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David Hughes

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    Thinking Skills and Student Progression<br />E-learning as an inclusive tool for raising standards (www.opeus.com)<br />Education networking (www.educationalists.co.uk)<br />Future Careers planning and Labour Market Information<br />Aviation<br />Industrial Archaeology especially Railway History<br />The Reso and Beyond the Reso published under name of Ambrose Conway. In use with related Citizenship materials and online resources (see www.the-reso.co.uk)<br />Currently involved in ICT and Building Schools for the Future.
  1. Dear Aidan, In commissioning e-platforms for schools I've had much the same experience. Often senior management have a vision of e-learning in a school or college but the weak point is in implementation. The expectation is that a day's undifferentiated training will cover all needs. Training then becomes an event rather than a part of the process. It is back to having a clear and rational view of: 1. How will IT raise standards in the school 2. What is the roll out strategy - strategy is key here because I believe it takes three years to embed ICT in a meaningful way to support learning in a gradual and sustainable way. 3. How do we maximise the impact of the IT on expanding staff teaching and learning repetoires whilst reducing administrative burdens. I've done a paper on this if you are interested - contact me if you would like a copy. I'll look for replies to this as my experience is of primary and secondary schools in the state and independent sector as well as colleges, universities and training providers and the problem is the same in all cases in my expewrience to date. David Hughes
  2. Dear All, You might wish to add OPEUS: www.opeus.com to the list. This enables both staff and students, using no more that word processing skills, to develop webpages to a variety of formats and to have them authorised by appropriate staff. OPEUS is in use with primary and secondary schools and colleges - particularly when technically sophisticated MLE and VLE solutions have been rejected as too difficult to embed to raise standards by influencing teaching and learning. Have to declare an interest here as I have been involved in specifying the educational thrust of the site and ensuring that it did not get so technically sophisticated that most teachers needed a completely new skill set before they could operate it in their subject areas. You might find the following self managed websites of interest: www.myopeus.com/highstorrs who have justed started using it as a revision development aid with students posting their research to web as a shared resource. This both raises the motivation of individual students and builds a resource for future interrogation www.myopeus.com/roundhill is a primary school in Nottingham and the WW1 work might be of interest as it was started as a discussion group in school and was then developed in class and at home using OPEUS and then submitted to the teacher for markig and authorisation. Hope this proves useful. I'm firmly of the belief that the learning should determine the technology in this field rather than technical boffins circumscribing the educational use of the technology by including wizardry for its own sake. ... perhaps another discussion thread coming on here. David Hughes
  3. Graham, I think your analysis is spot on! To your language lab analogy I would add: - the first use of colour televsion as a teaching aid which occured in the 1960's when I was in primary school - simple time shifting determined by the BBC programme schedules and marginalising the skills of staff - the first punch card programmed computers of the 1970s which were the exclusive preserve of the maths and science departments - the BBC machines, which in trying to develop a dedicated educational machine, blighted us with a technological dead end - the development of intranets which were meant to free up resources but merely constipated them to the hours of the schools day multiplied by the number of machines available in school divided by the bandwidth of your internet connection. In all cases the technology did not get close to raising standards in a sustainable way because teachers did not determine how the technology was to be used to support their professional expertise in selecting appropriate teaching and learning strategies. That is why the future belongs to an inclusive ( simple to operate from your existing ICT competence no matter how limited) technology where teachers can experiment with the technology in limited ways initially and then develop more experimental ways to use the technology to pormote learning.
  4. David Hughes has taught in secondary schools in Cambridgeshire, Cheshire and Nottinghamshire since 1980. He graduated from York University with an Honours degree in History and Politics and supplemented these studies with an MA in Southern African Studies before completing a PGCE. As well as holding the Advanced Diploma in Educational Management(A), David has developed his skills in counselling, ICT and school improvement project management. He has held responsibility at departmental, faculty and senior management level and has led whole school development projects in appraisal, study skills, curriculum enrichment, behaviour management, teaching and learning styles and staff development. He completed his National Professional Qualification for Headship as part of Cohort One and he was an Accredited Performance Management Consultant. David has been a member of the National School Improvement Network at the London Institute of Education since 1994 and has presented school improvement programmes involving thinking skills, student motivation, learning styles, parental involvement, Information Technology for school improvement and education business partnership. He has written regularly on school improvement and inclusive education for the Times Educational Supplement and various online publications as well as speaking at national and regional conferences. His interests include quality assurance in school leadership, management and delivery systems, student learning and the use of IT to support wider learning objectives including motivation and progression. David is currently involved in a range of educational consultancy projects. He has been an associate with the Greater Nottingham Education Business Partnership as well as being lead Education Consultant for OPEUS Technologies, a Nottingham based inclusive e-learning company. He is also part of the team responsible for the Educationalists contact database. David is in school on a weekly basis working with students, staff and senior management teams in all phases of the maintained and independent sector. Currently his main areas of interest are Student Motivation and Progression, Thinking Skills, 14-19 Curriculum Development and Sustainable Elearning Communities. Beyond Education, David has been involved in Doping Control with the Sports Council and is an associate of a number of learning improvement organisations. His interests include Aviation, Industrial Archaeology and Military History. The Learning Post is the trading name of David and a team of associates who are committed to sustainable educational improvement for all. All the presentations in the Learning Post portfolio are built around inclusion and raising motivation and are designed to foster lifelong learning.
