Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Teach Meet North East 09-2 - the sequel

With the possible exception of Mad Max 2, sequels have never lived up to the original.

However, last Wednesday I attended what was probably the best CPD evening ever : The return of TMNE09 - Same venue, more fun.

It was a great opportunity to catch up with some old friends and make some new ones, and even with the noticeable absence of Steve Bunce and Mark Clarkson and their amazing enthusiasm, the evening still managed to provide a cornucopia of ideas, advice, and some excellent presentations.

There were amazing 7 minute presentations from:

Gwyn ap Harri. He gave us an amazing presentation on sharing ideas and self assessment and after bamboozling us (or just me?) with lots of equations, came to the conclusion that we need a new education system.

Chris Harte. Chris showed us how we could use international collaboration to bring the outside world into our classrooms and to prove it, he skyped about quizlet with Emma Risby who, coincidentally, was on the other side of the planet in Australia, where kangaroos come from.

Helena Butterfield. Helena is one of my MFL heroes (she's blushing as she reads this), her presentation "top tools to get pupils talking" was fantastic and I've already decided to use some of her ideas to get my own students to improve their speaking skills.

Darren Mead. Darren retold the story of the 3 little pigs but with the emphasis on SOLO Taxonomy. There's more info about SOLO, small pigs and waooo on his blog.

Fergus Hegarty. Fergus made us work! He put us into groups with a set of Q and A matching cards to prove to us that what looked like a simple exercise could be a trigger to get students using thinking skills. It worked. I hope his students have as much fun as we did.

The 2 minute presentations came from:

Alasdair Douglas. Alasdair demonstrated how educators can use etherpad as a collaborative tool.

Lisa Keenlyside. Lisa showed us some excellent animation made by students in science lessons which were really amazing.

Ben Barton. Ben presented to us how short (and free) video clips could be used to get students thinking. An inspirational and very modest man, his blog is an amazing resource.

Archie Cameron. Archie's "Why I fear the blackboard" was fantastic. He reminded us that amazing equipment and technology do not make an excellent teacher, but the ability to motivate those around us and move students on to achieve their best.

Me. My presentation was based on an earlier blog post "effective feedback for students." The most notable thing about it was how I managed to make a powerpoint presentation look like a "wordle".

There were also many learning conversations, lots of informal networking and a lot of wine consumed. The evening was a great success. My thanks go out to all who sponsored, helped organise, took part, and listened and learned patiently.

I can't wait for the next one. I just hope Tina Turner doesn't turn up and spoil it...

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