CPD via Favourites (up to 23rd May)

The observent among you will have noticed that I’ve tweaked the title. That’s because I’m broadening it slightly, as I’m now looking at items I’ve saved as favourites in Twitter, through RSS and Pocket (Read it Later as was). I’m trying to use RSS feeds to reduce the amount of time I spend browsing webpages instead of working. I can synchronise them when I’ve got WiFi and read in spare minutes rather than wasting time at my desk. Saving interesting items to Pocket works the same way, and I now use ifttt.com to send any items from all these applications to the same folder in EverNote. Basically, 2012 is great.

Boring stuff over; on with the show. What caught my eye in the last week or so?

Highlights

The echoes and responses to Wilshaw’s unfortunate comment on teachers’ stress levels continue, as these letters in the Observer testify. I find myself particularly agreeing with one suggesting that independant schools should lose charitable status. Private hospitals remain businesses, companies which provide charitable funding (and for most private schools, this is a tiny percentage of turnover) do not benefit unduly. Why should schools be different? (Thanks to @teachitso for the link, but the opinion is obviously mine!)

Tom Nennett is at his ranty best in Soylent Green is Teachers. Some of the issues discussed there are illustrated by the recent story about Mossbourne. This is a successful (and much feted) academy which have declined to accept a student with (physical) special needs and claim they are not legally obligated to do so.

Readers of this blog, or my twitterfeed, will probably know I’m an Android person. However, that is not why I liked this post from @mattpearson: iPads do not have magic learning dust coming out of the back vent. A great post discussing the difference between shiny gadgets and effective learning, despite the obvious disappointment when I looked for magic dust. Or, indeed, a back vent.

@myGCSEScience is producing revision videos and putting them online, for free. Which can’t be bad. I like the ones I’ve seen, but still believe that getting kids to produce their own – or at least script them – would be even more successful. This, however, is a nice addition, or would be a great way to introduce the idea to a class. And free.

I retweeted at the time, but once more recommend @Bio_Joe‘s survey results on why students choose science. Is it @ProfBrianCox‘s fault, Leonard and Sheldon or something a little more sophisiticated?

And while we’re talking about science students, A Rough Guide to Evidence-Based Medicine by @jdc325 would provide an excellent reading assignment. They should get a lot out of it even if they’re not planning a career in some medical field, as it links so nicely with a more general model of how science works.

Pedagogy

Politics affecting schools

Science

Other stuff

I’m playing around with some ideas for what might be a book at some point, putting together a couple of sample chapters and a summary. So this infographic fills me with terror.

@gurumag: Have you read #TheHungerGames yet? No, don’t scoff – here’s why you should: http://gurumagazine.org/book-reviews/book-review-the-hunger-games-trilogy-by-suzanne-collins/ (I enjoyed them but not sure they deserve the hype, FWIW.)

@ProfFrancesca, according to most observers, was the star of last weekend’s ‘The Big Questions‘ on BBC, about the distinction – if any – between a religion and a cult. I shall leave today’s last words to her:

For the record, I don’t feel threatened by new religious movements. Or mainstream religions. Thanks. #bbctbq #atheist

 

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