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Ewan McIntosh
Edinburgh, Scotland
Creating digital media products that have the potential to change people's lives
Recent Activity
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No grades (ever), no sitting down at desks, and harnessing student boredom as a motivator to create and explore might seem an odd recipe for academic success and entry to university, but that is exactly what one of Scotland's newest schools is attempting to do. Drumdruan Upper School was created a few years ago by Scottish actress Tilda Swinton, star... Continue reading
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It’s been a decade since I first heard the education conference cliché that we are preparing our kids for a future we don’t even understand. I argue that since then we've done little about it, in this week's Editorial in the Times Educational Supplement. Ten years ago, that wasn’t really true. In fact, the immediate future was pretty predictable between... Continue reading
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I end this small run of blog posts with the question posed by Professor Brian Boyd at the beginning of our evening: Do we want to close the achievement gap? We know we can close the gap. It’s been done or almost been done before in Scottish education, but the answers have been ignored as they pass us by. The... Continue reading
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“Teachers like to agree with each other, when we talk about learning. It’s hard to change that, when the model we have wanted to make work has nonetheless been failing for 40 years.” Professor Brian Boyd No area has remained up there in the contentiousness charts in Scotland as the notion of business and education working together to do something... Continue reading
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Juliette Murray was, like me, a kid at school who got 5 “A”s, which in the West of Scotland put a certain degree of pressure on one’s shoulders to study either medicine or law. I studied European Law, and became a teacher - that's what a European Law degree does to you. She studied medicine and is today a practicing... Continue reading
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Almost one in five young people in Scotland wake up in the morning wondering if their country needs them. In a country that has in many ways never felt so optimistic and excited about its future, this should be a momentous wakeup call, a call-to-arms for the whole community. The line comes from the opening page of Sir Ian Wood’s... Continue reading
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A large part of NoTosh's time with schools is spent helping leaders and teachers decide upon common languages of learning. Having a shared vocabulary to describe what we're doing means we spend less time working out what we mean, and more time talking through the nuances of what makes one piece of practice exceptional and another less so - and... Continue reading
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In the Designing Spaces for Learning Masters subject I wrote and teach at Charles Sturt University, there is one week spent on Experimental Spaces. Part of that module is on making and maker culture. I purposefully didn't dote an entire one of my sixteen weeks on making, but write about it as a type of activity requiring a type of... Continue reading
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If the Scottish National Party holds the balance of power in Westminster, what would it mean for English education policy? In 48 hours the United Kingdom goes to the polls for its Westminster Parliamentary Election, choosing a new Government no matter the result. The Scottish National Party (SNP) has been at the centre of debates this past week as they... Continue reading
The most common application of recursion is in mathematics and computer science, in which it refers to a method of defining functions in which the function being defined is applied within its own definition. (Wikipedia) The Google search for recursion concurs... Continue reading
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Imagine designing a school where the bell never rings, the day never ends, that keeps students in for as long as possible, in the same way as Google has designed its campuses to keep employees happy, but working. That's what we explored during a fun field trip visit this week to Singapore Management University's SMU-X with the Facilities team and... Continue reading
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In 2007, I posted a picture of me blogging, with a one month old Catriona in one arm, one-handed typing on the other: One year later, I had stopped writing on my blog regularly (until this month) for many reasons: At Channel 4 in 2008, I was so unschool in my work that I felt totally uninformed and uninspired to... Continue reading
This is what they call a "forward" post. I wrote it yesterday, when I had wifi and time, and am posting under today's date. I have a (reasonable) expectation that I will be alive tomorrow, and that this will not, therefore, freak out anyone unduly. In the early days of blogging with my school students, back in 2002/3, I'd use... Continue reading
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This morning I set off for Dubai, and on to Hong Kong and Nanjing, before returning for a couple of days in Dubai, and then home in time for tea on Friday. It's a hectic week, with a lot of time in the plane. Something I've noticed over the past year is that flights have become longer. Most of the... Continue reading
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This landmark, required to cope with the overwhelming population growth on either side of the river and increased river traffic to the upper parts of the Thames, was borne out of many, mostly failed, prototypes, most in the form of sketches. Continue reading
Designing the unknown | Long Version (25min) from CGS Mines ParisTech on Vimeo. Sometimes the 28 days of writing is really the 25 minutes of watching. My question: when a teacher uses Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe's backwards design or understanding by design type methodology for learning, and nothing else, will your students ever experience the more real-world feeling of... Continue reading
This would be the kind of learning analytics I might start to get excited by. Continue reading
What might we learn for learning from television drama? Continue reading
Given the number of comments left on the first 14 days of this 2015 writing adventure compared to the flowing discussions oneight have seen 10 years ago, I'm not sure anyone cares about many blog posts any more. Continue reading
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I've been shown hundreds of 'flexible learning spaces' over the years, and none of them are any more flexible than the addition of a wheel here and there might allow. In fact, if you look on Google for 'flexible learning spaces', the above panoply of wheel-laden MDF and plastic is what you discover. Now, I'm all for the wheel -... Continue reading
Reggie Watts breaks me up every time I hear the beginning of this TED Talk. It's funny because, so many times before, I've heard this kind of faux-erudite nonsense from self-proclaimed intelligentsia, in an unfunny context. It comes from people who want to look smart, instead of just being smart. Click play and read along...: "... and that's one of... Continue reading
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Far from the afterthought or polishing to which the task is often reduced, getting the wordsmithing right as you create your strategy is vital if you want people to really believe in it. Continue reading
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Most schools are state schools, so the idea that leadership might spend time working out a competitive position, or value proposition, often seems absurd. Surely that is an exercise the preserve of private schools and, even more so, private business? State schools are for local kids - the value proposition is that the school is closest to your home. Period.... Continue reading
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At a concert in Gothenburg Concert Hall October 23, 2013, Christian Zacharias stopped playing in the middle of Haydn's Piano Concerto, interrupted by a cell phone ringing for the second time the same concert. Was he right to stop? In this interview, that I've used in two recent keynotes on creativity and failure, Zacharias makes the point that listening to... Continue reading
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Does your organisation have a high level vision statement? That's it. On page three of the strategy document no-one reads. The motto that makes everyone roll their eyes slightly. It probably involves something to do with excellence, being "the best", or caring, or striving, or something else with a similar drone. What if I suggested that you might come up... Continue reading