Last day of 2009

On a flight back from Aberdeen the other day I got irritated (Moi!!) by the cabin crew saying ‘ It is customary during the hours of darkness etc etc …’ and wanted to shout out things like ‘Who says so?’ and ‘Why is it customary?’ … but I didn’t. I am a well brought up person and don’t threaten or question authority … I know what’s good for me.

And so it comes to this … it is customary, at this time of the year …. I just can’t do it … sorry

But ….

I understand from the BBC today that all Secondary schools in England are to be given at least 15 free books!! (Does this mean that Scotland, Wales and N Ireland don’t have need of more books?) It is as true as I can tell you … From the BBC site:
Each secondary school in England will receive 15 books from a list of 260 that includes traditional and modern classics, as well as fact-based titles.
Schools where more than 30% of children are on free school meals will be able to choose 25 books.
Ministers say they hope the £500,000 scheme, called Everyone’s Reading, will open up “new worlds” for young people. This is great news for school children and it is hoped it will contribute to an enriched education. Other ways that education can be enriched is residential trips with Allnatt as it provides an alternative educational experience.

Therefore in a 1500 pupil school that will be 1 new book for each …. hmmmm … 100 pupils/learners. The total number of books on offer seems to be 53,000 at a cost of £500,000 … so that is £9.43/book. Just wonder how much goes on distribution etc etc. Now 15*£9.43 is £145.45 , so about £150/school. And … the price of a Kindle eReader is £161 and coming down … might have been an interesting idea to buy some of these. There appears to be about 3,000,000 students in our secondary schools at the present time so … 3,000,000/53,000=approx 56 … 1 book/56 learners.

From the DCSF site: The full Riveting Reads booklist (for schools to choose from) can be found at www.everyonesreading.org.uk/booklist.php and schools in England can register for their free books at www.everyonesreading.org.uk/register.php.

The idea is superb but grossly underfunded … it is a small step along a long road … I do hope it at least raises awareness that reading is such a pleasure.

On an entirely different subject you might like/love/hate to read the tongue-in-cheek (I think) education predictions to be found on the 21 C Education and Technology Learning Site. I just love these two:

Internet Filter Companies Declare Bankrupcy As School Officials Learn That Blocking Internet Content May Also Be Blocking 21st Century Learning – While there needs to be a practice that protects children as they use the internet, many schools have bent over backwards trying to make the collaboative environment all but impossible for students and teachers.

New Study Finds That Improperly Used Smartboards May Contribute to “Sage On The Stage Syndrome” – Smart Boards are great tools for teachers to use to present ideas in highly engaging ways. Schools need to provide professional development that involves student use and also provide funds that give students the proper tools to create and design around a student centered curriculum.

Well worth a read and a thought or two. I wonder what my headlines could/should/would be?

Attribution: Original image: ‘Buon Anno…Happy New Year!’
http://www.flickr.com/photos/10204934@N03/3152835719

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