Saturday, September 27, 2008


My MacBook was commandeered to host the FlashMeeting. (I think the FlashMeeting was set up, maintained and edited by David Noble - excellent work Mr Noble). This meant I couldn't do any live blogging from TeachMeet.

I thought about moblogging but just took some notes on my mobile instead which I've copied below. However, before I get to them, a couple of brief observations (more may follow - but don't hold your breath). First up - loads of people in the room. Some old friends, some people I only knew from their blogs, some that knew me from my blog. I'm sorry I didn't talk to half of you half as long as you deserved. (I'm especially sorry that I didn't get back round to one woman who started to talk to me outside the meet - sorry.)

Among the people in the room was the person in the centre of this picture - Stephen Heppell. (I've blogged about Prof. Heppell before - e.g. Heppell the Hero.) After taking this picture I paused briefly to have a chat and Professor Heppell spoke to me by name. I'd like to pretend I'm on first name terms with Stephen (good old Stevie-boy or "S" as I call him) but I suspect he only knew my name because of the large conference name tag I had round my neck. :-) Follow the photo link to my Flickr picture for the explanation of why it is so blurry!

There were also a whole bundle of people on the FlashMeeting - including David Warlick (someone else I've blogged about in the past). Forgive my boasting, but on the FlashMeeting chat, David said, "Dave Muir is my hero...". I'm very pleased with that. Not sure what the context was or how far has tongue was in his cheek but, sad though it may be to be pleased about this, I couldn't resist quoting it. (Note, I'm not repeating any of the cheeky lines - like Ian's "Nobody will understand david Muir"!)

Apart from blowing my own trumpet, why am I mentioning these people? Well, I think it shows one of the strengths of TeachMeet. Here are two people that I would gladly pay money to listen to, yet they were at TeachMeet to learn from numpties like me. And I think that's the point. Everyone in that room, or at the FlashMeeting, had something they could talk about, something they could share. Learning from each other and catching the enthusiasm and the ideas from peers. That's why TeachMeet is so brilliant.

So what did I learn? Well my more or less unedited notes are below. As I find better summaries of what was said, I'll post the links here.

Tom Barrett
was up first and talked about the Entertaible in his school. A truely facinating piece of kit that has interesting possibilities. However, even more interesting (I think) is how a good teacher in an ordinary primary school can make great things happen just by asking. Great stuff Tom! An entertaining and interesting presentation - entertesting even. :-)

John d'Abbo
said "Teaching is about relationships". He works with students who have behavioural and social difficulties. Created videos and audio stuff with them to help them communicate. One example was a young woman who had no friends. She started a weblog inspired by Anne Frank. Digital animation used but what the pupils were learning was co-operation and taking turns.

David Gilmour talked about using a family of blogs as a school website. He showed Preston Lodge's site as an example. The RSS feeds are turned into an emailed newsletter. This seems like a great idea. I wonder how many other schools are doing it? The frequent update of blogs would seem an ideal way to avoid the tired, rarely changed nature of most school sites.

Ian Stuart did a Skype presentation from Islay! (A first for a TeachMeet I think.) Islay is a geographically isolated community and the school wanted to help the children look beyond the classroom. They went for multi-age classrooms and project work. They use ultra mobile PCs and wireless projectors instead of Interactive whiteboards.

Alan Parkinson talked about Nings. Ning offeres a range of tools all in the one place. Gave the example of newedexcelgeog. Every member has a page. Loads of blogs and shared resources. Used to communicate. Easy to attach resources. Also a space for NQT to join and share. The people contribute. Alan makes sure he gives feedback. (See also Living Geography.)

Jaye Richards talked about Cathkin High School's use of Animoto. Use it to revise. Look for appropriate photos and then add music to create a video animation resource. See the GTC website for a write up.

Robert Jones - North Berwick High School. Using Tutpup and animation to inspire bottom set Maths.

John Davitt talked about a load of really interesting stuff. For example, KIVA connects people who need funding to get things going. Davitt's learning event generator - two boxes do xx as yy. Mixing the real world and the digital world with the GPS Track Stick - passive GPS. If you text the keyword links to 07624 804 638, you get a reply text with links to all the stuff hwe was talking about.

Kate and Louis Farrell - Giraffe Hero! A highlight of the evening.

There was loads more but I was having such a good time, I didn't make any other notes. As I said, I'll try to update and post links to people who were more conscientious. :-)

Finally, thank you for everyone who contributed in any form and especially, thank you to Ewan for what may be his last TeachMeet as an organiser (but hopefully not as a participant).


mimanifesto said...

Thanks for the wee mention David - Animoto is just a part of how we are using ICT to raise attinment and achievement at Cathkin High.. your esteemed readers can read the full blurb on..



mimanifesto said...

Of course, that should be ..'attainment'...



David said...

Thanks for the link Jaye. I thought it sounded really interesting. Combined with the the animation for Maths stuff Robert showed us - it looks like animation is making a big impact in schools.