Tag Archives: CPD

#BettChat archive 13th November 2012

(All these tweets took place between 4pm and 5pm on Tuesday 13th November 2012)

Bett‏  @Bett_show

Welcome to today’s #BettChat. Today’s topic: the impact that technology can have on learning outside the classroom. Any thoughts?

Smoothwall  @Smoothwall

The use of technology both outside and inside the classroom has made the process of teaching and learning more enjoyable. #Bettchat

Planet Sherston‏  @PlanetSherston

The use of technology outside of the classroom helps pupils to explore real-world applications of their learning. #BettChat

Yellow Door‏  @yellowdoorLIVE

I’ve found that using simple tech outdoors is often where people start in Early Years #Bettchat

Smoothwall‏  @Smoothwall

Students can use software and devices for projects. This makes them more interested in the subject & leads to better retention. #Bettchat

Animate It!‏  @AnimateEducate

We’ve seen some great examples of schools using their surroundings to teach, like phonics on a beach, using lit software on iPod #BettChat

Andrew Davidson‏  @Andreweducate

Technology can create a holistic eco-system in which students continue to learn & apply learning even outside the classroom. #BettChat

Animate It!‏  @AnimateEducate

Or even using simple recordings of outdoor sounds to then use in projects back in the classroom but adding a real purpose to work #bettchat

Sally McKeown  ‏@salmckeown

#bettchat Why are schools resistant to taking technology outside the classroom? Is it insurance

Animate It!  ‏@AnimateEducate

@Smoothwall It’s also about pupils being empowered to choose the right tech for the project/surroundings they are working in #BettChat

Animate It!‏  @AnimateEducate

@salmckeown Could be Sal, or a lack of ideas/resources available to help facilitate it? #BettChat

Smoothwall‏  @Smoothwall

@AnimateEducate I agree, flexibility and adaptability are important #Bettchat

Yellow Door  ‏@yellowdoorLIVE

Working with technology outside enables children to work independently – very empowering especially for younger children #BettChat

Smoothwall‏  @Smoothwall

@salmckeown Perhaps it is fear of devices getting into the wrong hands and the potential security issues? #Bettchat

Animate It!  ‏@AnimateEducate

The key is the appropriate use of tech. Don’t let tech spoil an amazing experience such as a walk in a wood let it facilitate it! #BettChat

Sally McKeown‏  @salmckeown

#bettchat if we want to encourage people to take technology outside, we need more examples to encourage them to do it.

Animate It!‏  @AnimateEducate

@yellowdoorLIVE Its so simple, and yet will be an activity children long remember #BettChat

Andrew Davidson‏  @Andreweducate

RT @salmckeown: #bettchat if we want to encourage people to take technology outside, we need more examples to encourage them to do it.

Andrew Davidson‏  @Andreweducate

@yellowdoorlive Agreed, it empowers children to apply what they’ve learnt in the classroom in a real, perhaps more memorable way. #BettChat

Claire Ashton‏  @ClaireAshton

#BETTChat Do any schools use Geocaching? A modern day treasure hunt!!

Andrew Davidson  ‏@Andreweducate

Applying Math, Science and French skills during PE – combining activity with learning http://ow.ly/ffzlH #casestudy #BettChat @Technogym

Life‏  @lifeisabout

Using mobile technology on trips is a great way of recording learning – once the issues have been ironed out #bettchat

Andrew Davidson‏  @Andreweducate

RT @daydreamedu: Learning with the use of technology in &outside the classroom is significantly richer & keeps students engaged. #BettChat

Animate It!‏  @AnimateEducate

@yellowdoorLIVE I have lots of respect for Heads who have embraced this as a way of teaching and allow staff to teach this way #BettChat

Andrew Davidson  ‏@Andreweducate

RT @planetsherston: Use of technology outside of the classroom helps pupils to explore real-world applications of their learning. #BettChat

Life‏  @lifeisabout

Using mobile technology on trips is a great way of recording learning as it happens – & being able to reflect on experiences after #bettchat

Animate It!  ‏@AnimateEducate

@ClaireAshton I know of schools who have, and have even set their own geocaches up for others to find @lordlangley73 #BettChat

