#BGT Powering Down and Thinking Up

May 31, 2009 § Leave a comment

I had previously read a number of professional online colleagues talk of ‘powering down,’ short breaks away from their hyperlinked conversations, turning off their technology and recharging conscientiously. Upon their return they voiced the value of this disconnection and I noted their comments, although I must admit I was unsure of the impact of such an approach. So this half term, my wife and I booked a short break away with our 9 month son to Can Picafort, Mallorca, and I disconnected.

No netbook, no phone, not even a watch. The only news I read, was the redtop headlines on reception although I did catch a little tv in the mornings and evenings whilst getting ready.  I spent most of my mornings walking Harry in his stroller along the serene promenade, as restaurant staff prepared and the local sand sculpturers did the heavy digging / water carrying tasks for their daily creations. The rest of the day was spent enjoying time with my family ‘pootling,’ swimming and more strolling. In summary, this half-term was spent investing time in my ‘family’ and in my personal well being and ironically I truly believe that school and the students will benefit from my refreshed perspective next term.

In this hyperconnected world, it would have been easy to have popped into one of the numerous ‘INTERNET’ cafes or wifi bars and developed the ICT VLE pages or to have created learning resources. I could have skimmed through my emails, scheduled my meetings or requested updates on the network developments being carried our over half-term but I chose not to and with distraction I unwound.

Returning home a full day early was important. Today, I completed most of the scheduling tasks, planned for our first meeting of the term and attended to outstanding emails. What is now important is that I manage and ensure the IT itinery was fulfiled and recognise the contributions of the staff appropriately. How successful this management approach will be will surface over the next few days / weeks.

Finally, #BGT. Even in powering down, it was hard to avoid. Which got me thinking….  there is clearly undiscovered potential out there and its not all ‘serious,’ some of the successful acts are creatively commical. Do we in education recognised talent sufficiently well enough?

We hope that with the new installation of Office 2007 (a half-term upgrade) we will be able to easily collect the ‘talent facts’ about staff and students through Outlook 2007 and launch our ‘Wall of Talent.’ in Sept/Oct 2009. A simple webpage listing all students at Hamble College and by hovering over their names, their talent(s) are revealed. Again, credit to Toby Holman for his idea.

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