SSAT 18th?

November 29, 2009 § Leave a comment

Having just completed the survey for the SSAT 17th conference, I was overall a little disappointed in the cohesion on the conference. In saying that,  my two highlights were clearly George Alagiah and Bob Comptons keynotes. Both these keynotes, were IMHO, the two keynotes that best explored the conference theme and were also the most provocative. Currently Wednesdays and Thursdays videos are posted on the conference site, most of Fridays sessions are live and I hope George Alagiah will follow this week.

My thoughts turned to the conversation we had on the way home… What should / could be the theme for 18th SSAT conference and who we you invite to speak? The second part of the conversation was do you first chose a theme then the speakers or vice versa? This proved a rather difficult question to answer so here is my first reflective thought…. I would like to see the SSAT explore how collaboration will redefined leadership in the future.

Speakers? The staff behind Google Docs or Zoho? The founders of TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design), Richard Saul Wurman and Harry Marks. Personnel involved with the research and development of common everyday products (like education?). Change makers like Stephen Heppell or what about Chris Lehmann? Someone from an Open source community, now there to international collaboration. I appreciate my suggestions are a little edu-ict biased but you have to start somewhere.

Any thoughts anyone?

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SSAT 17th Day 3

November 27, 2009 § Leave a comment

Its a the moment when the idea first sparks. The emphasis given to globalisation news at an Indian school showcased by one of the teacher presentations. A simple mentor activity that would need some help developing some eduX-factor, as sadly for many of our studnets the news just simply is not attractive enough on its own.

I need to contact Tony Parkin this morning, to share these wonderful, simple, visually stunning news sites with the SSAT, but I suspect it might to late for today/ this morning conference. Although, Thomas Friedman did suggest we act on our ideas and it would be in the spirit of the confernce. So my top 3 global news tools;

1. Spectra Visual Newsreader from MSBN

2. Ten by Ten

3 A little different, Boston News big picture.

Now I need to get the news to Tony Parkin.

And finally, a few days laters… Newsmap

SSAT 17th Day 2

November 26, 2009 § Leave a comment

After the disappointment of the repetitive start to day 1, I took enjoyed a more leisurely start to Day 2 of the conference.

Dame Stella Rimington began the days proceedings with an interesting speech outlining the global changes that occurred during the her time with the secret service. Sadly there was little I could take back to school except a passing comment she made on the value and diversity of female colleagues within leadership.

Bob Compton, Director of 2 Million Minutes attempted to debunk four third world educational myths and IMHO did so quite successfully. Back in 2005 Bob compared the high school experiences of two teenagers from the U.S., India and China so it is safe to say he is well positioned to take forward this argument.If you are unconvinced that western standards fall short of education standards in China and India, then have a crack at some sample questions. Or watch the trailer.

Madame Fu Ying concluded the morning with a informative portrayal of a new China (political opinions set aside) that portrayed two views, one a young vibrant and economically driven, globally astute urban China the other, a detached but emerging rural China. If educational and global connectivity is possible, she requested that her rural communities be given precedent.

To conclude, Ed Balls and a later a criticism of myself. I did not warm to the keynote, nor did I see the connection to the conference theme so well included by other speakers. Over dinner, the day was of course reviewed and Ed Balls speech critiqued. During this conversation it was proposed that it was less likely to be my own experiences of leadership that would define my later career but rather, more likely the political landscape. presumably only 15-20 years of headship experience and reflection can offer this view. The comments we not meant to belittling, far from it, but to encourage that I look beyond school, beyond school leadership and to look at how education was being led by government, or future governments. That was all shared before coffee was served.

Finally, today I made Tony Parkin and Mike Herrity 3D! Nearly 12 months of conversation and blog reading, it was my pleasure to meet both these online PLN colleagues and we hope to continue to work together in the not to distant future. Should we create a workshop for #ssat10 and the value of Twitter to leadership and why school leaders should might be curious?

SSAT 17th Day 1 – Could do better

November 25, 2009 § Leave a comment

Day 1 started with Thomas L Freidman. I was reassured that this was not merely going to be a prequel to his later address keynote in the main hall, otherwise why would I have got up early? I was pleased to hear his views and the Q/A session at the end provided some much needed personal input.There were one or two gems to take a away but generally narrative,

‘give me a student with CQ and PQ over IQ any day. Curiosity quotient plus passion quotient will overcome intelligence quotient.

So, to the main hall, two impressive student performances, one choral and one contemporary dance/drama before Thomas L. Friedman took to the stage for his second appearance. In truth, I needn’t have got up early for breakfast as he merely recited the same keynote, the same gags and the same message .

‘In a flat world, everything that can be done, will be done.’

Very disappointing and poor form on his part, even when you except his reason for not attending the conference in person (lunch at the Whitehouse, dinner with the president.)

Lord Digby Jones offered a real world viewpoint and commentary. He oration was commanding, if some did find his views a little one sided. It was about half way through his keynote that I realised I was sitting next to Tony Parkin an online colleague I initially had tried to meet / contact for some time with reference to our Digital Leaders covering the conference. A little surreal, that in a full auditorum, here he was tweeting away, sitting next to me. I am please to say I hope to meet Tony Parkin tomorrow for coffee during a breakout.

Finally, the view of four colleges following their visit to Brazil. Poignant teaching stories but I felt it went on a little too long for me however perhaps the best comment for innovation  – in referring to a Brazilian Digital Inclusion project they trained students to not only be proficient IT conusmers but ‘change makers.’ The aim to effect greater influence / impact of initiatives. Interesting concept – a little like our Digital Leaders, I hope.

The afternoon was spent in the exhibition, but I will note the highlights in a second post, and then onto project management. Although the message being delivered made common sense I was hoping for more. Bright and imaginative ways to collate project management progress. Innovative ways to PM within schools with disparate groups of across and between schools. Collonas or the effective use of gant charts or collaborative tools? Sadly not, but well scripted planning documents that will be stored and used to delivered future events and quite rightly, support new staff joining the school of fulfilling new roles, eg HoDs or leading Parents evening. One colleague on our table felt it quite inappropriate as a leadership session and was reasonable robust in his criticism.

Overall, a disappointing level 4.

SSAT 17th National Conference

November 24, 2009 § Leave a comment

Tomorrow I am again visiting the National Conference, with this years theme exploring the issues relating to 21st century schooling: the globalised challenge. I have already booked in my world-class keynote speakers, school showcases and the occasional breakfast, lunchtime and showcase session.

In addition to the ‘new ideas to take back to school to continue the redesign of education for the young people’ I am looking forward to hearing Pulitzer Prize winning journalist’s and international bestseller of ‘The World Is Flat,‘ Thomas L Friedman. It was a fascinating read and it really opened my thinking to a global perspective. Since then I believe it has had a number of revisions, technology waits for no man, including Thomas L Freidman.

I hope to blog my impressions of the conference over the next free days, tagged #SSATo9.

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