BTechEd STEM event at The University of Glasgow

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STEM DayOn Friday 20th March, students studying secondary ITE (Initial Teacher Education) Design and Technology participated in a mixed year group STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Maths) challenge which was facilitated by STEMNet and the Smallpeice Trust (yes, it is spelled like that!).

The day included several variations within the agenda, from a design and build project based on a wind turbine to the integration of STEM Ambassadors who spent some time discussing the nature of their jobs with students.

The wind turbine challenge was designed to bring about interdisciplinary connections which students could take forward within their own classroom. The objective was to design and build a wind turbine that costs as little as possible, must be structurally sound and must be free standing. The models were then placed on a table and tested with a fan. The winning team was assessed on:

  • Design and stability
  • Total cost of the end product
  • Teamwork
  • Voltage generated
  • Aesthetics

Images from the day can be found here:

In addition, reference was made to the Wood Report which can be accessed here:

The Wood Report  (Education Working For All! Commission for Developing Scotland’s Young Workforce) took to illustrate how Scotland could produce better qualified, work ready and motivated young people with skills relevant to modern employment opportunities, both as employees and entrepreneurs of the future.

Making tomorrow happen: technology education in Scotland #TechEdScot

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I attended a very interesting event today which saw Education Scotland launch the Technologies (3-18) Impact Review which has been called Building Society – young people’s experiences and outcomes in the technologies.

The curriculum impact report evaluates the quality of young people’s learning and achievements in the technologies. It contributes to the overall picture of what it is like to be a learner in Scotland in the second decade of the 21st century and it identifies strengths in learning across the technologies. It suggests what can be done to improve outcomes for children, young people, and communities. This includes setting an agenda to better advance learning in the technologies with a range of key partners.

The report is based on evidence and data gathered from around 40 exploratory visits to early learning and childcare settings, primary, secondary and special schools in Scotland. It also draws on evidence from research across Europe and beyond. Young people’s achievements in external examinations provide further important data, contributing to a comprehensive picture of how technologies experiences are impacting on young people and their communities. The report comes at a time when young people are entering into a world which is changing educationally, economically and socially, at an unprecedented rate. With that in mind, the report sets out an ambitious, inclusive agenda for improvement, inviting all of those with an interest in the future of Scotland’s young people to play their part.

The event saw speakers including: Alan Armstrong, Strategic Director Education Scotland – Bill Maxwell, Chief Executive Education Scotland – Gordon McGuinness, Head of Industries and Enterprise Networks – Richard Clifford, MAKLab Executive Director – Bill Geddes and Sheila Page, HMI – Angela Constance, Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning and Kirsty McFaul, Senior Education Officer Education Scotland.

The report identifies three broad themes for action:

  • Creativity and problem-solving
  • Digital technologies at the heart of learning
  • Building the technologies brand

There are other emerging themes, and some areas to note interest. The technologies curriculum in Scotland can be defined as:

  • Technological developments in society
  • ICT to enhance learning
  • Business
  • Computing Science
  • Craft, Design, Engineering and Graphics
  • Food and Textiles

In addition, it is important to note that the report includes both primary and secondary sectors. The full report can be accessed here:

Text source: Education Scotland

Using Twitter as a professional medium: Digital TeachMeet Falkirk @FDTeachMeet

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TeachMeet is an informal gathering of those curious about learning and teaching. The theme of the TeachMeet is the use of technology to enhance the learning of our pupils.  Anyone can share great ideas no matter how big or how small as long as it has a technology theme. TeachMeet is for teachers from any sector and from any authority.

I will present on the use of Twitter as a Professional Medium. I only have 5 minutes (normally I’m at least an hour lecture with a 30 slide presentation) so this will be short and (hopefully) sweet. Broadly, these are the points I’d like to get across:

Point 1: Online technologies and social media are shaping learning, as an expected norm created by social shaping and technology. It’s a bit of a paradox. For example, is social media influencing society and how we interact with learning or are our demands and methods of collaboration driving the future development of social media? Point 2: Social networking with Twitter (as an example) is already out there. Do we have a responsibility to teach our children and young people the safe use of online technologies and emerging tools for communication? If not, then who is responsible? If yes, then how do we do this and should it be an integral part of the national curriculum? Point 3: 94% of my undergraduate students use social media (Dunn, 2103). There is a significant proportion who use it for personal use only – but an equally significant number who use it in a professional capacity. This means we need to think about how we can use it effectively as we already know that the agency between the teacher and the student is crucial in any aspect of learning – including blended and online modes. Point 4: There are huge benefits, but just as many challenges (see below). Point 5: When using any social networking platform, online social media or electronic forms of communication, we need to set out the ground rules, expectations and adhere to a strict code of conduct e.g. the GTCS Professional Guidelines on the use of social media and electronic communications.

