Motivating Educators, Inspiring Learners #MEIL12, London

| October 3, 2012 | 40 Comments 

Motivating Educators, Inspiring Learners #MEIL12 at The Lancaster London Hotel, in London. A superb location and great bunch of people.

What makes learning real for everyone – how to identify the blocks and inspire young people. Great Resources don’t have to cost the earth – learn how to find the best free resources and apply these in the classroom. Looking beyond opportunities and at the global context of our education system. The impact of great ICT should be invisible – how do we make it so?

In association with Russell Prue, and Mondale Events, #MEIL12 gathered together for the first of a few similar events around the country. Ourselves, Russell, Richard Gerver and Simon Cooper-Hind, delivered sessions through the day to Head Teachers, Assistant Heads, ICT Staff and Bursars from both the Primary and Secondary schools in London and the South East.

There was an exhibition running alongside the Conference with the opportunity to network and interact with over 40 carefully selected companies who were showcasing the latest products and services available to schools today.

Simon Cooper Hind is an inspirational and challenging speaker; he has been a Head Teacher of two council estate schools: through his philosophy on children’s learning he has transformed these schools into highly effective learning communities, out- performing local authority and national expectations. His inspirational style motivates and enthuse staff, encourage reflection on good practise and challenge habits and thinking, in order to develop new ideas for learning.

Simon’s session was entitled “Make it real, is what they get what they want?”With the new OFSTED (2012) focussing on teaching and learning we need to ensure we are giving our children the best possible opportunities to become learners. If our children don’t love to learn, how difficult is it to teach them? With all going on in our schools today we often lose sight of what is really important – the children.

Simon pointed out that pupils need an emotional attachment with learning if it is going to have any impact. We all remember our first kiss. Lessons should have some magical spark that we remember. We put children under so much unnecessary pressure that key learning moments can be lost to their panic. How much more attractive it is to have “a quiz” than to “take a test”.

Simon got us to take the Pig Personality Test. Laughter galore, especially when we all thought about the length of the tail! Try the test here and don’t cheat, and read it, before you start drawing.

This session provided opportunities to rediscover what’s important, explore how we engage our learners, what they want from their lessons so that we can engage them and help them to become effective learners. Simon identified what blocks this process, whilst developing ideas and strategies on how we can make learning real for everyone.

Richard Gerver began his teaching career in 1992 and rose through the ranks fast being identified by the school’s inspectorate in 1997 as one of the most outstanding teachers in the country. By 2005 he had won the prestigious “School Head Teacher of the Year Award” at the British National Teaching Awards for his work in leading a school on the brink of closure to becoming one of the most innovative in the world.

Richard used some gorgeous, and funny, tales of real school life. His focus was on how to make learning REAL and relevant to their context, and needs. When we decide whether a child is a V, and A or  a K (VAK) are we limiting their experiences and opportunities? How can we move children forward in creative ways? Richard challenged us to analyse which elements of this packed day, we could take back, apply, and benefit from.

“Live a little, learn a little, laugh a lot”.

Richard’s talk was called “Google, Zee and me; teaching for tomorrow “. In it, he explored the global context surrounding education systems, highlighting the practical challenges we face to ensure that our students aren’t left behind. He challenged our thinking about collaboration, competencies and creativity by looking at refining our vision for our schools, our communities and our children.

Russell Prue‘s session was amusingly titled “Don’t send anymore chalk”. Russell is an independent ICT Evangelist and Broadcaster. Using live demonstrations Russell looks at new and existing technologies and suggests new ways that colleagues can take advantage of these in their subject teaching in the C21st. Russell also provides strategic ICT thinking to a number of key UK education players. He is involved in several action based research projects and is passionate about educational ICT.

B.Y.O.D. short for Bring your own device is a sustainable plan for provisioning technology in schools, young people should be empowered to bring their technology into places of learning and use IT!

Russell entertained us all the way, but also challenged us all AND gave some good ideas for ways to move forward. Facebook, Twitter and other social tools, are powerful ways to enable collaboration amongst students and teachers. But, there is often so much fear about potential risks, that access and use is restricted, or denied. Schools can often tut at the process, rather than harness the potential positives. We can have some unusual perspectives.

(Russell mentioned the Victoria Woods sketch where couple are “being somewhat fully intimate” and the others in carriage just look away. However, when the couple light up a post coital cigarette, the carriage erupts in complaint).

Take a look at the lovely little Russell doing some “virtual cooking” in the delicious CookIt by E2BN

Russell inspired us with an exciting vision of how technology should be woven into the fabric of learning & teaching. Using lots of live demonstrable examples he explored the gap between how young people use technology at home and how educators use it in the classroom.

Russell challenged us to be inventive, and creative in our teaching, to create desire so that children want to pull learning towards them. As inventive as the students at MIT who were utterly original in their use of real objects in the project where they turned bananas in to a keyboard.

