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

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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Economic catastrophe?

September 23rd, 2020 by Graham Attwell

COVID-19 is turning from a health crisis into an economic catastrophe, says the UK based Nesta. With the Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention scheme closing at the end of October, the coming labour market shock will be unprecedented in scale and there is a major risk of people being unable to meet housing or food costs […]

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Language courses and science, technology, engineering and maths subjects cut

September 16th, 2020 by Graham Attwell

Over the past few years there has been great emphasis placed in the UK on the importance of science, engineering, technology and maths (STEM) for the future development of the economy. there has also been attention placed on the poor record of language learning in the country. And education – and especially the vocational further […]

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More ways of understanding the Labour Market

September 15th, 2020 by Graham Attwell

In most countries we have traditionally relied on official labour market agencies for data for understanding the labour market. From an education and training standpoint, that data has not always been ideal – given the main users are economic planners and policy makers – and the data collected is often difficult to interpret from the […]

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Latest from Pontydysgu Blogs and Speakers' Corner

Impressive Learning Toolbox Showcase presents the success of ePosters

September 25th, 2020 by Pekka Kamarainen

In my latest blog I had reported of the achievements of our former partners from the Learning Layers (LL) project  with ePosters powered by the Learning Toolbox (LTB) in different online conferences. As regular readers of this blog know, the LTB was developed as a digital toolset to support workplace-based and vocational learning in the […]

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Great progress with LTB-powered ePosters as support for conferences and learning

August 15th, 2020 by Pekka Kamarainen

Earlier this year I have blogged about problems that the Corona-crisis had caused for conferences. In that context I drew attention to the potential of ePosters – powered by Learning Toolbox (LTB) as support for transforming conferences into online events. At that time I was informed by the developers of the LTB of the requests […]

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New report on Artificial Intelligence in Vocational Education and Training

July 31st, 2020 by Angela Rees

The Taccle AI project has launched it’s 74 page report exploring the use of AI in policy, process and practice in VET. For VET teachers and trainers, there are many possible uses of AI including new opportunitiesfor adapting learning content base…

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Remembering Gerhard Zimmer

July 10th, 2020 by Pekka Kamarainen

Yesterday – after a long delay – I got the sad news that my friend of old, professor Gerhard Zimmer had passed away. As I read from the ‘In Memoriam’ text written by his former colleagues, this has happened already in March this year. At that time I had already left Bremen and was on […]

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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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  • Taking stock of social theory in education research: Hybridity, methodology and critical reflexivity - Free online event with @socialtheoryapp (Mark Murphy) and me (@cristinacost ). Sign up here: bera.ac.uk/event/taking-s… cc @DUSofE @UofGEducation

    About 5 hours ago from Cristina Costa's Twitter via TweetDeck

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