Cranfold Confederation, Surrey: “Full-on, and practical”

| February 15, 2013 | 13 Comments 

A return visit, more than two years later, for a third day working alongside the Cranfold Confederation at Cranleigh Primary School. This time, though, our focus was on a practical, hands-on, fast paced, challenge-filled day of experimentation, with some inventive technology, and some REALLY inventive colleagues.

The focus was on using photos and media to tell stories with: image manipulation, using soundtracks, exploring different programs. By the end, teachers produced a short presentation that they shared with the other groups, to great mirth and hilarity.

Staff, from across the Primary and Infant schools in the Cranfold Confederation, came together at Cranleigh Primary.

Tiltshift Maker bought miniature characters in to life within the locality, or helped us focus on a significant portion within a landscape, or portrait.

With Psykopaint, we whisked photographs into paintings. Great artists styles were stolen borrowed to enhance aspects of the pictures captured around the school. By darkening, hardlighting, multiplying, overlaying, and manipulating, different feelings, and messages, were accentuated.

Next we played with words, picking them up and juggling them. Tagxedo, especially when used in its full screen (“player only”) mode, means you can explore your carefully chosen collection of vocabulary, bringing it alive, as you speak. Here is one to pick up and play with.

Music can breathe life in to a story too. Chosen, and crafted carefully, an arrangement of sounds, and instruments, can bring out just the right sensations, and emotions, in a yarn. Soundation was our tool of the day for bringing sound alive.

A big THANK YOU to Di Elliot, Cranfold Confederation Director; Tess Trewinnard, Headteacher at Wonersh and Shamley Green CofE Infant School; and Jane Byford, head teacher here at Cranleigh for coordinating, and hosting, today’s event involving so many, from so many, different schools – Well Done All!

Category: 1) Events and Training days

Comments (13)

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  1. Mr Driscoll says:

    A wonderful day – thank you so much for all that has been showed….I look forward to sharing it with other members of staff and (more importantly) my class next half term!

    An Inspiring day!

  2. Tim says:

    Thank you Mr Driscoll/Dribble and thank you for the tweet message too
    Loved your use of Prezi today – travels through a map of your tale
    Glad you found today useful
    We really enjoyed it too

  3. Tess says:

    A big thank you Tim and Sarah – a very inspiring day and lots of fun! You delivered exactly what we asked for; an excellent introduction to the vast array of free online tools for learning, along with a chance to try them out in a practical way. There was something for everyone. Whatever skills they began with, I’m sure everyone will go back to their schools, families and friends with new skills to share and with a fresh enthusiasm to incorporate ICT in their teaching.
    Goodness knows why I put that hat on! Might live to regret that!
    Enjoy Chennai!

  4. Tim says:

    Thank you Tess
    It was great planning this with you and we are really glad it met your hopes
    “The Hat”, which featured in some great pictures, might live with you for longer than you wore it, but it was “a look” and “a fashion statement”. (Whether it was a good look, or a positive statement, may be discussed for years). 😀
    Thanks again
    Tim and Sarah

  5. Fiona Prior says:

    Very grateful for the websites you gave us.Also applaud your energy and enthusiasm. Am not comfortable with the fact that our topic was a baby born with a birth defect. Appreciate that this is intended for adults but wonder if you know your audience? Am sure that there are many other topics which would have been more wholly appropriate.

  6. Tim says:

    Dear Fiona
    Thank you for your comment
    I am saddened that you feel that the story was about a child with a “defect” or deformity
    At no time was that said

    I am always very careful to state that it was a dilemma for the couple and at no time that it is a deformation or disability

    As someone with a genetic, degenerative, condition attacking my central nervous system, and aware of how disabilities can be seen “from the outside”, and having been asked to share the same story in “special” settings, I am always VERY careful to get across that this was NOT a “defect”.
    As the retellings took quite a lot longer than planned, I maybe didn’t accentuate such elements, but please be assured that at no time did I say that there was anything close to a physical deformity with the child
    People didn’t seem to focus on that today either. Rather, on how to unclench the fist. A moral, rather than physical aspect maybe

    We have sought a lot of advice from many people who are experts in the field of education, ethics, and “special conditions: they have wise in their encouragement to face issues of perception
    “My difficulties walking, does not make me “mad”,

    “A jewel can be formed by heat and pressure”

    Challenges are not something to ignore. They need to be handled carefully. We have worked with many special schools, and are aware of a strong need to exercise care in stereotyping attitudes to difference – I am sorry that that wasn’t handled well today

    I don’t know which group you worked with, but hope that deformity wasn’t your focus
    Did you discuss your discomfort with your group?
    I wish that you had mentioned to me as I would hope we could have allayed your concerns

    Please accept my apologies that you felt uncomfortable.