The excellent was one of Russell’s recommended reads – a well written piece of guidance on the use of mobiles in education. (Here is the English version).

There was a fascinating collection of innovative suppliers here today. They contributed some unique, and thought provoking, elements to the “thinking” about education. From analogue to digital, these are folk who are leading the way in imaginative approaches to making learning real, to motivating educators and supporting the inspiration of our learners.

Category: 1) Events and Training days

Comments (40)

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  1. Rebecca Southgate says:

    A fabulously informative session … Can’t believe there are so many free websites which can potentially have such a tremendous impact on children’s learning. Thank you so much for saving me hours of surfing and inspiring me with so many ideas.

  2. Tim says:

    Thank you Rebecca and Antonio
    (emails on their way to you soooooon with all of the links in)
    Glad you found things useful

  3. Peter Weal says:

    Great day – great talk! Thanks. Love all the (mostly) free ideas. Would have liked something that I could us in/with my class blog but think I can adapt and use many other the things that I saw.

    Thanks again,


  4. Tim says:

    Check your emails Rebecca and Antonio – the links from today should be with you now
    We look forward to hearing how you get on
    Cheers for now

  5. Rachel Bodgin says:

    AMAZING! I certainly do feel motivated and inspired! My partner is also a teacher and I’ve spent the last half hour bombarding him with all these new thoughts, ideas and websites like a deranged person! Can’t wait to get bk to school

  6. Tim says:

    Nice one Rachel
    Keep in touch and let us know what you try
    Check your mail for the list of the links just in case you missed any
    Have fun!

  7. Claire Michel says:

    Fantastic session! Never realised there was so many free websites/resources. Can’t wait for school tomorrow and the next staff meeting to share information.

  8. Sara Rider says:

    Thank you so much for such a brilliant day!!! I called my head as soon as we left to tell her what we need!! Feel very inspired. In a time of so much worry its fab to know that we’re still a creative, passionate profession who all want to make a difference to the children in our care.

  9. Nicola says:

    Inspired beyond belief!!! Thank you so much for bringing me into the techno age! Almost brought my I Pad today, but didn’t really have much to do on it!! I’ve been home an hour & haven’t put it down! Can’t wait to share this new found info with my son, my class & my colleagues! Truly educated! Thank you

  10. Sarah says:

    Nice one Claire
    Thank you for your very kind comments.
    Keep in touch and let us know what you try
    Check your mail for the list of the links just in case you missed any
    Have fun!

  11. Sarah says:

    Hi Sara
    This is great to hear! Thank you.
    We have emailed you the link in case you missed any of the links.
    Please keep in touch and have fun!

  12. Sarah says:

    Hi Nicola
    Wow! We only had the chance to explore a glimpse of the possibilities, so we’re glad you found some of it useful. Thank you! We certainly enjoyed ourselves. We have emailed you the link in case you missed any of the links.
    Please keep in touch and have fun!

  13. Danny says:

    I remember how inspired I was 6 years ago when you first introduced me to the world of Myst. I was looking forward to hearing you speak today to see if you and the technology you use so effectively had evolved. I wasn’t disappointed! Informative and innovative, your ideas really do inspire!! My theme of castles will certainly take a few unexpected twists!! Great to see you again and look forward to you returning to Bridgend sometime in the future.

  14. Tim says:

    Thank you for this very thoughtful reflection Danny.
    I am glad you found that, yes, life has evolved and moved forward big time. Myst was always only ONE element of what went on “back then” and I was always a little surprised to be known as The Myst Man when it was one aspect of life. It remains a valuable part of my teaching armoury and YOU know why ~ it is a powerful tool, when used carefully, to engage those who wouldn’t normally enjoy their learning, through to the gifted and talented.
    But, it would be a very shallow diet if that was all that we used.
    Life, the internet and technology have moved forward a pace and it has been an honour, and a joy, to try to keep up.
    I am glad we didn’t disappoint, and that you discovered some new toys to play with.
    It was great to have a chat and, yes, let’s try and see if we can do “the next steps” down in Bridgend again
    Keep in touch (and let us know what you try first)
    Cheers for now ~ Tim

  15. Michelle says:

    Oh my goodness! I was amazed at how much there is available to inspire me!! I just needed you to guide me to the right places! Just telling a colleague about your exciting, thoughtprovoking presentation and he was devasted he wasnt able to be there. Hopefully you will return to Bridgend soon.
    Maybe the request from my son on the eve of the conference ‘Mum I would like an iPad for Christmas’ will need to be given serious thought!

    Diolch yn fawr Tim!

  16. Gillian says:

    Thank you for such an inspirational and thought-provoking day. I’m looking forward to sharing the ideas with colleagues!

