Spannerman's Edublog

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Dr John Spencer began his teaching career in 1981 armed with a Sinclair ZX81, thereby demonstrating two things at once: Firstly he was in at the very start of ICT in the classroom and secondly he is a sucker for duff technology. Thereafter he taught joining a start-up open source company as their Head of Education in 2002. Now John is bringing his iconoclastic disposition and tendency to throw a spanner in the works to blogging.

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Recent Posts

Olympic Academy end of term address

Given by the Principal Michael (Hercules) Gove

Dear Parents, as term draws to a ragged end it’s time for reflection on the highs and lows of the year and on our education reforms and to look forward to the excellent examination achievements of our students later this...

Tags: education, education reform, general certificate of secondary education, michael gove, open source, poland, programme for international student assessment, public sector, schools, united states

The IQ divide...

School students lead the way

We seem to be in a transition phase in school IT ( I’m dropping ICT like everyone else judging by the numbers enrolling), on the one hand we have surprisingly sophisticated practice and on the other ludicrously backward processes. Naturally...

Tags: chromebook, education, google, google docs, ibm, ipad, iphone, itunes, public sector

Return of the O-level: Ditch those computers and learn Latin

IT education - bung it with the hairdressers and child care

It’s great being old enough to remember how things were last time around. It’s also never been a better time to manifest multiple-personality disorders especially in that zaniest of professions, education. In a back to the future moment today we...

Tags: a-level, as level, education, gcse, o-level, public sector, schools, skills

The Infantile Internet or the menace of the articulate elite?

People like us club running Britain just do not get it

Helen Fraser boss of the GDST last week declared that the Internet was infantalising her ‘gals’. The ‘gals’ in question attend posh schools belonging to the Girls Day School Trust and it turns out what she meant was that getting...

Tags: bbc, education, gdst, girls day school trust, google, helen fraser, ipad, public sector, schools, wikipedia

The rise and fall of software for schools

Big Brother, education ICT and hope

In reply to my last post on the arrival of tablets in schools Crispin Weston of Saltis and EdTechNow picked up on my ‘sanguine’ attitude to how I thought new technology would be used in schools. Basically he noted that...

Schools start taking the tablets

Backlash against centralisation promises tablet led innovation in education ICT

At last some signs of movement in the schools’ ICT market. This is really needed after a dismal hiatus when solutions to our computing future consisted of destroying ICT’s credibility in schools and investing in a very vague notion that...

Tags: apple, bbc micro, ict, information and communication technologies in education, linux, microsoft, schools, secondary school, supercalc, tablets

Saga and school ICT

Google to the rescue by sponsoring one fiftieth of an IT teacher per secondary?

I think it’s my age but I’m about to lose it over the ‘coding for kids’ saga. An apposite word is saga, It conjurs up two images for me the first is the convoluted semi-mythical story telling of the Norse...

Tags: alan turing, bbc, education, google, linux, michael gove, schools, science museum

Should profit determine what computing our children learn at school?

Creating next generation coders and innovators needs long-term strategies

Recent discussion about GCSE ICT and the new Computing syllabuses for 2014 has raised in my mind some interesting questions. Specifically I am interested in the triple interface affecting what is learned by each generation. These interfaces are created by:...

Tags: computing gcse, education, gcse, gcse ict, national curriculum, public sector, schools

GCSE ICT v Computing. Back to Basic?

Raspbery Pi for a few

The future of computer education in mainstream UK school is taking shape. The accepted reference point for a qualification at the end of secondary education is still the GCSE so I thought it would be interesting to look at what...

Tags: aqa, assessment and qualifications alliance, education, gcse, michael gove, raspberry pi, schools

Mobiles in Class II: the Ofsted view

Time to take on the Luddites

I posted an article last week describing how we make use of student's smartphones in class. It attracted modest interest but no comment. I was disappointed if I’m honest as the use of personal technology in education is (in my...

Tags: education, her majesty's chief inspector of schools in england, naht, national association of head teachers, ofsted, schools, smartphones