Tooled Up Education

Wonder and Curiosity

Last week’s Wednesday Wisdom focused on the new frontiers presented by artificial intelligence and how its potential influence is proving to be unsettling for children and adults alike. This week, I wanted to go back to beautiful basics and remind us all about some of the most fundamental aspects of learning and of innovation.

Feeling the Future

Recently, I had the pleasure of attending and speaking at an education conference. One feature of the event was a panel made up of young people. They were asked a series of questions from the audience extracting their views about exams, learning, AI (artificial intelligence) and the future, amongst other things. Listening to them, it was striking that the word ‘future’ was one that drew them to an alarming consensus: it was a source of deep concern and, no, they didn’t feel particularly excited about it.

Digital Diets and Dove

A video currently doing the rounds on social media is causing ripples of reflection, concern, vigilance (and hope) among parents and educators. It is a campaign, created by the beauty company, Dove, that tells a story of a young girl, Mary, and her journey from happy young child to teenager battling an eating disorder.

Biting Points

A recent conversation with my teen about driving lessons entailed discussion of the concept of the ‘biting point’; the point at which clutch plates first come into contact with one another. When we are learning to drive, it is important to understand these sensitive points in order to determine the optimal moment when the vehicle will move smoothly off from stationary. Recently, I have reflected on this concept when thinking about its application to parenting, considering how beneficial it can be when struggling with pertinent questions.

It Takes a Village

Sometimes, for no apparent reason, I wake up in the early hours feeling a surge of excitement about life. It is normally ignited by people I have met professionally that day or week, or by a conversation I have had. It can also be sparked by something I have read or seen. It doesn’t happen every day, or even every week, but when it does, it genuinely feels like I am acutely aware of my vocation and life’s purpose. I feel full of energy, passion and enthusiasm and can’t wait to get up and get going. I have no idea why it happens, but I am so grateful for it and hope the feeling won’t dissipate.

Mindsets for Maths

This week I have been mulling over the well publicised statistic that over eight million adults across the UK possess numeracy skills below that of a nine year old child.

Tooled Up and Engaged

Those of you who follow me on Twitter will know that my longstanding handle has been ‘Parent Engage’. Parental engagement in children’s lives and learning is central to my work and something that I feel passionate about. But what do we mean by parental engagement? How can we do it optimally?

Toll on Teachers

Like many of us working in the field of education or working in schools in the UK, I have been reflecting with deep sadness about the death of headteacher Ruth Perry this week. Discussion of her passing has involved an understanding that she was under intense pressure having had her work leading a school scrutinised by an external inspection body.

Early Days for Dads

It was Mother’s Day in the UK last weekend but I have been firmly focused on fatherhood research this week. An old friend from university is about to become a first-time dad in his late forties and understandably, is keen to rapidly educate himself about doing the best for his baby.‘What book should I buy?’, he texted. “What do I need to know about being a dad and how to be a good one?”

Time to Shine

Who hasn’t been touched, inspired or motivated by the extraordinary story of Professor Jason Arday? At 37, he is the youngest Black person ever appointed to a professorship at Cambridge University. He works in the field of sociology within the Faculty of Education where his academic interests will centre on race, inequality and education.