So I was successful in getting into the Google Teacher Academy in Sydney next week (yay!) and in a week's time I will have been totally Googlified :) I am looking forward to sharing what I learn but thought I would start of with a short video I made around using Google apps and G+ Communities and how I use these to encourage critique in my Y12 French class. Enjoy!
Once again, I am overwhelmed to be part of something amazing. I have, in the past, spent hundreds of pounds going to a conference and walked away poorer both in cash as well as in ideas. Somehow, some (not all!) professionally oprganised conferences actually mangage to suck ideas out of me rather than filling me with inspiration This was not the case with the second North East of England teachmeet this year! In fact...
So that just about says it all!
The evening started with one of the most intensive apple/idea swopping presentations I have ever listened to/watched/experienced - Gwyn ap Harri; the man (dare I say genius?) behind Smart Assess talked through his model of pedagogy in 7 minutes. Gwyn has kindly shared his presentation and notes below.
After Gwyn, Alasdair @hairysporan then took us through a 2 minute whistle-stop tour of etherpad - a great collaborative tool.
I was next up talking about international collaboration between students and teachers - the prezi is below and links to Achievers International, e-twinning and the Tate Modern's turbinegeneration project. All of this work can then lead to the International Schools Award, something I would highly recommend - click here to find out more information. We were then joined by @emmarisby from Australia via Skype -she had been up since 4:30am her time to tell us her current favourite teachnology - quizlet.
We were then followed by an excellent presentation from Lisa Keenlyside on her use of stopmotion animation in the science classroom.
Our final presentation of the first half was from Helena Butterfield - fabulous ideas for use of sound recording in the classroom. You can see the prezi and links on Helena's blog here.
The next part of the evening was broken down into learning conversations. I attended one in the "headspace" room where we discussed the role of the teacher as an expert and learner - great ideas and some really deep thinking.
After the learning conversations, we headed back for a nano presentation from Ben Barton @bartoneducation, a teachmeet virgin, who came all of the way up from the big smoke to join us. He demoed great use of video in the classroom to promote deep thinking.
After Ben came the greatest pedagogical thinker to ever come out of Gateshead; Darren Mead. Darren went on to use the three little pigs story as an analogy for the SOLO (structure of observed learning outcomes) taxonomy. Read more about the SOLO taxonomy at Darren's blog here. The real mind blower was the video below that Darren showed of New Zealand primary students talking us through their understanding of the SOLO taxonomy:
Following Darren came an inspiring 2 minuter from Archie Cameron (@hjava) about his fear of blackboards. I have never been more humbled by such an honest approach to the fact that being an outstanding teacher is not all about the gadgets and gizmos although they can be awesome tools and indeed that pedagogy is about learning and moving children on in life not just having whizzing powerpoints. It was doubly emotional for me as the teacher he was talking about who stood with a novel in hand and engrossed his class was my A-level English Literature teacher who gave me a passion for Shakespeare and Tennesee Williams! Glad he is still doing it!
The ever entertaining, pertinent and pragmatic Dominic McGladdery did a two minute presentation on alternative to tick and flick marking- some excellent ideas cunningly disguised as a wordle even though they were on a powerpoint. Check out Dominic's post and his ideas at his blog here.
To round up the evening, we took a simple practical jigsaw activity and turned it into a drunken scramble on the floor...No really, the singular Fergus Hegarty showed us how to use what looks like a simple match up activity on a much deeper level, including the use of shape and task to differentiate outcomes. In order to truly appreciate this activity, best watch it back on the flashmeeting.
Anyway, another Teachmeet down, plans afoot for more, I thoroughly enjoyed the evening and learned a great deal. I would like to put out a massive thanks to Simon, Darren, Fergus, Scott and Fabienne for their organisational prowess. Our sponsors; the British Council, SSAT, BartonEducation, and Smart Assess. The Tyneside Cinema staff (specially Ents Queen Jen!) the wonderful presenters and of course the fantastic audience.
See you again soon and until then sit back and enjoy "TeachmeetNE09-2 the festive edition -the movie" at
284 delegates cam along to the 8th annual Cramlington Teaching and Learning conference on Friday - a massive crowd for what turned out to be a fantastic event. I was asked to lead three sessions. The first one was about how we had developed our new KS3 curriculum. This seemed to go down well with the delegates and I have embedded the prezi I used below.
After that, we looked at how technology could help make language learners in to language creators using simple and free technology such as Audacity, GoAnimate and Glogster. We created an etherpad (a simultaneously editable web document for collaboration) to keep our collective notes - click here to see the etherpad.
Finally, the final session was all about developing higher order thinking skills in language learners and Miriam Barrachina and I demonstrated the use of mysteries, venn diagrams and fact or opinion resources. We did not even get onto looking at living graphs because of the in depth discussion we had about the impact on target language and what the learning objectives of this style of lesson might look like. You can see the presentation here.
I ad a great day and enjoyed hearing Alistair Smith talk about learning generations, even if it was from the corridor where I was assigned to usher in late comers!