I bet children will be cursing every day this month, if only about having to take exams and needing to revise for them. Exams are often seen as a necessary evil to be able to assess what children have learned throughout the year. However, exams imply marking, and for time-poor teachers of big classes, it can quickly become a nightmare. So what to do?
Since creating the first version of Classroom Monitor over 12 years ago, I have seen both technology and assessment change beyond recognition. Now, pupil trackers come in all shapes and sizes; whether it’s using Excel or a web-based assessment application, you need to do more than just collect data. My founding principle has always been that assessment systems should fundamentally: save time, follow your specific curriculum and engage all your school stakeholders with actionable insights. But how should schools choose the best assessment solution for them?
As Ofsted’s Sean Harford noted in a recent blog, “a school’s assessment system [should] support the pupils’ journeys through the curriculum.” But how to go about making this a reality?
On Friday 15th June, the ultimate teacher-workload reduction initiative will commence. Kicking off at Wigan’s DW Stadium, the Lead LIVE roadshow will look to significantly reduce teacher workload in schools across the country… and tickets are free-of-charge. Scroll down for the 5 Ws: why, who, what, when, and where...
The value of a school management information system (MIS) isn’t simply for the safe storage of data. Its true value is in the speed at which the data can be accessed and then used to inform decisions - from an individual student, right through to whole-school level. Assessment for learning is perhaps the best example of this.
Seating plans for a classroom are even more complicated than organising who sits where at a wedding reception. Like so much else in education, you need to define your objectives. It is not just about making sure sworn enemies are not seated side-by-side. Instead, you have to think about the individual needs. Is the child with ADHD better sitting right in front of you, where you can keep an eye on them, or by a wall where they only have a child on one side of them? Is it best to have a child who experiences sensory overload in a quiet area, on a separate single table, or should you put them with a small, sympathetic group who may be able to provide support?
This is my favourite question from friend, FELTAG collaborator and member of the Ministerial Education Technology Action Group (ETAG), Professor Diana Laurillard from UCL. It is always a useful starting point for any conversation or decision about the use of technology for teaching, learning or assessment.
Supported by Change.Org, school literacy project Change It invites the next generation to take action on real issues that matter to them, by writing and directing their own campaign video in the classroom. Teacher Dan Burden recently completed the project with his Year 6 class, in support of the #homesnotspikes petition. He explains the impact the project had on his pupils:
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