Here is something interesting from today’s papers…..
“In a recent personal blogpost – she also blogs for the Guardian – Kelleher cited her own experience as a 13-year-old, when a BBC mini-series of War and Peace inspired her to read Tolstoy’s epic work, awakening a life-long love of history. “I am sure Gove would approve of such cultural aspiration from a working-class daughter of Irish immigrants, yet I should never have even considered reading such a vast tome without the stimulus of the TV series,” she wrote. “Just as the medium of television opened up the world of Tolstoy to me, today television is just one of a multitude of possibilities for engaging the young.”
Gove’s dismissal of “low-brow” cultural references missed the point, she argued. “The digital world is a game-changer, and we must change with it. If Angry Birds, the staple digital game of many youngsters, inspires a young person to learn coding, surely that is a desirable outcome?
“If the GarageBand app provides a creative platform for an aspiring young musician, isn’t this to be applauded? We are on the nursery slopes of digital learning. The potential for transformation of the conventional educational paradigm is extraordinary. Yet none of this registers in the world of the secretary of state for education. It strikes me that Gove’s well-meaning attempt to promote excellence for all young people is being enacted in a parallel universe.”
Angry Birds had not featured on her curriculum, Kelleher said, though pupils were queuing up to learn computer coding in other ways. But music teaching included the use of GarageBand to enable non-musicians to arrange music. The school also encouraged pupils to submit some homework as films, and teachers gave some feedback via audio rather than writing, while geography course materials were all screen-based.
Handwriting would be maintained while exam boards continued to require it, but its use would be reassessed if that changed.”