Once I was a young primary teacher who thought he knew a lot about ICT (or has it gone back to IT now?), I became an ICT Coordinator after previously heading up PE and envelopes. I loved this role and soon became completely obsessed with interactive whiteboards, primary age software and how technology could engage, support and inspire children and teachers (or on some occasions just me).
I would be asked to speak at our local teachers centre about how our school had been using whiteboards in lessons, or about our film projects. However, the thing I remember most from this time was working with SEN and EAL pupils, supporting and scaffolding their writing using packages like Clicker and 2Simple applications. Fast forward a few years and I find myself training my own son’s support assistant in the ways of Clicker, until he used this he wasn’t really a writer. I have always believed technology can, when used well, make a real difference to how children experience and learn at school and home.
I was fortunate to get a position as an ICT advisor at a North East London borough and work with some real edtech legends in a paradigm of mutual inspiration and collaboration of ideas. (Gosh that sounds pretentious ) What I mean is while doing my job at Redbridge, I was lucky enough to work with Dawn “shut up about those Nintendos” Hallybone , Terry “my dad” Freedman, Nick ” forget IT lets talk Doctor Who” Hughes, Dave “Did you catch me on Teachers TV?” Smith and others.
Myself , Nic and Alex Rees built a large and enthusiastic community of ICT Coordinators, which we struggled to all accommodate in our training room. There was a real buzz about ICT at this time and we succeeded in bringing Redbridge ICT to both local, national and international attention. Our message was simple ICT needn’t be as dull and as lifeless as the QCA scheme of work which was by then was heavily out of date. Rather this was and is a subject where one could innovate, excite, push boundaries, make links and take children beyond their classroom. We got schools blogging, podcasting, movie making programming with Scratch, tearing up their schemes or work and some went off into the Games Based Learning arena.
That job sadly ended due to cuts.
And then I worked with the inspirational and unsung tech guru, Max Wainewright at 2Simple. I was privileged to work with him and the artistic greatness of Elin Bjorkulund on Purple Mash. It was both exciting and challenging working within a tech company, but it gave me an insight into the skills our children need to work in such an industry and it is more than just the ability to code. During my time at 2Simple I worked on our social media arm and met many amazing teachers who opened my eyes to what could be done in classrooms today. I was privileged to share weak coffee and great ideas with Bev Evans, Simon Widdowson, Ian Addison, Claire Lotriet, Mark Warner…. The list goes on but seeing their work began to stir something in me.
Then in Spring of 2012 I began hankering after teaching again and I felt a need to talk about and try out some stuff in a classroom that wasn’t just Flash or 2Simple based.
So now, here I am a teacher again with ideas, five children and in need of a blog as a personal reflection tool.
I aim to write and share news and views about technology and education, but these views are my own or those of my five boys who also love ICT, but perhaps a little too much.