  5. Dear Jon, I think the battleground is not on the technical ability to create web based resources or even to develop portfolios, but to have a model that links this activity to sustainably improving learning standards in an individual school. I've justed posted on the IT section a longer reply that might be of interest to you. I think John has a valid point in trying to make it pay. You are wellcome to post your appeal online at: www.educationalists.co.uk Best wishes with this. David
  6. As a deputy head history teacher rather than an IT bod, I have tried in my work with OPEUS (www.opeus.com) to try and come up with some educational principles for the deployment of ICT across the curriculum. It strikes me that where we have gone wrong is to let the IT specialists set the agenda with the result that tools for education are too often technically rather than educationally determined. Here are my thoughts - for what they are worth! 1. ICT will only raise standards in schools when it can be deployed by everyone across the curriculum. Until this is achieved you will have fast and slow tracks with no appreciable impact on learning standards. 2. It follows that the entry point for any e-learning tool should be so simple that people can use the technology from their existing IT skill set, however limited. It follows that the operating system for whichever system you chose to operate should be no more difficult than a word processor to operate. 3. Although ICT has the potential to revolutionise learning, it must be introduced in a manageable way to staff so that they can gradually build up their confidence in basic tasks. Generally speaking ICT fails when there is a two stage implementation strategy: a. Learn new and specific skill set b. Think of how this could support your teaching and learning strategies 4. Having an inclusive IT vehicle is necessary but not sufficient to use ICT to raise standards - the second condition is an implementation strategy which is rational, gradual and educationally based aroung the school's development planning. This might require an incremental approach such as: a. Establish e-learning portal to provide an online facility which frees the school from the constraints of the school day and the numberof computers in school b. Train staff ( use BECTA guidelines) because a one size fits all approach is a non starter! I think a three year roll out stategy is reasonable - anything less tends to mean things do not embed properly. c. Encourage staff to investigate by creating online learning resources, hyperlinking to the best resources on the web etc. d. Work on collaborations with other depratments and schools locally, nationally,and internationally to enrich the curriculum. e. Develop online portfolios as purposeful collections of materials to support: - student learning continuity and transitions - staff development activities - libraries of shared learning resources - qualitative management information in the form of students work which can be cross referenced and moderated - this brings out the best inteachers and the technology thereby has a clear educational value rather than being a bolt -on activity to learning. Always work to use the technology to reduce teacher workload, increase quality time for curriculum delivery and development. Sorry to bang on so long but I've rehearsed these arguments time and again over the last few years. Hope this is useful - I'd be happy for some discourse. David * Any purchase of ICT kit must be based on the question - "how will this raise standards in my school?" - if the answer is not immediately clear do not buy!
