Derbyshire ICT Conference 2012- “Today’s Learners, Tomorrow’s World – Using Technology Effectively”

| April 19, 2012 | 13 Comments 

The Derbyshire ICT Conference, with the theme of “Today’s Learners, Tomorrow’s World – Using Technology Effectively” at The Hayes Conference Centre, in Swanwick.


A huge thank you to Julie Parker, Teaching, Learning and Assessment Consultant, Derbyshire Advisory & Inspection Service and the Children and Younger Adults Department, and her huge team of colleagues, for inviting us up to Swanwick today.

We whizzed through a glimpse in to some of the potential of virtual worlds and web2.0 technologies, to motivate, engage and inspire children of all ages and abilities. It was a total joy to have some children from Eureka Primary School to be involved in our sessions.


One star lad came up and acted as translator for a couple of characters in a mystical land. Children often take to the translator role even more quickly than adults. Growded ups have a huge onboard thesaurus but are also determined to impress maybe. They can stumble. Children find it a challenge too, of course. However, it is useful to try in many lesson formats, such as getting a “scientist” to come up and explain what she has just discovered in our science experiment.

Get a “translator” to explain what she has just said (by using different words but keeping the same meaning) there is an awful lot of vocabulary floating around the room. But, to do it in front of over a hundred “big people”, on a stage, in a huge hall, would be un nerving for anybody. Not our chap today. He flew!

It wasn’t just that lad. Another one came up and acted as “environment minister’ (adjusting the volume levels). He did so instantly and naturally, through a quite complicated piece of kit. He too deserved a ripple from our audience. Great to have children at an education conference (:-D !), especially ones with such confidence in a public areana.

This confidence might have come from work they are already doing at school. Jacqui Johnson, ICT Subject Leader, Eureka Primary School, accompanied by some pupils delivered a session today called Want to engage boys in Literacy and raise standards? Jacqui and some of Eureka’s enthusiastic boys, took us on a KLP (Kaleidos Learning Platform)  journey that Encourages, Enhances and Excites the Enjoyment of learning!

As ‘Digital Natives’, and ‘ANYTIME – ANYPLACE – ANYWHERE’ learners, Eureka’s boys do not stop learning at home time…easy to see! Brilliant stuff. As one lad said about the learning platform:

This space engages us with and supports reading, writing, spelling and phonics learning…

New pages are added and updated regularly to help us enjoy – engage and enhance all our Literacy skills, whatever the curriculum area!

Some of the titles of the learning challenges Jacqui mentioned are a delight in their own right: Through the Keyhole, It’s a Kinda Magic!, Lights! Camera! Action!, Fire it Up!, May the Force be with You!, Revvin’ it Up! and an art section called Draw me In!

There was an impressive range of other workshops at today’s event:

If e-Safety is the question – what is the answer? Claire Duffin, ICT Consultant and CEOP Ambassador, Education Reach Limited  This workshop outlined practical guidelines for teaching children how to stay safe online with a particular look at Social Networking and Cyberbullying. It included a discussion on school policies and procedures, teaching activities and informing parents and concluded t with a Next Steps Action plan for schools.

What is the point of control? Matthew Parry, Head of IT, Swanwick Sports College. Are control technologies important in today’s IT consumer society? What is the purpose of teaching students how to make a roamer or turtle draw patterns? Do you have control software/hardware in your Primary school and have never really used it? Are you aware of free software such as Scratch and how effective it is? This workshop showed why control skills are essential and gave some tips as to how to make them engaging for students and teachers. This workshop was for colleagues from Primary, Special and Secondary settings.

Making a Compelling Case for ICT Bernadette Brooks, General Manager – Naace Never has the need for schools to demonstrate that they are getting the best use of their investment in technology been greater. Nurseries, schools and academies need to demonstrate to the school community and the world at large that they have thought through the many complex issues relating to the use of technology in serving the needs of their learners. The Self-review Framework is designed to allow all educational establishments to reflect on their practice and move forward to a position of strength.