Planet Sherston  ‏@PlanetSherston

@salmckeown Simulations provide a diverse range of “virtual” equipment where tools are is costly – inside and outside of class. #BettChat

Smoothwall  ‏@Smoothwall

@lifeisabout I agree, the ability for learners to take photographs or record sounds on trips is invaluable. http://bit.ly/TCV4KD #Bettchat

Planet Sherston‏  @PlanetSherston

@salmckeown Simulations provide a diverse range of “virtual” equipment where tools can be costly – inside and outside of class. #BettChat

Andrew Davidson‏  @Andreweducate

Instant data collection can help demonstrate applied concepts to students. An example in physical education: http://ow.ly/ffAzw #BettChat

Animate It!‏  @AnimateEducate

@PlanetSherston @salmckeown But there is nothing better than seeing children getting their hands dirty and experiencing life! #BettChat

Smoothwall‏  @Smoothwall

Technology can also help teachers to stay in touch with colleagues and share ideas. http://bit.ly/TCVyAj #Bettchat

Alberto Garrido Díez‏  @agarridodiez

@Bett_show Last year I created a #Facebook fan page as a powerful & effective teaching & learning tool … http://www.facebook.com/MisterGarrido #BettChat

Smoothwall‏  @Smoothwall

How important is professional development for teachers to bring them up speed before new technologies enter the learning space? #Bettchat

Bett‏  @Bett_show

We’ve got a great #BettChat taking place at the moment on technology in learning outside the classroom. What are your thoughts? #Bett_Show

Animate It!‏  @AnimateEducate

@Smoothwall Very! Teachers need to have the confidence to use them before being expected to deliver lessons using them! #BettChat

Sally McKeown‏  @salmckeown

#bettChat best practitioners are often those who just give it a go. You will wait forever for CPD these days.

Smoothwall‏  @Smoothwall

@AnimateEducate @Smoothwall Some schools in the US have tech-savvy instructors to lead peer workshops http://bit.ly/TCVyAj #BettChat

Smoothwall‏  @Smoothwall

Back to their Future – ICT to Inspire @Bett_show – a huge range of ways to engage and motivate students. #Bettchat http://bit.ly/Tzx8dv

Sally McKeown‏  @salmckeown

#bettChat Maybe more online tutorials /resources needed

Animate It!‏  @AnimateEducate

@salmckeown The more support created for educators the better! #BettChat

Claire Ashton‏  @ClaireAshton

@salmckeown Indeed! It doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive #BETTChat

Smoothwall‏  @Smoothwall

@salmckeown There are some good blogs from teachers on word press about this topic. http://bit.ly/SZdCZf #Bettchat

Life‏  @lifeisabout

@Smoothwall Very dependent on individuals. Some definitely need some CPD, but maybe more of the ‘buddy ‘ style – learning together #BettChat

Life‏  @lifeisabout

@Smoothwall As important is for whoever is introducing the ideas to have tried these themselves and for colleagues to trust them #BettChat

Bett‏  @Bett_show

Talking of #CPD, remember to check out the free Learn Live programmes at Bett! #BettChat http://ow.ly/ffSpV

Animate It!‏  @AnimateEducate

It’s great to see so many positive comments about this topic, and constructive ideas about how it can go forward better #BettChat

Sally McKeown‏  @salmckeown

#bettChat Any ideas on favourite outdoor technology?

Life‏  @lifeisabout

@salmckeown Very unexciting choice, but always really useful with my classes across a wide range of activities – a digital camera! #BettChat

Bett  ‏@Bett_show

Another great #Bettchat – excellent ideas and engaging conversation, thank you to everyone who got involved. We hope to see you next week!


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It’s time to get connected through the ICT Mark Network

Dave Smith, ICT Adviser for Havering School Improvement Services reflects on the launch of the ICT Mark Network.

Networking is the new CPD, sharing ideas for free and inspiring others need not cost.  The ICT Mark Network is a great new initiative from Naace and the organisers of Bett that provides financial and other support to help you to set-up a group of your own.

