I’ve just been in Liverpool for the first time ever and had an absolute blast. Next time I have to spend more than 14 hours there. Last night I got in at about ten, before heading out with my sis-in-law, Gaelle, to do the Liverpool-in-an-hour thing. Straight off to Mathew Street and the home of the Beatles, down to the Cavern Pub where a superb if slightly David Brentesque rock band strutted their stuff.
Joe Dale managed to find us and brought my two new Live Web chums, Steph (pictured right marvelling my mini MacBook Pro webcam) and Alex (just pictured being Alex, below). These are two languages teachers from dan saff who are beginning to release the potential of new technologies for their students and, importantly, their colleagues.
Steph was on good form and revealed her podcast toolkit which is due for release in November. The idea is that with the tools and advice in one place anyone can get into podcasting with their Modern Languages class. Another attempt to bring things together under one roof which might just convince some of those lagging to get into gear.
Mr McIntosh Goes To School – the naked conversation
Joe and I eventually delivered our own ‘naked conversation’ to the delegates, in my latest mishmash of principles for Live Web teaching and learning – I’ve managed to get it down from 10 to 3. I enjoyed the challenges of keeping to the clock, keeping to the line of enquiry in the presentation and having a proper conversation with Joe in front of the crowd. He was able to play devil’s advocate and make me s-l-o-w down to explain some of the points the audience might have needed expanding. The result was smiles and gushes – and hopefully some new teaching and learning in the coming months.
Community is so important
What has become apparent, though, in putting together this presentation is how much less of a community exists in England and Wales. Those pioneering are not finding their soul mates as quickly as I did in my journey north of the border. Is this down to the size of Scotland or is there something deeper, lying in the sheer weight of the national curriculum with its high stakes testing.
Another aspect I’ve found interesting is the blatant enthusiasm from these language college teachers countered by a strong feeling that school management will just not “get it” and block it all. There are two things here I would suggest.
First – do it, try things out, play and find the holes that need filling before the management do (that might mean not telling them, although its best to get their support from the start in case things do go awry).
Second – get hold of some of the videos on the East Lothian Glow page. The one, two, three videos from the Head of Education there, Don Ledingham, will provide ample targeted ammunition to speak on their terms with their interests at heart, with a horse’s mouth who is there doing it now.
The links for the talk can be found in a post I made a day or so ago.