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Showing posts from December, 2011

That was 2011……

As 2011 ends with my family technically homeless and with me struggling to put together the CPD log required to retain my RGS(IBG) Chartered Geographer status, the timing seems right to look back over the year.  This  post is for myself and is a place for me to look back on, so I won’t be offended if you give it a miss! As 2011 ends, I’m reminded of this post and the image below, taken near to Christmas 2004.  The event linked to this image was the watershed of my teaching career. It’s when I decided to stop playing teacher an put a little effort into it.  What a long way we’ve come since then! Looking back at the review of 2010 and some of the things I was looking forward to in 2011, I truly have no idea where the time went!Most of this post will follow some sort of chronological order, but I’ll start with a the highlight of the year and a thank you:I got married in August 2011 to the long suffering, some would say widow to teaching, Kelly. The day was perfect and it was great to be …

What is learning? A personal reflection.

A conversation between myself, Kevin, Nick and Mike this morning got me thinking about what learning is. This is a very important thing to reflect upon as many mantras put learning centre stage.  Indeed, I’m in the habit of assessing the value of a project or action by asking the question ‘how does this make learning better?’I think that every person involved in education should have a clear understanding of what learning is and means in their context.The problem is, it’s very difficult to tie down what learning actually is.  This got me thinking – do I know what learning actually is? The debate sometimes puts learning up against assessment, but I’m fairly sure that they are part of the same thing. The following is an attempt to pin down what I think learning is.  It has been formed through my own personal journey through learning, my current role as a middle leader in a secondary school and as the father of a toddler (seen above learning not to look down a hose when his father is sta…

YouTube edu

OK, so I’ll get straight to the point: I don’t see the point of YouTube Education. That may be due to my own context or our way of going about things, but I’ll try to explain where I’m coming from and I’m happy to be proven wrong.This sums it up for me, it’s the warning you get once signed up:This statement is spot on, but, if it’s true, then why do we need YouTube Edu? This statement applies to YouTube and the whole entire galactic content of the web, doesn’t it? While we’re at it, it also applies to any educational resource – DVDs, Video, Cassettes, Radio, Pictures, News….Before I go any further, I’d like to point out that I think YouTube content is great for the classroom. In fact, I use it often. But… For me, there are a number of issues with this intro. Firstly, teachers have been safety using video in classrooms for years. Secondly, although you get access to all of the educational content on YouTube Edu for free, a) YouTube is free anyway and b) who decides what is educational c…

TeachMeet @BETT 2012

I went along to BETT and the attached TeachMeet two years ago.  It’s a good opportunity to catch up with familiar people and meet new teachers and contacts.  Maybe see you there?

Digital Leaders coming to Priory

The photosynth above was created last weekend, half way up a cold and snowy mountain.  It’s here as we hope to slowly incorporate mobile devices in fieldwork. One of the ways we wish to do this is by exploring and establishing the concept of Digital Leaders at Priory School.  Much has been written about Digital Leaders and there is a useful gathering of links below. 
The project here will be supported though our work with Creative Partnerships, and in particular James Byford.  Taking the lead from the excellent work of Kristian Still and Dan Stucke, the recruitment process is due to go live in the New Year and will ask for digital applications.  We intend to follow this up with an emersion event where we will explore the role of the group.
In order to get things started, we have created a set of overall missions that we’d like to work on that include:
Identifying curriculum opportunities for mobile devices (esp BYOD)Undertaking a digital audit of the school and presenting it in a coo…

Mobile @PriorySouthsea Update

Mobile at Priory UpdateView more presentations from David Rogers Gave a presentation to the whole governing body today about the mobile device policy.  All seemed to go well, and I have a few useful action points related to the WiFi access project. Any questions, please feel free to get in touch. I hope that my main points are clear, the first few slides deal with the overall vision of the project.

Sometimes, it’s got to be about the slog. Reflections of the term.

Today, I spotted the cartoon above over at gapingvoid.com.  With almost perfect timing, it seems to sum up and a handful of words this term.  It hasn’t been pretty, but the stuff we are doing is essential.  It’s been a term in which we’ve laid some foundations for the stuff to come. It’s been a slog, mundane, a mission. But essential. There hasn’t been a lot of cool stuff. Yet.Sometimes, the cool stuff can get in the way.On reflection, this has been a tough term.  As always, the team have delivered and I am very happy with the team around me. So, let’s have a look back and forward.The term started with the department being awarded Centre of Excellence status. At the same time we spearheaded the drive toward a BYOD policy with the launch of the Mobile @ Priory policy. A big part of the slog has been getting our collective heads around the idea of using mobile devices within the classroom. There is much more to come on this.  We’ve also set up some missions on the Mission:Explore websit…

The power of networks: the case of the Tashtastic Geographers

Last month was Movember.  It’s the second time that I’ve taken part, this time as part of a team of geography teachers.  On reflection, this is a great use of a network (personal learning or otherwise). If networks are all about individuals, then their activities must reflect the range of interests and personalities if it is to become sustainable.  Personally, I have joined many networks and the either left or failed to engage fully because the community doesn’t reflect interests.  In other words, a network needs to have a personality.Check out the Hodder Geography Nest for a rouges gallery.You can still sponsor the team here.What networks do you engage with the most? Mine are:The team at work – crazy bunch of geographers, but we share similar interests and socialise. Local RGS(IBG) Geography network – we help run these at Priory, but face-to-face is always better than over the net.Twitter – I usually take it seriously, but not always.  Two of my first contacts, Ollie Bray and Alan Pa…