I arrived to day two much more prepared. I knew my way around (learning from failures in action here!) and my bag contained water and all important snacks.
Tom was able to point out all the research that had fallen short and wasn’t based in science. I would have preferred him to identify successful research that was effectively based in science. However his speech did highlight the need for more rigorous research in education and tried to be entertaining.
There is no science to support it. The researchers wanted science to fit what they were trying to get across. Apparently the right kind of science didn’t exist!
Bad science example 2- Multiple intelligences
Tom compared working out what kind of intelligent you were to completing a Cosmopolitan, ‘Are you sexy?’ survey. You know the ones where if you don’t get the answer you want, you go back and tweak the answers to make yourself that bit more sexy!
Bad science example 4- Flipped classrooms
Tom admitted that technology is driving social change.
One of the key messages of his speech was that as teachers, we shouldn’t be thinking about tricks and gizmos but HABITS of practice. We (and presumably our students) are then able to thrive as a result.Lesson 1: Probing
Lesson 2: Rigour
Lesson 4: Differentiation
Currently, much teaching is a ‘one size fits all’ approach. Whole class teaching is important but, like many things, it’s a matter of HOW it’s done.
Lesson 5: Journeys
Your lesson is part of a bigger process. You can’t plan a single lesson without knowing what comes at either side of it. The lesson is just a moment within this and learning at home is a part of this process. Journeys are about going from one level of understanding to another therefore lessons don’t always go to the original plan.
Flipped learning is great. The technology isn’t important. It’s an approach to learning lead by the students’ learning. Homework is an opportunity to stretch our students. Suggestions it should be abolished are ludicrous.Lesson 6: Explaining
We need to be lead by learners more often. We need to be agile in our response to their needs and what they’re asking for. Mini whiteboards are a joy but they pose a problem of agility for a lot of teachers. When presented with a whole raft of different answers, how can you respond to them all most effectively?
We should be capturing students’ imagination. Don’t be too functional in your learning approach. At times, it can be enjoyable to slow the learning down and encourage the class to bask in new material before it is spoilt by dissection and problem solving.
Lesson 9: Possibilities
What are your students capable of? They are all capable of the greatest thing imaginable- we just need to guide them towards that and show them that it’s possible. Don’t be afraid to show them the very best model answers; they will show them the light they are capable of striding confidently towards!
Lesson 10: Joy
If you’re not enjoying it then students won’t be either. Plan activities for your own fun and enjoyment.We should enjoy being with students. We’re not teachers of the subject but the young people we work with and some teachers need to be reminded of that!
David stated that Ofsted suggest progress in the classroom should be rapid and sustained. This is worrying. Kids being able to perform on cue isn’t performance or achievement.As learning takes place, so does forgetting- this isn’t a revelation- we’ve known it for a long time.Learning takes time. Performance and learning are not the same thing. We can only infer learning from performance. Sometimes students look like they’ve got it, yet three weeks later, they don’t remember it. Sometimes students don’t look like they’ve got it and they have!Our ability to remember things is limitless but our ability to retrieve it is the issue. Like those questions you’re asked, and you sit racking your brains. Sometimes it’ll come back to you, sometimes you give in and Google it!David suggests that rapid progress prevents sustained progress. If students seem to be getting through learning quickly, everyone seems satisfied. Why is this? Why does learning have to be connected to speed?He showed this video:
I think I missed the point of him showing this but what I took from it was that because you focus on one thing, you miss many of the things going on around it. So by a focus on the speed of progress, you might miss the areas of learning that need deeper development or opportunities to insert joy or challenge as per @headguruteacher.
I then had to abandon @PhilBeadle and @johnoasismurphy as it looked too busy and headed to find out about the impact of e-books on literacy. To be honest, this was a little bit of a sales pitch for RMBooks. I got a lot of information about how Shireland Collegiate Academy had seen e-books improve students’ experience in general terms. What I would have loved to see is what the students were doing with annotations and readings at home. The main advantages were discussed are that they have made personalised learning even easier. Reading has brought families together as students are reading more at home too. E-books aren’t a replacement for a library but they are more flexible. Everyone has been working in a flipped learning way. It has become the norm as the technology foundation exists to support it.
Not for the first time this conference, NESTA’s ‘Decoding Learning’ report was referenced- CLICK HERE
Students gave the message that they were accessing their reading material online and we need to adapt to that.
He began by admitting that perhaps the year he’d gone for was a little too far into the future!
What he presented was a showcase of the ways in which he had used technology in his school over the last few years. I attended this session with a colleague and we both left reassured that the College is certainly in a good position with ICT.
This image helped to put technology in context as a learning resource alongside Bloom’s Taxonomy. In our lessons we should be planning e-learning and technology should be a tool in aiding that.
Taking part in TweachMeet on Thursday 20th June, digital leaders were highlighted as a strategy I’d love to get started at College. Mark described here that at his school, these student technology experts run specific workshops for staff and other students as well as ‘genius bars’ on a lunchtime to aid with any problems. @ClevedonDL and http://clevedondigitalleaders.wordpress.com/
I also experienced augmented reality apps for the first time. I’m yet to work out how they will work in English but mark showcased a number of opportunities in the sciences and art, with the possibility of students creating their own. I’d need to investigate more but Mark showed an example of a student who had created one of themselves speaking to the viewer. This could be a fantastically engaging tool. Holograms are the future.
Technology is so embedded in society now. If we ask ourselves the question, ‘will it be less or more likely that they’ll be using technology in 10/15 years time?’ I think we all know what the answer is and we need to begin preparing them for that future as soon as we can.
I left Wellington College feeling sad that I wouldn’t be returning the next day, and the next…
I also left really excited about planning for September. I’d say @HYWEL_ROBERTS‘ energy was the most inspiring. It left me thinking about my teaching in new ways. @headguruteacher offered a great deal of food for thought: teaching really is a lot to think about at once!
Rigour and challenge were definitely the key messages coming out across the two days of the festival. I will be looking to ensure my schemes of work contain these things throughout- as well as everything else of course!
Seeing the fairly pathetic 4D pop up teaching space made me think about the use of tents in lessons to provide alternative teaching spaces- an idea I’m currently very excited by!
Most of all, I had two days of space to reflect, evaluate and deeply consider my teaching. CPD like this is so valuable and more time needs to be made for it. So, who’s joining us next year?