Tag Archives: blog


I left teaching, I attended a teachmeet in Poole in February and I went to Pedagoohampshire today. So what is going on?

Well today was my third visit to an event that started in 2015. Teachers and others connected to education gather, chat, listen to talks, participate in workshop sessions, chat with new friends and old, go away and try to mplement some change based on their new learning. These events happen in people’s own personal (non work) time so that shows commitment too.

I had a great day.

I was told how much more relaxed I look. I looked ten years younger. My art is great. My experience had value as how often do you get to talk to people who have actually left… I sold some art, I designed and received a tshirt. I chatted.

I really enjoyed attending and my thanks go to many who were there today or in 2016 or 2015 and the many other events we have met at. At the end a friend said which event will I see you at next? And I had to admit I wasn’t planning to be at anymore to be honest as. Am now out of the profession. I then received invites to be at events again in the future including this one – we will see.

Finally thanks to Martyn Reah the driving force and host behind this great event.


Purbeck Art Weeks (PAW) 2017

Well my biggest art adventure has started. On Friday May 26th I transformed a painted outbuilding shell into a working art studio. The dream of using our rustic outbuilding was achieved. So now I have a workspace to use. Admittedly if it is to be used in the winter it will need heating as it has the ambient temperature of a cave especially when the door is open six hours a day to welcome visitors in to my “open studio”.

I have artwork produced in the last four months (on Wed. 31st) in four exhibitions, I had a piece in one previous exhibition and I also have a range from greetings cards at £2 each to original pieces at £150 to offer. It has been a very productive time. I am now producing individual one off original hand drawn cards as well as my printed offerings also based on my art and photography.

My AndyKnillArt blog (https://andyknillart.wordpress.com) now features a weekly update but for the duration of PAW I am doing a daily blog to share how the experience is going.

If you are interested in any of the artwork please contact me on andy.knill@gmail.com, I am keen to widen my sales area which so far extends to Belgium and Qatar as well as Dorset.

Today . . .

So today I started a new WordPress blog. Http://AndyKnillArt.wordpress.com It will track and provide a route to tell others what I am doing, pieces produced and will link back to my Facebook page @andyknillart.

The Facebook page has also been added to and I have started to put examples of work and price ideas – please give feedback.

Oops …. Blog neglect

Hi anyone who follows this blog. I have realised that the gap since my last post was growing. So initially a fill in on what’s been happening:

March 16- informal post of first review of lesson planning format
Follow up – a student survey was carried out in the final week of the spring term to cover several aspects and this is still being collated.

March – April
More articles have been submitted for publication in @UKEdMag and so far I have been published each time either as @aknill or @globalsolo. I now await May’s issue to see if both pieces make it. Also promoted the idea at the at events I have attended. The number of twitter mentions to advertise magazine are maybe a little uncomfortable at times, but I fully understand how magazine must advertise its existence.

This time included the news that I had been nominated and listed in the @UKEdChat top 100 UK Ed Blogs – a very pleasant accolade. I’d display the widget badge thingy but not worked out how to do that yet.

April – I attended, the conference, my group’s stand and presented a workshop at #gaconf14. The Geographical Association’s annual conference held at the University of Surrey in Guildford. Being on the ICT Group’s stand and meeting a range of geographers from several countries was very interesting and I could see that further follow up would be needed.
My own workshop on Starting with Apps on Tuesday 15 April was an active event. Mission Explore had laid down some conference challenges to speakers linked around the word Dance. Well official photos showed a group of geographers joining in a mad dance free form to Electroswing at the start of the workshop. The room was overflowing, I hope someone counted how many attended but it was more than the 40+ spaces originally seated and arranged.Solo taxonomy was used to gauge progress and 26 post its were left for feedback. This will be commented on in further detail with a workshop write up on here, the GA site (www.geography.org.uk) and a new blog – details in a bit. I enjoyed catching up with friends and colleagues, meeting many new people and stretching my brain with the subject concepts which I have not taught in many a year.
This weekend,at the start of May, has seen the start of that conference follow up through the beginnings of: @GASIGICT on Twitter and a new blog on: GASIGICT.wordpress.com. The aim: To have one central place for geography educators to share ideas about web resources and apps that have been or might be used. An encouraging start which of course has gone globally straightaway with links in Abu Dhabi, Australia, USA, Ireland, UK, New Zealand, China and Canada.

So busy? Yes you could say that plus family holidays with more coastal pictures already being shared in lessons.

Dear readers I have sinned …

Yes, I have sinned! I have neglected my blog in the pursuit of multiple interests and now some catching up. So why so busy? Well as those who teach will know the summer holiday approaches in inverse proportion to the amount of activities attempted not helped by the current summer’s climatic conditions (it’s rained a lot).

Over the last five weeks I have been privileged to be allowed time at a number of Havering SIS (@haveringict) meetings for a mixture of reasons:

– Digital leaders; I have moved from promoting the idea of Digital Leaders in my own school to addressing two meetings of local primary ICT leaders and today I spoke to the corresponding secondary group as well.
I now have a co-ordinating role for the borough linking different phases together to share ideas, experiences and promote progression amongst our local pupils. The image below comes from my presentation on what forms the commitment will involve.


