The top 10 UK higher education social media superstars of 2017
Jisc has just announced its “top 10 higher education social media superstars” for 2017, and I was privileged to be on this year’s judging panel. Whittling the entries down to just 10 was something of a challenge. To be eligible, individuals had to put themselves forward or be nominated by a colleague – so it wasn’t simply a case of picking out the biggest hitters based on follower numbers, or seniority. Instead, I and my co-judges (Jisc’s social media team and Sarah Knight, the organisation’s head of change – student experience) had the pleasure of looking through some less obvious – but no less worthy – examples of social media excellence from across the UK sector.
UK Education Blog
Reading Time: 3 minutes How does a narrow curriculum disadvantage the disadvantaged? New research suggests that “both teachers and parents think that exam pressures are leading schools to narrow the curriculum as more time is taken up for exam preparation. The research also highlights that people believe the problem has worsened over the past three years. Over 900 teachers and 1,000 parents of children under 18 were polled in September and October of 2018. The results were conclusive.
7 Mindfulness Tips to Energize Your Writing
Many people don’t realize that their greatest resources for writing, creativity, and motivation lie within them already. By practicing Zen techniques of mindfulness and “no-mind” meditation you can actually inspire your inner artist into action without doing much conscious work at all. That’s right, almost paradoxically, a state of “no-mind” can produce excellent results in your life in terms of creativity and productivity. It seems like a paradox, because in our world we’re often told to think things through, and that hard work requires lots of conscious effort. How about inspiration and true artistic expression? How are these factors synonymous with conscious effort?
Redland Green School - Comprehension Websites
The following websites can be used for pupils to develop improved comprehension skills. Click on the link to be taken to the site, close the window when you have finished. Learnanytime.co.ukAmazing site - thousands of free educational website links to save you the time of having to search for sites.
Plenty of ways to bring an end to plagiarism in university essays
I once answered a job advertisement for an “academic researcher”, thereby inadvertently applying for a job with one of these sites (Universities watchdog calls for crackdown on ‘essay mill’ plagiarism sites, 9 October). Checking the company in more detail, I became suspicious and asked about their business model. The answer was that “we provide model answers which help the client (i.e. student) write their own essay”. When I asked what prevented the client from submitting my work as their own, they said that “this never happens, they have to sign that they won’t do that” or something like that. But it was quite obvious that the idea was that the client would submit my work as their own, as I would have to confirm that my essays were all original work, hadn’t been submitted anywhere before, and therefore wouldn’t show up in plagiarism software such as Turnitin. At this stage of proceedings, the company had already given me a login to their assignment list.
Comprehension tests are the most common form of English exam. Yet, preparation for them is tricky for teachers to teach and even trickier for students to understand. Words like, 'retrieval', 'inference' and 'deduction' instil students with boredom (at best) and anxiety-inducing confusion (at worst). Most students, aged 8-12, are crying out for a more engaging, creative approach. Something relatable. The Comprehending Comprehension ebook and online course break the whole concept down in a humorous, character-based system.
Creation history: brilliant ideas build on the past
To understand one of the secrets of creativity, just peek into an art classroom in Denver, Colorado. The teacher asks her pupils to imitate the style of Vassily Kandinsky. The students mimic Kandinsky’s geometric abstractions, mastering brushwork and learning colour theory. If that was all there was to the lesson, it would be a hands-on class in art history. But the art teacher asks the students to cut up their paintings and build 3D sculptures out of the pieces. They have all started with the same source, but their works all end up looking extremely different: some rise straight up in a column, while others are a jigsaw of different forms and angles.
Reading comprehension strategies
Reading comprehension strategies focus on the learners’ understanding of written text. Pupils are taught a range of techniques which enable them to comprehend the meaning of what they read. These can include: inferring meaning from context; summarising or identifying key points; using graphic or semantic organisers; developing questioning strategies; and monitoring their own comprehension and identifying difficulties themselves (see also Metacognition and self-regulation). How effective is it? On average, reading comprehension approaches deliver an additional six months’ progress. Successful reading comprehension approaches allow activities to be carefully tailored to pupils’ reading capabilities, and involve activities and texts that provide an effective, but not overwhelming, challenge.
How to use deliberate practice to improve your writing
Last week, as one of my last duties as research fellow at RMIT before I take up my new role at ANU, I hosted two seminars – one from Prof Anthony Pare from McGill and the other from Prof Helen Sword, the writer of the wonderful “Stylish Academic Writing”. Helen and Anthony had many interesting observations about the process of learning to write, but both made the same basic point: very few of us have formal instruction in how to write like an academic. As Anthony Pare pointed out, when you write essays as an undergraduate you are ‘eavesdropping’ on expert conversation; as a PhD student you are expected to be a part of that conversation. Writing for a teacher is easier than writing for your peers because the expectations are clearer. This is why many PhD students experience what he calls the “J curve”: a rapid drop in confidence, but a long term upswing as this new kind of writing practice is mastered. The first thing Joyce suggested we try was a Zumba Fitness class.
The Shakespearean Nature in Comedy by Drew Foster
From the Chair | In Print | Panels & Presentations | Awards & Appointments | Miscellany | From the Editor The Shakespearean Nature in Comedyby Drew Foster Nature plays a significant role in Shakespeare's comedies. It serves as a dynamic environment in which possibility abounds, wildness thrives, and discovery occurs. Nature is marked by moments of clarity and dreamy illusion.
Britain’s battle to get to grips with literacy is laid bare in H is for Harry
Life repeats itself, Grant says dejectedly. “It’s just repeat, repeat, repeat. I had it, my dad had it, and now my son’s going to have it.” He’s talking about illiteracy, which has trapped his family in poverty and shame for generations. But Grant is desperate to break the cycle.
Select a free English topic from the 100+ topics available
Each topic has 10 pictures (Beginner) or 20 pictures (Intermediate) with their accompanying written texts and spoken English recordings. There are 56 Beginner topics and 58 Intermediate topics to choose from. All the topics are free to use.
Children’s and young people’s reading - latest news and views - Anne Harding Training
You are never too young for books! It’s a while since my last round-up of recent research and articles about children’s reading, and lots have come out since. New studies reveal that the number of 8 to 18-year-olds reading for pleasure has dropped to 52.5%, down from 58.8% in 2016, with only a quarter reading daily, compared with 43% in 2015, and that only 32% of British children under 13 are read to daily by an adult for pleasure, 9 percentage points down on 2012. According to the What Kids Are Reading 2019 report, only a quarter of pupils get the recommended daily time for reading for pleasure. (It’s important to know that this report only surveys children involved in the Accelerated Reader programme, and is not representative of all children or all schools.)