Author Archives: norrishd833

What WannaCry [should have] taught schools

We all watched with interest, I’m sure, this weekend’s meltdown over the state of NHS IT and its vulnerability to ransomware.  Many a school leader will have woken up in the middle of Sunday night wondering if the morning would bring an unwelcome and hugely disruptive exam-season crisis…   Why is this happening? Over the… Read More »

Data breach doesn’t just happen to other schools

This post is prompted by a #bettchat session I hosted on Twitter about the emergence of myriad data protection threats due to the ubiquity of mobile personal technology in UK schools. I worry about how prepared the sector is to counter these threats, and even how aware of them it is. . It will happen… Read More »

ClickView – a classroom technology come of age?

  I’ll begin by declaring an interest – I’ve been using ClickView enthusiastically in its various guises across several schools since 2007. I’m a fan of its premise, which is to allow teachers to have instant access to video to support their lessons, without the barriers presented by VHS/ DVD players and TVs or the… Read More »

Could technology help us understand what great teaching looks like?

During a recent visit to a school and a conversation with some Year 9s about their teachers’ use of technology to help them learn, I was struck by how infrequently we truly apply technology in education to the task of improvement. None of the pupils could identify a time when technology had taken their learning… Read More »

A (flawed?) design for a tablet impact study

In an era where schools’ investment in technology seems to be accelerating, in both scale and cost, an accompanying and understandable questioning of the evidence base for these decisions is often heard. Lots has been written about this subject (some of it by me) and debates have raged impotently across the Twitterverse. One thing we can… Read More »

A new breed of customer?

I’ve been in my current role for just over a year now and I still have very vivid memories of being interviewed for it by a panel of four head teachers, for an hour and a half. Head teachers are a tough crowd. Put lots of them in a room together and give them the… Read More »

Impact? What impact?

I wrote this article for the TES. They asked for 1300 polished and considered words. I added some jokes too, for free. They let a subeditor loose on it and, well, you can read the bloodied stump on their site if you want to see the damage that can be wrought by someone in possession… Read More »

What do schools need from their technology leaders?

I am often asked by schools to help in the appointment of someone to lead their technology strategy and often the most difficult part is drawing up a job description that is both ambitious and, well, fill-able. The first challenge is what to call it. Director/ Head/ Leader of… eLearning? Digital Strategy? Technology? I prefer… Read More »

Do we need new ways of measuring?

Are our current forms of measuring a person’s abilities doing the job we want them to, and might there be better ways to quantify the things about people that we actually really value? I’m going to use an anecdote to explain what I mean. Those readers with a pathological and emetic response to the word… Read More »

How will the classroom of 2017 look?

If you are looking for a quick way to destroy your credibility and give people an additional opportunity to sneer at the depth of your ignorance, speculating on how technology may change education is probably the most effective method available to the average blogger. Still, InnovateMySchool.com have asked me to write 1000 snappy words on… Read More »

Creative Learning Centre at The Hastings Academy

A year ago, I left the Hastings and St Leonards Academies to join my current group of schools. One of the things I was proudest to have been involved in were the Creative Learning Centres which featured in both Academies. The concept originated with the sponsors – East Sussex County Council, BT and the University… Read More »

Considering the best way forward for 1-to-1 projects in 2014 – Part 2

In my first post in this series, I spent some time talking about the reasons why more and more schools are choosing tablets as the tool through which to achieve their vision of giving every student access to their own mobile computer. In summary, it’s because tablets are highly effective at enabling pupils to demonstrate… Read More »

Considering the best way forward for 1-to-1 projects in 2014

I want to consider over the course of this post and the next the reasons why schools are choosing tablets to fulfil their 1-to-1 ambitions and suggest a slight tweak on how this by-now-familiar formula might be improved. Fundamentally, the reason is easily articulated; schools want to bring the undoubted benefits of a really powerful… Read More »

Are conditions finally right for Android to make a significant mark on 1-to-1 education?

A year ago I was in the midst of implementing a 1-to-1 iPad project in a large Academy on the South coast. This followed over a year’s painstaking research, site-visits, pupil consultation and trialling of devices to make sure we made the right decision for our students; we needed to pick the tablet and ecosystem… Read More »

It’s a MOOC Jim, but not as we know it

First things first – abject apologies for the hackneyed Star Trek-inspired title. My explanation has two parts: 1) this post is about SPOCs (tenuous, I know) and 2) I’ve been getting into The Big Bang Theory recently, having missed it first time around. Those guys love a Star Trek reference. In my last post I considered whether… Read More »

Is there a role for MOOCs in secondary education?

Massive Open Online Courses are pretty mainstream now (hey, even I’ve done one!) and give access on an unprecedented scale to hundreds of University level courses offered by institutions from around the world. Done well, a MOOC can be a very successful way of learning. Trust me, I’ve tried and failed to learn various things… Read More »

Learning to code – a student’s perspective

From September 2014 the UK’s schools will all be teaching the nation’s children how to write computer code. If the rhetoric is to be believed, within a few years this wave of computer-literate re-enforcements  will be rushed into the front line of the global technology race, shoring up the country’s position as a leading innovator.… Read More »

Democratising Da Vinci (or why technology in schools is a no-brainer for the world)

This might not seem of immediate relevance, but stick with me on this one, all will become clear hopefully. There are plenty of historical examples of people who have stood out in their time for their genius. I could cite hundreds, but as Leonardo Da Vinci seems to be current shorthand for this, I’ll use… Read More »

Why technology will never replace teachers

This blog’s title is a truism which is fairly uncontroversial, but one worth stating & thinking through if your job involves educational technology. It’s a little depressing that debate is often this polarised (with some seeing technology as a threat, not an enhancement). It’s rare that technology evangelists believe that ‘their’ methods are always, irrefutably… Read More »

What does iOS 7 mean for schools using iPads?

The latest release of Apple’s operating system for its tablet and phone devices is the first one I’ve noticed considerable mention being made of education-specific enhancements. The following list of school-centric features by no means cracks the many challenges surrounding the use of fully integrated technology in the classroom, but it goes a long way,… Read More »

Westminster Education Forum: new technologies for schools (part 2)

<note: coffee-time chat with Niel McLean from NfER about RCTs in education was useful – his view is that they have an important place but must be tightly bounded so that effects can be separated out> Teacher training and development panel David Weston, CEO, Teacher Development Trust ITT entrants typically only last 5 years as… Read More »

Westminster Education Forum: New Technologies for Schools. 9th September 2013 (part 1)

This morning I have been attending the above event at London Bridge. Its pitch is 'the inside track' on government thinking and direction, reflected by the selection of speakers (including those from DfE and the House of Lords). Here's what I learned.   Tom Goldman, Deputy Director, Standards Division, DfE, 'Technology in England's Schools' Tom… Read More »

A vision for how schools’ MIS should function

I’m using this post to try and flesh out my own thinking about the role of MIS in schools; apologies for the dull-ness, you are welcome to slip quietly out of the back now while I look the other way. Firstly, in case you don’t know, MIS is derived from ‘Management Information System’, the commonly… Read More »

The vital elements of BYOD… and how we’re almost there

Bring Your Own Device is an understandably attractive strategy for schools: It offers the potential to empower every student with the ability to use familiar technology wherever and whenever it’s helpful, a pretty huge benefit It links up students’ learning with their ‘real lives’ And could save schools hundreds of thousands in refresh costs as… Read More »