The first kind of space was highly organised. In these 'class' rooms, our students gathered, seated in rows, facing toward a single part of the space - the front. At the front of the classroom were all of the important things, such as the teacher, and of course, the teacher's tools. Many of these, the blackboard, the projector and the screen, and eventually other new technologies such as television and video, were placed at the front of the room because this was where all the action was. The students looked on as spectators, and occasionally as active participants in their education. Students learnt by listening. The sage on the stage was the centre of attention, and pivotal to the process.

Next came the second kind of space - rooms where people could face in more than one direction.
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At Learning Technologies in London last week I expressed my view that Augmented Reality (AR) has more direct applications in workplace learning than Virtual Reality (VR). This is based on a number of factors. The first is that AR can be used through existing personal technologies, such as smartphones and tablets. Several apps are freely downloadable, including Aurasma, Layar and Blippar, each of which is capable of being used instantly to discover information about the world around us.
1

I've never been that keen on the term 'thought leaders'. Some might even consider it a little presumptuous to label oneself as a thought leader. It also sounds as though thought leaders have the monopoly on new ideas and great thinking. This is patently untrue. All teachers have the potential to be creative and to arrive at new ideas. Whether they share them with their professional community is another matter.

There's a lot to be said for experience. Julius Caesar it is claimed, once wrote: 'Experience is the teacher of all things.' Those who have 'been around for a while' have seen and done enough to know this.

It was very interesting at this year's BETT Show to see so much experience, on the stages, in the conversations, over coffee and dinner.

I love a good mash-up. It's a digital age version of synthesis.

Actually, that's a little misleading - synthesis is a skill required by academics and scholars, whether technology is present or not. But a mash-up takes several ideas, formats or sources and places them together in a new form, to say something new. That's why I like it. It's creative and it's often thought provoking.
6

I have a confession to make. Over the festive period I binge-watched a number of DVD boxed sets. I watched multiple episodes of the Walking Dead, Scandal and Game of Thrones. It hasn't got any better. Now work has started again, I've been spending time each evening watching The West Wing.

I'm not going to lie. Watching DVD boxed sets is really addictive. These writers know what they are doing. No sooner has one plot been resolved, than another cliffhanger is presented.
2

I find it useful to look back to see what were the most popular blog posts of the previous year. In retrospect, trends are more observable than they are when you're in the thick of it.

My learning definitions series #learningis (13 posts) proved to be popular with a combined hit count of almost 50,000 views. It kicked off after I watched a video of some teachers at Geelong College in Australia, talking about their definitions of learning.

There's a lot to be said for lunchtime activities. When I attended AFCENT international school in the Netherlands, I would often find myself in the music room, listening to friends and staff playing impromptu concerts. It was great to sit cross-legged on the carpet, eating your sandwiches, chatting to friends and listening to live music.

One lad, a few years older than me, was a great blues guitarist. He would regularly stand up and play some great guitar riffs on his electric guitar.

The two most important days in your life are the day you were born, and the day you find out why. - Mark Twain.

Discovering that above all other things, you want to be a teacher, is one thing.

Seeing that long and sometimes tortuous journey through to its conclusion is another.

When my graduands leave university each year, they embark on a career that will be highly rewarding, but also physically, emotionally and intellectually challenging. They are full of energy, creativity and vision.
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2016 was arguably an unprecedented year for celebrity deaths. Social media channels may have glowed red hot with the seemingly relentless demise of a procession of celebrities - entertainers, astronauts, authors - occasionally entire bands, and other well known individuals from the public sphere. Less reported in the mainstream media was the passing of a number of important individuals that have impacted significantly on the world of education.
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