On Thursday 18th October 2012 I attended one of the ICT Mark Network launch events in London. With the participation of schools, local authorities and ICT Mark assessors, the event had a real buzz about it as Jan Webb of Naace and Joe Willcox of Bett Show organisers i2i Events Group explained the benefits of how to get started.

The ICT Mark Network provides a way for ICT Mark accredited schools to work with those aspiring to become ICT Mark accredited to share best practice in ICT. Additionally, the Network acts as a way to get more schools involved in the Self-Review Framework, applying for the ICT Mark and attending the Bett Show.

In austere times there are not many initiatives providing schools with start-up funds to help set-up a CPD network. The ICT Mark Network even has the benefit of a dedicated Network Co-ordinator to support you in getting started.

It really is simple…

1. Sign-up as an ICT Mark Champion

2. Plan a launch event in your school

3. Invite local schools to your event – a list of schools will be provided, as well as support telephoning schools and providing promotional materials

4. You can even get financial support for your event to help cover refreshments!

5. Sign-up your Group Members

6. Encourage continued networking and learning – with some great ideas for this provided by the ICT Mark Network Co-ordinator

7. Plan a group trip to Bett – again there is funding to help!

This was one of the best events I had attended in ages.  The attendees discussed ways in which they could share best practice – sharing specialisms, such as the use of tablet devices, learning platforms, open-source tools etc. There was excitement around the sharing of ideas across a wider geographical area, helping to plug the gaps in local authorities where there is no-longer organised school improvement services to host networks.

Joe went on to explain how there is going to be a dedicated area at Bett 2013 for ICT Mark Network members to share ideas and help signpost the exciting seminars and other free CPD events to further enhance whole-school improvement through ICT.

These groups will provide an important focal point for the sharing of ideas and the encouragement of schools to become ICT Mark accredited. Currently there are around 1200 schools with the ICT Mark. The ICT Mark Network can only help to ensure that more schools are accredited. For me that is a positive thing, as this can only serve to have a positive impact on pupil outcomes.

So there it is then. Now is the time to sign-up to the ICT Mark Network. Learn from everyone, share ideas and even receive support to get started. It truly is a great initiative.

For more details contact: natalie.keller@ictmarknetwork.co.uk

Dave Smith is ICT Adviser for Havering School Improvement Services. You can find him on Twitter @davesmithict and @haveringict, or via email dsmith1.311@lgflmail.org.

 Visit the ICT in Havering Blog www.haveringict.edublogs.org

The next ICT Mark Network events are taking place in November:

Telford Venue: Southall School, Rowan Avenue, Dawley, Telford TF4 3PX

Tel: 01952387600

Date: Thursday 1st November 2012

Time: 4.00 – 5.15pm

Cost: FREE

Refreshments included


Shropshire Venue: Woodfield Infant School, Woodfield Road, Copthorne, Shrewsbury, SY3 8LU

Tel: 01743 343812

Date: Thursday 15th November 2012

Times: 4.00 – 5.15pm

Cost: FREE

Refreshments included

Up to three delegates are invited per school. For more information or to book a place, contact Richard Smith, by emailing richard@amazingict.co.uk, or calling 07527 464322.


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ICT: Challenging but exciting times ahead

Terry FreedmanTerry Freedman share his views and gives advice on the challenges that lie ahead for teachers with regards to ICT and education in general.

The challenge of waiting for the new curriculum, CPD, keeping up with new technologies, finding out the best and most cost-effective way of using technology across all subjects to engage pupils, budgetary restrictions, creating the next generation of innovators etc.

What a year 2012 was! First we celebrated the Queen’s Golden Jubilee. Then we celebrated the Olympics and the Paralympics. One of the Olympic venues was the Excel centre, the new home of the Bett show. Perhaps fittingly, the events held there included boxing and weightlifting…. So, should we in the ICT community be celebrating – or commiserating with one another?

Well, let’s just stand back for a few moments and look at the overall picture. Mainstream schools no longer have to follow the Programme of Study for ICT (although they do have to teach ICT in some form or other). As part and parcel of this, schools do not have to abide by the Attainment Targets and their associated Levels. There is no longer a designated central budget for schools to spend on ICT.

