As some of you may know, I am the Maths Adviser to the TES. Now, obviously, this make me more than a little biased on all things TES related. However, I should point out that I was one of the founding members of the “Search on TES is Woeful” gang, and I am pleased to say that massive improvements in that area are imminent!
As you may also know, I am also the co-founder of Diagnostic Questions – my website of multiple choice maths questions designed to highlight key student misconceptions for effective assessment for learning.
So, if I said that TES have a new initiative called TES Labs, and that Diagnostic Questions is one of the starting companies to be involved, I can forgive you for stopping reading this blog post right away.
But please just give me a few more paragraphs of your time.
For I genuinely believe that TES Labs is a great idea.
In essence, it is a place where teachers can speak directly to education technology companies and help them to design applications that are actually useful, be it in the classroom or to aid a teacher’s life in general. The project will allow teachers to talk about what they are lacking in the classroom and how technology could fill that gap.
The reason I think this is a good idea (apart from the fact that Diagnostic Questions has been chosen to be involved, of course) is as a teacher I am sick of seeing products which have clearly been designed with little or no regard to what actually happens in a classroom, or how a teacher actually organises their working day. I have been quite vocal in the past about my scepticism of educational products that have not been designed by teachers, but I am also aware that teachers often do not have the luxury of time or money to put into developing products themselves.
I believe TES Labs will be a nice middle ground here. Technology companies can pitch their products, teachers can tell them what they actually need, what is a waste of time, and suggest key improvements, all of which leads to better products which should benefit everyone. And in recognition of the invaluable feedback that teachers are providing, TES are offering some lovely prizes to regular contributors.
I have no doubt that there will be some detractors. But, regardless of my complete lack of objectivity on the matter, I am genuinely in favour of teachers having as much involvement as possible in the creation of the products and the services that they will actually be using from day to day.
To visit the TES Labs homepage to find out more, click here
Here is an article which tells you a bit more about the service
And our very own Diagnostic Questions TES Labs page is here. I am very much aware that I need a new photo 🙂