Barnet ICT Conference: Inspirational ICT!

| November 14, 2007 | 14 Comments 

Being a bit of a “Baldilocks and The Three Hairs”, to talk in Barnet is a bit of a hair-brained idea. (For those of you reading this from abroad, e.g. Watford or beyond, Barnet, (or Barnet Fair,) is Cockney rhyming slang for hair!)

I’m sorry, but you’ll have to brush aside any objections to all my hair puns even if they do gel. (Oh Cut it out Tim!) …genuinely sorry, because today was a fantastic event. However, the jokes are one of the fringe benefits of writing a blog!

Much like the title of this site, I went baldly where no man has been before, after being invited to talk at the Barnet Inspirational ICT Conference.

Infact, let’s not split hairs, today was one of the highlights of headlining this tour of The U.K.

I started with a presentation. Occasionally, I stand back and watch some of the films I use to illustrate the many remarkable outcomes children have achieved. Watching my pupils reading their writing in such confident and dramatic ways, made the hairs stand up on the back of my neck, today! I have recently added a few films of some of the faster paced writing we have been creating with children around the country. These have proved to be really effective and powerful.

After lunch, we explored a more practical, hands-on session. I am glad there weren’t too many people tearing their hair out today over technical issues as most of the games seemed to install smoothly. I have had a few sessions, recently, where people have encountered installation problems, but these are still rare, thankfully. The Myst games I use mainly, Myst III:Exile and Myst IV:Revelation, generally load well, although Revelation does take a large amount of disc space (at least 3GB) and both can require some “patches“. I don’t feel comfortable recommending specific patches here, as there are so many different computers with individual specifications, e.g. graphics cards and chips sets. If, and I doubt you will, you do encounter problems, a search for “Myst” and “patches” will lead you to appropriate “fixes”.

It was good to see a few folks letting their hair down, curling up and letting the atmosphere in the games wash over them. Well done to James for rising to the challenge of conducting a glorious cacophony! :-)

Thank you to John Schmitz, Sharon Harrison, and James Wills-Fleming, of Barnet Children’s Service for organising today’s event. You’re a cut above the rest!

I’m off home for a bit of hair of the dog, and to watch two of my favourite films: “Hannah & Her Scissors” and “From Hair to Eternity” so it’s time for me to wave goodbye, to cut and run, make like my ends, and split …perm ..anently! Hair today, gone tomorrow. Parting is such sweet sorrow.

“Hair’s looking at you, kid.”

My hair raising comments are fine for a man who CHOSE to go bald. There are many who do not. Little Princesses (not exclusively for girls) provides wigs and hair pieces for children who suffer hair loss due to cancer treatment.

Category: 1) Events and Training days

Comments (14)

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  1. Alison says:

    Just wanted to say thanks Tim for a really great day. That was easily the best, most inspirational ict conference that I have ever attended! I can’t wait to use some of the ideas in class. Thanks again!

  2. James Hopkins says:

    Tim,

    What can I say? A truly mesmorising afternoon of inspirational ideas and applications. I will (without doubt) be in early tomorrow transferring some of the tips into my PowerPoint for biscuit making!
    I thoroughly enjoyed conducting the noise makers and can only hope that those who took part are not too afraid to go and try something like it in their class. I will no doubt give the rollercoaster section a go myself.
    Thank you so much for giving me a glimpse into something that I can truly see changing the way boys at KS2 access learning. Challenging them on a level at which they enjoy themselves (comma), but also learn is an ongoing daily battle (comma), and with the help of MYST I have a very powerful tool to add to my repetoire.
    Staff will be hearing about this tomorrow, of that I am sure.

    Thanks again.

    James Hopkins
    Dollis Junior School NW7

  3. Alan Murphy says:

    From one baldy to another Tim. Training events are sometimes inspiring, sometimes seem realistic. Your approach was both. I am certain my class will notice a difference.
    Many thanks
    Alan Murphy
    Bell Lane Primary
    Barnet

  4. Claire says:

    Thanks for a wonderful day, inspirational, full of awe and wonder that i can now develop in the classroom. cheers!