With a solid foundation schools are able to address the issues around new ways of learning where access to appropriate technology is assumed and the focus moves to ever greater independence and community engagement. The 3rd Millennium Learning Award is providing an exciting forum for schools that are pushing the boundaries in facilitating new dimensions in learning. This session discussed this and how to engage with other like minded schools.

We love Scratch! Kath Crolla, Kirk Langley Primary School, accompanied by some pupils Bored with the same old ICT stuff? Do you want something DIFFERENT, something CREATIVE? I’ve been using Scratch for about three years now. It’s free software, developed by MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology). What does it do? It encourages creative, investigative learning with computers. If you want to fit it in to the ICT curriculum somewhere I suppose you could say animation… control… programming …. games … it’s really adaptable.

I’ve used it successfully from Year 3 to Year 6. The Scratch team say it’s design-based learning: Design-based learning is an approach that emphasizes designing (creating things, not just using or interacting with things), personalising (creating things that are personally meaningful and relevant), collaborating (working with others on creations), and reflecting (reviewing and rethinking one’s creative practices). This session showed how it works, or rather the children did, reassurringly not complicated…a few basic lessons and children will be AWAY.  lots of ideas and resources. 

Putting the ‘C’ back in ICT – GLOBALLY! Sarah Morrison, Pottery Primary School and Jane Gage, Waingroves Primary School Presenting best practice in inter-school global communication. Aim: to demonstrate how the Learning Platform can be used as a tool to connect, communicate and learn with schools abroad. By the end of the session, participants had the opportunity to discover:  ways to locate a link school, how to set up a login for a partner school, examples of successful projects undertaken with a school in France, the positive effect this has on children’s learning and how it increases their awareness of cultural diversity.

Audacity – Free and Fantastic! Andrew Attenborough, ICT Leader, Scargill C of E (VA) Primary School This workshop showed how you can easily use the FREE audio editing software for a huge range of cross-curricular purposes, such as: Creating podcasts for websites/Learning Platforms, Recording and editing songs for productions, making audio books of children’s stories, creating radio adverts, making sound effects or voice-overs for animations. Audacity is a programme which can be downloaded FREE from the internet and installed on ANY computer!

All that’s needed is a pair of speakers (and preferably a microphone) to create amazing projects which children love!  It can be used from simple speech recording to complex multi-track recording and editing, and comes with a fantastic array of effects and editing techniques to enhance and improve recordings!  (And it’s FREE?)  When finished, results  can be uploaded to websites/Learning Platforms, burnt to a CD or even put it onto an iPod or other MP3 player!

ICT in the Early Years, Amanda Hubball, Alfreton Nursery  This workshop explored how ICT provision can develop in the Foundation Stage: – iPads, apps, laptops, and the learning platform amongst many other things, embedded into the EYFS curriculum.  The story of how an OFSTED inspection supported an outstanding school to challenge their expectations for ICT and take a leap into the ‘unknown’.

Developing Film. Matt Pendleton, Headteacher, Kirkstead Junior School and Johnny Rowlatt, Teacher, Holbrook Centre for Autism An opportunity to see how the use of film can be developed throughout school. The session looked at how film making can progress throughout school by varying the software and equipment used. It showed how quickly and simplly it can be to create basic, yet effective films. Throughout it highlight the advantages of using film and film making in the classroom.

Using ICT for effective community engagement, Simon Trevers, Education Specialist, RM Education Learning is a 24/7 activity and increasingly involves the wider school community – pupils, teacher, parents, governors, partner agencies, local businesses and national & international links. This session gave a range of hints and tips on how to effectively engage with whole school communities using Learning Platforms, including ideas on how to achieve the February 2011 DFE guidance on online reporting and communication with parents.

Lots of creative ideas, including on how to: Involve your pupil’s parents in their learning more effectively,improve the timeliness and cost effectiveness of home-school communications, maximise the contribution that the whole school community can make to teaching & learning.

