Third Millennium Learning

A strategy to improve learning in your school

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The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development  founded to stimulate economic progress and world trade has found that the use of technology has a very mixed impact!

It is worth thinking about the learning that takes place in your school and whether it is “flipped” or “flopped”.


or Flopped?

Empower learningvs.Distract from learning
Develop thinking skillsvs.Enable lazy thinking
Encourage independencevs.Reinforce dependence
Create and produce contentvs.Consume content
Co-construct knowledgevs.Spoon fed knowledge
Deepen quality of feedbackvs.Shallower feedback
Engage parentsvs.Distancing parents

For a school to be exceptional, achieving exam and test targets is not sufficient. In order to move onto the next level, schools should be looking to offer a range of extended entitlements to all pupils.

Schools that successfully transform education actively build a culture where pupils:

  • See failures as steps on the route to success and hence are happy to put their work in front of audiences and receive criticism.
  • Clearly see and take pride in their progress and hence are happy to share data on their achievements, even if these are low relative to other pupils.
  • Lead their own learning and that of others, taking responsibility for progressing their learning, freeing teachers to concentrate on raising the level of their outcomes.
  • Have a growth mindset and believe their brain can be improved in the same way that their body can become fitter, through exercise.

Has your school moved onto the next level?

The key elements that show extended learning is happening in a school are:

  1. All pupils are significantly more engaged with their learning, taking ownership and responsibility for their learning, leading their own learning and that of others.
  2. Pupils achieve significantly more, due to the higher energy they bring to their learning. They willingly commit more concentration in lessons and more of their own time to activities that support their learning. Their thirst for learning drives extension of learning in numerous ways.
  3. The school capitalises on all the opportunities offered by technology and the connected world, not for their own sake but using these opportunities with a very clear vision of how they can have maximum impact on teaching and learning.
  4. A ‘virtuous spiral of improvement’ is established that drives the improved attitudes and thirst for learning. This:
    1. Creates a whole-school culture that makes pupils happy to share their work with others and have it constructively criticised.
    2. Convinces pupils that their intelligence is not fixed and that their brains can become fitter with practice, just as muscles can.
    3. By gathering evidence of each individual pupil’s progression, in informal as well as academic learning, and encouraging reflection on this, enables all pupils to have confidence in their success in some areas, sufficient to enable them to tackle with energy those areas where their achievement is low compared to others.
    4. Encourages pupils to lead their own learning and that of others, with peer tutoring and cross-year tutoring, further raising their confidence in their ability to learn and their capabilities in learning.

How will schools improve education over the next 2-3 years?

Indicate the top 10 development priorities with 1 most likely, down to 10. Add anything not listed.

Hoped for developments to improve education in your schoolMost likely
Teachers collaborating to structure lessons online and to assemble resources.
Excluded and ill pupils doing work set online by their teacher.
Pupils leading their own learning more, progressing at the rate they want to.
Better home learning extending time spent learning.
More self assessment and peer assessment supported by online systems.
Shared online assessment records for better moderation of expectations.
Reducing teachers’ workload.
Evidence of pupils’ work stored online to make their progress clearer.
Pupils collaborating on work online.
Parental engagement and parent voice stimulated through online systems.
Lesson lead-in work as home learning, class time for building on this.
Changing the school’s approaches to marking and feedback to students.
Pupils’ work made much more visible online, through class blogs and galleries to give audience, raise expectations and to show pupils what good work looks like.
Much more multimedia being used by teachers, driving higher pupil engagement.
More operational systems online (eg options, parents’ evenings, tips, surveys etc).
Teachers giving pupils choice of how to present work, to engage them more strongly in the task (eg video, document, presentation, animation etc).
Reviewing the curriculum to focus on what is most important.
Pupils making video/presentations to help each other learn and revise.
Extra-curricular areas online developed and managed by pupils.
Online surveys for pupil voice.
Parents being engaged much more strongly in their children’s’ home learning.
Pupils doing one of their courses online, guided and mentored by a teacher but with less contact time than a normal class-taught course.
Ensuring outstanding teaching includes the use of educational technology.
Implementing use of pupils’ personal devices in class.
Working and engaging with the community including parents, visitors and volunteers.
Recruitment and retention of staff and pupils.

Learning in a connected world – extended entitlements for pupils

The following extended entitlements to all pupils are listed in no particular order. They are all hugely more powerful using technology.

Researching interactively, manipulating and annotating texts and other sources to research and develop arguments, tagging sources and references, using research tools.

Presenting information and arguments to audiences, on video so that pupils can self assess and peer-assess their effectiveness in communicating what they set out to do.

Publishing about causes pupils care about. Devising ways to convince others of their point of view on issues they consider important in the world and their life.

Using models and simulations. Dynamically investigating systems that exist in the world around them, both physical and human, in order to develop their investigative skills and ability to reason about cause and effect.

Sensing and logging data from the world that surrounds them and from the things that happen in it, in order to gain greater information and insight, to hypothesise and to form and evaluate theories.

Engaging in dramas and presentations, to develop their empathy with situations and abilities to project themselves to others, and to understand better how others see them.

Using creative tools to express themselves, to make artefacts of use and interest to themselves and others and to exercise and improve their talents.

Communicating with others online through websites and blogs, become creators and not just receivers of information transmitted over the Internet, building and managing their online identity.

Engaging in real-life projects for real purposes that have impact, in order to understand that they can have an impact on the world and to develop the skills of working with others to achieve this.

Engaging in entrepreneurial activity, in situations where the driver is profit, breaking even or achieving charitable ends, all working entrepreneurially.

Learning to learn, using data on their learning so as to develop a clearer understanding of their strengths, weaknesses and achievements, that open possibilities and opportunities for further progression in their learning.

Supporting their community, helping others and forging community links that can help pupils develop in the ways they wish to.

Communicating and working with young people in other cultures, and preferably other languages, so as to become global citizens.

Collaborating socially online in developing their learning, developing their own personal learning network.

Are you ready to move to the next level?

To find out more about Third Millennium Learning and how we can help you review, develop and monitor it in your school complete the form below or email


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Thanks to Naace and The Third Millennium Learning Award for the above  insights.