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CPD Team

All posts tagged with ‘innovative cpd’

Inter-agency Learning Rounds in action

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Following on from the seminar on the potential of the Learning Rounds in an inter-agency context the team has been engaging with Kersland School in Renfrewshire and Barshare Primary school in East Ayrshire to explore the potential of the model. Kersland is an all through  special school which caters for children  and young people with complex  additional support needs and Barshare Primary has three integrated additional support needs classes. In each situation there is involvement from a range of agencies . In Kersland the Learning Round focus is on the delivery of the school policy on communication and in Barshare on practice in support of inclusion. In both schools the LR observation teams include teachers, support staff, educational psychologists and speech and language therapists.

Initial feedback from colleagues is very positive in terms both of individual CPD and the potential for enhancing collegiate understanding and response to shared “next steps”. The initiatives in both schools will continue for the remainder of the session and the National CPD team will publish a final report on the Learning Rounds on line community on GLOW.

Learning Rounds: part 2

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Learning Rounds Part 2 consists of the powerpoint presentation you will need when briefing, sharing or training colleagues in the Learning Rounds programme.

Stephen Downes on the role of the educator

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I came across this fascinating blogpost yesterday by Stephen Downes, the Canadian education technology research specialist, and it gives a really thought provoking insight into many issues which resonate with the thinking of the National CPD Team (and probably many of our extended learning community as well).

In deconstructing the myriad of approaches to learning which Stephen identifies as either present or emerging, he re-evaluates the role of the educator, in alignment with the changing demands these different approaches bring with them.

He then identifies 23 different roles an educator may be required to fulfill and suggests that far from simplistically implying that educators are the most important determinant of student achievement, we might be wise to look much more carefully at educators strengths and deployment, and at how online learning is evolving, with opportunities for learners to seek out what they need when they need it. And most importantly, he suggest that we should be thinking and talking about this; having the conversations, and identifying moments to accomodate a shift in this direction.

A useful post-hoc contribution to the Summer School 2010 on transformational change, and great stuff for discussion in our online communities.

Let the conversations begin!
Stephen’s article was sourced in the Dec 8th edition of Huffington Post

Hoo tae luik guid glaikit (follow-up)

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It is fair to say that the noticeboards at Stirling Management Centre on Thursday 18th and Friday 19th November weren’t displaying their usual lists of meetings. Yes, Scotlands’ Colleges were there,  NAR people were there along with a few more seasoned regulars but one event stood out from the others:  Hoo tae luik guid glaikit. This was a two day creative hothouse to give CPD leaders and managers from local authorities the opportunity to  “makeover” their online communities, with the help of the National CPD team and Glow development officers.

Con Morris orchestrated the session, outlining in his introduction the drivers behind the “Glaikit” concept: not just tightening purse-strings but also the massive potential there is in Glow as learning and sharing platform, and how having it brings a  responsibility to use it for sharing at every level especially nationally.

Anna Rossvoll from Aberdeenshire gave a local authority perspective on Glow communities which then lead into groups establishing their priorities and principles for online communities , before getting down to some practical work, expertly supported by the Glow development officers, Katie Barrowman, Sarah Burton, Alan Hamilton,Charlie Love, and of course each other!

As the day evolved, a really useful “makeover sample book” started filling up with useful short “how – to guides”  on using web parts in Glow. A thought-provoking discussion on levels of participation online – the #Glaikit Lurkers Debate began to  probe our understandings and beliefs on communities, sharing, participation and responsibility( collegiality), and spilled over into Twitter, where some people were following our hashtag with interest and joined the debate.

Progress was shared via the trusted puggy machine at the end of Friday afternoon, and before departure people were invited to share their intentions for their communities in the dedicated glaikit i-share area, which will be revisited.

SELMAS Conference 2010

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By Margaret Alcorn

On September 3rd this year, educators from schools, centres, local authorities, national organisations and colleges came together for this year’s SELMAS Leadership Conference. The theme was: “Curriculum for Excellence: thinking differently to achieve success”, and as ever the delegates came to be challenged, stimulated and entertained by a range of speakers and lots of discussion and shared activities.

