Tag Archives: Schools

The Rise of the Mollycoddled Teacher


Teaching is no gentle spin around the block. It's a grueling, energy-sapping and often heart-breaking odyssey. No doubt, it would be a whole lot easier if we could just teach instead of having to deal with barking parents, unexpected syllabus … Continue reading

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What Makes a Top School?


We all know them: Those minority of schools which for some reason (or combination of reasons) stand out in the collective imagination as ‘top schools’. The ones every other school wants to emulate in some way or another. The ones … Continue reading

Posted in Advice, EDUCATION | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

The Best TED & TEDx Talks for Teachers & Students


The Best TED, TEDx & TED-Ed Talks for Teachers & Students In no particular order: Do Schools Kill Creativity? (Ken Robinson) Sir Ken Robinson makes an entertaining and profoundly moving case for creating an education system that nurtures (rather than … Continue reading

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6 Calming Mantras for Teaching With Tech


These are the mantras I would like every person I help to integrate technology into their teaching to chant quietly to themselves from their sternums when they begin to feel overwhelmed or despondent or negative. Chanting these mantras will realign … Continue reading

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ClassCraft FTW! (Why ClassCraft is the Best Thing to Happen to Education Since the iPad)


ClassCraft is simply awesome! I’ve been using it now for a few months and I have been amazed at how it increases engagement in my class. Developed by high school Physics teacher Shawn Young, and successfully crowd-funded, ClassCraft is revolutionizing … Continue reading

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10 Things I Want Parents To Know About School


If you tell your child that school and learning are not that important in the grand scheme of things, and if you are never curious about anything, and if your entertainment choices involve more mindless television than enlightening reading, and if you close off avenues of thought for your kids through your own narrow-mindedness, and if you are bigoted and biased – how can you expect me to broaden your child’s mind? Continue reading

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An Open Letter to Google: What About Africa?


Dear Google You have broken so many rules. You do things so differently. You are the first and last word in innovation. You are slowly making the world a better place. Well, most of the world anyway. You see, it … Continue reading

Posted in EDUCATION, Google, South Africa | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

40 More Things Students Don’t Say


Things Students Don’t Say:

Standardized tests really allow me to demonstrate my learning in a personalized way.
The curriculum really is more important than I am. No really, it is!
School is definitely about how well I do in the exams.
My education is preparing me for life.
I don’t feel like I am just a number. Continue reading

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Defending Mediocrity: Examiners and their Apologists in South Africa


Excuse me while I rant a bit… In South Africa, there are two alternative examination authorities: those set under the auspices of the Government (the National Senior Certificate – NSC) and those set by an Independent Examinations Board (the IEB). … Continue reading

Posted in Activism, Critical Thinking, EDUCATION, South Africa, Vitriol | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Why Teacher Strikes Are Good for Students


In any democratic country, the rights of workers to engage in industrial action to ensure a fair wage and decent working conditions are protected by law. Whether it is ‘work to rule’ or outright strike action, many of the world’s … Continue reading

Posted in Activism, EDUCATION, South Africa | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Reboot Diary: 15 Things I Took Away From #30GoalsEdu 2013


Wednesday 10 July 2013: Jazz and Strange Dinner Guests One of the many strange things about being a teacher is that your job and your life eventually become intertwined. You simply cannot leave work at work because there is always … Continue reading

Posted in Critical Thinking, EDUCATION, Self-edification | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

The Emperor’s New Invisibility Achievement: Using Gamification to Obscure the Big Problems in Education


Why Gamify Classrooms? As I understand it, the ‘gamification‘ of the classroom aims to fuse the following benefits of computer or console gaming into learning: The attainment of levels and associated skills / powers / titles / rewards and the … Continue reading

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Dear Class of 2012


You will not remember how your confidence in yourselves was nurtured. You will not remember how you learnt to overcome your own self-imposed limitations. You will not remember how you were motivated to go out and conquer the world… or at least to make some small change for the good. You will not remember these things because they did not happen. I did not allow them to happen. Continue reading

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The Top 10 Digital Learning Apps Teachers Can Actually Use (By a Teacher Who Actually Uses Them).


This year I spent a lot of time exploring the bewildering array of educational software and apps for education. In what follows, I would like to offer a round-up of the apps I found particularly useful, as well as those which disappointed and annoyed me. I will finish by listing some of the most promising apps I would like to trial next year. Continue reading

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A Call for Comments: What Causes Violence at Schools?


I am calling on my learning network to tell me what they think and to share their knowledge with me. I have prepared a few discussion questions below to guide you. Please post your messages to my Twitter handle (@SeanHamptonCole or add a comment at the end of this post. I would be most grateful for your ideas. (If you like, you can preface what you have to say with the Discussion Question number.) Continue reading

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20 Reasons Why (Some) Teachers Are What’s Wrong With Education


Some teachers are what is wrong with the system. They blame everyone else for the problems in modern-day schools: students, parents, school leaders and the government – but very seldom do they turn the bright lamp of accusation on themselves. … Continue reading

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Critical Thinking: Dangerous Nonsense (Why We Need Atheist Schools)


Everyone’s entitled to their own opinions, they say. My students insist on it. Not so, I say. If an opinion is racist or bigoted or dangerous or even just plain stupid, you are not entitled to it. For your opinion … Continue reading

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