Why we should not just take the easy route

This past few weeks we have been teaching the grade 10 students at our school about failure, and why failure is a good thing. Using famous examples we are trying to demonstrate to the students why failure can often make you more successful, and a fear of failure will more often lead to nothing. The…

Why develop a pen when you can use a pencil?

There is a story from the early days of the space era about how the US and Russia independently tackled the problems of writing in space. The story goes that the Americans realised that a ball point pen was not going to function in space because the ink needed a gravitational force to move the…

Our future is online

Its sometimes hard to imagine education looking any different in 5, 10 or 15 years from now. I think its because education now looks very similar to how it looked when I was in school… which was about 15 years ago. I think the other reason I cant see it changing very much is because…

Remember to cover your eggs with rocks

I am a gamer, and I have been since I was able to use my parents’ BBC Microcomputer. I mostly played a game called Repton. Unlike video games nowadays, produced by teams of (sometimes) hundreds of software engineers over the course of several years, Repton was written by one person in their house over one…

This is a problem. I must inquire…

Around the world education lives in the past. Sure, there are pockets of the present emanating out of a few schools, but by and large education worldwide is being disseminated to students in much the same way it was 100 years ago. A teacher teaches, there are textbooks (sometimes online now), children work on problems…

Moving beyond the high tech pencil

When we imagine technology, we would often think of computers. But technology does not only refer to digital computers. Whilst how we understand the word does normally refer to computers, that’s only because most new technology in the home is some sort of computer. In the 1800s a new type of technology was introduced into…

A visually statistical wonderland

I love data. I love stats. Last week we had parent conferences. In our school this is four hours on Thursday evening and then a full morning (8am-1pm) on the Friday. In order to keep track of who comes to parent meetings we sign our names by students when they visit in a master spreadsheet.…

Stories are learning

Stories are an age old method of communicating to someone the events of either a fictional or real thing that happened. Whether it is the story of Harry Potter and his [SPOILER ALERT] defeat of the dark wizard Voldemort [/SPOILER ALERT], the story of Jesus or the story of Les Dennis,┬áthere are many different types…

Don’t just read off the slide!

This week our school had its Group 4 project. This is a component of the IB Science courses in which students are required to plan, conduct and present on a topic they choose as a multidisciplinary group. This year the students chose two themes, smartphone addiction and social problems in Vietnam. As per usual the…

Media Studies vs. Dickens

The ability to convey meaning through visual means is an art form just like writing. In schools, subjects which concern themselves (at least in part) with visual literacy topics, such as media studies, tend to be relegated to the vocational or less intelligent students. The brainy students study literature. Dante, Dostoevsky and Dickens were genius…