The Festival of Innovation

Friday 12th July was Nottinghamshire’s Festival of Innovation and I was invited to run four 45 minute workshops. The whole event had such a good feeling about it, and it was attended by teachers, ICT leaders and head teachers. A real good mix of people all wanting to learn something new and look for innovative ideas.

The Keynote came from John Davitt @JohnDavitt who was very entertaining. His presentation was very interactive with a jargon busting bingo card and many jokes along the way. I’d love to summarise what he talked about but it ranges from accents, hyperlinks, talking sheep and using QuickTime and buttering toast. What he did do though, which is a refreshing to see, is encourage the use of Twitter during the event so that we can all share ideas during the day. As so few teachers are using Twitter, John directed us to http://www.todaysmeet.com which sets up a private timeline on their site for participants to post to without having an account. Take a look at it for your next event! Also check out his website and follow him on twitter.

Ok… On to my workshops.

I had such a great day enthusing other teachers who are all at different skill levels and it reinforced the direction I want to take my career. I really enjoyed the discussions with other teachers about the ideas I was sharing.

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My two morning workshops looked at Games Based Learning and the work I have done with Foundation children on the X Box Kinect. I also shared work from Emma Dawson and Tom Barrett who have used Nintendo Wii in their Key Stage 1 and 2 classes. It was nice to return to this topic as I haven’t thought about it for a while, it’s a huge idea to sell in just 45 minutes and I tried to compare it to sharing a book, film clip or music as a stimulus for learning.

 

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Discussions were largely positive and reflective. After planning topics around games we decided that age appropriate games can be a real good stimulus for learning. Participants suggested that parents need to be involved in the planning process and that using age appropriate games in the classroom can help change the negative perception of gaming. We agreed that it is what we do before and after gaming that makes the gaming educational. Whether that be reading instruction texts or writing about the achievements the children have unlocked in the level. I have other blog posts on this kind of work, take a look.

In the afternoon I demoed some content creation apps and everyone had a chance to play on the apps I showed. This interactive workshop had a great buzz to it! The main point I wanted people to take away with them is the need for staff training on a regular basis. Great things can be achieved with any ICT hardware and software if staff are training and inspired. The teachers leaving my workshop definitely seemed inspired!

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The Festival was a great day and a huge opportunity for me to showcase my work so I must thanks Liz and Craig for inviting me and supporting my work over the past few years. I’m looking forward to next year already!

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