A special day of learning and laughter. Well done all… and THANK YOU

Category: 1) Events and Training days

Comments (13)

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  1. Neil Birkin says:

    What a fantastic day! Tim truly is an inspirational speaker and I enjoyed all of the sessions of his that I took part in. His knowledge of software available on the net is amazing. A superb presentation delivered with skill, knowledge, expertise and humour. I guarantee that like me, there will now be teachers all over the county searching the internet, finding and installing the software described, used and demonstrated today to inspire the pupils in the coming days and weeks. Superb stuff and I can only recommend that if you get the opportunity to attend one of his presentations – make sure you do! Thanks very much for making the day a truly memorable and useful one. Keep up the good work. All the best Neil

  2. Tim says:

    Thank you for this kind feedback Neil. Glad you found some useful stuff. Let us know what you use, and how you get on.
    Cheers. Tim

  3. Phill Shimwell says:

    Echoing Neil’s comments, I found the day totally awesome!
    I will try to continue the momentum created today within our LA.
    Thank you.

  4. Andrew Attenborough says:

    Fantastic day and an inspirational speaker! Loads of things I want to try out!
    Thanks a lot!
    (Buttery biscuit base)

  5. Sue Mould says:

    A truly inspirational day which I’m sure will have a significant impact in my classrooms. I’ve already been exploring some of the wonderful resources since I got home and sharing them with my family. I can’t wait to share some of the ideas in Derbyshire schools. Thank you very much to Tim, Sarah and all the presenters.

  6. Louise Pattison says:

    My head feels likes its filled with popping candy! I can’t wait to try out the websites. I feel like its the kick up the backside my teaching needed!

  7. John LeGood says:

    Wow – what a day! It was a pleasure to take part in all three of your sessions today. I feel inspired and hope I can take at least one thing forward as soon as possible! The trouble is finding the ‘one’! What impressed me most, if I may say, is that you had a great ability to challenge our thinking, yet leave it feeling relevant and achievable. Well done to you both, and thank you.

  8. Tim and Sarah on the way home says:

    Thank you all for your thoughtful feedback
    Cheers for now
    More soon
    T and S

  9. Christine Avery says:

    I completely agree with John – it’s always great to hear about amazing things – but to leave thinking that I could actually achieve some of them myself tomorrow is fantastic. I can’t wait to get my class under the sea using the film clips I took at The Deep earlier in the week! Thank you

  10. Julie Parker says:

    Huge thanks to Tim and Sarah for a totally awe-inspiring day! I know that all our delegates will have left with renewed vigour and enthusiasm for engaging and enthusing ‘today’s learners, for tomorrow’s world’! What we have seen today reinforces how effective use of ICT with great teaching, can really make a difference. Thank you for reinvigorating us all! I can’t wait to hear about how our teachers have transformed learning with what they have seen! In the words of Tim earlier, here is his first ‘Amen Brother’!

  11. Gemma Harvey says:

    Truly amazing! I’m not a tecchie so was a bit nervous about the content being over my head … but I can’t wait to get back to school tomorrow and try some things out on the kids!
    Thank you so much!

  12. Hi
    The boys and I would like to say a huge thank you for your inspiration today – we have decided that we are your new fanclub!!!! We really enjoyed sharing your blarg today with the rest of the learning team as they became news reporters on the days events! timrylands dat carm rang through the walls and the keys as they types into their wiki pages!!!! Our head teacher was downloading APPs on her iphone that the boys had a play with after lunch!!! Fabulous! To have you honour us with your presence at our workshop too was a real delight. So thanks once again for reinvigorating us with your passion and giving us some other web2 bits n bobs to think about to transform our learning even further. We look forward to working with you soon!

  13. Tim says:

    It was Sarah and I who were honoured to be in the session with you, and the lads. You are really creative, dynamic, invigorating stars. I hope that we do get the chance to work alongside you all at some point. Thanks again. Tim

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