Category: 4) Well Done!
When I saw your presentation “Back to Their Future” at the BETT-show in London, I got inspired. I thought it would be nice if my students, from Bernadetteschool, could meet you and work with you. I talked about this idea with Bob Hofman.
Sometimes a wish seems meant to be. After a few weeks it was certain: Tim Rylands is coming to the IPON “gewoon speciaal” conference in Utrecht. This was the start of something great that happened on April 10th.
My students, pupils with special needs, were invited, just like some students from other special need schools. Our connection was the social media circle from ICT+E where pupils designed their own social media protocol.
My students were a bit nervous because they are not speaking English and they are not used to big crowd. But your little film on Facebook helped them a lot. This teacher looks like a friendly one. We practiced some small English talk and we prepared us to work with the programs Lino-It and Tagxedo. We wanted to do some interviewing and present the answers in a lino- it.
Then you, Tim, started the program of the day. And they understood. Your sense of humour helped them to feel confident and inspired and after that they flowed out to the crowd, to interview people attending the IPON event.
There they revealed themselves to be confident students. They walked much more straight and their voices sounded more confident than ever before. They did the whole process by themselves. And they worked it out together. I didn’t have to help much. My task was to observe and to be proud.
After a long day we drove home. There was a lot of excited talk in the bus.” I did things I thought I wouldn’t dare” said one of them. Another boy told me, it was the day of his life. “After today I understand English,” said the third one. And they were proud that they participated in this special day.
Thank you for this Tim and we hope to meet again.
A day later my students wrote a short impression about this day in Utrecht: Continue Reading
We had an OFSTED inspection and I was being observed doing literacy by the inspector and by the head. The premise was that a mysterious parcel arrived in the classroom marked “do not open” “top secret” “danger”. Oh the FUN we had passing it round, shaking it, smelling it – trying to decide WHAT it could be. At this point, the head and inspector were NOT in the room.
The kids were climbing the walls when we decided to open up the box, in which was a threat from some spies who had been watching us (CIA – a letter written with an official Whitehouse letterhead).
They had heard that the teacher (AKA – me) had stumbled upon a secret plant testing facility (the previous day’s lesson, which included some great video as stimulus) and unless the children wrote some detailed descriptions of the plants there would be serious consequences…
So usual vocab a-la Tim Rylands style illicitation ensues (head and inspector now arrive) and the kids wrote the most AMAZING descriptions. So, the rest of the lesson ran really well.
I knew it was OUtstanding, support staff knew it was outstanding, my head said it was EASILY Outstanding but the OFSTED man said it was Good, with elements of Outstanding.
The reason? The fact that I didn’t use ICT as the stimulus instead of the box – he said it should have come as an email or a text.
No matter what we argued, he wouldn’t have it!! The WHOLE lesson, all the resources etc etc came out of that box. The whole reason the kids wanted to write was because of the BOX -an email just would NOT have done it!
So my point is (sorry for rambling on!) that somewhere, the function of ICT got lost in translation. Somewhere, people are forgetting that it doesn’t HAVE to be in every lesson, sometimes slate and chalk do just as well.
I know you agree, I just wanted to give you a real life example
Thank you for sending this thoughtful, thought provoking, post Sonja. We were blessed to work alongside you, back in your days at Diocesan and Payne Smith School, in Canterbury, and we have followed your amazing exploits in imaginative, creative, powerful, use of technology. Folk might like to read your post about some of the things that flowed from your Myst III:Exile based project.
It is even more remarkable, then, to find that someone who values, (as you said, in the same way as we do) the remarkable things that can come from a cross between analog and digital experiences, got utterly misunderstood by someone who should be open to quality learning in ANY form.
Well done you, and we would like to wish you all the best in your new venture, and pastures new, and The Whitstable Cake Company. The world of education has lost a remarkable teacher, and learner…
The analog, and digital, world has gained a remarkable mind, mum, and inspirer. Go for it!
Two months ago we were invited to go to the IPON conference for ‘Gewoon Speciaal’ Simply Special, that happened on Wednesday April 10th. Nothing special for so far, you might think, but because my students (with special educational needs) in coordination with the Social Media Circle, ICT&E, some of them could go with me to make it really special.
At the first meeting we heard about your participation, so I warmed up my kids and began to think about our interpretation for the day.
