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Reflections on #TLAB13 3 of 6: Epic stuff that I can use on Monday–what I thought of the experience.

2013-03-16 17.55.02
This is the third of six posts reflecting upon the Teaching, Learning and Assessment Conference held at Berkhamsted School.   In this post, I give my overall thoughts about the event.
At 5pm on Saturday 16th March, I found myself in the theatre at Berkhamstead School watching Wales (my team) smash England on a screen the size of a house.  Why is this important?  It’s the way in which the genius behind #TLAB13, Nick Dennis, paid attention to detail that made the day.  The most important fixture of the Six Nations rugby tournament is an annual right of passage.  The excellent company and way in which I experienced this year’s will stay with me for a long time.
I’ll come right out with it.  I thought that #TLAB13 was epic. 
Considering it’s version 1, it’s the best whole day of conference I’ve been to.  I remember saying yes to Nick when he asked me if I’d be interested in speaking as I was intrigued and impressed with the proposed model and vision of what the day was going to be like.  I say this not as a serial conference goer, I’m not, but as a hyper-active, difficult to maintain concentration for more than a second, easy to bore and wander off nightmare of a learner.  I actually paid attention to everything.  The whole day. So what made it so good?
  • Three fantastic keynotes that, for me, struck the right balance between theory, practice and throwing down the gauntlet.  I’ve never listened to a whole keynote ever, let alone three in the same day.  I liked the way they complimented each other and were lined to the aims for the conference.  This is something that I’ve rarely seen. 
  • Both geography workshops that I went to gave me practical ideas that I’ll be using this week.  I learned lots and enjoyed making new connections.  It’s certainly amongst the best geography specific CPD that I’ve gone through.
  • There was a great crowd in attendance.  Was this because it was a Saturday.  What was fantastic is that I spoke to lots and lots of teachers instead of lots and lots of consultants.  They were around too of course, but if we are to transform teaching, learning and assessment then it’s great to talk to classroom practitioners.
  • I can’t even remember what the lunch was – I was too busy talking / digesting ideas / reflecting / plotting / planning.
  • There was a relaxed atmosphere but everything ran to time.
  • The little things were thought of, including a clear presenter brief that made it very easy to pitch and prepare the presentation.  And, providing the screen at the end meant that I could make it.  A nice touch and one that I for one are very grateful for.
I’m looking forward to next year’s conference, and plan to attend even if I’m not invited as a speaker.  Stay in touch with the conference webpage too as the keynote sessions will be available on YouTube soon and an eBook is in development that will outline all of the sessions – again a master stroke.
Well done Nick and thank you to Rebecca who was working hard behind the scenes.
Even the rugby was amazing Winking smile


  1. Dear David,

    My name is Jamie and I run a website called The Tutor Website. We provide education advice to students, parents and private tutors in the UK. We've recently written an article called Top 20 Geography Websites, Blogs and Resources and we're pleased to say that we've included you David Rogers blog in our list.

    I was wondering if you'd consider linking back to the article from your website?


    Jamie Thomson


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