ICT Gateshead Summer Conference

| July 11, 2012 | 3 Comments 

A thoroughly enjoyable day at the ictGATESHEAD Summer Seminar at Gateshead Central Library, entitled ‘ICT and literacy in the mobile age’ Two keynotes and workshop, all of them with a common theme of creativity and picking up ideas, and juggling them, with (and without) technology.

We presented some accessible tools and ideas for raising the level of writing, speaking and listening, and creativity among children of all ages. We took apart the powerful effect of using games, many useful Web2 tools and software, hand-held devices and more, – modelling a way of teaching, where quality learning is the focus rather than the latest gadget; ‘what is said, rather than what is used to say it’.

We also investigated how virtual worlds, with their stunning landscapes, peaceful characters and realistic challenges, can be used across subject areas, abilities and age ranges, with remarkable effects: developing speaking, listening and writing abilities and raising confidences and self-esteem. We hope that folk left with many practical ideas to apply back in the classroom.

In this goal driven age, we could think that education is imparting a body of knowledge, rather than a shared journey of discovery. There are so many pressures put upon educators these days that enjoyment, inspiration, creativity, and fun can be forced out of the classroom. We need to inspire young people and fire their imaginations; enhance their creativity and confidence so they can pick ideas up and start to juggle with them; encourage resourcefulness through challenge, but also the ability to reflect, change and benefit from the experience of others; to motivate a love of learning for life.

We took everybody on a new exploration through a huge, and accessible, range of ways to engage, and motivate students of all ages, and abilities. Essential elements for quality learning experiences and how they can have a massive impact on standards, achievement… and enjoyment!

A thank you to Chris Turnbull, network manager at Heworth Grange CLC and Mandy Martin, CLC Teacher, at Heworth Grange City Learning Centre, for organising our visit today.

“Authors Alive – Online Story Creation” Peter Hepplewhite, Learning and Outreach Manager at Tyne and Wear Archives and Sara Bird, Education Officer at Special Collections, Newcastle UniversityCreate your own Victorian story. This team showed how ‘Authors Alive’ with its unique collection of original images can be used to inspire story writing, in a variety of genre, giving users the opportunity to choose characters, objects and settings, then placing them in desperate situations.

Stephen Walters – Manager, Gateshead Central Library and Susan Kershaw – Reader Development, Gateshead Central Library

Stephen and Susan gave a swift and useful review of some of the current reading promotions offered by Gateshead Library Service. The “Love Reading in the Kindle Age” presentation covered promotions that have encouraged the discussion of books and the love of reading. Examples were given of how ‘the book’ has been at the centre of a wide range of innovative activities, with young people using a range of technologies.

“Edu-Blogging at Carr Hill Primary School

Paul Harris – Deputy Head Teacher and Linda Rickerby, Y6 Teacher with children from Y5 and Y6, and four, remarkably confident pupils, presented how blogging has changed learning opportunities in their whole school.

They showed how staff and pupils at Carr Hill have re-visioned their school website and created a truly interactive, online tool which is embedded within teaching and learning. From classroom management, resource discovery and sharing, show and tell and digital literacy development to encouraging creativity and developing home-school links and school partnerships at home and abroad, the Carr Hill approach is offering new opportunities to the entire school community.

They talked about how blogging generated a love for writing, a purpose, writing for a real audience, a dialogue between the teacher, outside readers, and the children. Blogging has even increased the number of parents wanting to get their children enrolled in the school, as they have seen some remarkable contributions to the blogs and how this has impacted on standards and confidences, across the school.

Paul also talked about how twitter enabled some speedy interaction with parents when a school trip was delayed in London. They also have plans for LIVE homework help, online.

One of the pupils gave a three word summary of blogging: “Safe. Efficient. Easy”.

“Using Digital Audio resources in the EYFS and KS1” Eleanor Johnson – Director, Storyphones

Eleanor shared information about digital audio, the equipment necessary and where to find audio resources. She suggested many ways that these resources can be used and how to integrate listening activities across the curriculum based on tried and tested activities from classroom practitioners.

“iPads in the Classroom”

Apple expert for education, Dave Maltby gave a rapid fire tour of iPad apps for use in the classroom, with the opportunity to join in and have a go.

We tried out Garageband, iMovie, Puppet Pals, Skitch, Morpho and others, and then combined our outcomes to make a longer end result that turned out to be a little gem.

Laura Durman – Fiction Express

Laura demonstrated how ‘Fiction Express for Schools’ provides schools with weekly published installments of their exciting interactive e-books. Each “Fiction Express” instalment ends with voting options enabling the readers to decide where the plot goes next. The next instalment is then written in real time according to the readers’ choice.  This tool can excite and enthuse keen, and reluctant, readers.

Category: 1) Events and Training days

Comments (3)

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  1. Myra Holmes, librarian says:

    Just like to thank you for really enjoyable and worthwhile training sessions at ictGateshead conference. Your sessions have given me lots to pass on to teaching staff.

  2. Tim says:

    Hi there Myra and thank you for your very thoughtful feedback
    We are glad you found the day useful, and would love to keep in touch to find out what you try firstn and the tools you find most effective
    All the best for now
    Tim and Sarah

  3. Emma Pickering says:

    An inspirational day, very thought provoking regarding teaching in general with the ‘what is said, rather than what is used to say it’ message as well as lots of new tools and ideas to try out. Thank you.

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