Digital Exercise Books and better feedback. [ @microsofteduk ]


It’s well documented and widely agreed that one of the most effective ways to raise standards is through developing effective teacher feedback.  Indeed, when trawling through Inspection reports of schools that have been given Notice to Improve or put into Special Measures, a common target is often this (taken from a school’s inspection feedback and available online):

“Raise achievement so that standards in all subjects are at least in line with
national averages by improving the quality of teaching. Give priority to:
− ensuring all teachers have high expectations and use assessment information to plan lessons that build systematically on students’ prior attainment
− the close monitoring of progress in lessons so that teachers detect and tackle any gaps in understanding and move students to a higher level of learning when they are ready
− improving the quality of feedback to students, including marking, so that it clarifies the steps that students need to take to improve their subject specific skills and reach their targets
− developing lesson activities that capture students’ interest and increase their capacity to learn independently, particularly through practical tasks, investigation and opportunities for collaboration.”

Now, before I go on, a) we should be doing this type of stuff to improve young people’s learning, not to please the people in suits. It makes good pedagogic sense. b) I’m at BETT for Microsoft, but I only shout about what I think will improve learning.

Thing is, using OneNote, Windows 8 devices can help teachers achieve this.  Just spend a few minutes watching this:

The main points during my Learn Live session for Microsoft are:

  1. Use what we have but BETTer.  Most schools and children have access to OneNote and the audio tool already.  Why aren’t we using it? Of course, the use of a stylus and touch screen is very cool, but the audio exists now.
  2. It’s all about learning, not the technology.

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