August 22, 2006

Getting Things Done Mark II - What's Ewan doing for the next year or two?

I don't think that you're meant to do Getting Things Done twice. Indeed, the idea that in one grand session you clear your space and clear your mind was what attracted me to GTD last October as the MFLE started to grow exponentially (read, faster than my mind could cope with). For around 10 months working in this way has kept my email inbox to nil and the workflow has meant that accepting new ideas as they have appeared has been a sinch.

Now I see that all Head Teachers in my 'home' Authority, East Lothian, are going to attempt the same process and I'm glad that they are. It really does free up time to speak to their friendly New Technologies Research Practitioner about the projects he has lined up. However, the latter also needs to do it - again.

As part of clearing the decks here are the first indications of the curricular projects I will be developing almost straightaway. Just click the link to read more. Policy and guidance projects will beare in a future post.

I've referred to subjects or curricular areas here to try and delineate a little. These projects would ideally take place between both primary and secondary schools to get some interesting collaboration out of students - and teachers for that matter ;-)

  • Maths: Professional Development blogs and Scribe Posts. Who else other than Darren and his school have been doing this? Any lessons learned?
  • English: Claire Hyslop, the new Principal Teacher at Ross High School, has been impressed by her department's attitude to trying out something new. What would work in a Scottish English language/literature curriculum? I'm thinking blogs for creative writing development (like Progress Report) but know that Blethers has considered doing some distance learning critical essays on blogs, too. I don't want to smother a department so which would work best?
  • Writing: In Primary school and early secondary school I think there is great scope in using narrative led games as an impetus to create better narrative driven games (the ones I've seen have weaknesses that these young learners could improve upon). The first chapter of Nintendo DS's Phoenix Wright Attorney would be a great way of introducing the idea of non-linear writing, creating one of these stories where the reader leads the action. Is this a goer? Has Anne or anyone else heard of similar projects?
  • Collaborative writing: Any of these projects would be helped by blogging but the newly re-released Writely would provide a great, free online collaborative word processing tool to make the process slightly less painful.
  • Music: I think there is great potential for the performance aspect of music to be played to the world. Copyright of music is always an issue (unless the music is so old that it's out of copyright) but how about getting students to play their compositions to a much larger audience than the school concert? Alan's already had this discussion with colleagues before, so instrumental instructors might be a way in here.
  • Modern Languages: I've already posted on the brain gym effectiveness of Nintendo DS game Dr Kawashima's Brain Age, but you can play these in French, German, Spanish and Italian. The colours game, in particular, can easily be adapted to a lower tech PowerPoint. What other possiblities are there for commercial games to find a place in East Lothian MFL classrooms? (Sims auf Deutsch anyone?)
  • Film-making: This is going to be cropping up all over the place, but already sixth years at two schools (Musselburgh and Knox) will be the official film crew at SETT, producing a promotional video of the Learning Festival. The preparation includes looking at how to make a film effectively, how the media can (mis)portray on demand and how to publish digital media online. Another crew of younger learners will be filming the National Foreign Language Theatre Festival, formerly Rencontres Théâtrâles, held in Musselburgh and Edinburgh. Edinburgh City Council specialists will be working with East Lothian colleagues to provide learners with all the gen. they have so as not to miss any of the live action on the stage next Spring.
  • Art and Design: The teachers in this area have already been doing some great animation work, particularly over at Preston Lodge High School. The aim is to capitalise on this and showcase some of the students' work on Google video. Perhaps other learners elsewhere could rip, mix and burn their own versions of East Lothian students' work. Static work (displays and photography) I'm hoping can be displayed in students' own online portfolios. We could use Flickr for this or something more funky, like CarbonMade. It depends how 'final' these works would be, Flickr offering the chance for classmates and outsiders to write notes for improvements, CarbonMade offering a final place to stick work for uni or commissions.
  • Citizenship: I'm keen for the whole authority to get behind the Invisible Children project. It would be a great opportunity to make a statement with the climax of the Global Night Walk without having to reduce charity fundraising to 'fun stuff', which has, in the past, attracted criticism and the odd raised eyebrow. The media section has some great films which explain its rationale - the links to our own curriculum, effective contributors and responsible citizens should be clear for all.
  • Geography & History: I'd love to see some 4D mapping projects going on, using GPS and free overlays to Google Maps to create a four dimensional image of life in East Lothian for a young person at the beginning of the 21st Century. My recent post on Chorley might provide a basic plan, but the historic element could be capitalised upon - Steve and students in Shropshire are ready to collaborate on the Roman element of our past.


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

I like the idea of all of these projects Ewan. I hope I can add a few more to your list when we meet?

The comments to this entry are closed.

About Ewan

Ewan McIntosh is the founder of NoTosh, the no-nonsense company that makes accessible the creative process required to innovate: to find meaningful problems and solve them.

Ewan wrote How To Come Up With Great Ideas and Actually Make Them Happen, a manual that does what is says for education leaders, innovators and people who want to be both.

What does Ewan do?

Module Masterclass

School leaders and innovators struggle to make the most of educators' and students' potential. My team at NoTosh cut the time and cost of making significant change in physical spaces, digital and curricular innovation programmes. We work long term to help make that change last, even as educators come and go.

Recent Posts