Misinformation and disinformation: how the term fake news is meaningless

The ability for our students to determine who and what to trust is critical literacy in a nutshell. Our focus on how to analyse texts has not changed. What has changed is the media landscape in our ‘post truth’ or ‘post fact’ world. As Toby Manhire, editor of the New Zealand ‘The Spinoff’, states in his keynote to the NZ Association of Teachers of English conference, fake news is a terrible term and essentially it is used by most to define ...

The Indian dipole

Global warming has been called by a number of different terms in recent years: global heating, climate crisis and Hothouse Earth, for example. These terms suggest that ‘warming’ might be too ’soft’ a term and may ignore the fact that in many places, there is a significant rise in temperature, hence ‘heating’. One example is the rise in temperatures in the Indian Ocean which may be linked to the bush-fires in Australia and flooding in parts of Africa. The Indian Ocean ...

ITGS – Digital Society Update

The DP course title Information Technology in a Global Society (ITGS) will change to Digital Society in 2022. The most recent update from the ITGS/Digital Society Curriculum Review has been posted on My IB at https://resources.ibo.org/data/d_3_itgsx_crr_1910_1_e.pdf The NEW guide will be finalised for first teaching from August 2022 and first examination in May 2024. The last examination session for the current ITGS guide will be November 2023. The update includes: The curriculum review timeline Key recommendations made for the review Key developments in the digital society ...

How to use light to show the darkness

I am sure that many of you have been in the situation where you need to work out how to create a lighting effect, or have seen an effect on stage, and wondered how it was created. We can have wonderful ideas, but until we try things out we do not know how they can work in practice, or we can achieve achieve our intentions. Recently I have been doing lighting for a show at my local theatre, and it has ...

Arts assessment: Thoughts and Suggestions

We are in the middle of the November visual arts examination session so I thought that I would highlight some assessment-related things that friend and colleague Jayson Paterson recently said on My IB. (As many will know, Jayson is one of the My IB visual arts experts and responsible for the visual arts Community forum. In some sections below I am quoting Jayson because his considered opinions are very much in line with my own.) Here are five issues that can play ...

Surveillance and Freedom

Freedom has long been considered the most essential human right until the rise of a new climate of insecurity pushed individuals to retreat into their alleged safe communities, protected by hi-tech security systems, making them prisoners of their own prejudice. This self-imposed limited freedom is regarded, by some, as preferable to the potential risks of a truly open society. The control of society is as old as government itself, but modern technology combined with the power of predictive algorithms, has ...

Glacial streams as a carbon sink

Scientists have only recently discovered that Arctic/glacial meltwater streams take in atmospheric carbon at a faster rate than tropical rainforests. Previously scientists have assumed that rivers were a source of carbon rather than a sink. The results were based on tests carried out on Ellesmere Island in Nunavut territory, Canada, the Rocky Mountains and in Greenland. Scientists studied the effects of glacial meltwater running into rivers and lakes downstream. In temperate rivers high levels of organic matter in rivers leads to ...

Sensitive Issues in Art and the ‘spectrum of offence’

A while ago I posted a blog entitled ‘Nude vs Prudes’. I was a little exasperated that our life drawing workshops appeared to make a colleague so uncomfortable. But of course, nudity is just one of a number of sensitive topics and we need to be sensitive to the culture we are in, This issue becomes more complex when submitting work. For example, what are the implications if, as a teacher, I submit a student’s semi-naked self-portrait photo and it goes to an examiner ...

Are you ready for the new “revised” Visual Arts course?

No, of course you aren’t, because the final report on the course will not be seen by teachers until 2021 and you won’t start teaching it until 2022 – but hey, it’s a-coming! What’s happening next? We are approaching the end of a long but interesting journey: the fourth ‘new course’ development meeting will occur next month (November 2019). The fifth and sixth development meetings (January – December 2020) will discuss refinements and the finalisation of curriculum and assessment model. There will also, ...

Primo Levi

The aim of this post is to give you some ideas for furthering your teaching of the international dimension. You may or may not heard of Primo Levi. I came across his name recently when carrying out some research into graphene. The name seemed unusual to me and I thought I would dig a little deeper and see what I could find out. Boy, was I happy that I did this – what a guy! Primo Levi was born in Italy (Turin) ...