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In Memory of Michael McCall

Everyone at EzyEducation was shocked to hear that our esteemed colleague, Dr Michael McCall, passed away last weekend.

Having read maths at St John's College, Cambridge and secured his PhD from Durham University, Michael entered a career in teaching. He most recently was the Head of Maths at The Portsmouth Grammar School for over a decade. As a teacher, Michael was a student's best friend. His ability to bring clarity to mathematics was astounding, and despite being a mathematician first and a teacher second, his dry wit made his classroom a delight.

Having retired from teaching, Michael joined EzyEducation as our maths consultant to oversee the development of our A Level maths course. He brought his years of experience, relentless attention detail and, most importantly, his fierce and incisive humour to the role. It was a role that Michael clearly enjoyed - hunting down every little error that threatens to destroy the student's experience and presenting his way of teaching topics on camera to benefit potentially hundreds of thousands of students in the future.

We enjoyed a celebratory curry recently in Michael's old stomping ground of Southsea to mark the completion of our AS course. He was on fine form as we looked forward to moving on to more difficult topics, or what he termed "getting closer to proper maths".

All of us will miss Michael, as I know will his former teaching colleagues and all the students who had the pleasure of his time.

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Are you struggling to keep up with your students?

Marking and its importance is the subject of much discussion between teachers and those who monitor educational performance.

Marking with the provision of effective feedback is considered to be worthwhile but marking for its own sake is generally seen as a waste of valuable time. And yet, because teachers are too busy to provide timely and effective feedback they often find ourselves ‘flicking and ticking’ so that students feel that their work is valued and don’t become demotivated.

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Miracle cure for space gazing discovered…..

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What do your students do when they say they are revising?

The chances are that neither you or their parents will actually know. The only intel will be what students say they have been doing in their bedroom. Their favourite social media franchise will have a better idea of how they are using their time!

Revision needs to be a specific and supported task

Many studies show that simply reading or listening/watching has a low associated retention rate. The next step might be to make revision a more specific task to help identify and then correct learning gaps with feedback. The only problem with this is that manual approaches might not achieve enough due to the scarcity of human marking resources.

Students can cope with more work than a teacher can mark

All our school users know that the solution lies in automation and tend to set specific revision programmes to push their students harder. Experienced users also know that the students can cope with more work than a teacher can mark.

Transferring learning from revision into exams

Usually, there isn’t any point doing this with a digital service that does not provide unique feedback following answers.  However, a digital service providing a genuinely formative assessment experience can be a highly productive approach as it can transfer learning from revision into exams.

If teachers then have the data to manage student inactivity (often by sharing reports with carers) and address learning issues, then everyone should be a winner.

 

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New EzyEconomics Feature!

Setting and managing your student’s work just got one step simpler! The team at EzyEconomics have just introduced a subtle but effective change to the titles of all our bespoke formative assessments to improve the user experience.

Previously when setting assessments, it would contain only the unit number of that assessment. However, from today, when setting assignments for your classes you’re able to identify the assessment content area that you have set across both the Macro and Micro courses:

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We hope this update will prove fruitful and welcome any more suggestions you may have to how we can improve your own user experience when using EzyEconomics.  

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No More Essays for Homework?

No More Essays for Homework?

In this post, our Managing Director, Peter Jordan, reflects upon the common practice of predominantly setting essays as homework and why that might not be ideal.

After several weeks of marking exam scripts last summer, it became crystal clear again that large numbers of students really struggle when it comes to interpreting and comprehending unfamiliar data extracts and find it difficult to create written responses that are coherent.

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5 Major Takeaways from the BETT Show

5 Major Takeaways from the BETT Show

The BETT Show last week was a fantastic event for EzyEducation. Teacher feedback from those who took a look at our courses was superb and it is always nice to be able to match names to faces when meeting staff from schools already using EzyEducation.

Of course, one of the other benefits of being at such a large event like BETT is that it affords the opportunity to collaborate with all manner of interesting people from the education sector and gain some insight into the state of the EdTech industry right now. Our Proposition Director, Jacob Poulton, took away the following highlights from the BETT show:

  1. The use of technology in education is growing… but growing slowly.

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Our New Assignment Hub

Our New Assignment Hub

One of the questions we have encountered a lot when helping schools get set-up on the EzyEducation platform is “How do I set work for my students?”. We haven’t really had a great answer to this up until now, mostly directing those interested to use the ‘announcements’ tool and copy and paste links to the desired activities.

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The Economics of Christmas

We created this video in 2016 and given the date we thought it would be a good chance to get into the festive spirit and share it again!

 

 

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EzyBusiness Modifications: Threats and Opportunities

EzyBusiness Modifications: Threats and Opportunities

Since we launched EzyBusiness in the summer we have been humbled by the response of teachers and students up and down the country. Thank you very much for your engagement and support.

 

We will be implementing some enhancements to the Threats and Opportunities Section on Saturday 21st October and wanted to provide you with advance warning, in case you were planning to set/complete any of that section as half-term work. The enhanced resources will be available for you to view and for your students to access from Sunday 22nd October.

