nimble® team profile: Phil Parker, education consultant

Supporting young people in the learning process is my passion. I’ve been a senior leader in an Outstanding secondary school for many years where the innovations I introduced raised achievement and improved teaching and learning significantly. As an education consultant I developed my paradigm into schools and colleges nationally, even extending it to train school leaders in China.

Mark-It-Yourself Homework

I hated marking my students’ work, I’m sure I’m not on my own! I particularly hated marking factual assignments– names, dates, places, events, that sort of thing. Sure you can use peer assessment but each student’s progress isn’t always evident this way.

Assessing what’s been covered in class in a reflective way is where nimble® can help. Let me illustrate with an incredibly imaginative idea I saw used by a History teacher recently... the nimble® course was set out as a takeaway menu!

eLearning for the EPQ

The Extended Project Qualification can act as a bridge between sixth form education and the rigours of investigative learning in Higher Education. We know the vast majority of students struggle to be independent learners and the EPQ gives them experience of this process in a highly personalised context – a topic of their choosing.

However that internal struggle for independent thought and action leads, in my experience, to many teachers spending time mentoring students through the process.

Personalise the MOOC

The latest Big Thing in post 16 education has been the MOOC – Massive Open Online Courses. For cash-strapped institutions they've appeared to be the Holy Grail but research is starting to deflate this particular bubble. They lead to low completion rates, high dropout rates, and the general inability to make them a financially viable concept. Studies have also indicated that males, younger students, many ethnic communities struggle in this environment.

Death by PowerPoint

I’m often asked how, as someone with thirty-five years of teaching experience, I arrived at a point in my life where I am encouraging schools and colleges to buy e-authoring software. The reason lies in observing hundreds of lessons as a learner. It’s not an experience many teachers get so they don’t consider this perspective.

eLearning for Generation Z

As FELTAG pointed out, many teachers are struggling to provide learning experiences for Generation Z. They are ‘digital natives’ whose lives have been dominated by the internet and digital technology, experiences which have rewired how they think.

Yet much of education hasn’t caught up with them. Their teachers steadfastly use PowerPoint and think the Cloud is what blocks the sun.

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