The best laid plans…
Well I should have known better...
... the British Council seminar proved to be so busy, I could not fulfil my promise to blog every day. Instead, here is a resumé:
We began on Sunday night with a delightful meal in the Baronial Hall, followed by a quick welcome and intro from Stephen Heppell and myself.
Monday started with Doug Brown, DfES giving an overview of the British scene from a government perspective - very comprehensive and useful. I covered my New Learning Landscape ground (hah!), and then Terry Braun of Braunarts introduced some creative ideas and led a team-building workshop on 'Atlantic Waves', a CD he had developed to explore music, inspired and based on scientific data. We finished the night by doing a 'Twelve photos' session titled 'Ghost Story" which helped the participants bond still further.
Tuesday Gill Roberts and Sarah Jones began with an account of our enquiry based approach and some of the thinking behind Ultraversity. Participants were then invited to video each others questions and plan their visit to schools. The day closed with Chris Bissell, DfES, talking about his Future Classrooms work and Stephen Heppell discussing the learning environment. After dinner we watched the video reports prepared earlier.
On Wednesday in groups of five, we visited a school for each group. My group visited Frank Wise School in Banbury - a fantastic experience. In the afternoon, the participants visited Birmingham while I stayed in the sauna and pool!
Thursday morning was for preparing a presentation about the schools visited. After lunch, Sue Walton of the QCA spoke about assessment and ICT before the groups made their presentations. Marilyn Leask from TTA then added her own views on teacher training and CPD and we discussed the common themes and contradictions we had seen before we stopped for dinner. Thursday night was party night - a great time full of dancing and fun - the whole group participating.
The last day, Friday, was a chance to consider the challenges and think about the future. We started with Brenda Bigland, headteacher at Lent Rise School, then Nils Tomes from the British Council, followed by Alex Townsend from Isle of Man and Stephen Heppell. All of these were valuable, but Alex's presentation was stonking, using all the best features of 'Keynote' to tell us about the Isle of Man's creative progress in ICT in learning. The event wrapped up with a chance to reflect on the week and consider future plans.
All-in-all a great event with a surprising amount of successful team collaboration in the face of steep learning-curves at times.
Ricardo’s Blagado
Saturday, 5 March 2005