B&NES TA Conference

| November 17, 2008 | 1 Comment 

Our trip to The Fry’s Club, Keynsham, could not be damped by the ‘mysty’ rain of a damp November morning, for we were greeted by smiles and keen enthusiasm at B&NES TA Conference.

Thank you to Fiona Bell for organising today’s event and for her incredible energy. Thank you also to all of our colleagues today for keeping those laughs and smiles going throughout the whole day. Fun!!

We were joined today by Greg Western, a fourth year teaching student from Plymouth. Greg’s final dissertation is the exploration of the use of computer games in education. We had the pleasure of Greg’s company Sunday evening and to our delight, he agreed to write part of today’s blog.

Greg’s Blog

Where do I start? After discovering Tim and his lessons using Myst and being an avid gamer as well as a trainee teacher I felt all my prayers were answered. After giving it a go on my teaching practice I was amazed at the power this medium had on the class with children writing way beyond their years.
Feeling inspired by this I decided this would be my dissertation focus much to the amazement of my much younger colleagues who think I’m crazy.
Well you got to be a little crazy to be a teacher and going back to education at 33 with two children and a mortgage well it does not get crazier than that!!!
I contacted Sarah to discuss the best way to approach my dissy and could not believe it when I was invited to stay, and attend a seminar.
So I jumped in my trusty Clio, abandoned my family and headed out of Cornwall into civilization.
3 hours and many wrong turns I arrived at the home of Tim and Sarah. Clutching my questions I prepared for an in depth interview and theoretical discussion. What I found was a really warm welcome and a chance to talk to people who are so passionate and committed to their work that it refreshed my essay weary mind like a cold wind on a Monday morning.
With a break for the essentials (food and Strictly Come Dancing) and an introduction to blogging I retired for the night to write up all the results of my probing.
After a shockingly early start (for a student) a mad dash across the mean streets of Bristol following Sarah and hoping I would not have to rely on the Tom Tom navigator kindly lent to me by Tim, we arrived at the Cadburys factory and the destination of our journey.
Next, followed a mad installing session on the gaggle of laptops assembled by the teaching assistants on the course.
Tim then launches into to his charismatic, enthusiastic presentation with a mix of insanity, enthusiasm and great wisdom that seemed to instantly win over anyone who had dared to enter the room a sceptic.
After a period of frantic scribbling there was a welcome break for coffee allowing me to gather my thoughts and try and decipher the notes I had written. This led to me completely re-designing my lessons for the next day (which means a late night ahead) but I’m really interested in bringing some of the ideas to the children and in turn blowing the minds of my ‘sceptical’ colleagues. So with a heavy heart but an enlightened mind it was time for me to return to own tranquil vista of Cornwall and leave the bustling cities behind. My time spent with Tim and Sarah has been the highlight of my 5 year mission back into education but armed with this new knowledge and renewed vigour and enthusiasm one thing I know for definite “I’LL BE BACK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

Many will know that I am a big fan of panoramas, and the effect that they can have on empathetic, descriptive writing. Try this photograph of where we were today.

For no particular reason whatsoever, I was happy to remember and revisit one of the best designed sites I have seen over the last few years. No (immediate) educational value but great style. Great style at Great Pockets. Ignore the (very subtle) advertising and explore the design.

Great for a study of website wizardry.

Category: 1) Events and Training days

Comments (1)

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  1. Fiona Bell says:

    I have just finished collating the evaluation forms from your amzingly inspiring conference and am feeling inspired all over again! Thank you for enlightening our Teaching Assistants for the day and giving us so many ideas to develop and encourage in our B&NES community. As the forecast is for rain tomorrow, I am looking forward to some ‘play’ time with Myst indoors!!

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