Your habit app is killing your habits!

Your habit app is killing your habits!

Thank you to Kathy Stawarz and Ian Renfree at UCLIC for carrying out research to inform this post. It’s only January and already you’ve failed your New Year’s resolutions. Perhaps you even took the next step and downloaded a flashy habit tracking app. Chances are, you were hoping for a roadmap for your journey to a better you, but ended up more lost and frustrated than ever. Let’s have a look at a few common features of habit apps and…

Read More Read More

A new(ish) metric for phenomenology and UX

A new(ish) metric for phenomenology and UX

  To begin, I’d like to take up the call from Amid Ayobi‘s paper and expand the path of phenomenological investigation in HCI(Human-Computer Interaction), by examining its foundations. Husserl offers that the defining feature of ‘things’ is that here they are, no matter what we’re doing: they’re always just there. This is the sense in which many HCI researchers refer to objects. For Heidegger though, it’s not as simple as that. There’s a sense in which we only notice the things…

Read More Read More

Whose data is it?

Whose data is it?

These days just about anything – from your toothbrush to your toilet seat – can generate data about you. This new information revolution is already being touted as a force that will transform education. We can turn Data from the troll under the bridge to a magical helper, serving brand new insights about your students. But as with any blog post that begins with “these days”, things might be quite a bit more complicated than they first appear. I completely…

Read More Read More

Teachers, stop rewarding your students!

Teachers, stop rewarding your students!

You’re not going to like this but you need to hear it. The kids you teach don’t benefit from the institutional bribery you are facilitating. The Educational Endowment Foundation (UK’s biggest funder of educational research) released a recent study on motivation across more than sixty UK schools. The Year 11 students were split into two groups and a control group. Group 1 got the offer of £80 but had money deducted from this incentive if they failed to meet targets….

Read More Read More

Some things I learned at the Learning Disability Worldwide conference

Some things I learned at the Learning Disability Worldwide conference

Mind maps are marvelous for all your learners 1. A review of all the good studies on mind maps and comprehension showed that they improve students’ understanding of a text. Get all your students to fill in a mind map once they’ve read something, whether it’s a textbook page as well as a novel. Some teachers also got students to create ever growing mind maps as they went along in their reading. A separate study showed that it works with maths too!…

Read More Read More

Spice up your literacy with Story Wars

Spice up your literacy with Story Wars

        It’s hard to get thirteen-year-old boys excited about alliteration or subordinate clauses. Of course the best way to teach grammar is the best way to teach anything:  you have to get them to follow or break the rules in “real life” and then to reflect on the impact. For us English teachers, real life is sometimes hard to find. Story Wars comes close. I’m excited about Story Wars because It’s social (and competitive) It’s light and flexible It’s set…

Read More Read More

Cut the stress of essay planning with Trello

Cut the stress of essay planning with Trello

      Trello is an app that quickly creates cue cards / index cards on a virtual cork board. We can use Trello to organize any project, including an essay. Of course if you prefer, you can use real index  cards for this instead. Setup Once you’ve set up a Trello account, create a new board and name it with your essay question. Click “Add a list…” and title this column “Quotes”. Now dump every single quote you can…

Read More Read More

Cut the stress of lesson planning with Trello

Cut the stress of lesson planning with Trello

If organisation doesn’t come naturally to you, then juggling what resources you need to produce for what lessons for what day for what class can be rather stressful. It’s nearly as stressful as finding all those resources when you’ve got two lessons back to back and the class are temperamental and last time the email with the attachment got buried in your inbox and when you tried to find it on your USB they all saw the photos from your holiday in…

Read More Read More

Turn your Fitbit into a productivity coach

Turn your Fitbit into a productivity coach

Chances are, your phone’s notifications have become like flies against a windshield. The endless slurry of texts, social notifications and lame attempts at direct marketing has made our brains go into standby mode. Productivity apps that rely on our phone’s notifications are unlikely to have the kind of impact we’d want. One partial workaround is to set a different sound for these apps’ notifications but this doesn’t really get to the heart of the problem. The salve for this pickle could…

Read More Read More