Ferrotype

£7bn 363 colleges 4.2m learners 263,257 staff

Ferrotype has moved to neilwallace.org

Ferrotype has moved, and is now on http://neilwallace.org

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February 18, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Yackety Yack won’t come back

The Ipsos Mori report has useful insights into how NEETs think – which is

the consistent theme …  that they can’t think of anything useful they’re good at. This contrasts starkly with young people who underpin their aspirations with personality traits that suggest they will be able to make a positive success of them. Something positive about them has stood out to the adults in their lives, and this gives them the confidence to make firm plans about their future

“I want to be a youth worker .. they told me I was really good at taking charge of groups and stuff and I’d be really good at it
[college student]

“wherever you’re gonna work, your not gonna like it … who wants to go to work – no-one”
[current NEET age 18]

Teachers aren’t about themselves, they are about other people.

Teaching isn’t about how the students feel about me, it is about how  I can make them feel about themselves.

February 11, 2010 Posted by | attitudes, teachers, young people | , , , , | Leave a comment

Yackety Yack

Ipsos Mori are due to produce the latest Learner Satisfaction Survey in spring 2010, based on learners’ experience of college 2009.

Learners in colleges don’t come into the sector as newbies – they have a lot of education experience behind them – and Ipsos Mori have already surveyed 2387 of them in 2008. 11-16 then, they are now 13-18, so their views will form the core of the 2009 college survey.

They were asked about the ways they prefer to learn, and what they do most often in class.

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February 10, 2010 Posted by | attitudes, teachers, young people | , , | Leave a comment

The Glacial Age

Most people think of the coming Age of Austerity, but those cheery people in the Audit Commission prefer to prepare us for a Glacial Age.

The Audit Commission knows that “all public bodies face a difficult and testing future” , that after the election financial resources could fall sharply, and  for some the strains this imposes could be too intense.In their experience, problems with money can be a symbol of wider difficulties

So they look at what organisations can do to help themselves prepare for the Glacial Age.

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February 9, 2010 Posted by | austerity funding, SMART goals | , , | Leave a comment

EMA cocks your snook?

I know what I think about EMAs but I wasn’t not sure what students think about them, so went to The Student Room where students say what they think, to find out.

”]

An interesting mix of lofty learning eg Poor Law Amendment Act

“Can anyone tell me where I am perhaps going wrong, or recommend any websites or books for me to read?

Any other help would also be much appreciated.

Ill rep the most helpful and all that

If I could, I’d help out – so that I could get “repped and all that”

And there is much more like

“found boyfriend’s profile on a dating website”

and of course “Revision Notes” which would be helpful for eg Performing Arts students doing an assignment on , say, 19th Century Theatre

and what do students think about EMA?

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February 8, 2010 Posted by | attitudes, young people | , | Leave a comment

The smiley face of stats

Channel 4 is investing in a way of making Ofsted reports easy to understand by parents.

Report Card will “bring together multiple data sets to provide a newly accessible way of researching and comparing schools. This product will go beyond the idea of league tables to show schools in context and provide a meaningful interpretation of what they are really like – the atmosphere, internal organisation, teaching standards, facilities, discipline and much more”

Blimey!

An achingly cool design consultancy which takes blindingly innovative approaches to design has developed the concept to this stage. One example of their work is the curved map which includes both a 3D view and a bird’s eye view of a city

Curved Manhattan : click to enlarge

So what are they doing with Ofsted stats ?

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February 5, 2010 Posted by | data, info tech, SMART goals | , , , | Leave a comment

It’s only EMA Emotion

Interesting to keep an eye on austerity sur le continent

Teachers in Greece are going on strike thrice in the next month as Greece’s austerity programme begins [wage freeze for public sector workers  for starters]

In almost-neighbouring Romania the austerity package includes sacking 15,000 teachers, and  Gavin Hewitt [him off the telly] points out that there are four times as many teachers per student in Greece as in Finland, so ………

Finland and Sweden are the model for much current thinking on reshaping education after the 6 May election

And there is also a great deal of eyeing up of previously sacred cows.

There is, for example, some scepticism about the value of  Educational Maintenance Allowances [shadow children’s secretary Michael Gove has called the EMA a flop],  although EMAs do have  solid research evidence of their effectiveness.

In colleges, EMAs seem to work, but  “How to Save £50bn” has an uncomfortable analysis of EMA

Chart 2.1 shows that while there has been an increase in the percentage of 16-18 year olds in education or training since the EMA was launched, from 75.7 per cent in 2004 to 79.7 per cent in 2008, this is negligible … also a decrease in 16-18 year olds in employment, from 14.7 per cent to 10.0 per cent.

… NEETs increased from 9.6  to 10.3 per  between 2004 and 2008.
These are poor results, and show that EMA is not a good use of money.

  • Abolishing EMA would save £530,000,000 a year.
  • Are the figures in Chart 2.1 valid?

and then

  • Is EMA a “front line service” or is it a back office function, and therefore saveable?
  • Any savings from scrapping EMA would be small beer when set against the £175bn deficit – but every little helps.
  • Taking a bolder line,  could the [complicated and rigorous but existing] EMA system be harnessed as a participation-led college funding system. Young people cash in their course credit, and continue to get a cash back EMA  in return for attendance and achievement ?

February 4, 2010 Posted by | austerity funding | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

iPad SchmiPad!

Seb Schmoller has sent me his fortnightly email newsletter on e-learning for a few years now – but for some reason, I had never twigged that he was based in Sheffield – duh!

Anyway, his latest newsletter arrived as the iPad was being launched, and it showed something very much cheaper – the snappily titled  OLPC XO3 ebook reader .

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February 3, 2010 Posted by | info tech | , , | Leave a comment

Beware teachers called Callum or Chelsea

If HEFCE’s challenging financial settlement for HE next year is anything to go by, we will have to get very good indeed at picking students who are the best, most persistent, the least likely to drop out.

And of course there is a way of doing it easily – just look at their first name.

A survey of 3000 teachers came up with the student names to look out for

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February 2, 2010 Posted by | further education, list, teachers | , , , , | Leave a comment

Goodbye, PowerPoint!

Maybe not the end of PowerPoint, but Prezi offers something the same, but very different [ and it’s FREE, folks]

I have produced some pretty dire PowerPoints in my time.

  • Far too many bullet points
  • sometimes with very odd bullets
  • and a relentless plodding on from A to B to C to D to E to F to G and back to D then on to H ….
    • and nested lists
      • getting smaller and more bunched up all the time
  • and all kinds of distracting pictures

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February 1, 2010 Posted by | info tech | , , | Leave a comment