And a real world example of how I have used Twitter to support learning? Within my Year 1 undergraduate course What’s the point of education? (MEduc Primary) we use Twitter to access online nodes of learning e.g. professional accounts like Pedagoo and teacher accounts such as @leeandrewdunn – follow the hashtag #MEduc14. All students are expected to collaborate and engage with the technology in a professional capacity to learn and to share information. This is tied into the learning outcomes of the course.

The key advantages can be stated as:

  • Increasing student motivation and engagement with course material;
  • Increasing student-to-student collaboration;
  • Enhanced interaction between the student and the lecturer/ teacher;
  • Accelerated data and information sharing;
  • Removes barriers to self-expression and contribution;
  • Provides students with 21st Century skills which could aide their employability and increase
  • Levels of satisfaction.


Social media has grown from its original conceptualisation and as it is realised today, it may offer a new construct to enhance learning and teaching. Greenhow and Gleason (2012) explore the use of Twitter and suggest that it may lead to increased engagement and better interaction between students and teachers. A similar view is held by Fusch, who explores the possibility that the resources at our disposal are as important as the learning intentions and that indeed, resources are needed which promote social communication, create a more interactive learning experience and promote collaboration amongst peer groups and staff (2011).  The paper offers a synthesis of international literature and draws conclusions from a recent study carried out within The University of Glasgow. Crucially, it will explore the students’ perception and expectations on social media interaction within the context of their learning experience.


Dunn, L. (2013) Using social media to enhance learning and teaching. In: Social Media 2013: 18th International Conference on Education and Technology, Hong Kong, China, 1-3 Aug 2013.

Fulsh, D. Social Media and Student Learning: Moving the needle on engagement in Academic Impressions,  pp. 15. (2011)

Greenhow, C and Gleason B. Twitteracy: Tweeting as a New Literacy Practice in The Educational Forum, (76). pp, 463-477. (2012)

TeachMeet Presenters

Presenter  From  Topic  Twitter username 
Lee Dunn University of Glasgow Professional networking with Twitter @leeandrewdunn
Susan McLaren University of Edinburgh e-scape project
Malcolm Wilson Falkirk Council Education Services Office 365 @claganach
Lynsey McNamee St Mungo’s High School Falkirk Socrative @MissMcDesignTec
John Johnston Scottish Government Glow Blogging @johnjohnston
Ian Stuart Scottish Government OneNote @IanStuart66
Jacqueline Campbell St Mungo’s High School Falkirk Flipped Learning & Screencast-o-matic
Andrew Aitken Beancross Primary School Falkirk Sumdog website
Emily Morrow Beancross Primary School Falkirk webcam
Brendan Pitchforth St Columba’s High School, Dunfermline Blended learning
Pam Currie Education Scotland Digital Ninjas @pamcurrie71
John Cloherty St Bernadette’s Primary School, Falkirk Pupils as Digital Leaders @MrCloherty
Annette Iafrate Gryffe High School , Renfrewshire Skitch Touch

Association for Learning Technology: 2015 Conference Proposals #altc

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Learning technology is the broad range of communication, information and related technologies that can be used to support learning, teaching, and assessment.

ALT is the UK’s leading membership organisation in the learning technology field.

Our purpose is to ensure that the use of learning technology is effective and efficient, informed by research and practice, and grounded in an understanding of the underlying technologies, their capabilities and the situations into which they are placed. We do this by improving practice, promoting research, and influencing policy.

The 2015 conference will be chaired by Amanda Jefferies, University of Hertfordshire and Liz Masterman, University of Oxford, under the theme ‘Shaping the Future of Learning Together’. There will be a focus on:

  • Harnessing the power of the crowd – collaboration and connectivist learning;
  • Social media in learning and teaching;
  • Open educational practice;
  • Learners as agents of change;
  • Participatory approaches to the development of learning technologies;

500 word proposals (welcome from schools, colleges, universities and industry) must be submitted by Friday 13th March 2015 via

Follow the conference on Twitter #altc or via (image and text source)

The Learning Revolution – a collection of learning events

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The Learning Revolution Project holds online and physical learning events, and highlights professional development opportunities from a network of 200 partners in the learning professions. The great majority of these events are free to attend. Sourced from

Friday, February 27th at 3pm Starting to Homeschool Webinar Series: Why Should I Homeschool?, Are you wondering if homeschooling can work for you? Do you know that you don’t need to be a certified teacher in any state in order to help your children learn at home and in your community? Are you seeking personalized, bold education options that build on your children’s strengths rather than conventional curricula? Come and learn how you can empower your family to succeed with homeschooling through this new online series presented by Patrick Farenga, president of Pat will share his 30-plus years of fieldwork, advocacy (he published Growing Without Schooling magazine from 1986 to 2001), and personal experience (he and his wife homeschooled their three daughters) to help you and your children learn in their own ways. Join the email list for to register for the series at

