Staff CPD – Out on a Limb

January 5, 2009 § Leave a comment

This afternoon I delivered my first whole college ICT inset. I was anxious, I was cutely aware that a ‘technology failure’ would have a significant negative impact on my integrity and on staff confidence. To lead 60 of my colleagues on an ICT CPD session via (relatively new) wireless network on their staff issued laptops, left me buoyed but also relieved.

Q What ICT topic would you have delivered for wholeschool CPD on the first day back after the break?

Having thought quite hard about this issue I decided on the title ‘Working with Files and Folders.’ It was a simple topic but one with scope, but more importantly it was a topic that all staff encompass (as long as they use their network).

Next questions, ‘typically, why is wholeschool CPDs dull?’

Well its hard to personalise wholeschool CPD, I knew that I could not help everyone but I could get everyone to help one another…..? and that was my hook. Second I wanted to take a few calculated risks, I wanted to use teachnology, to showcase some of the tools we have been experimenting with. So here is my CPD session, help yourself.

Email links just before attending the session to the Online poll (polleverywhere)and Google Form. Create shortcuts on the staff shared area for safety.

No verbal introduction – French and Saunders – The Computer Whisperer.

The video set a light hearted mood. The staff where then asked to poll their ICT competencies before moving on to the small team quiz hosted via a Google self-marking form. The results were collected via a form, and although I thought having access to instants results was pretty impressive, I am not sure that it was such a hit with the staff?

We went through the answers and I side tracked on one or two additional College innovations that were highlighted by this task. I wish that I had planned and scripted this aspect more carefully rather than racing through the new College website, events calendar, document storage and remote access, helpdesk and shared resource on the Intranet. I finished with the results of our Everywhere Poll that strongly indicated that our staff have a positive outlook.

ICT confident and exploit ICT opportunities 10
ICT confident and use ICT opportunities 63
ICT competent but rarely use ICT opportunities 20
ICT less than confident but curious 0
ICT bruised and less than enthused 7%

Was it a success? On the whole, I hope that the staff found the task practical and engaging. I’ll see what feedback I can gather over the next couple of days. I don’t think the staff were blown away – it was hardly the most exciting topic. In reflection I think that this activity may have been more powerful with 4/5 teams in a classroom run by three staff rather than 20 teams in the main hall. It missed the banter between groups and it was hard to manage so many teams.  In the meantime, help yourself to any of the resources.

The results are here.

Animoto Hits the Spot

April 24, 2008 § Leave a comment

animoto-logo.gifNow I must admit I have always like this mini web app. I used it to create short films for family, for CPD and for mini showcase films of student events. I plan to create my first feature length animoto of the Hamble College students talent that is LIVE tomorrow evening.

I was pleased to read, in many different places, that Animoto is now free for educators. It’s a really easy web app to use, just ask our Geography teacher who in 3 easy steps created her first short Animoto (approx 15 minutes work whilst chatting and marking). What is more, she announced with confidence, that she would show the rest of the Department ‘how to’ it. Rock face support for Animoto! Use it to start a lesson or assembly, get students to add images to audio, key image montage and any more ideas, please leave a comment.

Its All Free

March 22, 2008 § Leave a comment

How about this…. I am learning how to type using a FREE online typing program, whilst listening to a FREE conference (“Preparing Our Students for the 21st Century” a panel discusses a variety of challenges facing education albeit in the United States) through iTunes and blogging about it on a FREE blog package, Edublogs. Thats very much appreciated. 21st CPD?

