By sjpavey, Jan 10 2015 09:55PM
I can't believe that I have not had time to update this blog since November and it has been an exciting time with varied work and opportunities.
November kicked off with a return visit to The Winston Churchill School to give some induction to the new temporary librarian and to help weed and sort the non-fiction stock and to identify gaps that would need to be filled. It was hard physical labour for 2 days between the two of us but I left it looking more user friendly and together we came up with a new arrangement for the library furniture to encourage use and exploration.
Heath's Bookshop ran a training session on Academic Honesty and we ended up with 10 delegates (including two internatiional schools) for a fun filled interactive day. The lego exercise proved a hit and everyone left with ideas for writing their academic honesty policy and with more of an idea about referemcing and academic style.
That same evening I met up with my new colleagues at Independent Thinking Ltd and we had a lively pre conference meal. Such a bunch of inspirational people and the conversation just flowed. I met a stand up comedian for children, experts in every field of information, people developing apps and brimming with ways to engage students and teachers in the educational process home and abroad. The following day was their Big Day Out at Glyn School in Epsom and my inaugeral Keynote speech. The morning session included the wonderful Christa an expert in Modern Languages whose finale consisted of us all writing what we could take away from her session on a coloured piece of paper and then making a paper dart and throwing it towards her. She advocates dressing up in her language classes so that students do not feel self conscious about speaking in a foreign tongue. At the exhibition I had a long chat with Jo Feast about Jigsaws (she works with a PHSE company of the same name) and we hoped we might incorporate my Create an Essay jigsaws into her company's product line. Then after lunch it was time for my talk on the importance of checking authenticity and only uploading verifiable information to the internet if we want to be able to rely on information in the future. I called it "Standing on the Shoulders of Giants". I had a good audience and it was received well with lots of questions - in fact so many we had to call a halt. I was followed by the amazing Jim Roberson who showed us just what our brains are capable of in true motivational style. It was a great day out and I'm looking forward to running a couple of workshops at the next one in Newcastle in March.
In December I ventured up north to Leeds to run a training course on supporting the EPQ for the Yorkshire and Humberside SLA Branch. We had a good day in the Leeds Art Gallery with very spectacular cafe facilities. Some delegates had already completed my online course for the SLA on this topic but managed to take more from the practical exercises. Everyone found something to help them progress with the qualification and I think it helped people decide to what extent they wished to be involved.
This trip was followed by a journey west for a training course on Mobile Learning in Gloucester organised by Gloucestershire Library Services for Education. The course required careful planning as there was only limited internet connection and no WiFi access at the venue. Still with a mixture of pre recorded video and using apps that did not require online connection we managed to obtain practical experience. I also took along a talking pen with sound dots and a talking photograph album so we could see how lo-tech could enhance mobile learning opportunities too. I organised the examples around Blooms Taxonomy for the non-fiction and then we also looked at how Apps and Web 2.0 products could be used for reader development. Again we all had a good day and I think everyone found something to try out for themselves in their own schools.
...and so to 2015. I am looking forward to running another course for Heath's entitled The Lost Library Years - engaging KS4 students with the school library and several Creative Education courses are on the horizon too. I've also just found out my paper for the LILAC conference "What does independent learning feel like" has been accepted so I'll be back to Newcastle in April.