Programme seeks to boost gifted education in England | How to navigate formative classroom observations | Teachers in China strike over pay, pensions
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03 December 2014
ECIS SmartBrief
ECIS: the source for international education

Learning and Teaching
Programme seeks to boost gifted education in England
Four universities in England -- Cambridge, Nottingham, University College London and Warwick -- are opening their doors to support gifted education among disadvantaged students. About 400 11- to 14-year-old students from low- and middle-income families are expected to take part in the university programmes. The Independent (London) (tiered subscription model) (02 Dec.)
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Professional Development
How to navigate formative classroom observations
Classroom observations are intended to be formative learning opportunities for teachers, asserts Graham Birrell, senior education lecturer at Canterbury Christ Church University and co-author of a book on the topic. Graham and a few newly qualified teachers offer tips to survive classroom observations. The Guardian (London) (01 Dec.)
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Leadership and Governance
Teachers in China strike over pay, pensions
Teachers' strikes in China have spread to about six cities or counties fueled by teachers' dissatisfaction over pay and required pension payments. The strikes began last week and have forced the closure of some primary and high schools. The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (01 Dec.)
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Other News
Ukraine schools offer distance learning amid political unrest
Some educators in the Ukraine are turning to online lessons to keep students learning amid interruptions and closures caused by political unrest. Students are expected to attend school when possible but many have access to study materials and other resources provided by teachers via e-mail and online. The Associated Press (01 Dec.)
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Are tablets impeding coding lessons in schools?
Some teachers and industry experts in New Zealand say tablet devices may be limiting coding instruction in schools. They say the devices' compatibility with coding applications can be limited, and it can be difficult to teach text-based coding on tablets. Stuff (New Zealand) (01 Dec.)
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Other News
Interest Area Spotlight
Apple partners with schools in Ireland for language learning
Apple is helping to bring technology to some Irish-language schools. The language was at risk of extinction in the 1970s. Some say using technology to teach the language is a good option because it is more cost effective than investing in new textbooks and other resources. BBC (30 Nov.)
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Time to enter your 2014-15 data on the statistical survey!
The ECIS statistical survey provides member schools with comparative data on a range of topics. These data points can be of immense help in developing new programmes, or when negotiating with school boards, especially on matters of salary and school budgets. Included is a powerful analysis tool that can be used once your data are input. Visit here to enter your data now!
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Website best practice for international schools of all sizes
Free webinar on 12 Dec.! Are you looking to update your website in the coming year? Visit here to join Finalsite's CEO Jon Moser as he showcases best practices in web strategies that schools around the globe have implemented, including responsive design, LMS (learning management system), Real-Time Date Integration with Legacy Systems, private social networking and more. Learn how the Finalsite platform is helping schools of all sizes around the world.
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Editor's Note
Cast your vote for the 2014 Educators' Choice Content Award
SmartBlog on Education this year launched a monthly Editor's Choice Content Award, which recognizes content written by educators, for educators. Our editors selected the two best original content pieces each month. Now we need your input! Cast your vote for the 2014 Educators' Choice Content Award by Dec. 10. Winners will be announced in mid-December. Vote now!
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The bird a nest, the spider a web, man friendship."
-- William Blake,
British painter and poet
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About ECIS
Founded in 1965, ECIS is a global membership organisation that provides professional development opportunities and consultancy services to its members who are comprised of international schools, individuals and educational organisations.
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