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Tes 30 April 2021

Tes is dedicated to supporting the world’s teachers. Our mission is to enable great teaching by helping educators find the tools and technology they need to excel, supporting them throughout their career and professional development.

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United Kingdom
Tes Global Ltd
51 Issues

in this issue

3 min

It was in the act of trying to get an article from my iPad notes app into an email and on to my HP laptop, while setting up a Zoom meeting on my phone, that I realised that we in education need to have a more detailed conversation about devices. Throughout the pandemic, the focus was on the need to get a “device” in the hands of every pupil and the government made grand pronouncements about the numbers of laptops it had shipped out to disadvantaged students. We viewed devices in a universal way, as if all were equal: as long as the students had something – anything – then that was OK. The reality, though, is that “device poverty” is not just about the haves and have-nots, but the “whats”, too. This…

2 min
it’s school, jim, but not as we know it…

You sit down in front of the TV and find a show discussing your favourite band; you put the radio on in the car and they’re discussing a topic you wrote your dissertation on at university; you watch a film in which the protagonist happens to be in the same line of work as you. “Great,” you may think on each occasion, “I’ll really enjoy this.” But soon things start to niggle. You realise that they’re not going to talk about your favourite album in the TV documentary; they get a small but important detail wrong in the radio show; the way the protagonist does her job in the film is nothing like the day-to-day reality you face. Suddenly, something that should have been enjoyable becomes stressful – and all because you…

2 min
your starter for 10: how to use quizzes to pinpoint learning gaps

Identifying gaps in learning is understandably high on the agenda after a year of disruption. But the last thing we want is for our students to feel under too much pressure or for teachers to disappear under piles of marking. So, how can we identify gaps without affecting everyone’s wellbeing? This is where low-stakes quizzes come in, allowing us to see exactly what has and hasn’t been retained, and respond immediately. But getting the most out of low-stakes quizzes when time is of the essence can be tricky. Here’s how to approach them: 1. Keep the stakes low If we want to avoid students feeling like they are being bombarded with assessments, these types of quizzes should be delivered in the spirit of their name. We don’t want to create a situation whereby students…

2 min
branch out and try ‘forest bathing’ to boost wellbeing

Want to boost the wellbeing of your students and staff? Send them for a walk in the woods. We’ve all come to know the joy of a good walk over the past year, but there is a particular type that is known to be especially beneficial for one’s wellbeing. In Japan it is known as shinrin-yoku – literally a “forest bath”. There’s mounting evidence that simply being in a forest has a massive range of health benefits, both physiological and physical. Among other things, researchers have linked it with helping to fight depression and anxiety; healing from surgery; tackling obesity, cardiovascular disease, migraines, respiratory disease and stress; and improved life expectancy. Of course, right now most of you are thinking: “But we don’t have a forest on our doorstep.” The good news is that you…

5 min
if you’ve got a ‘wicked’ classroom, don’t expect wicked research results

In the 1200s, “wicked” meant “awful”, deriving from the Old English word “wicca” or “witch”. Then, in the 1920s, F Scott Fitzgerald used it ironically to mean something wonderful and the slang stuck. But what does it mean when you say that the kind of learning that takes place in a classroom is “wicked”? Well, it has nothing to do with either of the previous definitions but, instead, describes the replicability – or not – of research results in the learning environment. This was the term used by Dylan Wiliam, emeritus professor of educational assessment at University College London, in his keynote speech at the World Education Summit last month, when he talked about the limitations of drawing conclusions from educational research. And just as we can have “wicked” learning environments, we can have…

7 min
10 questions with… charlie higson

Charlie Higson is best known for playing a host of memorable characters in The Fast Show as well as being the author of numerous children’s books, including Young Bond and the Enemy series. He has recently written a new book for children called Worst. Holiday. Ever, which takes some of its inspiration from his own experiences of a memorable school French exchange programme – including a surprisingly philosophical conversation with his exchange partner’s father. He recalls some memories from that time – including his favourite teacher and performing in school plays – and reveals whether anyone from that period inspired characters in The Fast Show. 1. Where did you go to primary school? I went to a classic prep school – a prep school of the old school, of which there were quite…