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Showing posts from March, 2014

Leadership Musings– what should CPD look like?

Vision and imagination can get you a long way.  These are just some thoughts, not in anyway original, about CPD.  What follows is a blend of ideas from Bay House School, TLAB14 and conversations with others.  There may be some of me in there too. My view is that effective and well focused CPD is the most important factor in moving a school forward.  If it doesn’t make a lot of sense, don’t worry – it’s a thought dump for me to return to.  Not in any particular order. 1. Create the school’s own version of what constitutes a great lesson / learning.  Use this, not Ofsted, to self-assess where teachers are. CPD to be individualised by middle leaders. And before you go ape about measuring teachers, read what I wrote here about using monitoring to develop teaching and learning.  I really think that teachers and school can be trusted to figure it out, and therefore own teaching and learning.2. Make changes to learning based upon research.  Have a ‘researcher in residence’ to drive, conduct,…

Initial Reflections upon Microsoft Education’s Global Forum #microsoftgf

Last week I was humbled to spend the week with 250 teachers from around the globe.  The common element was not the flavour of the technology, but a desire to transform the lives of young people. This is an attempt to reflect upon the experience. First a few pointers to dispel with the bonkers position that some hold: only one flavour of technology:I’m an evangelist of what works.  I know it works because I’ve used it in the classroom myself.There is no such thing as an education ‘app.’  Anything can be used to enhance, transform and modify learning from a cardboard shoebox to a space ship.Technology in the hands of a great teacher transforms learning. Technology in the hands of a poor teacher doesn’t transform their teaching.The day that I only advocate one flavour of technology is the day I’m not a teacher but being paid by a technology company to push their stuff.Teachers change the world of learning, not technology.Whilst in Iceland, on a school trip and needing to kill some time o…

It all started with a tweet about cheese on toast…. Looking ahead to the #msftpil Global Forum

The maps above were made a while back during my first flirtations with Twitter and it’s use in the classroom.  It’s a map about cheese on toast.  Read the story here.  Next week, I’m off to Barcelona for the Microsoft Partners in Learning Global Forum.  It’s a collection of 250 educators from across the world.  This post is a reflection on the story so far, which started with a tweet and ended up with a student created BYOD policy.  Before I go on, I should explain that I’m not an advocate of using one style or approach.  Technology is only powerful when it’s used appropriately and to do things that you couldn’t otherwise.  I also have no affiliation with any particular brand of technology – I prefer to use what works well.  Google, Apple and Microsoft have stuff that works really well and I prefer not to write anything off because of its origin.  No time to read? Head to the Partners in Learning Network, sign up for free and download the free resources.Little did I know back in 2009 …

The first #TMDOtC is a great success!

Thursday saw the very first TeachMeet hosted at the Discover the World offices.  I’m a real fan of the smaller events and there was a real buzz of networking, with most delegates still there an hour after the final presentation started.  It also brought home the importance of starting up new TeachMeets and not being too worried if fewer than 40 people turn up.  We had presentations from those who had never shared before as well as many first timers.  I’ve created a Dropbox folder with the presentations here, most of which had an outdoor learning twist.  There were quite a few presentations, like the one from Helen pictured above, that didn’t use technology.A huge thanks to Dan, Helen and Megan at Discover the World Education for hosting – this is a company that really get teachers. There was no sales pitch, pizza and wine.  Most important of all, I left with a raft of new contacts and ideas for using in my classroom and school.Look out for future events!

#TLAB14 Teaching, Learning and Assessment Conference

It’s he first day of March. This means it’s St David’s Day and the month that #TLAB14 happens.  The event last year was very enjoyable.  I’ll be running a workshop and plan to get delegates out and about, using some active approaches to geography.  You don;t have to be a geographer as the ideas can be adapted.  There’s a great looking line up at this not-for-profit conference which was very well organised last year.  You can find the details of my session here.  Hope to see you there!

Ultimate Iceland Fundraising Trek from @DTW_Education

A great opportunity for teachers to take part in a demanding trek this summer. The Discover the World Education team have organised a high paced three day trek, covering 80 km through some of Iceland’s most diverse and stunning scenery. This tour will test your mental grit and physical stamina.  The route will start in Landmannalaugar and hike through Thorsmork all the way to the black sand beaches of Skogar.  The trek will also raise funds for the Moroccan Children’s Trust.  Check out the full details here.