Education Innovation

Fantastic day at Education Innovation today! It was great to see so many teachers, companies and other professionals passionate about bringing such innovation to the classroom and ensuring children of all ages are digitally prepared for the world.

My personal highlight has to be David Mitchell’s @DeputyMitchell seminar Sprogs with blogs.

David shared some fantastic firsthand experience of why blogging should be used. The main focus was to improve writing, however the list goes far beyond this:
-Providing an instant real audience the standard required for the prospect of being viewed by the whole world is more than the teacher
-A real purpose, beyond teacher’s marking and SAT’s prep
-Children’s relationships with parents- promoting common interests and providing a response to that often unanswered question, “so, what did you do at school today?”
-Encouraging peer assessment
-New hobby
-Self confidence and self-esteem
-Improved behaviour and raised attendance- children want to be in school
-Personal interest in the content of writing
-Increased attainment and progress for all abilities
– A global appreciation- Yep, that’s right, there’s a world beyond those four classroom walls!
-Enabling all children to shine, not just the more able writers or computer literate
-Encouraging a love for learning!

He shared plenty of best practise and creative ideas for how primary schools can make use of blogging to engage children with writing, ICT and school in general. Showcasing class work, presenting research and interactive fiction, to name but a few, all sounded like great ideas from a teachers’ perspective and from the perspectives of the children in David’s class. Also, his suggestion of QR codes to link ICT with written work, providing that evidence of work that so many teachers are concerned about, shall definitely be featuring in my classroom next year!

Next stop was Tim Rylands @timrylands Using ICT to inspire, an objective he easily achieved within his hour seminar! From Taggalaxy to Linoit, Chogger to Ivona and Spicy nodes to ZooBurst, Tim showcased a range of innovative resources that teachers can use, with plenty of creative graphics and sound clips along the way! For 88 inspirational ideas head to:

Using the Nintendo DS to improve Numeracy with Jodie Collins (now Lopez) @jodieworld was my next stop for a half hour practical seminar. Cheaper than tablets and more child user friendly, she modelled a great way of using the devices for maths starters and afl. As many children have the devices at home, Jodie suggested asking the children to bring them in, saving that all too precious school budget. However, I’m sure as many would be concerned with the question of insurance here. I thought it was great that she made use of the built in PictoChat software, as I think many schools would also be concerned with the cost of purchasing games for each machine as well as the device itself. Apparently there’s more info in this months’ issue of Teach Primary (7.2), although I am personally yet to read!

After lunch I stopped off at the central debate hub to hear from the Labour show education secretary Stephen Twigg. Bit of a summary:

-The curriculum is better led by the professionals than the government and more policy changes. Many would agree there is currently too much interference.
-Collaboration between schools, communities and teachers is key to Labour’s education policy, critical for the future.
-CPD will be at the heart of future policy-making (linking to Dylan Williams)
-Established and training teachers must be ready for curriculum challenges of the future
-Concept of converter academies have lost the idea of school improvement and extra support
-Must recognise lots of innovation in maintained schools, not just new academies.

Finally, was a combined seminar between representatives from DfE and NAACE, focusing on the proposed ICT curriculum. The talk raised a number of questions, including: is the new programme of study a step in the right direction? Is there appropriate balance in the computing programme of study? These were supported by Quizdom audience response system, enabling us the audience to submit our answers to each of the questions. General message, echoed from Stephen Twigg’s talk, is the massive call for more CPD, CPD, CPD! Personally, I feel this could be even more essential in primary schools, as very few primary teachers shall be coming from ICT and computing qualification backgrounds.

A very inspirational morning and thought-provoking afternoon. Hopefully it shall be repeated next year and many more can get on board! Generally message from the day; embrace technology and prepare ALL children for a world in which technology is a regular part of everyday life.

“Innovation will be led by people like you… teachers in schools” –Stephen Twigg

Education Innovation

Education Innovation @Jodieworld


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