We were delighted that the Keith Brown MSP, Minister for Skills and Lifelong Learning started off our conference. The keynote address was given by Richard Jennings, newly appointed Head of education in East Lothian who lead a lively, interactive session on Community Vehicles, offering one strategy to get people thinking about core values and the moral purpose of their work.

Keen as ever to hear practitioner voices, we then heard from four colleagues who are leading innovation within their own workplace. Jim Scott the headteacher of Perth High School, Irene Whitford, a teacher from Kirkliston Primary School. Here is Irene giving us a great insight into the Learning Rounds Experience

Elaine McGuire the head of the Pre-5 Centre in Shortlees Primary School and Lena Gray, the head of Policy and New Products at SQA, each described an aspect of their current practice, and delegates were invited to offer questions and comments. You can link to and download the brochure which Lena mentioned here. You can see the impact of these brief presentations in the feedback given by delegates.

The afternoon began with a session led by Alison Drever of Learning and Teaching Scotland. The  “Skunkworks” process, in essence, is about innovative answers to important questions. At the conference delegates were asked to step outside the realms of education to consider CfE from a different perspective. This culminated in a CfE think differently challenge which asked them to become the Google search engine and consider what the top hits might be if we typed ‘CfE, think differently’ into the search box.
The conference ended with a moving, challenging and thought-provoking presentation by Linda Borland, a Detective Inspector in the Violence Reduction unit, who told us David’s story. The conference were left with a clear understanding of the need to work differently, individually and collaboratively to offer better life chances to young people like David, and his son.

Feedback from delegates, who were asked to identify one insight, one idea, one intention or one piece of interesting practice relevant to the issues discussed at the conference can be viewed below.

Time to relight the MFLE fire?

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Catriona_colourI had an excellent discussion this week with Catriona Oates of Scottish CILT. Like many others, Catriona is looking at how national organisations (such as SCILT) can add value to the culture of teacher-led CPD which is proving so valuable. We discussed a lot of examples such as the various TeachMeets and the recent Flashmeet about which Catriona kindly blogged. One of our conclusions was the need to facilitate online communities on Glow to ignite discussion topics and sharing of practice. Our conclusions?

  • renewed determination to find, or be facilitators, for Glow groups such as CPDLead and SCILT
  • use CPDShorts to focus on some key areas for debate / professional learning
  • use CPDFind to bring colleagues to both of these things
  • The MFLE community in Scotland (through LTScotland online service) was a leading and early success story for Scotland in the area of online CPD. Time to relight the fire?

How do you get ‘Glowing’? Peer coaching, of course!

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This is a guest post from Rhona Mackenzie of West Dunbartonshire Council

Rhona for blogWest Dunbartonshire has had an involvement in the Microsoft Innovative Teacher initiative since 2006.

Initially this project was concerned with fostering a community of practice which involved all our Glow mentors but a year ago the focus was moved, by Microsoft, to peer coaching. This involved a week long facilitators’ course near London which I attended in November 2008. As the week progressed, it became obvious that this was a methodology which would fit well with the Glow rollout in our authority.

The rollout of Glow within West Dunbarton had stalled for over a year due to technical problems with our firewalls. While we had made a gentle start in our rollout in the summer term of 2009, we were looking for a way to jump start the process at the start of the new academic session. The peer coaching strategy seemed to fit the bill and we sent out an invitation to all our education staff to take part. It was decided that the only viable way of running the course was to offer two days during term time with paid cover: one in the summer term of 2008/9 and one in the autumn term of 2009/10. The rest of the course would take place over four days during the summer holidays. Two identical four day courses were held, one during the second week of the holidays and the other during the second last week of the holidays. All the staff met for the initial day at the end of June and will come together again in the autumn term. The first course in July had 12 staff attending whilst the August course had 8. Both courses had a mix of Glow mentors and enthusiastic practitioners.

