Banning mobile phones is cargo cult science

Making waves this week on twitter and blogs is this stu…


How propitious it is to find this analysis of a recent UK study on the effect of “banning mobile phones:. Just in this last week the university group which I am tutoring have been speaking about what makes a spurious argument. One of the oft used but disingenuous argument types is that of the nexus between correlation and causation. Now where was this article then.

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Reforming Schools: Most Likely To Succeed

School reform is a topic that seems to transcend the ages however it seems that the advent of a new century combined with a the ‘technological revolution’ has spawned another surge in the debate. One of the dichotomies that has emerged surrounds the tension between a need to measure and quantify outcomes and a desire to promote divergent and creative thinking. As with many arguments in society a range of champions have emerged. Included in the creative/divergent camp Sir Ken Robinson holds a prominent place alongside a number of other luminaries who have featured in TED talks and elsewhere.

One Potato Productions has taken up the argument and has created a documentary “Most Likely To Succeed“. To get a feel for the docco check out this trailer.

To get another point of view on the film check out this quite elongated review of it from TheLipTV.

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How A 6-Year-Old Learned Coding Skills With These Adorable Robot Toys

If coding really is the new literacy, you’re going to want to start your kid early.


I’ve purchased Dash and Dot and am impressed with the range of options that are available using the three iPad apps associated with them. Unfortunately I don’t have any youngsters around me who I can “trial” my robots with. It’s great then to read an article which records in some detail how some “real” children have reacted to them.

If you’re not yet familiar with Dash and Dot then you might also like to check out the Dash and Dot YouTube Channel where another pair of youngsters, Wally and Mimi share how to get started and more with Dash and Dot.

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Teaching With Video And More

Video is so pervading these days but are we making the most of things? Here’s an exploration of some options that enable teachers to add structure to viewers’ experiences.

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Find out more about iPhone apps with Clueful.

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Some iPhone apps are not playing fair with your private life. Learn how they can get their hands on with Clueful. You’d be surprised how many things an app can learn about you without you ever knowing it. Get the clues now!



Whilst a number of are aware that our computer browsers use tracking cookies and other mechanisms to look back at us as we surf the internet, how many of us are as aware of what the apps that we have on our iDevices know about us. Clueful is a site where you can check on some of the things that you have allowed your phone to know about you.

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Coding on iPads – Beginner to Pro

Code and programming may not be the most important topics on the planet but it is an area of study that sufferers two major problems. one: an industry with millions of unfilled job positions and two: a world where not enough teachers feel confident to run programming projects. The iPad can offer a solution in these situations.


One again the redoubtable Matthew Wells turns his mind to how to best integrate current trends into a classroom context, in this case in the area of coding. Not only does Matthew provide a simple framework looking at some of the apps that can be used in the classroom ranging from Beginner to Pro but he also engages in a discussion around each of these stages. Pleasingly he also points out that much of the leadership in learning the mechanics of these apps can be ceded to students allowing the teacher to focus on how to maximise learning outcomes.

Check out my presentation on Should Your Students Catch a Code for more code options.

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App Smashing


App Smashing is a concept that should be front and centre for any teachers who are working with smartphones and tablets in any classroom. Gone are the days when teachers can say

Use “Application A” to create a Presentation/Document/Video to explain/explore a particular concept etc.

Nowadays the expectation should be that students will choose from a range of apps building on the capability of each in any number of different arrangements or configurations to do these tasks. One such manifestation of this is “App Smashing” In this interactive free iBook Mark Anderson draws on the work of other practitioners to provide a framework including examples of what App Smashing can look like in the classroom.

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Rube Goldberg : Rube Works: The Official Rube Goldberg Invention Game

Do you have what it takes to turn Rube Goldberg’s humorous comics and cartoons into elaborate and incredible machines?

Developed by Electric Eggplant in partnership with Kalani Games and the Heirs of Rube Goldberg, Rube Works: The Official Rube Goldberg Invention Game is the first officially licensed Rube Goldberg game.

Rube Works features Rube’s cartoons, contraptions, and irreverent humor and animates the iconic invention cartoons in a way never seen before. The game combines the puzzle genre with slapstick humor and creative problem solving. Imagine the goal is to carve a turkey—and you have a penguin, a bucket, a rooster, a box of sand, a sea sponge, a seesaw and an ice cream maker to complete the task. Then imagine connecting these objects together with string and pulleys along with the laws of gravity and cartoon physics to create a Rube Goldberg machine and proceed to the next level.


The revolution that is the Maker Movement is generating quite a bit of discussion at present. One of the names/concepts that often comes up in conversation is the often humorous and often challenging work of Rube Goldberg. Check out YouTube and you will find movies ranging from 7 year old Audri’s at to Red Bull’s amazing human powered options at

Now comes another option for playing with the conceptual notions behind Rube Goldberg machines in the form of this app. With appealing graphics, lots of great help and myriad options to get lost in this app would be a great adjunct to any makerspace.

If you like the Rube Goldberg app then you might also like to check out Inventioneers by Filimundus AB. It is styled as

an outstanding tool for learning about realtime physics and the science behind different features like air, fire, magnetism and jumping bunnies. What you can do with the tool is virtually endless.

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Using Google Search Options

In one of the units I help tutor at university we are looking at Google Search and doing just a little more than using the simple “vanilla” search option. To help out I’ve created a quick and simple look at some of the Google Search Options. Check it out.

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Tickle – Learn to Program Air Drones, Robots, Smart Homes, and more!


This app looks really interesting especially if you have one, (or more), of the devices that the app can be paired with. The Scratch like interface is easy to work with and the courses available in app look interesting too. This is another great Kickstarter generated project.  

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