I’ve been having a brilliant few weeks (sorry). I’ve:
- worked with the awesome team at New Wave Federation around iPad use and have been busy planning the TeachMeet Resolutions event to be held in January with Michelle Thomas, the executive head of the Federation.
- travelled to China and worked with one of the local education bureaus in Shenzhen alongside colleagues from the North Tyneside Learning Trust.
- worked with Jon Tait and Danielle Bartram of Acklam Grange school in Middlesborough.
- worked with Malet Lambert School in Hull with their teams looking at teaching and learning, differentiation, digital strategy and more as well as delivering one of the keynotes at their TeachMeet the night before.
- completed two days of online safety support for pupils, staff and parents in a primary school in Sutton Coldfield…
One event that will stick with me for some time (not that the others don’t) was my closing keynote at the EdTech UK Global Summit at City Hall next to Tower Bridge. For the location alone it was an amazing experience but it was a real privilege to be there hearing from so many global influencers in the edtech space. Over the course of the day we heard from policy makers to edtech companies and teachers alike. I learned so much and it was great to be able to meet so many people there on the day.
There were spaces for people to go off and talk, inspiring speakers and there was even a Costa Coffee on site. For me it was great to not just catch up with old friends such as Dominic Norrish, Cat Scutt and Dawn Hallybone but to have the opportunity to meet new people too such as long standing Twitter colleague @Jon_Torbitt.
It seems to me that we need more of these events. Places where there are opportunities for these different groups to hear from each other and talk about their issues and ideas for the future. It was an ambitious venture and agenda for Ian Fordham and Ty Goddard to pull off in a day. It was fast paced and lots of great ideas, research and information shared.
For me with my closing keynote, it was a real opportunity to bring together many of the themes from the day but to provide some challenge too. Yes we are struggling with a skills crisis and teacher shortages. Yes we are facing problems that are difficult to overcome, particularly around areas of efficacy in education technology, but together we can overcome them, hence the hashtag #inittogether.
The big problem with edtech is that there are so many failures and not enough impact. If industry can provide the opportunities to support the teacher in the classroom with amazing tools for learning but with training and support to go alongside that, then make it happen!
My closing keynote may be lost from the slides I share below, but hopefully not. We are in IT together.