Once implemented, the Threats and Opportunities Section will have the following structure:

Key: L – Lecture Video; A - Assessment

Module 1 - Performance and Threats to Performance

TO1.1.1

Business Performance - Financial Assessment

L

TO1.1.2

Business Performance - Non-Financial Assessment

L

TO1.1.3

Overall Business Performance Measures

L

TO1.1

Business Performance

A

TO1.2

Introduction to PESTLE Analysis

L

TO1.2a

PESTLE Analysis

A

TO1.3.1

Political and Legal Threats and Opportunities

L

TO1.3.2

Competition Laws

L

TO1.3.3

Employment Laws

L

TO1.3.4

Tax Laws

L

TO1.3a

Political and Legal Threats and Opportunities

A

TO1.4.1

GDP and The Business Cycle

L

TO1.4.2

Business Implications of the Business Cycle

L

TO1.4.3

Fiscal Policy

L

TO1.4.4

Monetary Policy

L

TO1.4a

Economic Threats and Opportunities

A

TO1.5.1

Inflation

L

TO1.5.2

International Trade

L

TO1.5.3

Exchange Rates

L

TO1.5a

External Economic Threats and Opportunities

A

TO1.6.1

Social Change: Demographics

L

TO1.6.2

Consumer Behaviour

L

TO1.6.3

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)

L

TO1.6a

Social Threats and Opportunities

A

TO1.7.1

Technological Threats and Opportunities

L

TO1.7.2

Environmental Threats and Opportunities

L

TO1.7a

Additional Business Threats and Opportunities

A

TO1.8.1

Competitive Markets and Barriers to Entry

L

TO1.8.2

Porter's Five Forces

L

TO1.8.3

Using Porter's Five Forces

L

TO1.8a

Porter's Five Forces and the Threat of Competition

A

     

Module 2 - Innovation and Digital Technology

TO2.1.1

Types and Importance of Innovation

L

TO2.1.2

Encouraging Innovation

L

TO2.1.3

Protecting Innovation

L

TO2.1a

Innovation

A

TO2.2.1

Digital Technology Pressures and ERP

L

TO2.2.2

E-Commerce and Big Data

L

TO2.2.3

Using and Evaluating Digital Technology

L

TO2.2a

Digital Technology

A

 

The current unit on business growth is being moved from the end of the Threats and Opportunities Section to the bottom of Module 3 of the Business Basics section.

This will now be structured as (business growth unit highlighted):

Module 3 - Mission, Strategy and Growth

BB3.1.1

Influences on Mission and Objectives

L

BB3.1.2

Theories on Corporate Strategies

L

BB3.1.3

The Value of SWOT Analysis

L

BB3.1a

Mission, Corporate Objectives and Strategy

A

BB3.2.1

Short-Term vs. Long-Term

L

BB3.2.2

Corporate Culture

L

BB3.2.3

Business Ethics and CSR

L

BB3.2a

Influences on Business Decisions

A

BB3.3.1

Expansion and Retrenchment

L

BB3.3.2

Types of Growth and Retrenchment Strategies

L

BB3.3.3

Evaluating Growth

L

BB3.3.4

Greiner's Model of Growth

L

BB3.3a

Business Growth

A

 

We hope you enjoy using the enhanced Threats and Opportunities Section as much as we have enjoyed putting it together. If you have any questions or queries about these changes, please drop us a line.

Have a great half-term!

 

The EzyEducation Team.

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A cure for results day insanity?

A cure for results day insanity?

Insanity is often defined as “doing the same thing, time and time again and expecting to achieve better results”.

 

 

Many teachers will relate to this on exam results day, as the chances are that results in most cases will be fractionally different to the previous year.

Although resources always promise to improve results, it is unlikely that any of them will have made a meaningful and sustained difference unless they have helped teachers to improve how they support their students.  

Meaningful improvements in performance are only likely if resources help teachers to achieve some key performance enhancing objectives:

 

  • Achieve significant increases in independent learning by ALL students.
  • Focus homework on preparing students for forthcoming classes.
  • Reduce time-consuming content delivery, so that more class time can be devoted to skills development and personalised interventions.
  • Improve learning records to support more effective personalised interventions

 

None of these objectives can be achieved without more time. As the reality is less rather than more time, the only solution is to use technology that provides the time to help teachers achieve these objectives.

 

Register today to sample our insanity cure!

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Course Developments

Course Developments

We are committed to ensuring that our courses continue to improve. We have lots of development initiatives in the pipeline. Recently we have been focusing upon improving the look and feel of the courses. In addition to this, however, we wanted to draw your attention to two developments:

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Welcome to EzyEducation News

Welcome to EzyEducation News

Welcome to our new EzyEducation Blog. We will be using this to talk about all things education, including the exciting developments happening here at EzyEducation and the wider trends in the profession.

We are currently busy talking to schools up and down the UK (and beyond) about our two current services: EzyEconomics and EzyMaths. We would like to say a huge thank you to the hundreds of schools who are engaged with us and are delighted that more schools are joining the Ezy revolution each day!

We are also tremendously excited about the new services we are currently developing: EzyScience and EzyBusiness. Launching in September, these will be market-leading courses supporting the new 9-1 GCSE Science syllabuses and A-Level Business Studies syllabuses. We have pilot resources available for these courses - if you are interested in taking a look then please get in contact by emailing us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or calling the office on 01329 285415.

The EzyEducation Team.

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