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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Happiness & Education: The DNA of student agency?

Do worry! Be happy!  It matters more than you realize for individuals, schools, communities, societies and economies. We should all worry about happy in the context of a balanced diet of emotional states.


Below is a rambling curation of content pieces around the importance of positive affective states on learning.



Much has been written about the relationship between a happy, positive workplace and an effective, productive workforce. But the definition of happiness can be misunderstood – often it is seen as the presence of positive emotions and the absence of negative ones, which can lead to work cultures that pressure people into faking positive emotions. Research has shown this “faking” can result in long-term physical and emotional illness.

=We hear the call “We have to make sure all our kids are equipped for the jobs of the future, which means not just being able to work with computers but developing the analytical and coding skills to power our innovation economy,’” but, is this completely true?

 The truth is, only a tiny percentage of people in the post-industrial world will ever end up working in software engineering, biotechnology or advanced manufacturing. Just as the behemoth machines of the industrial revolution made physical strength less necessary for humans, the information revolution frees us to complement, rather than compete with, the technical competence of computers. Many of the most important jobs of the future will require soft skills, not advanced algebra.

 Education is taking note.  A new campus for middle and high school students, which will be built in a rural area outside the metropolis of Chennai, India, is surrounded by farmland and bordered by the ocean, is designed to support the goal of cultivating happiness. Kurani was inspired by a long-running Harvard study that has tracked people over the last 80 years, which found that strong relationships are key to a happy life. But, for trailblazers, it hasn’t been an easy road to happiness!

Headteacher Anthony Seldon was widely criticised when he introduced the first “wellbeing curriculum” at Wellington College a decade agde ago. Wellbeing, it was felt, was antagonistic to academic achievement. And despite the success of the programme – Wellington soared up the league tables “quicker than any school in history” over the next nine years – Hunter reports that her colleagues were initially sceptical about her happiness programme

 So, how do you do it? Influential education expert Craig Kemp shared his top strategies and notes importantly, know the Statistics! – There are so many statistics out there about kids, happiness and well-being as it is a buzz right now. All of which are extremely important. Do research and openly share them. Research like this from the OECD and this from Common Sense Media are well-respected sources to use to inform your school’s digital well-being program. I also love this graphic showing what happens in an internet minute. It is a real eye-opener for teachers and parents to help them understand how to adapt their daily practices and strategies to suit the changing needs of their young ones.     (Huffington Post top 12 Education Blogs)

 And if you’re an Edweek member, you can find the 13 top tiups from one of the worlds happiest places- no, not Disneyland, Florida.   (note 2014)

So, is it good for learning? Apparently

“There is a large and growing body of research which indicates that people experiencing positive emotions perceive more options when trying to solve problems, solve more non-linear problems that require insight, [and they] collaborate better and generally perform better overall.” (Edutopia- How are happiness and learning connected)

Emma Seppala, the author of “The Happiness Track,” and science director of Stanford University’s Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education, has not lost hope. Dr. Seppala admits that yes, happiness can be a rare beast in our classrooms, but we can create and protect learning conditions in which happiness can flourish

And, guess what? It makes you smarter!

Researchers at Research Schools International partnered with administrators, teachers, and students at St Andrew’s Episcopal School and The Center for Transformative Teaching & Learning to study happiness and academic achievement. Read and find out what they discovered! (the Conversation

That’s it-do worry, be happy- it matters more than you realize.

PODCAST: Minecraft in Education – Moderator asks WHY IS IT SO BLOCKY??

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Drew Perkins talks with Neal Manegold and Mark Sparvell of Minecraft Education about learning and technology and the use of Minecraft Education as a tool to prepare learners for the modern world.

Links & Resources Mentioned In This Episode:

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Need a RUBRIC for non-cognitive and cognitive skills ? I found some!



VALUE Rubrics

Below is a list of the VALUE Rubrics, organized by learning outcome. Click on an outcome to preview, download, and learn more about a particular rubric. For information on acceptable use of the VALUE rubrics, as well as how to reference and cite the rubrics, visit: How to Cite the VALUE Rubrics.

Follow the instructions to download all VALUE rubrics at no cost. All rubrics are offered via AAC&U’s Shopping Cart:

If you experience any difficulty downloading the rubrics, please contact

Intellectual and Practical Skills

Personal and Social Responsibility

Integrative and Applied Learning

Below is a link to the Japanese Translation of the VALUE Rubrics, organized by learning outcome:

Note: you may have to create a simple free account to access.

Reprinted with permission from “VALUE: Valid Assessment of Learning in Undergraduate Education.”  Copyright 2018 by the Association of American Colleges and Universities.