    My kind regards for now

  7. Anne N Thusiastt (Pun intended) says:

    Dear Tim and Sarah
    I was about to write my thanks for today’s course, and then I read the comment from the previous writer! Please do not be disheartened by this misunderstanding.
    How sad that somebody was unable to see through the real meaning of today’s challenges. I saw that you were very careful in your choice of language. The child, and its parents, were facing a dilemma, not a deformation. A closed, clenched fist, not a disability in the normal sense.
    It got us thinking.
    You also made sure that, for example, whilst we were thinking about a pair of pickpockets, you were not encouraging or supporting a criminal way of life.
    What ever “challenge” – “It exists and cannot be ignored”. “By talking about it, we aren’t condoning it”… Charles Dickens would have had a very short career.

    You set an admirable, personal, example in not centering on your own condition, (please excuse me). Your enthusiasm, and the way you maintained ours, during technical challenges alone, was one aspect I respected, amongst a day of countless opportunities, and chances to think, (as well as learn a lot of new ways to bring our lessons alive, with children, of many abilities), there were many gems for us to squirrel away too.
    Thank you!

  8. Tim says:

    Thank you “Anne”
    Disability and difigurement were not an issues today, and it is sad, I agree, that somebody might think so.

    However, I can see how a misunderstanding could have happened today. With the pace of the day, and some small technical challenges for everybody to get around, I might not have been as careful as I would normally be in explaining some of the sensitive elements that occur whenever aspects, such as those we came close to today, are considered.

    Most people seemed clear that we were, in no way, mocking. Rather, the stories seemed to celebrate inventive, and moral resolutions, I am glad to say.
    I have really appreciated a lot of positive feedback, and reassurances, with some even discretely, and privately, valuing that we did tackle a story with potential moral challenges.
    Please remember, through any misunderstanding, that so many, in groups, rose to their own challenges today, and did remarkably well. We enjoyed working with everybody today and the smiles on the pictures express a lot.
    Thank you for your thoughtful, encouraging response.

  9. J.Korda says:

    Thank you both so much for a really great day. So much to see and do! I came away with some real gems that will be used in the classroom. Tim, I really appreciated you taking the time to talk to me about the place that computer games have in the classroom – it all made for a very interesting conversation with my husband last night! As I said yesterday, edutainment is an area he is very interested in (and yes, he knew all about Myst games just like you said he would).
    Thanks again for a super day, right…must get back to Tag Galaxy!! Very addictive!

  10. Tess says:

    It would be wonderful to spend another day on the vast area of using ICT to support thinking skills; exploring moral dilemmas, problem solving and mysteries. Children often have questions to raise, but may be inhibited by our own taboos ans sensitivities.
    Perhaps Fiona missed your brilliant ending to the “pickpocket” story; and I loved the glorious picture one group made of hands raised in a rainbow of light, it will forever stay with me.

  11. Tim says:

    Thank you Tess
    The ending was crucial to enable an “Aha!” moment
    The child was far from disfigured or disabled.
    He/she was, in fact, way ahead of us – a bright and nimble cookie in both physical and thinking contexts.
    Some times children are way ahead of us.
    The word teacher is too one sided isn’t it?
    We need to be constantly learning, questioning, developing and rising to challenges too.
    Facing, addressing, and dealing with steps towards outward, or inward, struggles is something that children need to see. Much in the same way that some children have never seen what “enjoying writing” looks like, (and we need to model it by joining in) we do need to face up to a few awkward situations, and challenges, and to be seen to be doing it. A shared learning journey can involve some stumbles. It is how we pick ourselves up and “make better mistakes tomorrow”.
    I have learned to be clearer, even if I don’t feel the situation needs it.
    Glad you found some useful tools threaded through the day. Please let us know what you try out.
    Yes. We would love to come back and do more, and the updated, enhanced, version of the first steps too.
    Let’s make it happen as we thoroughly enjoyed working alongside your colleagues yesterday
    Thanks again
    Tim and Sarah

  12. Tim Edwards says:

    Hi Tim and Sarah,
    Really enjoyed the conference in Cranleigh. I’m going to really try hard to put some of your ideas and links into use as soon as possible. Thanks for sharing all your knowledge and enthusiasm. Hope you have had a good time in India.

  13. Tim says:

    Thank you Tim
    Please let us know what you try first, and how you get on
    Greetings from a very warm Chennai
    Keep in touch

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