Because the main part of the course took place during the summer holidays, there was a very relaxed atmosphere. No one was worried about what was happening in their classroom while they were attending the course and the fact that everyone felt they were in their “own time” added to the lack of pressure. Each day started with an icebreaker activity which helped set the stress-free atmosphere for the rest of the day.

All staff were asked to bring an idea for a lesson which they could use in the new school session. The plan for this lesson became the basis for the peer coaching protocols and also for the creation of a Glow group designed to enhance the lesson. The pattern for each day consisted of an icebreaker activity, a Glow activity, such as resizing images for Glow, Glow Chat, Glow Meet, Glow Learn (taster session only) and a number of peer coaching protocols and other strategies. As well as the new experiences and outcomes from the Curriculum for Excellence we also looked at other initiatives such as “Beyond Engagement” from Becta and spent some time in discussion over these. This gave staff a chance to explore Glow and current pedagogical thinking in a meaningful way, to interact with and learn from each other and to investigate practices which impact on using Glow effectively. We also had a session looking at freeware such as Xmind and AutoCollage among others.

Towards the end of the course, all participants were asked to create a coaching plan showing how they planned to take the peer coaching approach to Glow forward in their own establishments. It became obvious very quickly that the SMT in the school would have to buy into this method of introducing Glow.

The feedback at the end of the two four day courses was that everyone was leaving with a clear understanding of how Glow could enhance the learning and teaching in their class, a greater knowledge of other establishments and sectors within the authority as well as some new found friends.

We now have a dynamic peer coaching Glow group at authority level which will be our main method of communication and collaboration. We do, however, have two dates in our diaries for face to face meeting. The first will be a twilight in September just to get together and discuss how everyone is using Glow within their own practice. We will also be examining roadblocks and reminding ourselves of strategies to overcome them. The second day will be towards the end of November when we will have a full day examining the impact that the peer coaching is having on each establishment.

The evaluations from each of the two four day courses show that the course was greatly enjoyed by all who attended it. The proof of the success of the course, however, will be the uptake of Glow in the peer coaches’ establishments. Microsoft is having the peer coaching programme independently evaluated and West Dunbarton is one of only three local authorities that are taking part in this evaluation.

Associate member opportunity – Reflective practice

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As part of its associate scheme, the National CPD Team are looking for a member of the CPD Network to assist with the development of a professional community to support reflective practice (assisted by Con Morris).

The successful applicant will help develop an online professional community to support CPD leaders and others in the development of a reflective culture.

Key tasks might include:

  • highlighting key research and resources
  • showcasing tools for reflecting on practice (including CPDReflect)
  • creating a forum where practitioners can share experiences and resources
  • hosting and moderating online discussions and online meetings
  • ensuring specific CPD opportunities are posted on CPDFind

Associate member opportunity – CPDCentral

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As part of its associate scheme, the National CPD Team are looking for a member of the CPD Network to assist with the development of CPDCentral (supported by Sheila Smith).

CPDCentral is the national Glow group for all CPD matters and the aim of this opportunity is to develop CPDCentral as a vibrant, online forum to stimulate and generate high quality debate, discussion and support.

 Key tasks will include: 

  • designing and publicising a programme of discussion topics
  • identifying, organising and briefing  “guest” contributors
  • hosting and moderating online discussions and online meetings
  • ensuring specific CPD opportunities are posted on CPDFind

Expression of interests should go to Margaret Alcorn, National CPD Coordinator (

More on Do Coyle and Innovative Networking

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Margaret Orr and I met again with Do Coyle. Regular readers may recall that we met last year (see here for details of that meet)

This time we were in the company of Andy Pendry and Andrew Brown of LTScotland and we looked at how to take forward this exciting project.

Do shared with us some links on the work she pioneered in Nottingham (here and here) and we are looking to adopt a 2-stage approach (dependent on funding, of course)

Stage 1 will be be a small-scale pilot using Glow technology (ie webcams, Glowmeet and MyGlow). Stage 2 will be a much bigger effort with full research support and perhaps more powerful video technology and storage requirements. I will keep you posted!