  7. Dear Colleagues, I've recently been involved with an Australian company who have developed an online polling tool for education. This can be applied in two ways: Firstly as a general student voting facility as at : www.studentparliament.com Secondly within an individual school sto allow students to vote continuously to support curriculum studies. For example Who killed JFK? (sorry John!) students could vote at the beginning, middle and end of the exercise and shifts in opinion could be noted and explored as at: www.schoolpoll.com Has anyone any experience of using such a technique as part of their class based work? I'd welcome any feedback on its effectiveness. David Hughes www.myopeus.com/learningpost
  8. I'd add OPEUS to this list. I'd grown disillusioned with the range of commercially available and tecnnically specified tools produced and worked with a project team to build something that every teacher and student could use from their existing skill base. Rather than bringing elements of e-learning to schools as revolutionary, we worked on making it evolutionary, so in one step a teacher could move to using e-learning to support their current efforts with a view to developing increasing confidence and competency. At present it is used in schools to host links to useful websites, for online development of libraries of learning materials, collaborations between departments and schools and for e-portfolios for students and teachers. Unlike other e-portfolio solutions I have seen, this includes a facility to assess and remediate work rather than simply store it. Happy to supply further information should anyone be interested and provide links to sites where it is in operation. In the meantime, you'll have to make do with my own: www.myopeus.com/learningpost Best wishes, David Hughes
  9. There is a tremendous depth of vision on this topic. As one who in school found it very difficult to use the technology to support my learning objectives in History I have despaired at the directions that the market and the technologists have taken us. It tends to be technical gadgetry rather than educational utility that is driving commercial companies and the so called "ICT experts" in LEAs, consortia and in some schools. As the technical interface for individual institutions needed to be cracked first they set off at a fast pace to explore accessibility in terms of bandwidth, broadband and related technical issues. This was necessary but not a sufficient condition for using ICT in a school setting. But by then the technologists were dictating the specification of learning materials and tools. For me, the real accessibility issue is: can all staff and students use this piece of kit to raise learning standards? I've found this a very disarming question to ask of the purveyors of ICT for schools : "What will this do to raise standards in my school?" The silence has usually been deafening, particularly at BETT, where a number of companies seem increasingly to be asked this question. It would be wrong to suggest that teachers are disillusioned with ICT - they are disillusioned that so few of the ICT purveyors have any real understanding of the learning process and the realities of teaching in schools. Some broad principles apply: 1. A piece of ICT kit or software will not raise standards unless all users, staff and students, can access it from their existing ICT skill base. It therefore makes sense to build kit around basic word processing skills that are universally accessible rather than build a whole system around everyone needing to acquire a new skill set simply to operate the kit. 2. Secondly, given the relative scarcity of IT kit in schools - few can, or will, be able to boast one to one provision ratios of laptops for instance, it makes sense to build around web based solutions which can be accessed from any browser equipped PC. 3. Rather than present teachers with alternative teaching and learning paradigms which are technically determined, allow them to use the technology to improve their current pedagogical technique and to explore new approaches and methodologies gradually. 4. Ensure the IT solutions employed reduce administrative workload - this will mean that the IT kit should enable some admin. spring cleaning - IT admin systems should be used instead of, rather than as well as, existing paper systems. Marking, external verification of student portfolios and curriculum collaborations fit in the admin workload issues. (indeed the thrust of the new 14-19 provisions wil demand a simple universally operable system which shools, colleges, training providers, employers and parents can access to build a vibrant and sustainable curriculum of excellence irrespective of the particualr curriculum pathway). 5. Use IT systems to provide qualitative management information systems - which allow teachers to lead and manage using student learning outcomes as benchmarks for raising performance. Again this requires an online portfolio solution which can be used both for student tracking and professional development. I'm sure such a gradualist and inclusive approach will do much to alleviate the disillusionment with the constant failure of ICT to deliver measurable learning gains in schools and colleges. Need to go and lie down now as I seem to be repeating this analysis on a daily basis at the moment! David Hughes
  10. Greetings everyone. What a find! This has the makings of a tremendous resource. My name is David Hughes and I have taught in schools in Cambridgeshire, Cheshire and Nottinghamshire for twenty years. My last full time teaching post was as Deputy Head in an inner city Nottingham school. After a time on secondment with the local Learning and Skills Council, I set up my own educational consultancy concentrating on learning effectiveness, thinking skills, e-learning and leadership and management development. I've been involved in educational business activity in advance of the new 14-19 curriculum debate and have been concentrating on the development of practical e-learning solutions which are educationally, rather than technically, determined - see my webpage for an overview. I'm also part of the Educationalist team responsible for the educational contact database for schools and colleges: http://www.educationalists.co.uk and invite all Forum members to take a free listing if there are services or expertise they wish to bring to the attention of UK schools and colleges and beyond. Best wishes, David Hughes My Webpage
  11. Dear Forum Colleagues, What a tremendous idea - it is very exciting coming in at such an early stage of development. I'm currently doing work in the 14-19 curriculum in the UK. The idea behind the 14-19 curriculum is to overcome the drop out rate of students at 16 due to an inapproproiate curriculum. My research so far suggests a dire need for simple methods for schools and their potential curriculum contributors such as colleges, training providers and employers to communicate with each other, post curriculum materials which go beyond school based simulation and track student progress as part of learning improvement rather than as a simply administrative affair. My own efforts are encapsulated in OPEUS (www.opeus.com) where we have use word processing skills as the basis of the design of a functioning system that all can access from the lowest level of IT competence. Are there any other ways forward which users have experienced and in particular, what has been the effect on raising educational standards, motivation, learning outcomes and student retention? On another tack, I am part of a group of educational professionals that run Educationalists (www.educationalists.co.uk) any education forum members are welcome to take a free lsting with the site to broadcast details of their work. Best wishes for the sucess of the Forum, David Hughes
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