Editorial

Open Covid Pledge for Research in Education

Pontydysgu are happy to have signed the Open Covid Pledge for Research in Education. Th pledge says” We pledge to make our intellectual property openly and freely available to the world to support educators, students and decision-makers, to help educational organisations survive and thrive, and to build a fairer and more resilient education system. We […]

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We are working from home

Pontydysgu staff are working from home during the Convid 19 crisis. In actuality we have been working from home for many years, initially using skype for meetings and more lately Zoom. We are trying to take as much of our research and project work online as well. Meantime then European Commission has pushed back the […]

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Audio biographies

September 14th, 2020 by Graham Attwell

Here is something a bit different. Welsh Political Icons is a series of audio biographies of Welsh political figures commissioned and edited by Daran Hill. Each audio file has been written and presented by the ascribed author. Subjects may be alive or dead: the only rule is they must have a strong Welsh connection.

This issue is about William Henry Mainwaring, an educator, intellectual, Royal Commissioner and powerful political organiser who served as MP for Rhondda East from 1933 to 1959. In a personal and compelling audio biography, Dr Daryl Leeworthy stresses his importance as a politician and a historian in the context of the making of the politics and identity of “American Wales”

Algorithmic bias explained

August 27th, 2020 by Graham Attwell

Yesterday, UK Prime Minister blamed last weeks fiasco with public examinations on a “mutant algorithm”. This video by the  Institute for Public Policy Research provides a more rational view on why algorithms can go wrong. Algorithms, they say, risk magnifying human bias and error on an unprecedented scale. Rachel Statham explains how they work and why we have to ensure they don’t perpetuate historic forms of discrimination.

Latest from Wales Wide Web

Workshop on Ai and Vocational Education as part of European Vocational Skills Week

November 9th, 2020 by Graham Attwell

This week is European Vocational Skills Week. And as a partner of the European Vocational Skills Week the Taccle AI project, is organising an online workshop on “Artificial Intelligence for and in VET” on Tuesday 10 November 15:00 – 16:30 CET. Our Taccle AI project partners from five European countries will welcome you. About the […]

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Rwanda teachers on how to safely reopen schools

October 22nd, 2020 by Graham Attwell

The issue of safe reopening of schools after lockdowns in the Covid 19 pandemic is contentious in many countries, including the UK. Equally there is a debate going on as to how students can be supported in catching up with missed learning One of the most interesting report I have seen was posted to the […]

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Data Driven Science

September 29th, 2020 by Graham Attwell

This diagram is from a tweet by  Data Driven Science (@DrivenScience). Artificial Intelligence they say, is the broad discipline of creating intelligent machines. Machine Learning refers to systems that can learn from experience. Deep Learning refers to experience on large data sets.

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The State of Data 2020

September 28th, 2020 by Graham Attwell

One result of the Covid 19 pandemic is it seems like every day now there are free events. This week is no exception and this conference looks great. I can’t make all of it – too many other meetings but I hope to dip in and out (another advantage of online conferences). On Tuesday September […]

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Latest from Pontydysgu Blogs and Speakers' Corner

25 years with European projects – 15 years with ITB – 8 years with regular blogging

November 28th, 2020 by Pekka Kamarainen

In my recent posts I have several times mentioned that I am going through a transition from active project work to retirement. In my latest post I was pleased to note that the management of the University of Bremen thanked me for my years of service and sent me nice souvenirs from Bremen. During the […]

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Thanksgiving auf deutsch – in the Universität Bremen style

November 26th, 2020 by Pekka Kamarainen

I need to start this post with a disclaimer. To be sure, Thanksgiving is the special holiday that takes place today in the USA. It is part of the American history and is celebrated due to specific tradition. This tradition has not crossed the Atlantic ocean. What has crossed, is the Black Friday shopping season […]

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Zero Waste is for life, not just for EWWR!

November 19th, 2020 by Angela Rees

The last week of November 2020 is European Week for Waste Reduction (EWWR) which is organised by our Circular Economy for Youth project partners ACR+ Working with some local community partners in Rhondda Cynon Taf, Pontydysgu’s CEYOU project has …

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Working and Learning with the TACCLE4 CPD project – Logbook of blog posts available on ResearchGate

November 19th, 2020 by Pekka Kamarainen

During the years 2017 – 2020 I have written regularly blog posts on my work for the EU-funded TACCLE4 CPD project. These have been published  on my blog “Working and Learning” and on the TACCLE4 CPD website. As has been indicated in the blog posts, this project is the fourth in the series of transnational […]

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    News Bites

    Racial bias in algorithms

    From the UK Open Data Institute’s Week in Data newsletter

    This week, Twitter apologised for racial bias within its image-cropping algorithm. The feature is designed to automatically crop images to highlight focal points – including faces. But, Twitter users discovered that, in practice, white faces were focused on, and black faces were cropped out. And, Twitter isn’t the only platform struggling with its algorithm – YouTube has also announced plans to bring back higher levels of human moderation for removing content, after its AI-centred approach resulted in over-censorship, with videos being removed at far higher rates than with human moderators.


    Gap between rich and poor university students widest for 12 years

    Via The Canary.

    The gap between poor students and their more affluent peers attending university has widened to its largest point for 12 years, according to data published by the Department for Education (DfE).

    Better-off pupils are significantly more likely to go to university than their more disadvantaged peers. And the gap between the two groups – 18.8 percentage points – is the widest it’s been since 2006/07.

    The latest statistics show that 26.3% of pupils eligible for FSMs went on to university in 2018/19, compared with 45.1% of those who did not receive free meals. Only 12.7% of white British males who were eligible for FSMs went to university by the age of 19. The progression rate has fallen slightly for the first time since 2011/12, according to the DfE analysis.


    Quality Training

    From Raconteur. A recent report by global learning consultancy Kineo examined the learning intentions of 8,000 employees across 13 different industries. It found a huge gap between the quality of training offered and the needs of employees. Of those surveyed, 85 per cent said they , with only 16 per cent of employees finding the learning programmes offered by their employers effective.


    News from 1994

    This is from a Tweet. In 1994 Stephen Heppell wrote in something called SCET” “Teachers are fundamental to this. They are professionals of considerable calibre. They are skilled at observing their students’ capability and progressing it. They are creative and imaginative but the curriculum must give them space and opportunity to explore the new potential for learning that technology offers.” Nothing changes!


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