; the time-wasting, the distraction from study, the unhealthy preoccupation with a screen rather than more balanced fresh air and exercise, the reputational risk of posting unwise comments, and the dangers of cyber-bullying. These are all very real issues, …

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