If you have questions about using the VALUE rubrics for educational purposes please email

People want to CREATE and be CREATIVE

A quick copy+paste of my curation and ruminations around CREATIVITY as a transformative asset for LIFE, LEARNING and WORKING.





The U.S. study, Creativity and Education: Why it Matters (Adobe), sheds light on the role of creativity in career success and the growing belief that creativity is not just a personality trait, but a learned skill.

85% said it was a critical skill for their career

78% wish they had more ability

82% wish they had more exposure at school.



I like these two credible references


Creativity as a transformative asset

A recent PricewaterhouseCoopers 2016 CEO Survey cited creativity as one of the key skills needed for employees today. Furthermore, CEOs have said creativity is the most challenging skill to recruit and retain in employees. Visionary business leaders know that in order to succeed in tomorrow’s economy, where productivity will be a given, they need to solve this problem by unlocking the creativity of their employees and then infusing that ingenuity into their company’s products, solutions, and business strategy


The Future of Work is Creative

We face global issues that require all of us to unleash our creative potential to solve problems, make new connections and generate ideas.

Creativity is not only the domain of artists and musicians. It is a process in which we all can engage and all need to encourage.

What do parents think about #edtech?

We were curious about the current perception of parents so we asked them! Parents are our students first teachers and may view schooling through the lens of their own experiences. Find out what they said about the role of technology in supporting learning.


What’s New in EDU Episode 23

What happens when STEM hacks Sharknado and Skype undoes language and distance barriers? How good can teaching and learning become when tools support the needs of all learners to achieve their full potential?

Join me in the latest episode and find out so much more.


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The question is no longer ‘Does technology make a difference’, the question is, ‘When does it?’ Here’s a mountain of evidence to explore.

The Class of 2030

This research explored the experiences, expectations and aspirations of young people as it related to education. 4000 students and teachers across 4 countries plus a review of 150 existing pieces of research/ evidence and discussions with thoughtleaders and student focus groups helped inform this.


Blog: How Can Technology Empower the Class of 2030?

Class of 2030: Infographic

How Minecraft Supports Social and Emotional Skills

Learning Tools (RTI)

Now a key accessibility feature across O365, Learning Tools proves that when you plan for inclusion, everyone benefits. Immersive Reader, the breakout feature for unlocking literacy.

·        Full report:



The question is not DOES TECHNOLOGY MAKE A DIFFERENCE, the question is UNDER WHAT CONDITIONS DOES TECHNOLOGY MAKE A DIFFERENCE? Find the answer th this question and the hard data that backs it up.

·        Year 1 Full Report:

·        Year 1B Blog and report


How do we develop critical social and emotional skills? What is the potential of #edtech to amplify human qualities?



What happens when a district commits to raising the bar and closing the gap and levers technology to seek to understand the situation  and the impact of interventions. 






Are online sandbox games a good platform for developing SEL? The answer is YES




This whole system, covering an enormous geographic area has committed to building educator capacity through an innovative online learning community and in doing so, is transforming.


The Record, April


CIO, June


Channel Life, June


The Educator, November–report-243435.aspx


Teams blog story, June


Microsoft Education YouTube, October


Microsoft Education Australia Media site with CEWA video, photos, stories, and paper, October


Microsoft Enterprise story, October


Microsoft blog story, October


Harvard Business Review story, October


Educator Online, November

What really makes a difference to student learning? Updated 2018

John Hattie developed a way of synthesizing various influences in different meta-analyses according to their effect size (Cohen’s d). In his ground-breaking study “Visible Learning” he ranked 138 influences that are related to learning outcomes from very positive effects to very negative effects. Hattie found that the average effect size of all the interventions he studied was 0.40. Therefore he decided to judge the success of influences relative to this ‘hinge point’, in order to find an answer to the question “What works best in education?”

Retrieved from




Personalization vs Differentiation vs Individualization

Originally posted Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Updated Personalization vs. Differentiation vs. Individualization Chart Version 3

Personalization v Differentiation v Individualization (PDI) Chart (Version 3) 

The PDI chart was created for a reason: to clarify the differences in these terms. In 2010, the National Ed Tech Plan defined all three of these terms as they are related to instruction. We needed to emphasize the differences: Personalization is learner-centered. The other two, Differentiation and Individualization are teacher-centered. Personalization or Personalized Learning means the learner is driving their learning. When the learner takes responsibility for their learning, teaching and learning changes. The roles of the teacher and learner change. We welcome you to share the PDI chart and use it for action research, professional learning, and to go deeper and clarify the terms so learning is deeper, relevant, and engaging.