I have posted my first input in the Havering ICT blog and had an upto date photo taken – very surreal. I am contacted most days by Elm Park primary and their DL developments via Twitter (@EPPS_ICT). This initiative is great to be involved in.

My own DL team at Bower Park school have compiled two ICT use surveys in survey monkey which now have clearance to go live to staff and pupils so a direct comparison of perceptions about current use and future possibilities can be made. The resulting data will help to direct the work of our DLs from September.

– international links; see previous post – a chance to meet local primary colleagues again and identify opportunities to develop global links, including DLs. Elm Park primary again provided a magnificent example with a shared FaceTime session on iPad with Elm Park school in New Zealand during a Year 5 sleepover event.
My own links with the #geogsolo work showed how Twitter is a useful global tool allowing free CPD that shares new ideas on a scale previously unheard of.

– coding and programming; a new initiative between Havering and Redbridge with a link to Computing in Schools (CAS). This saw a meeting to start developing staff and pupil confidence in the use of coding in the manner identified by Mr Gove this year in the changing identity for ICT in our schools. It made me realise how lucky I had been to be exposed to this at University as I had at least some relevant experience. I look forward to this network drawing in teachers from other areas under the auspices of CAS and providing additional DL opportunities.

– Teachmeet East, 14/7/12; it seems a long time since I last spoke at a Teachmeet and this opportunity has allowed me to update my mishmash presentation including my wordle of current activities and the presentation is still incomplete!



– new technology in my classroom; the school has invested in replacement LCD projectors and Promethean Activboard 300s for those IWBs which were no longer operational but used by their teachers. The new board is being used actively immediately with the dual pen use feature allowing easier pupil recording of discussion outcomes, freeing me up to move around during subsequent tasks. The projectors provide a much clearer and brighter image which allows more natural light in the room as well. IPad use is glorious on the 95″ screen and new opportunities are opening up.

– Creative media week; this year the school specialist weeks linked to our specialist status and involving the whole school population in our production of The Tale of Two Cities. Activities divide into one day on: production ( making props, scenery), performance (drama aspects) and promotion ( advertising, programmes, ticket sales). Staff have offered a range of activities that run for between 2 and 3 lessons (1h 40m and 2h 30m).

I am delivering promotion work using the iPad apps of Puppet Pals HD and Sock Puppets to produce a promotional video – day one: some teenage reticence, some well planned pieces and developing skills in analysing examples of adverts for shows, using I- technology, developing storyboard planning, acting/ VoiceOver / narration, use of resources and photo editing, sound clips …oh and fun too.

– Mission Explore Food; finally, I think(?)! I belong to a group known as the Geocollective (@geocollective) who produce the Mission Explore books, website, and app. This was the launch of the latest book – flooding at the printers means paper copes will be launched in September, but e-versions are now available on Amazon and iBooks.

The launch was held at Hackney City Farm and a variety of activities linked to the book meant a fun packed afternoon was enjoyed by those attending.



Department blog and trips


Linking the classroom to the web and preparing pupils for fieldwork. We have been visiting Tilbury power station for many years as a school. The changes it has undergone in recent years has kept the trip fresh for staff and provided a different perspective for pupils.

In the last three years we have seen security changes in line with the protests held in Kent about proposed new stations. Then the proposal to change fuel from coal to gas and now the transformation that we witnessed last year, a biomass powered plant.

Is it a possible visit for you?

Also a chance to develop the use of our new departmental blog.

How do we set up a department blog?

Last week the PE department were asking about Twitter accounts. Today, a request for guidance on blogging – I love this new enthusiasm in school, maybe the cracks are opening up. It was good to refer colleagues back to particular twitter feeds and followings.

So saw my HoD to shame him into doing something – oh I leave all that up to you! The problem with being the keenie and did make the point that my personal blogging and tweeting is fairly exhaustive, but heh our department needs a formal presence – so something to work on ( join a large list!).

I just have to note this collaboration (sharing) with others has rejuvenated my enthusiasm for the job and I thank my blog readers and twitter pals especially, plus of course the slightly guerilla-mad geocollective to.

Neglecting posterous…

Well not been on here for a while I seem so busy online between different groups – mishmash blog, digital leaders network, trying Edmodo, teaching oh yes that, urban earth… Reflection time needed I feel … Soon

Blog, tweet …

all in a day… Well Saturday 3rd March was busy. Only started all this pm after trip out. Tweeted over 50 posts yesterday, addedblog,deducted MLE Room, promted own YouTube channels, networked on WordPress, Facebook, twitter, LinkedIn, google docs …gosh must make sure do my schoolwork today as well as learning through fun.

Blogging, tweeting …

Today after seeing several examples of other blogs I decided to put my Teachmeet idea into action and started a WordPress blog – hit a wider / different audience?

Mishmashlearning goes blogging – a mammoth task and one that I hope will be reflected on here so there is a link between my online discourse.

All in all a busy twitter day with over 50 tweets and I was out from 10 until 3 as well. Blog links, photo comments, discovering Teachmeet international, sharing links to YouTube channels, adding new tsunami anniversary links to school MLE room … Phew on fire.