Saturday 17/11 to Sunday 25/11 – a week in the second half of the Autumn term, bound to be impacted on by germs (it’s the time of year!). Somehow, over the last few months my online networking has brought a wealth of opportunities, they seem to focus on the month of November and this week has been a good example.
Meeting for the first time in London for the ICT group of my subject association – the Geographical Association. It’s taken me 25 years to become an active member of the GA. I’ve contributed online resources before but after applying earlier in the year I was awarded with a place on this group. Daunted at whether I’d have enough to offer and nervous for the first offline meeting I arrived early. Once the meeting started I felt welcomed and soon found lots of ways to participate, while in awe of some of my fellow group members achievements. The highlight for me was where we brought ideas to the group. Suddenly my twitter networking and wide use of apps came to the fore, and I felt I had a lot to contribute. More details to follow on this in future posts.
Home after a diversion to Shoreditch to visit my cousin who is providing a Japanese pub food menu for Brewdog. A pub where beers are respected and what a range on offer. Chatted to my cousin, some lovely JFC and a walk back to Liverpool Street station through Brick Lane and Spitalfields – what a great atmosphere and so much going on – clearly an area to explore more.
Last minute tweets and emails with co-host of #TMEssex Martin Burrett (@ICTMagic) so that Monday’s event would go as smoothly as possible.The anticipation was rising. Ooh a slight fly in the ointment a bursitis forming on left elbow that would have to be treated respectfully.
Teaching first with a suppressed (just) excitement about the event ahead. Three year groups and four lessons where SOLO lesson 5 took place (see separate post) to come. We reviewed the learning and impact of SOLO so far in 2 weeks – lots of positivity from the groups. In my non contact time rest had a part to play because pace was going to be vital today. End of the school day, some marking and preparation.
Then off to the city of Chelmsford, I arrived too early really but this allowed a chance to stand reflect in reception before all three hosts met to review our setting and tech. checks. At this point my role felt slightly superfluous but I helped where I could.
What a great setting – comfy seats and tech with great support and of course Martin had the toy camel. About 5 audience members started to arrive, I chatted to people and found out if they were Teachmeet first timers; introduced speakers I know to Martin for tech setups. People I have met online were greeted for the first time offline and soon there were many people enjoying and tweeting about the great food provided by Tom Sherrington (@headguruteacher) our host and his school KEGS.
6 o’clock approached – time to start. Tom introduced the evening and he and Martin took the lead. First on the fruit machine ….. Me- 7 minutes on SOLO through the topic of Digital Leaders. I ad hoc-ed slightly and involved my audience and I’d like to publicly thank; my Head of Department Phill Crossley (@pcrossers); James Abela, fellow teachmeeter and Digital Leader fan (@ealweb) and finally Vic Goddard (@vicgoddard) a well known Headteacher who was on the telly! They volunteered answers, then found themselves stood at the front with me and demonstrated the art of linking facts by holding hands in public – thanks for being good sports. Pictures were taken by audience members – search #TMEssex on twitter if interested. Later I got to do my short 2 minute Digital Leader talk – again the audience had to stand, the related tweets were entertaining, but the key thing is that I believe the point about Digital Leaders being applicable in most schools was made through action not rhetoric.
Other speakers? Oh yes, we had many, the quality was fantastic and the best Teachmeet I have attended yet (biased? Yes, but even so…) many new ideas to follow up on,a chance to meet many who have inspired me online before or I will be looking to more in the future.
By the end – physically and emotionally wrung out and that elbow(remember) was throbbing but, we had done it. We put on an excellent CPD event, the only question now,when shall we do it again?
Tuesday…. Will have to wait as I need more sleep – a busy week indeed …