This is an essay I wrote for the course Understanding learning in the online environment, which is part of Edinburgh's MSc Digital Education. Video has long been used to support classroom teaching. However, it is only in the last ten to fifteen years that educators have been able to easily produce and distribute their own videos.… Continue reading Using storytelling in Philosophy teaching videos
I just finished doing a PGCert in Digital Education, and I thought I'd post a few of things I wrote for it here. This essay was written in April 2016 for the course Introduction to Digital Environments for Learning. A teacher in a secondary school classroom raises her voice above the chatter. “Ok everyone, settling down… Continue reading How should MOOC designers respond to student silence?
Part of my job involves making videos of people talking about philosophy. These largely fall into two types: videos of live talks and MOOC videos. Live talks in front of an audience Filming the live talks is fairly straightforward. We turn up with a camera and a mic, set everything up and hit record. For… Continue reading Philosophy videos
Car design Henry Ford famously dismissed listening to his customers, saying that if he'd bothered asking them, they'd have asked for faster horses. An early episode of The Simpsons riffed on this idea: Homer was brought into his brother's car company as a man of the people and asked to design exactly the kind of… Continue reading On listening
"Try again. Fail again. Fail better." A suitably morose quote from Samuel Beckett: you're always failing, but you can at least fail better than your previous failures. I think it's fair to say that modern education has a difficult relationship with failure. On the one hand, failure is and always has been a bad thing.… Continue reading The unbearable permanence of forums
The children's TV series Rainbow was an integral part of my childhood. But what would it have been like with more raw meat? And what if George, Bungle and Zippy had spun out of control to the sound of discordant violins, before using felt letters to spell out the word "Death"? In 2011, these questions… Continue reading Don’t hug me I’m alienated
Speaking at Bett last week, Nicky Morgan made noises about reducing teacher workload through the sharing of lesson plans between schools: "Increasingly, curation [of lesson plans] can help to reduce duplication in the system and help to spread good practice from school to school." In this post, I want to take a closer look at this idea of duplication, and… Continue reading Lesson planning, efficiency, and the value of duplicated work