Monthly Archives: July 2017

Do challenges make school seem impossible or worthwhile?

Do challenges make school seem impossible or worthwhile?

Did you get where you intended to in life? Are you as healthy, wealthy and wise as you want to be? If not, perhaps the problem is a lack of motivation. Some studies suggest that motivation – rather than ability or skill – is the best predictor of educational and professional attainment. But what do […] … learn more→

I quit! Why I am leaving UK academia

I quit! Why I am leaving UK academia

Last year I started playing competitive squash in the East of Scotland League. After the matches, meals and drinks are provided by the hosting club in a social setting. Squash is a sport that attracts people of all ages from all walks of life. I have spoken to actuaries, chefs, farmers, delivery personnel, school teachers, […] … learn more→

What do examiners think of the PhD by publication?

What do examiners think of the PhD by publication?

The thesis-by-publication (or alternative thesis) format is becoming more and more ‘trendy’ for the modern day PhD student. This approach offers students an opportunity to write their thesis alongside writing peer reviewed publications and refining those all-important research skills. There are many excellent ‘how-to’ articles out there, but what do examiners think of alternative thesis? […] … learn more→

Artificial intelligence holds great potential for both students and teachers – but only if used wisely

Artificial intelligence holds great potential for both students and teachers – but only if used wisely

Artificial intelligence (AI) enables Siri to recognise your question, Google to correct your spelling, and tools such as Kinect to track you as you move around the room. Data big and small have come to education, from creating online platforms to increasing standardised assessments. But how can AI help us use and improve it? AI […] … learn more→

It’s that time of year…

It’s that time of year…

As this post publishes I am on my way to the Tate Summer School, the gallery’s annual professional development programme for teachers. I’ve been making this journey at this time of year since 2012. This is my sixth Summer School. Why? Because I work as a partner ethnographer, “embedded’ in the Tate  Schools and Teachers team who […] … learn more→

Florida remediation doubles down on doublespeak

Florida remediation doubles down on doublespeak

One of the best kept secrets of “higher ed” is how much of it is repetition of high school, or lower. It’s particularly bad at what are called (or used to be called) community colleges, institutions taxpayers were suckered into paying for in exchange for their kids being “taught” the same subjects taxpayers paid for […] … learn more→

How to reap educational benefits through mobile apps?

How to reap educational benefits through mobile apps?

‘Education is something that one resembles after forgetting all that they have learned in school.’ The sole intent of education is imparting knowledge, now with what sources is not something that should be restricted. Back in the date, students were forced to visit a library and pick up books to learn new things or gather […] … learn more→

‘Unfair’ student loan system must be reviewed

‘Unfair’ student loan system must be reviewed

For an 18-year-old with limited experience of the earnings and tax system, it’s not easy to foresee the long-term effects of borrowing the average £44,000 cost of a degree. So a new report by London Economics, commissioned by my union, the University and College Union, should be required reading for all Year 13 and college students and […] … learn more→

From self-driving cars to Zoomtubes: an expert imagines the evolution of transport in Mega City One

From self-driving cars to Zoomtubes: an expert imagines the evolution of transport in Mega City One

It’s the year 2102AD. Something has been found underneath Sector 301 of Mega City One. Judge Dredd is on his way to the scene. He’s thundering in from above on his heavy-duty Lawmaster motorbike. Visible below are shiny Zoomtubes, weaving their way through the monolithic habitation blocks and unbroken urban blight. They pulsate with computer-controlled […] … learn more→

Are academics paid too much?

Are academics paid too much?

The BBC salaries report has prompted me to do something that I’ve had in mind for quite some time. So here it is: my salary is £48,327. I am 42, and have had a full-time academic job since 2008, when I was 32. Before that, I took a long time to do a master’s and […] … learn more→