Inspiration from Innovative Educators

I had an amazing trip to Manchester earlier this week.  It’s always great to revisit my youth (having spent my Uni years there) even though the place has changed almost beyond recognition from the place we knew then. It’s people that make an event like this successful because of the sharing of ideas, experiences, enthusiasm.

I always enjoy meeting up with other people from my Twitter pln (personal learning network) – too many at this event to mention without forgetting someone – as this is the virtual staff room that supports, encourages, inspires, revives my thinking, teaches me and makes me giggle) on a regular basis.

But the projects that were presented by the 10 new Innovative Educators filled me with inspiration – my only regret was that due the inclement weather, some of the breaks were shortened so I missed out on hearing a couple of them telling me about their projects.

Technology

There are many easy-to-use tools that help motivate students and improves lesson comprehension and student participation. So many ideas, so few children in one class! The four teachers who will be taking their projects to Miami are deserving winners and will be fantastic representatives of the innovative practice.

The keynotes were again inspiring – Michael Furdyk has done so much in his life that it makes me look as though I spend 90% of my life asleep or daydreaming! I love the international collaboration opportunities which develop social conscience in a context of solid learning that Shout offers.

And it was wonderful to hear Sugata Mitra again – and to see how this project has continued to develop since I heard him earlier in the year. Both of the keynotes have implications for the way we teach – and the way we support and facilitate collaborative learning opportunities for our students.

The workshops I attended (unfortunately couldn’t attend everyone’s!) all made me think – I have a wonderful video clip of a head teacher from my county demonstrating that he is really a big kid at heart from the Mission Explore session led from David Rogers; Guy Shearer has implemented some truly amazing changes in his school.

I particularly love the way he is using professional networks WITHIN the school and can see some amazing cpd opportunities arising as a result (and the use of live@edu was interesting too!); Mandeep Atwal was developing the aspects of Shout that Michael Furdyk had introduced in his keynote.

The quality of the presentations and professional learning was impressive – and the networking just flowed as plentifully as if it were a land of milk and honey! I just wish we could have had longer!