My Top-Five Edu-Live for Monday 18th Feb


My Top 5 Edu-live for Monday 18th Feb

The things that caught my biased eye since last week.


  1. RESEARCH How does the time children spend using digital technology impact their mental well-being, social relationships and physical activity?   Unicef 2017      

Super interesting evidence-focused literature review. In summary, moderate use of digital technology tends to be beneficial for children’s mental well-being, while no use or too much use can have a small negative impact. The evidence reviewed suggests mostly positive outcomes from using edigital technology in terms of children’s social relationships- to an extent that consensus may be said to exist.

Get your research geek on here


2. INSIGHTS: Decoding the teenage brain   New technologies are shedding light on what really makes adolescents tick—and providing clues on how we might reach them better. From Edutopia, read the full article here


“Social and emotional learning programs that show adolescents “how to regulate their emotions, manage stress, and consider other people’s feelings” can have positive effects on executive functions more generally, improving focus and self-discipline, and setting teenagers up for academic and professional success well beyond high school.”




3. ACTIVE LEARNING SPACES + EDTECH Our Flagship School partner Steelcase produces excellent research around active learning spaces and learning design. This recent post caught my attention. The Institut International de Lancy (IIL) is integrating active learning and technology to create a campus that reflects life outside of school. See how partnering with Steelcase Education @Leigh Cresswell helped IIL design classrooms that break the traditional mold and are preparing students for the future.


Full details here

Nothing dramatic here but a good introduction. If you are interested in the concept of Active Learning Spaces, check out:

        3. Or my sloppy out-of-date internal OneNote Learning Space Design Principles and Practice  (Web view)

classroom version 2

  1. VIDEO: OECD’s Andreas Schleicher on the world’s best education systems

In December, ExcelinEd hosted a thousand state and national policymakers, education leaders and advocates at the 2018 National Summit on Education Reform (#EIE18). Today, we’re releasing videos of our keynote featuring Andreas Schleicher



  1. EDUCATION TO EMPLOYMENT: Designing a system that work (McKinsey)

Including an analysis of more than 100 education-to-employment initiatives from 25 countries, selected on the basis of their innovation and effectiveness. Plus, a survey of youth, education providers, and employers in nine countries that are diverse in geography and socioeconomic context: Brazil, Germany, India, Mexico, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

Get it here


Past editions of the LIVEFIVE on my blog

See you in around



My Top 5 Edu-live for Monday 11th Feb



The things that caught my biased eye since last week.


  1. A VIDEO:What if we didn’t have teachers? EdTech Update  featured a number of must-watch videos and this one What if we didn’t have teachers?, caught my eye. Nothing ground breaking in one sense- same old Ken Robinson- schooling robs children of creativity schtick …but some greater optimism about action. View this here




2. AN ARTICLE: Boredom caught my eye this week   I’ve been pondering writing a blog on Boredom: The New Luxury Item and suddenly I see it everywhere. This from the New York Times




3. AN APP: Our own Microsoft Font Maker APP

This is actually very very cool and super example of digi-logue – that convergence of analogue and digital. This app allows you to use your digital pen to create a true-type font from your own handwriting. Very very personal.

I think kids would love it. Find it free here\


4. A PODCAST: Our own @Dan Ayoub features in this podcast from edtechtimes speaking about how AR/ VR can produce measurable learning outcomes. Check it out here  SPOILER ALERT: We have a great new paper, a collaboration across our 3-teams written by serious academic influencer on this topic coming down the pipeline.

Skype 2


5. A RESEARCH SNIPPET: What worked and didn’t work across 2018 to take into 2019? Chalkbeat synthesized what they learned from research in 2018, focusing on which policies seemed to work and which didn’t. They used “what worked” as a shorthand for policies that improved test scores or affected metrics like suspensions, attendance, and high school graduation rates.  Check it out here



Follow me on Twitter for more @sparvell 

See you in around



My Top 5 Edu-live for Monday 4th Feb



My Top 5 Edu-live for Monday 4th Feb

The things that caught my biased eye since last week.

  1. Game-based learning is changing the way we teach  Edsurge ran this sponsored content by Minecraft today here  If you’d like to find out more about Game-based learning, Edutopia has an easy to consume summary here Of particular note is the use of #edtech as empathy machines

game learning


  • The Benefits of Constructionist Gaming  On this theme, this one is important as they are making the link between education theory ‘Constructionism’ and ‘Gaming’ Playing and building games helps students understand complex systems—including their own systems of thinking. From Edutopia



Sparvell Cheat Sheet: What is Constructionism?

Constructionist learning is when learners construct mental models to understand the world around them. Constructionism advocates student-centered, discovery learning where students use information they already know to acquire more knowledge. Students learn through participation in project-based learning where they make connections between different ideas and areas of knowledge facilitated by the teacher through coaching rather than using lectures or step-by-step guidance.



  1. Social and Emotional Data might Identify Problems, but can schools fix them?

This is important as FRESNO, one of hero stories @Maria Langworthy features prominently in this article which examines research  where seeing survey data about school climate and students’ self-perception of social and emotional strengths motivated educators to change their practices.

