Read: The Leavers by Lisa Ko ★★★★★ great read that grew and grew on me. Chinese illegal immigrants in New York and back in China. Great characters and story.📚

A bit of rainy day prep today. Planning using micro:bits for simple Christmas decorations.

Last session we did a time consuming, but worthwhile, microbit guitar project. We’ve use them for decorations before and I thought this might be a simple intro for the new pupils in the class and a simple refresher for last years pupils.

Since I only use microbits now and then I need a wee practise too. I noticed a couple  of things using the iOS app and the MakeCode for micro:bit editor.

The app seems to have improved even since June. At that point we started finding it easy to create code and flash the microbits form our iPads. Today I tried the app on my phone and was surprised as to how easy it was to code (simply) a microbit on my phone.

The other is you can now embed makecode, the code or the emulator. This one is a dice and number picker, we made ones like this for maths games last session. Try the buttons and ‘shake’.

Maybe you could always embed code I didn’t notice it before. I am impressed by how the editor has improved over the last few years. The first few times I used micro:bits in class we stitched away from our iPads and used PCs, i can see no good reason for doing so now.

Read What do the PISA results tell us about Scottish education? (Professor Mark Priestley)

It is not unusual for immigrant children to perform better than a country’s majority population children in STEM subjects. Yet, the fact that they are able to perform so well in Scotland might offer some insights into why native Scottish children are not doing equally well. One of the reasons could be a lack of interest and motivation, indicating an important area for the policy development.

@MarkRPriestley , cutting through a pile of hype around Scotland’s PISA results. The success of immigrants ask a question, IMO, about the importance of extra-school influence on success in school.

The discussions around  PISA, success of cfe and the like are well above my blogger brain grade but fascinating and important.

Another interesting thread from @mrmcenaney

the improvement in reading, it is FAR more likely a consequence of what was happening in primary school 10 years ago, when the current PISA cohort started school, than 3 years ago, when they went to secondary.

It is really hard for humans and especially politicians it seems to look to the long term. We worry about possible bear attacks as opposed to glacier melting.

Replied to What Happened to Tagging? by Aaron DavisAaron Davis

Alexander Samuel reflects on tagging and its origins as a backbone to the social web. Along with RSS, tags allowed users to connect and collate content using such tools as feed readers. This all changed with the advent of social media and the algorithmically curated news feed. Samuel wonders if we h…

Hi Arron, thanks for this link (and many others). I remember when I first got involved in educational blogging it was fairly simple to pull together tags from any blog (via technorati ), twitter and flickr and display them on one page. I made a few for different educational events in Scotland. A marvellous opportunity now lost, hopefully to return.