Four of my enthusiastic pupils came up with the idea to make an Animoto. We had worked with it in the Social Media Circle, so that could be a good way to present.
Four kids, from my colleague Erik Lagraauw’s class, could come to the convention. In the Circle, his students worked with video camera and interviewing, so that would be their involvement. Continue Reading
Thank you to Bob Harrison, for this very thoughtful reflection on our session at the Education Innovation event.
Ken Loach has been the filmtrack to my life. His portrayal of the PE teacher in the film KES always has me in stitches and at the same time makes me cry as he drives home a serious and profound point.
So it is with Tim Rylands.
I have seen Tim perform (and it is a performance) on many occasions over the past few years.
We worked together on the BSF Leadership programme and have shared many a conference line up.
So I was delighted to see he was on the agenda for the Education Innovation conference in Manchester (why don’t education conferences come to Manchester more often) and his session started just after mine finished.
Mine was a dull and boring update on the Teaching Schools and what they are trying to do with ICT whereas Tim’s was a kaleidoscope and magical mystery tour through how digital technologies can engage and inspire children to be creative, collaborative co-constructors and producers not just consumers.
Unlike some other well known headline conference presenters whose presentations I have now memorised word perfect and could deliver the punchlines on cue Tim’s performance is never the same and is always fresh and brings new perspectives as well as new technologies.
So when you look at the images of smiling faces on Tim’s website do not be fooled. At the very moment Sarah has snapped the laughter a very serious learning penny is about to drop and some profound learning takes place.
Whilst Tim is highly amusing he also recognises that the education of our children to prepare them for the digital future is a serious and that technology can and does really inspire, engage, motivate and enhance learning.
He has dedicated his life to sharing that message and for that I am grateful.
Wow! Thank you Bob for your kind words, and perceptive thoughts. We are so glad you found things useful too. I cannot always promise that everything will be new, and different, (“I am eco friendly and do try to recycle a certain amount of my material” : – D ) but we do try to be up to the minute, and include as much fresh, and different for each session as possible. This Back to Their Future presentation has been a delight (and a lot of joyous struggle) to develop, and we look forward to sharing, and expanding, it some more. Again, thanks for your thoughts, Bob.
Bob Harrison, Education Adviser, Toshiba Information Systems (UK) Ltd – Consultant, National College for Leadership of Schools and Children’s Services- Chair,Teaching Schools Technology Advisory Board.
Thank you to Gary, Sam & Martin for sending us their thoughts on our 2 days at St Thomas More RC Primary, Hull.
Absolutely fantastic! Words are not enough to describe the fun the children have had playing with words. Inspiring, stimulating, enjoyable! We were all expecting a technology overload to help stimulate learning within our school. Hang on… What is that noise? As the children entered the hall to the sound of a howling wind it was clear this was going to be very special.
In the background, the teachers began wittering… “He’s actually having to tell those boys to put their pencils down!” “Look at him having a go!” “Have you seen the smile on her face!” “Listen to the vocabulary they’re using and that argument was amazing!” Throughout, Tim used a range of classroom management techniques that we couldn’t wait to steal and add a little sparkle.
A day later, faces aching from the smiles, minds reinvigorated, resources sorted, twitter and a blog ready to share our writing with the world and each other. Pupils and staff are all eager to develop our minds. Translators, experts, interviewers, the magical landscape of Myst to explore – we can’t wait.
I’m one of the teachers who was at the Cranfold confederation insets you did, both times around. (1 Day 1, 1 day 2, and the full on 2nd visit). This week my Year 4 class have had a go using www.buildyourwildself.com (which we found from your blog here).
Once their creatures were created, we decided some would make hilarious pets so the children were asked to create a care guide for them.
They absolutely loved the tasks, as each creature was unique and their own, meaning a lot more pride (and enjoyment) was taken in their work.
Thanks for the inspiration!
Jack Driscoll (@mr dribble)
Park Mead Primary School, Cranleigh
How about, (Year 4 vets, carers and zookeepers) you had a go at recreating your animals in Switcheroo Zoo, where you could also investigate things such things as the diet, habitats, (and so much more) of each part of your composite animule. Again, WELL DONE & THANK YOU.