  17. Tim says:

    Thank you for you feedback
    What do you mean by use with your class blog?
    How can we help?
    Remember that we only had 3/4 of an hour so that was just a glimpse
    Have you tried linking QR codes in your pupils books which link to the digital element of their work on your blog?
    Keep in touch and let us know how we can help you more

  18. Tim says:

    Thanks for this Michelle
    Remember, that was just a glimpse in to all of the new stuff that we now do, so YES, it would be great to come back down to Bridgend and “take the next steps”.
    Check your mail and have fun with some of the links
    See you soon

  19. Tim says:

    Thank you Gillian
    We had such little time that it was hard to pick what to do so I am glad you found these few things useful
    Check your mail for the links
    There are MANY more
    Keep in touch and enjoy

  20. Anne Marie says:

    Hi Tim,
    Thanks once again for such an inspiring presentation! I could listen to you all day! I cant wait to try out some of the ideas you mentioned with my class and am looking forward to trying something new and different to Myst! (Not that I dont love using Myst!)
    Looking forward to seeing you back in Bridgend in the future??
    Anne Marie

  21. Tim says:

    Thank you Anne Marie
    Glad to hear you found some useful things
    It was way back in the Mysts of time of 2007 when we worked together first
    ( )
    Life has sped forward for us and there are so many elements to what we do now
    Myst remains a powerful stimulus but there are hundreds of other digital tools to enhance learning and we love discovering and sharing their potential nowadays too
    So, yes, we’d love to come back to Bridgend and see how we can take things even further these days
    Thanks again and see you soon

  22. Steve Driscoll says:

    Totally inspired! Now I just have to convince the rest of the school…that’s where the hard work begins.

  23. Sarah Berman says:

    Thanks for a million good ideas and a day in which it was great to be so (re) inspired.

  24. Tim says:

    It will happen Steve

  25. Tim says:

    There were actually forty but I am glad they left you inspired.
    Keep inspired now Sarah.

  26. Katie says:

    Brimming with ideas from yesterdays’ very informative day. Already had a bash at creating some new resources for some Science and Travel & Tourism lessons. Looking forward to hearing more from you in the not too distant future I hope.

  27. Maxwell Hornby says:

    Big thanks to all the speakers, exhibitors, fellow delegates and hotel staff who made yesterday what it was. I attended as the representative of a group of staff in my school charged with stimulating improvements in the way the school uses ICT to support teaching and learning. My aim is to convey the passion and insight of you and your fellow speakers both to my colleagues and students. If I can do that I suspect our school will see the improvements we so desire. Thank you Tim!

  28. Tim says:

    Thank you Katie
    So glad you found the day so useful
    Would love to hear what you did for your Science Travel and Tourism lessons
    Check your mail 😀

  29. Tim says:

    Thank you Maxwell, for your very thoughtful feedback
    We are so glad you found some useful things out of what we managed to do in such a short space of time
    You are right, everyone contributed some special elements to a special day
    Let’s do it again some time eh?

  30. Maxwell Hornby says:

    It’s a date! Where did the photo’s of the event go btw? I’m an art teacher: I like photos:)

  31. Tim says:

    Photos from the event are all on the blog – right-click-save-as if there is a good one

  32. Paul Griffin says:

    Top top day….still thinking about it 2 days on! How exciting the thought is that we can achieve anything that we want to. Thank you guys!

  33. Tim says:

    Thanks for this Paul
    It’s great that you got that feeling after just the glimpse we were able to give.
    Looking forward to sharing more some time
    Have fun!

  34. Gulen Halil says:

    thanks for such a great and inspiring session Tim, it was so ineteresting to find out about the amazing free web based resources i didn’t know were out there! Lots of great ideas to help move ICT forwards in George Spicer School North London, seems that children enjoy this type of interactive learning far more than anything else these days. So good now we can meet their needs and engage them, even the reluctant learners.
    Thanks again!

  35. Gulen Halil says:

    Such an inspiring session Tim, thanks for all the great ideas and information about the free resources! I can’t wait to share them with the school and grow the use of ICT within the school. You have saved me hours which i would have spent trying to find such great resources, not to mention the money! thanks again!

  36. Tim says:

    Thank you for this feedback Gulen
    Let’s hope that the idea of an event in Enfield can happen because then we might be able to show you a LOT more
    Enjoy what you try first 😀

  37. Sara Rider says:

    Hi Tim! I’ve tried out the panoramas with my year 3s- we looked at a probe on mars…. Needless to say the discussion went on for a good 45 mins…. We’ve also, as was suggested by the first speaker taken out shoes off…. What a revelation!! Many thanks!

  38. Tim says:

    Hi there Sara
    Thanks for this
    Great idea – shoeless on Mars! Wow!

    (btw Check your email & Let me know if you get it pleeeeeeeease)

  39. Jon says:

    A fantastic font of free resources, Tim. I’ve had the weekend to digest the ideas you all had and am looking forward to using them with the kids in the coming weeks. I look forward to getting even more ideas from you in the future.

  40. Tim says:

    Thanks for this Jon
    We’d love to keep in touch and find out what you use, and how
    Have fun

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