Associates’ research

Latest research reports with associates

Groupcall: The relationship between parental engagement, digital home-school links and pupil achievement

Bob Geldof

You can view this video here

Groupcall was founded by Sir Bob Geldof who had the vision to see that the latest communication technologies would enhance learning for all, but particularly the disadvantaged. At the UNICEF Education for All Campaign launch in 2008, Sir Bob quoted Epictetus, “Only the educated are free”.

Sir Bob went on to point out that:

“From a truancy point of view, as a country we really need high levels of education or we are going to fall behind. If kids aren’t in school, what’s going to happen? Lying out there right now is some kid who could, conceivably, be a genius, but we won’t know because he’s either in bed, in a bowling alley, drinking or taking some drug or another. This system helps keeps kids in school. Fact.”

MirandaNet  Fellows were invited to research the impact of the Groupcall suite of products that included tools for mobile registration, for communication between home and school and to alert teachers and parents to bullying. First the Fellows explored the existing research about how digital communications help to bridge the gap between home and school. The findings about the most significant impact on learning achievement were dependent on good relationships between teachers, parents and pupils. In particular, the confidence of parents in the school increased when they were receiving regular communications on their smartphones. The impact of the products depended on teachers working within the home context. Four categories were established as relevant:

  • the socio-economic status of the family;
  • the parents’ awareness about the impact of the media;
  • the style of parenting that is prevalent;
  • the availability of home–school digital links.

For more details about the existing research and new details about saving teachers’ time for more productive tasks, download the report here.

NB Students in education and social studies doing graduate and post graduate studies will find valuable references and abstracts in this report.

IRIS-Connect: research into web-based video in Professional Development

Preston, C (2013) Innovation in teaching and learning: using web-enabled video technology to build professional capital through reflective practice, coaching and collaboration.

Teachers suggest that web based video has the potential to improve classroom practice and pupil achievement. Evidence is emerging from the  first stage of research about how this kind of system can have an impact on the effectiveness of professional development programmes. Most importantly, the teachers were expressing, almost unanimously, pride in taking ownership of their own learning agenda. An unexpected potential is also emerging that suggests that seeing videos of their classroom behaviour also has an impact on pupil achievement on parental attitudes. The second stage will dig more deeply into this evidence. We are interested in applications for volunteers for a second stage of research. In this stage we will analyse the questionnaire data in more depth and triangulate these perceptions with other measures. The aim of this second stage will be to look more deeply into the potential of the IRIS Connect intervention to improve professional development and pupil achievement. It will investigate in depth the practices in schools where improvements are already measurable in the areas of SEN, Inclusion and overall behaviour.

Research about learning spaces

 The price of beauty and usefulness in learning

A study of value for money in nursery setting

Community Playthings is a well-established company that has been making furniture for nurseries in Robertsbridge, East Sussex since the 1970s. They also provide a free design and training service for teachers who can visit the community in Robertsbridge as well as a variety of free design guides and educational resources that cover the philosophical and pedagogical approaches that underpin the furniture design. You can read the MirandaNet study into play spaces here.