Even Ofsted is taking a hands-off approach in the sense that inspectors will be looking for evidence of learning taking place, which means that teachers can use ICT in their lessons how they like as long as their pupils are making the progress expected of them. Slavish adherence to detailed lesson plans is no longer required (although lessons will still be expected to have been planned!). Even the much-publicised observation by Ofsted chief Sir Michael Wilshaw that mobile phones can be disruptive in lessons and that he didn’t allow them to be used in his school was not an edict to ban them from the classroom but, I think, a challenge: if you’re going to allow them in school make sure they are used purposefully. As for advice on how to do so, there are no longer official agencies to guide you, and time and money for CPD are, as ever, difficult to come by.

If we had to sum up all of this in a single phrase it would be, I think, “Laissez-faire”, which literally means “let it be”. This is either incredibly liberating, rather scary, or a little of both.

Last year, I invited people to respond to an online survey about the trends seen at Bett 2012 and what the future might hold. The two stand-out features were more and more cloudbased applications, and more mobile, mainly tablet, devices. These two trends are not unrelated, of course.

On a purely anecdotal level, it would seem that schools are becoming more and more interested in one-toone computing as a way of engaging learners and making anytime-anywhere access to the internet a reality. There have been number of trials involving the use of tablets such as iPads. While there are advantages of giving students a tablet of their own, such as the fact that they can use it wherever they happen to be, there are challenges involved too, namely the expense at a time when there are no ringfenced funds for ICT. How have schools squared this particular circle?

They say that necessity is the mother of invention, and to overcome their financial constraints some schools are starting to look at the idea of Bring Your Own Device, which is something I have been researching of late. This side-steps the financial burden associated with buying and upgrading a large number of devices. However, BYOD brings its own potential headaches which schools need to think through before doing anything. In other words, BYOD is not a quick fix, and a few building blocks need to be in place before it can start to be implemented.

Interestingly, on the subject of budgets and spending, things are not all doom and gloom. According to recent research from BESA (An assessment of digital content sales in UK schools, April 2012), sales of digital content have risen, especially in primary schools. The result, is that a 5% increase in spending is predicted for 2012. That’s a welcome sign because it would seem to suggest that an absence of designated funding for ICT may not lead to an overall fall in spending on it.

The research does not provide reasons for this, but it could be that the disapplication of the ICT Programme of Study from September has led schools to rethink what they are doing in ICT and try something new. Providing a curriculum that will inspire the next generation of e-learners, is a challenge and a half – but how exciting to be able to wipe the slate clean and start completely anew!

In my opinion, the only way to cope with all these challenges is to become something of a researcher. That doesn’t mean walking around in a white coat and carrying a clipboard, but taking the time and effort to find out what other people are trying. Even if you don’t have much time, that would be a worthwhile investment. There are several ways you can do so. I’d say going to the Bett show is an absolute must – and I’m not saying that just because I am writing this for a Bett publication! Bett is an excellent opportunity to get to see the latest products, hear what people are doing in their own classrooms, and to meet other people facing the same challenges as you.

If you’re not already on Twitter, sign up now! The days when people told everyone what they are having for breakfast seem to have gone, thankfully. Search for #edtech or #ictineducation and follow a few of the people who appear in the list. I’ve found this invaluable for finding out about new resources, reports and websites.

Go to http://www.technorati.com and search for blogs on educational technology or ICT in education, and fi nd one or two that you like the look of.

There are two good things about having a laissez-faire environment. First, nobody can truly say they have the answer. The time is right for trying new things out, whether in terms of the curriculum (should you have a greater emphasis on computer programming), assessment (how do you judge standards?) or technology (tablets or laptops?). Second, because of that I sense a real excitement in the air, and a greater than ever willingness to share.

Have a good Bett!

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The changing nature of BETT

Tony Parkin, an educational consultant and former Head of ICT Development at SSAT (and, as he describes himself, a disruptive nostalgist), ponders the many reasons why people go to BETT.

So we are into the autumn term, with weather to match, and thoughts turn towards Christmas, and its immediate follower… the BETT show. Which means time for the annual debate about this show, its role, purpose and value to school leaders and practitioners. In fact Ray Barker’s first entry on this blog was undoubtedly the starting pistol for this discussion, as he extolls BETT’s virtues as free CPD… one of its many dimensions.