In an Effort to Keep Saturday Think Free

February 7, 2008 § Leave a comment

Visited the Year 8 tutor room on wednesday. Tutor was very helpful. We move forward on this issue. I want to leave the weekend for thinking. For planning and reflection. So this is my weekly wrap up. Every other thursday I get to spend some quality time do important jobs. Today start with cover, which went surprisingly well. I arrived to cover a history class looking at medieval festivals. We completed the task and took the students outside to experience shin kicking. I think it hit the mark. It certainly brought the students closer to understanding the topic. Next week cheese rolling. Wow, there is so much more we as teachers could do with practical learning – importantly it also made me think where and how I could make ICT more practical, this is not the first time I have thought that….. but it needs more thinking time. Also, I was a little disappointed, ICT limits teaching due to the PCs. We really lack the opportunity to create with our environment and surroundings. I shared the Sir Ken Robinson resources, introduced Mrs L to CPD in the car, well I loaned her my Flashdrive with a FM transmitter, of course I added the SKR clips. I also gave Mrs L a copy my favourites, more links than you can shake a stick at – surely this is a way to share resources. I connected with HIAS, spoke with Janet Roberts, joined the forum, requested a review day, and signed up for the annual conference, continued my connections with Wildern. Short listed the IT Tech candidates, sought advice on a staffing issue and I believe we made a positive step forward (I could of course be wrong on that point). Prepared an ICT Newsletter update, requested a spot on the MOTs meeting, Baracuda is in. OCR resources agreed. Added the Dance pic to the homepage. Added the Staff AUP. What still bothers me is that discipline in ICT is not improving swiftly enough for my liking. Why? Is the discipline communication good enough? Is it a more difficult challenge than I realised? I do believe we need a team of 4, not 3. One staff member for each room – but I read tonight ICT staff are in high demand!?! On which note, HCSC needs to get the ad out. Half term is for the strategy plan. Boy do I need to get the thoughts out and in type instead of swimming around up there! Just added tonight; How to encourage the uptake of an ‘Enquiring Minds’ programme. Parents evening fine, but as is often the case, saw most of the students who can be rewarded, but need to speak with others also. Did we miss an opportunity to showcase the school to the parents on parents evening? Projector was cold, nothing showing. What percentage of parents visit? Can this be improved? How to communicate with parents – email? Do we need to ask our parents? How much money would this save? Focus, next term is the term for some style projects.

Mid Week

January 29, 2008 § Leave a comment

Up until now, I had been waiting until the weekend to write… This week I was determined to hit a half-way marker.  Although its not halfway, there is little to report in just two days.

The Middle Leaders meeting reinforced the need to tidy user areas, noted the use of the IT tech reporting form and general to do. I think this is a good forum for this information but the IT Newsletter is also important.

I have put up some posters telling the students to use F1. Learnt that you need to know more about students then just trying to connect with them. More students are using the ICT resources, but its hardly mass knowledge consumption.

I continue to research how best to develop our ICT curriculum and also how to best serve the school curriculum. The Horizon Report 2008 is out, some ideas in there I hope.

After school football, the students needed a real ‘boot’ up the back side. Not sure I am happy to continue to give up my time for that level of commitment? What are the students expectations? I need to ask them.

The Why…

January 31, 2007 § Leave a comment

For some time, in various guises, wiki pages, tumblr blogs, twitter, newsletters and the office whiteboard, I have been reflecting and writing about my educational experiences. I am regularly encouraged by my digital colleagues to share these thoughts with a wider audience and my tumblr blog was a real postive step. I would recommend tumblr blogs to all blog curious educators and most certainly PGCE and NQTs!

So why now turn to a blog? Two references really. The first is that to date, I have found it very difficult to seek guidance and support in my new position as Director or E-Learning. Most of my professional development has come via online sources, Ustreams, Online Conferences, blogs and podcasts. Typically from American educators located both within the US and at International Schools. Perhaps this blog will promote connections and even support future middle managers. Second, this past fortnight I have encouraged two students at my school to collect results and write as digital sports journalists. These students have been thoroughly committed and they deserve a better example.

So, I wonder to what extent that this blog will impact upon my professional practice and future decisions. I wonder to what extent this blog will promote professional dialogue?

Now before I publish this post, I should also note that I have a number of very valued UK based digital colleagues as well. I have read first hand how unforgiving the edublogsphere can be and I would not want to start this blog with a glaring oversight.

Finally, one of the very first successes I experiences as a digital educator was collecting and sharing lesson starters and closers – bookends to a lesson, so to speak and a few general classroom quizzes. I think I will create a page here on the blog, afterall, all teachers need a powerful beginning and end to a lesson, research has shown us that we forget most of the stuff in the middle. I look forward to your comments.

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