  5. Rebecca Mottershead says:

    Wasn’t really in the mood for a conference today – so much to do so little time to do it in…. Thank goodness I did… great fun, lots to think about. I did think for a fleeting moment of raising my street cred with the kids and saving the Myst stuff for the times when I go into class and not letting anyone else into the secret, however instead I went straight back into our staff meeting and shared it – looks like I am going to have to invest in a few more copies so that the rest of the staff can have a play as well!
    I think the children will be very glad that I came today – so thanks Tim

    Rebecca Mottershead
    Church Hill Primary School
    Barnet

  6. Sharon Harrison says:

    Well – we had billed you as a fabulous, inspirational presenter: you surpassed the billing! As an old-time Myst fan, I feel re-energised to make better use of the resource in our schools. You reminded us of the power of childrens imaginations.

    Everyone I spoke to from Infant to Secondary teachers were captivated, and went home determined to infuse some of the excitement and passion into their teaching and into the learning experience for the children in their schools.

    I think that today’s event will make a difference – so thank you once again. I’m sure that we will see you back in Barnet before long – the education grapevine works efficiently here!
    So until them …:)

    Sharon Harrison
    Curriculum Adviser, ICT

  7. Sophie says:

    Tim,
    It was great!
    I will being using MYST and showing it to the rest of the staff, (comma) I know it is going to make a difference! The childrens enjoyment and mine!
    Wonderful thank you!

  8. Filiz Karabey says:

    What a superb day, one of THE best performances I have ever seen. A truly inspirational experience, one which every department will hear about tomorrow. Thank you for sharing this with us. You were wonderful!

  9. Romy Gishen says:

    I came straight home to play on Myst III and can’t get past the rock. What a fantastic day. I can’t wait to get back to school tomorrow! INSPIRING!
    Sorry I had to leave before the music. I had my African shaker all ready. What did you do? I looks like great fun!

    Romy Gishen
    Mathilda Marks-Kennedy School

    PS I needed a good laugh!

  10. Elspeth says:

    Yet again a wonderful coference! I go back to school full of enthusiasm and just wish the other members of staff could have been there too. Thank you Tim for an experience which took me back in time as well as inspiring me to look forward to the future. Wonderful!

  11. James Wills-Fleming says:

    Tim,

    Having seen the comments already posted here there really isn’t anything more to say other than to once again thank you.

    We always hope that people go away from these events with new ideas and a renewed enthusiasm for ICT. You delivered that in spades! Thank you for helping to make the event a success and, most importantly, an enjoyable day for all!

    James Wills-Fleming
    Barnet Children’s Service

  12. Mike Kemp says:

    Hi Tim,
    Again having read the above comments, I have nothing but praise, and I think I’m normally quite sceptical about educators banging on about the latest ‘magic bullet’. I for so long have been passionate about getting children to see themselves as writers. Your session was obviously quite inspirational, and for me personally it was a timely blood transfusion (metaphor) – blood packed with vitality, dynamism and flowing with inspiration (not to mention the c (creativity) word. My only regret is that I was the only representative from our school to attend and therefore the pressure is all on me to convert the rest of the staff group. I have been banging on about you all day today – but maybe we will have to dig deep and invite you in to our lovely school.

  13. Mike Kemp says:

    Hi Tim,
    Again having read the above comments, I have nothing but praise, and I think I’m normally quite sceptical about educators banging on about the latest ‘magic bullet’. I for so long have been passionate about getting children to see themselves as writers. Your session was obviously quite inspirational, and for me personally it was a timely blood transfusion (metaphor) – blood packed with vitality, dynamism and flowing with inspiration (not to mention the c (creativity) word. My only regret is that I was the only representative from our school to attend and therefore the pressure is all on me to convert the rest of the staff group. I have been banging on about you all day today – but maybe we will have to dig deep and invite you in to our lovely school.
    By the way, have a look at our new website (just google Edgware Junior School)
    Thanks again.
    Mike Kemp
    Edgware Junior School

  14. Villu says:

    You are one of the best performances I have ever seen. A truly inspirational experience, one which every department will hear about tomorrow. Glad to read your story here!

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