Recently on this blog I featured an interview with Martin Weller, one of the keynote speakers for EDEN 2015. I was also privileged to conduct an interview another of our EDEN keynote speakers, Jim Groom, adjunct professor at Mary Washington University in Virginia, the transcript is reproduced below:

1) What is Bavatuesdays, and why are you known as the Reverend?

bavatuesdays (the b is lowercase!) is the best blog in the land, and I am known as the Reverend because I lay down the gospel :) More seriously, bavatuesdays is my personal blog, and I've been hammering out posts there for almost a decade now. It's a mishmash of edtech, 80s pop culture, animated GIFs, retro toys, ds106 art, and all things cinema.

When you mark a student's work, do you give them a grade or do you offer them advice? Both, do I hear you say? If you are offering both, then you're doing well. But not all teachers do, and I should point out that there is a big difference between assessment of learning and assessment for learning. Assessing students' work can be tedious and time consuming, and it turns out to be the bane of many teachers' lives. But it is a vitally important part of pedagogy.

I need to disinfect. Recently I've been receiving a lot of requests to publish blog posts from freelance writers. When I first began to receive this requests, I admit I was curious, because it made a change from companies trying to get advertising space on my site. So I asked to see some of the 'guest posts' that were being offered. What I was sent was disappointing.

I have written extensively about education spaces, architectures for learning, and personal learning environments. I elaborated on these ideas in my recent book Learning with 'e's like this:

If the design of a space is wrong, learning can be constrained or even stifled. It's hard to engage students when their surroundings are poor. Too much noise, not enough light, too much heat or cold, uncomfortable seats, even poorly configured seating in a classroom can adversely affect learning.

An article on connected cities in the latest edition of Wired Magazine got me thinking. It talked of solar powered bike paths, footfall sensors and other Internet enabled environments. I wondered if such ideas could also be applied to schools, colleges and universities to make life easier.

Children today have more opportunities than ever to experiment and conduct their own research. When I was a school boy, my parents gave me a chemistry set. They probably regretted it. I immediately set about blowing things up, making bad smells (sodium bicarbonate and iron filings make a great stink bomb) and generally discovering what kind of disasters I could perpetrate when I mixed certain chemicals together. I did this all on my own, and it was probably a good thing that I did.