Specialist Schools and Academies Trust ICT Register Showcase

Spent a fantastic day in Loughborough listening to passionate, exciting people. The Specialist Schools and Academies Trust  ICT Register Showcase Engaging the Community Conference proved to be a gathering of teachers with something to share.

The day began with a keynote from the ever so laid-back John Davitt, Freelance Thinker, Practical Visionary, Journalist. These are some ‘notes’ I made while he spoke:

  • Stress kills learning
  • Are you a ‘Podasters 3rd Dan’
  • New tools old learning
  • More tools for shopping than there are for learning
  • We need to grab the tools that commerce uses
  • Amazon – ‘People who looked at the right angled triangle also were interested in the hypotenuse’
  • Search out the tools that allow us to do the things we might not yet know
  • Engaging with community is living powerfully with all the tools that are available
  • We need students to live powerfully
  • Solvitur ambulando – it is solved by walking
  • How would you like your directions (learning) … point, multimodal, speech, map, take
  • If your phone is bigger than the bingo sheet you are at the wrong conference
  • Drive the locus of control towards the teacher … they all buy usb keys
  • Make sure that the tools are fit for purpose
  • Age of adhocracy … walk many paths

I just know that there were many more things that my mind focused on while he spoke but the one I remembered most was the ‘Amazon’ analogy.

I could not go to all of the presentations but was much taken by the idea of ‘Rondevals’ … 6 teachers talking about what they had done that inspired their pupils – you could go to 3 in a session and they had 15 mins to get over their message – sort of extended TeachMeet.

The first one I was interested in was a school that had used the Nintendo DS to improve lots and lots of things … passionate teachers pushing boundaries.

I then went to a session by Steven Cook who showed us what his school had been doing with mobile phones…  not banning them but using them to do surveys. He pointed out the One point Survey site.

Andy Tyerman from Becta patched his mobile into his laptop for text questions and asked of his audience:

  • Are you ready
  • Are they ready … meaning teachers, parents and carers and the learners 

He asked key questions:

  • Do you fit the technology or does it fit you
  • What is it that you are doing that is making a difference?
  • Who teaches who to decode information
  • Knowledge is no longer power … it is how to find in and then how to use it.

Barbara Heath from Gorsemoor Primary School extolled the cause for Web 2.0 apps and spoke excitingly about Honeycomb. You can hear the podcast of her presentation here … You can get to her presentation here.

There is a really good report of Barbara’s contribution, written by my friend and colleague Danielle Markland of Lightbox Education, which can be found on the Honeycomb Blog page.

 Andrew Davis of Clunbury Primary School was an inspiration. This is the precis of his presentation:

  • His school used to be an educationally isolated school
  • It needed to change
  • He does everything on the cheap … no money
  • The school won the ICT Excellence award 2007
  • He builds his online newsletter … netvibes
  • He is convinced about collaborative working outside the school
  • His children podcasting with Audacity and Podium … on the Macs Garage Band
  • There is a terrific increase in engagement
  • Clunbury radio – show casing children’s excellence
  • The school uses Edujam
  • Everything we need to do has to be sustainable
  • Every child to their own learning space – eportfolio
  • Exploiting what is out there for educational purposes

The passion of inspired teachers always comes through … so excellent.

John Davitt finished off with his ‘talking sheep’ and handing out a CD packed with good things to take away and play with … thanks John !

4 thoughts on “Specialist Schools and Academies Trust ICT Register Showcase

  1. Doug

    What a wonderful description of a day – and from an unbiased and objective attendee too. This is an event that I love, that Pam and others put a huge amount of effort into, so it is lovely to see the faith recognised in a great account like this!


    Tony Parkin

  2. Doug, I must agree with Tony. You have recorded in your blog the very essence of the conference which we hope most of the attendees will also have experienced. ICT conferences always work best when schools have the opportunity to share their good practice with each other. Thank you so much for this wonderful report which is also testament to Pam’s very hard work throughout the year in organising it.

  3. Many thanks for your kind comments re this post. I totally agree that the strength of this conference was that it was focused on classroom experience and that so clearly came over to me.
    I have known Pam for more years than either of us would care to talk about and applaud her hard work in this venture. Chapeau … as the French would say … I take my hat off to her.

  4. This was a very enjoyable and informative exhibition and conference. I hope it is as well planned next year.

    Thanks to SSAT and all the other sponsers and Pam.

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