I have been going to BETT since its inception… one of the exhibitors erecting a stand in that first year, bumping his head on the amazingly low roof of the original Barbican exhibition space (only amazing until you realised it was originally designed to be a car park). I have been almost every year since – and admit to welcoming each opportunity and seeing it as a high point of the education technology year. I even attended when not working in education, and met others doing exactly the same!

Current BETT attendees who see it as an ICT showcase would be surprised at the number of furniture and fittings suppliers, training providers, stationery manufacturers and book publishers that were there at the early events. BETT has been changing and developing annually since those early days, and these changes have invariably been accompanied by a background mix of approving and disapproving comments. The BETT show represents so many different things to many different people. For every teacher seeking free CPD there is a supplier seeing BETT as their opportunity to get a carefully-nurtured educational product in front of the eyes of potential purchasers. For every politician and government agency keen to get an opportunity to extol and promote their current policy, there has been a practitioner keen to meet up with and exchange ideas with other practitioners without having their ears bent or wallet raided. Given these different expectations and needs it is hardly surprising that there is this annual debate.

Trade show? National conference with an exhibition attached? International showcase and exhibition with a conference attached? BETT is expected to be all these things and more – and problems only arise when people expect it to be focussed solely upon one, rather than catering to all. The debate, often heated, is nonetheless often useful and constructive… and can be a useful catalyst for new developments. Everyone now welcomes and benefits from the new season of practitioner events, such as Teachmeet BETT, Teachmeet Takeovers and Collabor8te4Change that grew out of practitioner criticisms.

For me BETT is a wonderful opportunity for an annual coming together of a wider community, where teacher meets manufacturer, supplier meets consultant, and bureaucrat actually gets to see some (albeit sadly too few) children using technology. Our shared faith in the value of learning technologies is reinforced. Old friendships are renewed and new ones made. New technologies are encountered for the first time – even during one of those apocryphal ‘nothing new at BETT this year’ years. Perhaps most importantly, UK plc gets to show the world it is a leader in the development and use of learning technologies, and an amazingly large number of international leaders and practitioners come to learn, admire and buy into that vision. And the buying matters…

You can follow Tony Parkin on Twitter @tonyparkin


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School leaders: our most important partnerships will be with each other

Joe Willcox, Content Director at Emap Connect, discusses why school leaders are looking to learn from each other, and how they can do this at BETT.

By talking to headteachers and by listening to advice from important BETT stakeholders such as BESA, my team has gained some insight into the numerous challenges school leaders face in what it seems fair to characterise as a time of rapid change for the sector. The Government’s keenness for schools to migrate in greater numbers to Academy status, for example, means that school leaders must become fully conversant with all the financial, legal and organisational considerations involved. We are also mindful of the pace of change in the areas of curriculum, assessment and school inspection.

I was struck by a statement offered to us during a BETT visitors’ advisory panel session we hosted earlier this year. “The most important partnerships schools need to develop,” our group unanimously decided, “will be with each other.” Our sincere wish is for BETT to be a place where new partnerships are formed and where important ideas are shared among leaders from all over the country and beyond. So we’re delighted to be hosting the second annual Education Leaders @ BETT conference alongside the exhibition. A fantastic speaker line-up already includes Steve Munby of the National College, Martin Doel of the National Association of Colleges and Heath Monk of Future Leaders. The key leaders’ unions will be represented by their General Secretaries – Russell Hobby of the NAHT and Brian Lightman of the ASCL. Also, a number of local authorities are represented by speakers up to the level of Director of Children’s Services. A large overall panel of speakers is also strengthened by a line-up of heads and deputy heads from all over England and Wales.

Although the BETT exhibition continues to be themed around transformational power of ICT for teaching and learning, the focus of the conference is rather broader and we feel sure it offers rich learning and discussion opportunities across the full range of challenges schools will face in 2012 and beyond. Encouraged by the positive feedback from the inaugural leaders’ conference at BETT, which was attended by several hundred delegates, I feel sure that this event-within-an-event will be a really important part of any school leader’s visit to our show.

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