A massive THANK YOU, to Barry Corrigan, for his very thoughtful reflections on our Back To Their Future session at BETT:
I had the absolute joy of seeing another presentation and being entertained by the wonderfully talented and mercurial Tim Rylands this morning at BETT.
I have written about Tim before on my blog, and his visionary approach to education, through the use of technology. What I love about his work is that he puts the learning at the heart of everything he speaks about. Yes, it might be flashy and immersive but it is always educational – in his own unique and twisted way!
Tim held the BETT Arena in the palm of his hand this morning as he enthralled us, entertained us, surprised us and shared the joy of watching two dancing robots with us (don’t ask!).
Watching Tim Rylands speak is the best therapy any teacher could hope for.
Knowing that there are people with that energy, insight, drive, motivation and passion wrapped up that humble, self-deprecating package is truly inspiring. It gives those of us who are exhausted fighting the system the shot in the arm we need from time to time. Who needs Red Bull?
It was the message that was threaded through his presentation today that was the most joyous to hear! By not embracing this technology and using it to benefit the LEARNING of the children, then we are doing them an injustice. However, it has to be beneficial! It has to be worthwhile and it has to make a difference – otherwise it is a shiny distraction! He was all about the teacher being the visionary and taking the kids with on a journey of discovery and challenge. Discovering their (and our) hidden talents and challenging our expectations of what children can do.
Tim used one comment in the show that resonated with me and was probably the single most important thing I heard in my time in BETT this year. It was almost a throw away and it seemed to get lost in the maelstrom of activity and joy on the stage. It was a simple quote but I’m still thinking about it:
‘If an answer can be Googled, is the question good enough?’
If you are not following him on Twitter @timrylands, ask yourself why not? People like him are few and far between..
Thanks Barry. Very thoughtful. Thank you to @lisacov for the pictures too
Very honoured to be nominated for an Edublogs Lifetime Acheivement Award, (thanks @ictmagic et al) and totally surprised to win it – thank you all at Edublogs. A lovely surprise to wake up to this morning.
But, (and, without getting too awards-ceremony-gushy, à la Gwyneth Paltrow) I (truly) would like to thank …my producer, my creative advisor: @sarahneild &…you (clutches statuette and blubbers). Thank you.
Some more, excellent, writing from Belle Vue Primary. Take a look at their blog for even more imaginative ideas.
Excited but confused, nervous and perplexed, I carefully meandered into Atrus’ study… As soon as I stepped into the dark study I could smell an aroma of bright scented candles drift up my nose.
Strips of sunlight shot though the glass windows like a bullet causing gaps in the shadows. I could hear my foot steps tipper-tapping on the vivid radiant mosaics. Ores shone brightly in the sombre study as I scanned every detail of the room.
Around the corner there was Atrus’ cluttered desk covered in his paraphernalia. As silent as an assassin, I cautiously crept closer to the desk. On the table sat pictures of Atrus’ mysterious sons. Despite the darkness, I could just observe an intricately woven tapestry which I think showed the past of Atrus. Curiously, I caught sight of a candle holder. Suddenly, I felt a pain on my hand, the burning hot lamp had burnt my finger.
Shimmering brightly in the sunless study stood a polished glistening glass stand: waiting in that glass stand was the book Releeshahn glaring at me like a tiger on the prowl. Across the book there was an encrested metal locking mechanism.
Sneakily I surveyed an artistic tapestry. In one picture (In the far distance) there was an isolated castle which had been horribly burnt down! Scanning the whole picture I sighted a man standing on a rigid, serrated rocks , it looked like Atrus!
My eyes focused on the Reelshahn book, but where was the key for it? Only Atrus would know…
By Alex M – Belle vue Primary School class 6T Continue Reading
Year 6 at Belle Vue Primary School have just started a brand new topic of ‘Magic, Mystery and Mayhem’ based around the computer game Myst 3. The ideas, originally spread by Tim, have really helped my year partner and I to plan and deliver an inspiring thematic topic . So far it has got our children hooked as well as helping to develop their literacy skills!
We started off with a mysterious chest that arrived in one of the classrooms – we had to solve a series of puzzles and problems to find the key. Once we opened the chest we discovered a strange book named ‘Tomahna’ (one of the lands in the game) and a revealing letter from a wizard named Atrus … Continue Reading