Determined to Succeed (Jean MacMillan)
Jean had recently had the chance to speak to a group of young people who were firmly in the ‘More choices, more chances’ category and who are near to leaving school. They share a considerable uncertainty about their future, with one exception. Many of the aspects which the school thinks are preparing them for life Read more…
One the workshops which generated a lot of great conversation was hosted by Ollie Bray and Jaye Richards on the topic of Personal Learning Networks. Ollie’s presentation is displayed below and Jaye’s can be seen here.
Here’s a sample from the ensuing and ongoing discussion:
“Gentle nudging sounds the way! Personal Learning networks develop real self reflection – teaching the process through training etc doesn’t make that process happen but may spark a start in someone’s own journey. We also need the trail blazers in there showing people how it works for them – nudging people along to try bits out. People will only make their own paths as they see the worth of this …”
Eddie Broadley launched Day 2 of the event with a thought-provoking look at the “Curriculum for Excellence – What is the unit of change?”
Here’s a sample from the discussion that ensued:
What is the unit of change for ACfE ?
“For nearly 20 years, the profession has been ‘given’ instructions on how and what to teach. Has this made them unable to be as proactive in making the change that’s needed for ACfE? Is it really as simple as identifying the unit of change or is it really the quality of leadership we need to focus on?
Collaborative teaching from different subjects in secondary schools might be a way forward to encourage cross-curricular working, however the problems of logistics rears its head again. Are staffing formulae now ripe for change, particularly as resources tend to follow these formulae? When money is tight, resources tend to be removed starting with co-op teaching.” ?
You can take part in the ongoing discussion on the Building Windmills Glow group!
One of the unexpected features of Building Windmills was the use of Twitter before, during and after the event. Twitter is a ‘micro-blogging’ tool which is catching the imagination of educators the world over as a way to stay in touch and getting some serendipitous CPD. The essence of Twitter is you have up to 140 characters to describe what you are doing, express an opinion or point things out to fellow Twitter users.
Opinions on its use vary from “the best professional development a teacher can get!” to “I don’t get it. It seems like the 21st century equivalent of writing on the toilet wall to me!”
Before the event, we set up a keyword (windmills09) which we tried to use in all our ‘tweets’ (as the conversation pieces are called). Mike Coulter (a consultant working with LTScotland on online strategy) attended the event and kindly gathered some of the conversations into a slideshow for us.
A number of the attendees (at Stirling and remotely using Glowmeet) have Twitter accounts (some of them as a result of Jaye Richards and Ollie Bray’s excellent session on Personal Learning Networks). Here are some of the ‘Twitterati’ involved but please feel free let me know if there are more out there!
The CPD Network Building Windmills (face to face) event took place on 5th and 6th February. It raised lots of great CPD conversations and challenges, partly because of its themes (online CPD and Curriculum for Excellence) and partly because of its blended format. The associated professional community on Glow (Building Windmills) was heavily used to stimulate and capture conversations, resource sharing and action planning. A range of social networking techniques were used including Twitter and Flickr. Several colleagues took part remotely using Glowmeet.
Over the coming week, I will extract and highlight key points from the Glow group and the event. In the meantime, if you are a Scottish CPD leader with a Glow account, please feel free to apply to join the Building Windmills community and keep an eye out for more posts on this blog.
Andrew Brown of the LTScotland Glow Team will set the ball rolling by asking the question “Can we do CfE without online CPD?” He will demonstrate a range of professional learning using online technology and get the 1st of the collegiate sessions underway.
Colleagues from a range of national organisations such as HMIE, SQA, GTCS and DTS have kindly agreed to share the stage and demo and discuss their existing online CPD provision and their plans for the future. Colleagues taking part are:
Jean MacMillan from Determined to Succeed
Douglas McMillan from SQA
Mairi McAra from GTC Scotland
Ken Muir and Sally Fulton from HMIE
Each will demonstrate their current online CPD provision, outline their plans/thoughts/expectations for the future and take some time to focus on their role in CPD for CfE. There will be ample time for questions from the floor and Glowmeet. This session will be hosted by Roddy Stuart.
In this session, Con Morris of the National CPD Team will look at how CPDFind has developed over the last 2 years, give participants a sneak preview of the changes being made and host a discussion on its future.