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 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.
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