Off to Comenius University, Bratislava Slovakia for Comenius Integral Teacher Training (IntTT) project

Bratislava Castle

As part of my PGCE I applied to be involved in a European funded project:

Over the past two years, in partnership with universities in five other countries: Spain, Portugal, Slovakia, Finland and Turkey, the University of Leicester has been participating in the ‘Comenius ‘Integral Teacher Training (IntTT)’ project, which has been funded by the European Commission (  The purpose of the project has been to create materials to help student teachers develop primary and secondary school children’s communicative and digital competence, with a particular focus on the potential of using web 2 technologies for pedagogical purposes.

An important part of the IntTT project is the mobility element, which is a funded cultural exchange that enables some students from each partner to visit the other partners. 

A particular focus of the visit will be to discuss the newly created materials to help student teachers develop school children’s communicative and digital competence.  Furthermore, it will also provide a valuable opportunity for studying aspects of school education in an entirely different national and cultural context.  Student teachers will be able to explore a different tradition in professional practice in education as well as share their own experiences of the educational system in their home countries with colleagues from the host country.

 The aims of the mobility element for the student teacher are to enable them to:

  • Observe lessons and participate in the teaching as appropriately identified by the classroom teacher.
  • Research how the digital technologies are used in the placement school.
  • Observe how children’s communicative competence is developed in the placement school.
  • Contribute to a seminar at the university about education in the student teacher’s home country and make comparisons with the host country.
  • Maintain a diary of activities in preparation for a final report.
So I’m setting off with fellow student, Helen to meet the other students from Spain,  Turkey and Finland. An Edmodo group has been set up for us to us, but I’ve already found one of the other students on twitter. Looks like I’ll get to try Google Translate to tweet in Turkish.
I’ll be hoping to blog my experiences while I am there. Fingers crossed for some free wifi!

Possible tools and techniques for my ICT project @orunner

Now that I know which school I will be going to on my second teaching placement, I’ve been thinking about what tools I might want to use with the year 4 class I’ll be teaching. I could use any of these to support the teaching I’m doing, the trick will be finding one that I can develop into a research question. Given that Action Research involves:”Emphasising the individual nature of action research, Jack Whitehead (1985) puts forward a simple representation of how the process feels:

1. I experience a problem when some of my educational values are negated in my practice;
2. I imagine a solution to my problem;
3. I act in the direction of the solution;
4. I evaluate the outcomes of my actions;
5. I modify my problems, ideas and actions in the light of my evaluations.”
from Whitehead, J. (1985) An Analysis of an Individual’s Educational Development: the basis for personally oriented action research, in: Shipman, M. (ed.) Educational Research: principles, policies and practices, Lewes, Falmer. See

I need to look at what practices are currently in use in the classroom before I can choose one to change and monitor the impact.

Exciting times 🙂

From Evernote:

Possible tools and techniques

Resources I could use for the ICT project (or for any teaching on TE2):

  • ScoopIt to collate resources, or provide pre-filtered links for research online (start one for the Tudors or other topic work?)
  • Toontastic on iPad for creating cartoons, in particular effective sequencing and story boarding using the scenes and settings.
  • Spelling city as an alternative way to test spellings (could compare before and after, levels of use at home)
  • Using voice recording (clicker software if school have it, or voice memos or speech recognition software?) to get ch to look at drafting and redrafting? Textease for re-reading writing.
  • myebook to promote writing, including sound, online.
  • collecting and presenting information – scoopit, bookmarking, diigo, google forms, textease
  • games: Machinarium to promote problem solving and team working
  • exploring patterns : using flickr to look for images? symmetrical patterns on iPad using Sym Lab Basic
  • using wall wisher or primary pad to collate feedback or ideas during a lesson, compare to other methods of feedback?
  • blogging with the feb 29th leap year day exercises – BBC dancemat – check out blog with them all on for typing games or use 3×3 links for IT start up  or at home (like Simon Haughton’s links?)

Tariff Project in the press

One of the great things about collaborating with my peers when I was in education technology was knowing that the work I started with them would continue. I was delighted to see this morning, that THE published an article about the research that I undertook with Jon Scott and Margaret Green on the utility of the Plagiarism Tariff. Jon and Margaret presented the work last month at the Asia-Pacific Conference on Educational Integrity. The first time I’m mentioned in a THE article and I’ve moved into circles that read TES. Hey ho, such is life 😉


Research project on Plagiarism Reference Tariff


Following the launch of the Plagiarism Reference Tariff (.pdf) at the 4th International Conference on Plagiarism, June 2010,  I suggested to colleagues that we might use the tariff as the basis for an interesting research project.

The aim of the project is to apply the tariff (which works on a points based system) to past cases of plagiarism dealt with over the last academic year in a variety of institutions in the UK and internationally. The project should elicit some interesting comparative data on penalties, but will also enable to produce a second draft of the tariff based on our experiences of using the tariff and any variation in outcome between those penalties actually awarded by institutions and those potentially available under the tariff. 

A range of participants at the conference got in touch to say that they were interested in the project, but if any other institutions would like to be involved, please get in touch with me. the project will be conducted through online meetings between now and Christmas.

Reviewing the effectiveness of electronic detection#4IPC2010

I’m presenting at the 4th International Plagiarism Conference today (hashtag: #4IPC2010)

How effective are electronic plagiarism detection systems and does it matter how you use them? Reviewing the evidence

Abstract: The advent and use of digital technologies, which open up a plethora of useful and credible information for use by students, at the same time expose the risks of uncritical and unacknowledged use of other people’s work. Institutions have met these concerns with the implementation of electronic detection systems. The situation has moved very quickly, from the introduction of the UK national license for Turnitin in 2002/3 to the present situation where this software is used by over 95% of Higher Education Institutions. Electronic detection of plagiarism is one of the most widely spread technologies used in education and the evidence base for its use is only just beginning to yield results. This paper will examine the evidence to date for the effects of plagiarism detection systems. It is based on a HEA-funded review ‘Digital with plagiarism in the digital age’ .

Emerging peer support networks on twitter #lff10

I had the weird experience of giving a presentation without actually being present at a conference yesterday. I pre-recorded by session for the Learning Futures Festival back in December and it was broadcast on 14 Jan 2010 whilst I was at home collecting my children from school. I am greatful to my colleagues for stepping in to be online to answer any questions about the project.

It was definitely one of the easier presentations I had to do, elluminate was straightforward to use and I had good support from the conference team. Below is a copy of the slides I used and the presentation will be available with audio and the chat commentary on the learning futures fesitval site until 14 Feb 2010 (registration for the conference is required).

This is a project we’ve talked about elsewhere and have published in ALT-N.

Dealing with plagiarism in the digital age

Our HEA ELT Synthesis project is now complete and is available on the HEA evidence net wiki.

Since my announcement about the project in October, some people have joined the Citeulike group which was set up to contain the references from the review, but will hopefully continue to collect interesting and useful papers on the effectiveness and implementation of the electronic detection of plagiarism in HE. I hope the group continues to grow and that the papers are useful to researchers and pracitioners in the field.