After a pretty long trek up to Newcastle Uni for the event, I arrived with the usual nervous excitement that always comes before an event of this nature. What I was presented with was yet another fantastic group of teachers giving up their time and weekend to share their experiences, action research and ideas for improving our practice.
Kenny Pieper & Lisa Jane Ashes kicked off the event with some great tales and activities to get the mind buzzing. Kenny with his softly spoken yet lilting accent engaged us and made us smile along with Lisa and her ice breaker activity to help with sentence structure. Given my grammar, I could definitely learn a thing or two!
Following this intro, a variety of different workshops took place. I talked a bit about the NESTA report, Ofsted, Traxler, ‘Find it make it use it share it‘ report from Wales, University of Hull report and the importance of SAMR along with some ideas and tools that can help support transformational / redefinition learning.
Other speakers included:
- Darren Mead talking about PBL & critique,
- Tait Coles and his ‘Punk Learning’,
- Jon Tait and his ideas for engaging students with technology
- David Gray on Kagen structures,
- Steve Bunce on the future of technology,
- Samantha Bainbridge on accelerated learning techniques for when you teach in many classrooms,
- Samantha Williams on independence & advanced questioning.
There was lots on offer & feedback within sessions and through conversations were fab to be a part of and eavesdrop on too. People thinking about how they could take the ideas and apply them to their settings. Tait Coles’ advice rang very true for me though. By all means take my resources and use them but don’t just take them and use them…. Does that make sense? What he means is, take them and then develop them for your individual setting. And if there’s anything that ‘Punk learning’ can teach us, it’s that you need to be grass roots with the frameworks students use. Give them your effort and then let them develop it. Let them critique and improve your initial (magpied) resource. Give them that sense of ownership. Let them invest in their assessment structures. By doing that they’ll understand the framework better and work within it and beyond.
The evening event proved even more useful for me. As I was involved in the day events, I didn’t get to see the sessions like I would have otherwise so the evening was special for me as I got to see everyone’s talks. Some highlights for me were:
- Laura Sutherland’s use of Socrative. I’ve taken some further ideas on how to use the great AfL tool from her work I’m definitely going to use
- Tait Coles with his passionate talk on awe and wonder
- Darren Mead talking about the disparity between what we are asked to prove vs what we should be doing (see side image)
- Sam Bainbridge’s PEE triangles
Although I got something from all of the presentations.
Massive thanks must go out to Gary Mitchelson, Lisa Jane Ashes and everyone at Pedagoo for organising a great event. It ran like clockwork and the positivity and collegiality shown from all was great. I made some new friends and got to meet some of my twitter heroes too including the amazing Chris Allen; someone who has shown me the way on so many occasions. See you at the next one?