From Education Week


  1. Google opens up data analytics program in Singapore for undergrads The inaugural batch of 25 students is in the midst of completing a 12-week digital analytics technology course prerequisite, including sessions with industry subject matter experts from Google and its partners. STRAIT Times   



  • Australians are largely happy with tech use in schools with some reservations The regarded EducationHQ Australia shares results from research conducted by Monash University here



The key curious findings of the report include:

  •      66 per cent of adults agree that digital technologies make a positive contribution to Australian schools
  • 37 per cent of adults believe ‘Big Tech’ companies cannot be trusted to play a role in school technology
  •      79 per cent of adults support schools banning the use of mobile phones while students are in class
  •      44 per cent of adults are happy to see online exams; 34 per cent want blended learning opportunities

LIVE FIVE – Things you need to know


My Top 5 live for Monday A

Topic focus: Social and Emotional Skills

  1. Today: DonorsChoose releases its 2018 classroom funding data- our Class of 2030 research found teachers wanted to spend more time on Social-Emotional Learning but lacked time and resources



2.      Today: Education Week: Top 10 Topics Everyone should be talking about -be    surprised about how many are related to social and emotional skills.

Get the scoop here

3.       Last Week:  Oftsed – The UK Office of Standards in Education announced fundamental changes to how they measure quality schools to include how students interact, the social expression of emotional intelligence.


4.        Jan 18th Aspen Institute (US) published a significant report , the National Commission on Social, Emotional, and Academic Development   (note the intentional inclusion of academic)


5.       Microsoft Education, The tech giant, brings for the second year, the  topic of social and emotional skill prioritization into the heart of one of the worlds largest education technology conferences with a lead keynote Emotion and Cognition in the Age of AI which builds on 2018’s, Class of 2030




Self Regulation- Why is matters and how to grow and show it.

Today’s complex world demands self-regulated thinkers and learners who can take responsibility for their lives, their work, and their ongoing learning. It requires individuals to monitor their own work and to incorporate feedback to develop and improve their work products.


In most traditional classrooms, educators structure students’ work for them, directing them in exactly what to do and monitoring compliance. To create opportunities for students to learn effectively and monitor their own progress, educators can instead work with them, guiding and empowering them in ways that help them take increasing responsibility for their own learning, both as individuals and in groups. In turn, this supports students’ ability to function in a 21st century workplace, where people are expected to work with minimal supervision, planning their own work, designing their own work products and incorporating feedback to improve the quality of those products.


Learning activities that give students the opportunity to acquire self-regulation skills must last long enough for students to have the opportunity to plan their work over time, and offer visibility into clear learning goals and success criteria that students can use to plan and monitor their own work. Educators can foster self-regulation skills by giving students working in groups responsibility for deciding who will do what and on what schedule. In the most successful learning activities, students receive feedback that is supportive of students’ progress toward clear learning goals, and they have the opportunity to act on that feedback to improve their work before it is considered final.


Self-regulation involves a range of skills that become increasingly sophisticated as they develop over time. At the beginning of a semester, students who are new to self-regulation may need more explicit guidance; over time, it can be a goal for educators to give students progressively more responsibility for their own learning


Find via the link below RUBRICS for analyzing learning design for opportunities to self regulate plus the big ideas underpinning this.



Also free courseware  built on the that provides on-demand training around the 21st Century Learning Design (21CLD)  approaches is available

Life Between The Numbers

Welcome to the recording of the “Life Between the Numbers: Data & Analytics to Advance Achievement & Equity” webinar 


Why this session matters


For many education leaders, creating actionable intelligence from data is a new skill.

In this 4th industrial revolution, the ability to make better decisions, faster decisions against a backdrop of complexity and ambiguity is now essential for leading transformation across schools and districts. …equally important is how we create the conditions where learning flourish’s and use data and analytics to validate these approaches.


In this webinar, Dr Phil Neufeld, executive director, information technology, Fresno Unified School District, , is joined by colleague Ryan Coe, Vice Principal in the Curriculum and Instruction Department with Dr. Maria Langworthy, director of worldwide education research, Microsoft Corporation

In this session Ryan Maria and Phil will detail the Fresno 2-year personalized learning initiative, a project which is now delivering statistically significant results.

The Team will cover the following:

The pedagogical model used to foster a collaborative learning culture anchored in student agency.

  • The impacts of this approach on thousands of students over two years.
  • The elements which work that anyone can leverage in their work.

Thank you for attending  This webcast is now on-demand, should you like to view it again. The PowerPoint presentation is available for download here.

Use the link below to enter the webcast at me.


The PowerPoint presentation is available for download here.

Get the report

Here is the link to the related report: Enabling Analytics for Improvement: Lessons from Year 2 of Fresno’s Personalized Learning Initiative


Virtual School Review

Now here’s a great piece of research hot off the press.

This report presents the findings of an international review undertaken to inform the creation of an eHub Pilot Project or e-school with virtual classrooms to support Irish-medium post-primary schools participating in the Gaeltacht School Recognition Scheme. The e-Hub pilot project will connect a number of small Irish-medium schools or Irish-medium units in Gaeltacht areas so as to extend the range of curricular choices available to students, particularly at senior cycle, in these schools (Policy on Gaeltacht Education 2017-2022; p.21).
The report is divided into 5 sections as follows:
Section 1: Introduction
Section 2: Virtual Learning Case-studies
Section 3: Essentials of Good Online Learning
Section 4: Recommendations for Gaeltacht e-Hub
Section 5: Key Roles and Procedures.

irish pilot



A key aim of the Department of Education and Skills’ Policy on Gaeltacht Education 2017–2022 is to strengthen Irish-medium educational provision in post-primary schools in the Gaeltacht. The provision of a wide range of subject choices through the medium of Irish poses a challenge for post-primary schools due to a lack of availability of suitably qualified teachers with high levels of proficiency in Irish and the generally small size of schools in rural Gaeltacht language-planning areas. In seeking to address this challenge, the Policy identified the potential for the establishment of a pilot Irish-medium e-learning hub to extend the range of subject choices through Irish available to students in small post-primary Gaeltacht schools and Units (Aonaid).

Full report here

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Listen to a recent podcast where I’m talking about Minecraft