Monday, December 15, 2008

Consultant Meet- North East London

Last week Dave Smith and I organised a fantastic event that brought together some great East London ICT advisers and a good deal of sweets, biscuits and diet coke. This was a sort of small teachmeet, but as there was less of us, we had more sweets.And more time to share!!

I was really pleased with the evening as it was a great example of informal but very effective CPD. It also helped to bring together ICT neighbours who could then talk about common issues and and offer examples of good practice alongside any new or existing links and tools.Here is what happened and what we learned.

Once again thank you so much for my esteemed North East London colleagues, who gave up their evening for this 'event with no name', and to Lord Terry of Freedman, who chaired it so well and ate lots of the Liquorice All Sorts, Terry has also blogged about the event on his site. A whole evening talking about ICT, what could be better!

Who turned up?

There was Primary representation from:

  • Barking and Dagenham
  • Havering
  • Islington
  • Newham
  • Redbridge of course
  • and Terry Freedman – Chair Person

Fancy joining the next one - are you a London ICT person who deals with Primary ICT - are you infectiously enthusiastic about technology and learning? If so we'd love to have you share with us. Email me

What is going on in our boroughs?


I have included a 2Create Flash File here, which is an adapted version of the Powerpoint I used on the night. I then turned the ppt into a 2Create file @ the 2Simple advisers day on Friday (see the next post).

Areas we mentioned

  • TeachmeetNEL - the spirit of this sharing and unconference has now fed into our Subject Leaders events

  • Innovation Projects - Robosapiens lead by Nicholas, DS by Dawn and Asus in various places

  • The Subject Leaders Blog - a well read blog that head teachers and subject leaders alike look forward too.

  • Fronter MLE - so far only 6 schools are using this

I then shared three tools that I have recently discovered and have excited me with their educational potential:


  2. Photosynth

  3. The Flip Camera

Dave Smith from Havering

Dave talked to us about the Visualiser Forum , a group and a blog that has been formed to research and promote effective use of the Visualiser in our schools. You can find video case studies and posts from teachers on this site, they also invite ideas from those of you out there who are using this kit with your classes.

Also in Havering:
  • MLE - 40% of primary are joined
  • Blogging schools are using Edublogs in innovative ways in one school a group of children has their own publishing room, where they meet to write and edit and then blog school news
  • Video Conferencing is being used to open up Subject Leaders meetings,whereby one group meets in a school and others can join via a video conference link from another school.

  • Havering are working with LGFL to host an event to mark Poetry day in 2009

  • ICT Mark – so far 6 schools have achieved the mark

  • Security issues for schools in Havering – just like Havering schools in this borough have been prone to burglary, significant amounts of computer hardware have been taken.

  • In 2009 DVD on ICT in Foundation Stage will be released.

  • Look out for Teachmeet Havering 31st March.

Karen and Natasha from Newham
Natasha talked about how easy it is to carry out an Etwinning project using the Bristish Council website, which currently involves over 5,000 schools. She explained that the service used an intuitive website and compared it to Facebook! There are also no security issues with this site as the sign up process is very through.It certainly sounds like a great way to link your school(s) up with real schools in a genuine contexts for learning!

Visit: and see for yourself.

Read an article on Etwinning from the Guardian here.

MLE - Newham are focusing on good pedagogy and the MLE and like all of us assisting schools in trying to move forward together to achieve the schools defined aims for the product. Many of us know that it is easy to get lost in the innovative and whizzy elements and this can alienate the majority of staff. Therefore the approach of simplicity and working on embedding first seems extremely sensible. Most schools should be ready by the 2010 deadline.

Also the borough are really excited about their competition which is linked to 2012, to take part children must make a film (maximum of 3minutes) on the theme of inspiration. Do look at the film on this website: click here, it certainly inspired me!

Look also at this other clip to hear Newhamers talking about their ambitions

Gillian from Barking and Dagenham
Gillian showed us some great examples of how schools in Barking and Dagenham are blogging. The borough have a number of Asus netbooks and are using these to blog. Many of our Redbridge schools are using Blogs as a showcase and an easy route to web publishing of news, videos and images. However when the comments option is exploited fully with blogger, it can be a way of collaborative writing and editing and improving writing.

In some of the examples that we saw the teacher was posting some work that needed changing and children were commenting their improvements. Children were also using comments to support shared editing/assessing of each others work.

The examples below really excited me and challenged me to rethink the way that we promote blogs. It also took me back 3 years to when I first heard about blogs in education. I heard David Warlick talk about schools where children would take it in turns to write up the course notes from that days lesson, pupils would then comment on what they found difficult. Students then had a shared learning journal, which they could look back on.

Ripple Junior Poetry Lesson

Eastbury Primary School

My early work with blogs in my classroom involved the children publishing their work or entering into debates, but I only really scratched the surface, I'd like to see and promote more of this sort of blogging as a writing tool. It seems a waste that this tool is still just within the realms of the school website alternative.

MLE in B and D - schools in this authority are using Sharepoint as a Learning Gateway, it is hoped that Blogs can be integrated into this system.

Steve from Islington -

Steve talked at length about the work that he and others have been doing on progression documents and plans. He has been working with Katy on Esafety and Internet plans alongside the other strands of communication, control and literacy. This work builds on the work of Wokingham, Greenwich and Newham and should help teachers make sense of our post QCA curriculum.

Terry Freedman

Terry reminded us of his website and its associated publication - Computers in Classrooms. I can testify that this is a very useful, relevant and thought provoking read. It is has a wide global readership too!

Terry will be presenting @ Bett with Miles Berry on their findings from a massive survey they are doing about what children are learning online when we the teachers are not looking. What are children doing on the Internet? - Why not get your class to take part in the survey and contribute to this research.

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