Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Reflections on TMX

I had a great time tonight at TeachMeet X, organised by Jan Webb (@janwebb21) Helen Morgan (@NellMog) & Zoe Ross (@zoeross19). The presentations were great. All informative, all of benefit.

This didn't feel like a course tonight. It felt like one of those staff meetings where everyone actually listens & actively engages. I was up near the end of the night and, to be honest, was feeling outclassed by the brilliant presentations that I had watched over the course of the evening.

The redoubtable Peter Richardson (@primarypete_) kicked off proceedings with 4 tools to use in school. I specifically liked the way he used posterous to create a weekend diary for his class teddy. Very good way of embedding awareness of technology & also a good way to reinforce to other adults that children simply accept that this is how to communicate these days (even with Year 1s)

He was followed by a plethora of great presentations, Ian Addison's (@ianaddison) Voki presentation showed how effective uses of simple animation can stimulate & enthuse children - even if the Gingerbread man's voice was scary....

David Mitchell (@DeputyMitchell) followed up with his inspirational use of blogging in schools with children, entitled: "Sprogs with  Blogs". He talked about how the simplest of ideas can become the most effective. It was really good to hear that he uses the shared expertise of his Professional Learning Network to develop and support the learning of the children in his school. Twitter working on many levels!

Colin Graham (@ColinTGraham) talked about how Leonardo Da Vinci found the angel inside each piece of marble, looking at different solutions to problems and figuring out how to achieve goals. He also talked about manipulatives too, by showing them on his blog:

Colleen Morgan (@colleenJMorgan) presented about Metacognition & how trending software could be used in schools and development of children's learning based on their needs, linking with a range of pedagogy. It was really interesting stuff and I'm not ashamed to say I didn't understand it all, but was, nonetheless, blown away by the implications it could have.

Kevin McLoughlin(@kvnmcl) gave a quick presentation on why people should use social networking & what impact it's had on him. Brilliant, down to earth presentation that reinforces why we do these types of events.

He then followed up talking about Domo Animate & Aviary Education. Domo Animate looks awesome. I will definately investigate that and post at some point about what I've done with it! Aviary Education linked to what Peter Richardson was talking about before, & @nellmog interjected with the point that it's a great (FREE) starting point for all budding photoshoppers @janwebb21 talked about apps4class wiki

David Mitchell returned to the floor to talk about the amazing hidden features in google & how these could be used in class situations.

Bill Lord (@joga5) followed up; with a brilliant & entertaining presentation on how children shouldn't be always forced to read for a purpose, such as finding adjectives, but should be allowed to read for the sheer joy of actually reading. He gave some fantastic examples of books, including his read for joy wiki. All information can be found on his blog:

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Mike McSharry (@mikemcsharry) brought us all down to size by reinforcing how amazingly oversized pictures we use in school are. He showed as a tool for reducing the amount of redundant space that oversized photos use. Amazingly simple & obvious - now that he showed us, that is!

Colin Graham took to the floor and talked about the importance of differentiation. Lots of good info, but unfortunately ran out of time at the end.

Then I popped along (@mister_jim) and started to chat about how I have implemented change in schools and what I think has helped. video is on YouTube

I was followed by Julian Woods (@ideas_factory) who gave a thoughtful & inciteful presentation on Storytelling using QR codes made at & iPod Touches. The idea is brilliant and I'm sure he'll post about it soon. Really thought provoking stuff.

He followed up with a whistle stop tour of 20 bits of tech you can use with your kids for FREE.
CLick here for the full list with links

In between those two presentations, Bev Evans (@bevevans22) popped up virtually and showed us how fantastic Audacity can be, when used properly. An example of it being used by her class can be found here.

The simple truth is, I got more than one good idea out of it, I got loads. Loads and loads to be honest. I can't wait for the next one, where I can hopefully share how I've taken someone's ideas and done a bit with them myself.

Thanks to everyone for a cracking night.