Day 2 of the conference saw David Seedhouse deal to the values concept in the new curriculum. Severely. And he makes a good case - there is no supoporting evidence for the current approach that every school and curriculum decision must be based upon an analysis of values - and the list of values that the MoE has identified. Seedhouse maintains that values are nothing more than a mix of evidence and opinions - everyones will be a little different. The role of the teacher is to expose students to the thought processes through discussion of appropriate "values" questioning. To this end his web site is a cool tool for developing this notion. A great start to the day!
Chris Betcher has been one of the stars of this conference. Every show has its star presenters, but this one has had one. I've seen four of his sessions - all delivered with enthusiams and clear passion for what he does. His session today looking at putting the interactive into the IWB has reinforced my view that in the hands of a good teacher, these boards are a "table stake" for the classroom. The interactivity doesn't really come from the board, it comes from what the board lets you do in the class. So, my task now is to re-energise our push with these technologies and light those fires again!
It's been a few years since I played with Turning Points v-pad software for student polling in Powerpoint, so I was pleased to catchup with KeePad out of Oz and look at how this has developed. Still expensive for what it is, so I think I'll head to the likes of PollAnywhere to get a look at how this might deliver some formative data. It did however give me the chance to have a play with the eBeam system - one of those devices claiming to give IWB functionality on a standard whiteboard. After having a play, I think that if you are strapped for cash, then maybe these are an option - but my preference is definitely for a "board". And while on this - I remain quite impressed with the Promethean ActivBoard. Kind of think that maybe they are just a little better than SmartBoards?? Just.
Having had my main reason for attending the conference satisfied, I spent the rest of the day in sessions looking at software options to make classroom life that much more fun. That's always a great part of these types of conferences - you always find some new stuff. There are a few that I thought looked just fantastic - I'll save them for another blog or two.
Now - how to bring some of this conference, plus a whole lot of other stuff I've accumulated over recent months, to our staff? I'm looking forward to it!!