Friday, Feburary 27th – Sunday, March 1st in Asheville, NC Reinventing Education, Join us for this two-day opportunity to connect and collaborate with colleagues from the school, library, museum, and home learning worlds–and anyone interested in reinventing how we think about and facilitate learning. More information at

Friday, February 27th – Sunday, March 1st OZeLive 2015 Conference, Australian Educators are keen to share their innovative ideas and projects with the world. We welcome all educators to join us for our second OZeLive conference. See the conference schedule for more details.

Saturday, February 28th at 12pm CR20 LIVE Weekly Show: Student Study Tools with Tammy Moore, Classroom 2.0 LIVE is an opportunity to gather with other member of the community in regular “live” web meetings. Details to join the webinar at You can follow us on Twitter at #liveclass20.

Sunday, March 1st at 7pm TechEducator Podcast – Microsoft: Office Mix featuring Tim Richardson and Ryan Adecco, More information here.

Monday, March 2nd at 12pm, 1:30pm & 4pm Dr. Seuss Birthday Bash 2015!, Have fun learning about Dr. Seuss and then come to the challenge with your own challenge questions. We’ll also challenge you to see what everyone knows about Dr. Seuss! Use this link to prepare: Each session will be held in Blackboard Collaborate using the Learning Revolution Host Your Own Webinar program. See the schedule for details.

Thursday, March 5th at 2pm NMC On the Horizon > Open Licensing: What It Is, Why Do It, Join the NMC and our panel of experts on Thursday, March 5th at 11am PT / 1pm CT / 2pm ET (check for local time). This one-hour session will be held in the Google+ On Air platform and broadcasted live on YouTube. Participation is free for all attendees. Are you at a museum or do you have a gallery, library, archive, or museum on your campus? If you do, please forward this along to anyone that might find this event beneficial. In this one-hour discussion, a panel of experts will explore the variety of ways that cultural institutions such as galleries, libraries, archives, and museums (GLAMs) can apply open licensing to their collections, as well as how this type of licensing benefits both institutions and their audiences. The conversation will also introduce attendees to open licensing models and will articulate the potential benefits and challenges for implementing open licensing at institutions of all sizes. Register Here.

Saturday, March 7th at 12pm CR20 LIVE Weekly Show: Livebinders for Librarians with the S.U.P.E.R. Librarian Team, Classroom 2.0 LIVE is an opportunity to gather with other member of the community in regular “live” web meetings. Details to join the webinar at You can follow us on Twitter at #liveclass20.

Sunday, March 8th at 7pm TechEducator Podcast – Microsoft: Sway featuring David Alexander, More information here.

Monday, March 9th at 8pm TL Virtual Cafe – #TLChat LIVE!, Second Monday of each month is the Teacher Librarian Twitter Chat. Follow #TLChat on Twitter to participate.

Using Technology to Engage Learning, Communication & Relationships and 2015 Student Technology Conference

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Free Webinar – Using Technology to Engage Learning, Communication & Relationships

Thursday, January 29, 2015

8:00 PM – 9:00 PM (Dublin, Edinburgh, Lisbon, London)

How can educators, practitioners and parents best use technology in natural environments to include children with developmental and learning differences? In this webinar, Tamara Kaldor will share strategies for using technology to support children affected by autism spectrum disorders (ASD), sensory processing disorders (SPD), communication disorders, learning disabilities, and other developmental differences. Discover how technology can be used as a successful intervention strategy to improve development in the areas of:

  • Communication and learning
  • Expressive language
  • Language comprehension
  • Following routines
  • Making transitions
  • Processing/expressing emotions

Learn about high quality, professionally-tested digital tools and strategies on how to use them to support children’s social-emotional development, engagement and learning. UDL principles (Universal Design for Learning) will also be discussed in assessing apps and websites. Tamara will field questions from attendees during this live, interactive event.

Details and free registration here:

2015 Student Technology Conference

You may also be interested in another event via Global Education Conference – 2015 Student Technology Conference.The 2015 Student Technology Conference provides an international forum for the presentation, discussion and sharing of educational technology in schools and other academic settings. This conference, by students in grades 6-12 and for all, is committed to fostering a better understanding of how students use technology in education and to engage students, teachers and administrators in a conversation about technology, assisting teachers and administrators in understanding how students use technology both in and out of the classroom, and strengthening the relationship between students, teachers and administrators about technology in the curriculum.

Details here: