Wirral ICT to Inspire Project – Day 1

| October 19, 2011 | 4 Comments 

Today, we had a day of challenges and fun, on the first of two days at The Professional Excellence Centre, Acre lane, in Bromborough; our second visit will be on the 9th November, 2011.

This is also a group of folk who know how to laugh, with the added pleasure of catching up with Stuart Brady and Jane Tucker from Bidston Avenue Primary School, Birkenhead.

We investigated the power of technology, but also how it fits in to a broad curriculum, to create real impact within a classroom, and outside it. The mixture of analogue, and digital, is a key element that makes many of the things we cover, come alive. Getting outside with handheld and protable technologies, but also, bringing the outside world in to the school environment.

A huge THANK YOU to Gordon Lester, EQ Service and Development Manager, for coordinating today so beautifully.

Jane from Bidston Avenue Primary, kindly recorded some thoughts for us here:

Having had the experience of the Tim Rylands training earlier this year, (HERE and HERE) I was looking at this day as being more of a ‘read the story, or watch the film again to gain a better understanding’! We always see more the second time around.

We, as a year group, had used the Myst lll software at the end of the last academic year. The Y5 children were inspired from the outset and, to be honest, we were amazed at the enthusiasm for this different style of learning, especially from the boys.

Y5 and Y4 have already used the software this academic year and staff have been inspired and enthused by the software and the reaction of the children!

Today, I wanted new ideas of how to use the software in other areas of the curriculum. Science – light and shadows, Geography – environment, RE – ancient landscape for Christianity?  Just some ideas to try out.

As for discrete ICT units; Combining graphics and text, multimedia, writing for different audiences and e-mail, flew into my head immediately.

Teaching assistants using the software 1:1, small groups, focusing on a specific target, are areas that need to be explored further.

Use of the visualiser to share children’s work, both in class and during assemblies…

As we already have written work from the children, I am able to put a lot of these ideas into practice immediately…inspired!

It was great to work alongside the THREE city learning centres based in, and around, this area.

Thank you, to Graham Clegg, Centre Manager for  West Wirral Works City Learning Centre, for recording his thoughts on today, and how schools can work alongside the CLCs to implement some of the ideas:

Today, I was fortunate enough to be able to attend another great presentation from Tim Rylands on using ICT to Inspire in Education. This is the second time I’ve had the opportunity to see one of Tim’s presentations, so I knew what to expect, and came prepared with my notebook, pen and an open mind.

Following his last presentation I started using the multimodal PowerPoint features to create storyboards that students could use to reaffirm their understanding of projects delivered here at WestWirralWorks . This is a great way for them to recap on the stuff they’ve done and the machines and technologies they encountered at the CLC.

Today’s presentation was no exception and gave me more food for thought, as Tim introduced us a plethora of useful websites, resources and demonstrated how games can be used to improve literacy.  I guess I’m now going to be busy over the half term digesting  all this info and figuring out the best way to use it in conjunction with our projects.

This should help us extend the number of other pre and post visit activities which are used to enhance the overall CLC learning experience.

The best thing is that our students have a great time playing with these technologies, and don’t actually realise they’re learning.

We’ll  continue to pass on the information we’ve picked up today to our teachers  and undoubtedly discover more great ways in which these tools can be used effectively.

And to Patsi and April, CLC Managers of The Learning Lighthouse CLC, for kindly recorded their thoughts on the day:

Having spent an inspirational day with Tim Rylands at the Wirral ICT to Inspire Day, we were captivated by his use of Myst and some of the atmospheric landscapes within it, where he encouraged us to pause and think about our feelings.

Tim showed many ways of being able to incorporate these backgrounds in literacy lessons and to physically immerse pupils who had experienced Myst into those landscapes.

As well as filming children against printed Myst landscapes he also showed children using blue/green screen technology to create films. Imagine being able to walk around some of these landscapes and see yourself actually there. Imagine standing in a deserted landscape and wondering what will happen next. The Learning Lighthouse can transport you there!

We have two blue/green screen studios and a portable kit which we took along to the event, and can help Wirral teachers use Apple computers and PCs to make their own green screen films, as Tim showed using iMovie.

Schools that use Myst, or Epic Citadel, a free app, can visit us to extend and immerse children in their literacy work using film (blue/green screen) and other software, for example Comic Life or Crazy Talk Pro.

A final thank you to Michael McManus, Discovery CLC Manager for adding his thoughts:

It was great to have the benefit of Tim’s experience, expertise and enthusiasm for what is my second time attending one of this workshops.

Two key messages were reinforced from the day.

Message one: Technology used interactively is a powerful learning tool. Combined with effective teaching, technology takes the learning to new and unimagined heights.

It was inspiring to see this interactive-use-of-technology-for-learning approach demonstrated so effectively.

Message two: Make use of the huge wealth of free internet material. There are hundreds of Web 2.0 applications, online interactive web pages and free software downloads out there to excite, enthral and enhance learning.

Tim took us through some of the websites available – just a fraction of them. I wrote them all down, all thirty nine brought alive in an entertaining presentation. I was hoping for just one more to make a round forty when the bell tolled time.

Discovery CLC has been steadily building free technology into its year 1 to year 6 ‘Linking our thinking’ and other workshops in ways that invite teachers to similarly take up the technology back in school. There is such untapped potential as outlined by Tim, I am looking forward to the Wirral head teachers attending the workshop to get in touch with the question, ‘What else can the CLCs do to support us?’

I know the answer is “A lot”.

Category: 1) Events and Training days

Comments (4)

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  1. kate ball says:

    This is why I am a teacher- learning can be so much fun and I dont know who will enjoy the rest of this year more- my class or me! Career changing stuff!

  2. Kerry says:

    Absolutely fantastic day! Tim’s presentation was a pleasure to watch. His passion for this subject (and just as importantly, the profession) was contagious – Some fantastic stuff shared so there’s no excuse for not using it! Pupils of those who attended be prepared to be inspired!!!

  3. Chris Penn says:

    A fast and frenetic day, where the ideas kept on coming! Many ‘light bulb’ moments of how to put the fun into learning, using ICT to engage and inspire pupils of all abilities. Tim is a master craftsman at captivating his audience and hooking them in. He certainly inspired us today and we are racing back to school to share the bank of ICT gems with our staff and pupils. Brilliant!

  4. Gordon Lester says:

    A truly inspirational day. Thank you to Tim & Sarah for such an informative and fun day.

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