A grand Day Out for Blackpool and Fylde College

| May 25, 2007 | 6 Comments 

Up here at Preston Guild Hall for a day with the grown-ups. i.e. college folk.

Stephen Heppell delivered the opening keynote presentation of the Blackpool and Fylde College Grand Day Out.

Among many things, he put forward some interesting ideas for 21st Century learning tasks. For example, those essays that are available for free download these days: Instead of banning them and ignoring their existence, how about getting students to choose a few of those essays and compare and contrast them, improve upon them, offer a critique. Stephen also did a word search through a policy document: references to “standards” – 98, references to “failure” – 45 – references to “creativity” ZERO

Stephen referred to his Be Very Afraid events, where children and students present their uses of technology.

The event today is titled “Our e-Learning Journey… A grand Day Out” It is a remarkably innovative occasion as all of the staff at Blackpool and Fylde College are sharing a professional training day based on the power and opportunities available from digital technologies.

I feel a bit of a Newbie here, as it is unusual for me to present to the Further Education or Higher Education sectors. It is a good sign that this college is open to creative ideas from any level and age range because over a hundred people signed up to my session and it was therefore hosted in the Guild Hall Theatre itself. The children in my demo films should know (and I will let them know) that lecturers, who are responsible for training teachers of the future, are interested in THEIR creativity. I must let them know where in the world they have and will be going with myself and “Mr Walker”.

Seminars today included Moodle, podcasting, the Inclusion Trust and Notschool.net, and the intriguingly titled Creative ICT in Blackpool schools and the self peeling banana! (sadly at the same time as my seminar as I would love to access such interesting technology, especially as I am driving such great distances these days and peeling fruit on the M6 is a bit dodgy.)

Have just done a podcast for Kevin Hickey of the JISC North West regional support centre (not Radio 4, but nearly) I’ll update this post with details of where the interview can be downloaded.

I am really impressed with the foresight of Chris McAllister putting together such an ambitious, large scale occasion for a staff development day. She has definitely got an eye on the broader picture and of how the digital world is evolving. A great variety of seminars, and a smooth operation run by Helen Curtis and crew.

Well done to all and thank you.

Check out Teacher Tube for some interesting ideas: www.teachertube.com

Category: 1) Events and Training days

Comments (6)

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  1. Ian MaCormac says:

    I was at Lilian Soons seminar so missed yours, and the peeling banana at that! I have been inspired to explore more ways of using digital technologies in my lecturing to Merchant Navy officer Cadets at the Fleetwood Campus of Blackpool & Fylde College. Stephen certainly gave us all a great deal to ponder and it is marvellous to read your thoughts on his keynote speech.
    Thanks from us all at the Nautical Campus, most of whom were still lecturing today but there were half a dozen of us that found a lot of what was discussed usefully challenging!

  2. Tim – I’m sure Kevin will be delighted to be compared to Radio 4. Thanks for the great seminar, really inspiring and I’ll be in touch re: Specialist Colleges. It really was a ‘Grand Day out’, Well done Blackpool and Fylde.

  3. I agree completely on the open ended tasks and, to take it further, some degree of open endedness or flexibility in the time those tasks might take. How many times does the tangent that a kid comes up with become the most worthwhile learning point of the lesson? We need to encourage as many teachers as possible to go down those tangents, follow them up and see what beautiful serendipity comes out of them.

    You might like to take a look at some of the extreme learning stuff we’ve been developing in East Lothian:

  4. Ellen Lessner says:

    Hi Tim,
    Can I put a link to this blog for the ILT (information and learning technology) JISC mail list? I think you’ve said everything about this great day that I would want to say and share with the ‘Champs’.

  5. blog says:

    Of course Ellen. It was a true pleasure meeting you. I am in Austria now. Will be in touch when I’m back in Blighty. Cheers. Tim (Sent via BlackBerry)

  6. Kevin Hickey says:

    Hi Tim,
    Thanks for the interview and for the presentation on using myst. The highlight of a great day.

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