June 27, 2007

Glamming it up in Glamorgan

I'm going to put in somenotes here from a day I'm spending with the good people of Glamorgan, Pontypridd and Wales in general. Come back here later on and, hopefully, I'll have had time to do it!


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Your talk was very inspiring, not just in the professional level but in the personal level. I am glad I attended your presentation, but felt my humble Power Point presentations will have to be updated.

I will cascade the info to my Learning Advisors colleagues in Coleg Glan Hafren, Cardiff, and aim to set up a blog for my Film teaching practice next year.


thanks for today. Doing two sessions back to back and keeping the energy going for both of them was great.

While we have spent time with staff getting involved in social software for learning in the last few years, having someone with your vision and commitment is great to strengthen the converted and convert those who have not yet seen how social software can enhance learning and teaching.

My thanks for both your presentations today, they were excellent and just filled me enthusiasm and ideas. I am so glad we recorded the event so those who could not make it can still see and hear you.

Great ideas, cheap and simple to implement...I'm looking forward to taking up my new role, working with schools, with renewed enthusiam. Thanks Ewan, today was excellent...I hope to make it up to Scotland soon...

Truly inspiring - I loved the "stories in 5 frames" on Flickr, and I started to really see how games could connect with learning. Loads of ideas to share with colleagues around Wales. Thankyou Ewan (and thankyou University of Glamorgan for this and many other great blended learning seminars this year).

Fantastic presentation Ewan which has given us plenty of food for thought especially how the University Students of the future could be using their own blogs and the blogs of others to further their knowledge.

I also agree with Cristina, time to brush up those old dull PowerPoint presentations!

I too would like to thank Ewan for both seminars, they were both excellent in style & content (and importantly - practising what he preaches). Even though I'm not a Lecturer/Teacher, this has given me some great ideas to ponder over - not just for work either!



It was good to meet you and say hello! Your presentation was excellent, so onwards (or was it online :)) and upwards!

Sangeet Bhullar

Thank you Ewan.

I never got the chance to ask you what you thought the impact of these emerging technologies will have on student assessment. If you have any thoughts or pointers here, it would be great to hear them.

All the best,


PS I went home on Wednesday to practise on the DS. Shan't be shown up in public like that again. ;)

Your presentation, Ewan, and your use of emerging technologies, were superb. But you don't need me to say that; I can see from a glance at a few of your blogs' comments that everyone says it; and you deserve all that praise. I'd like to add another line of thought.

To my mind, your presentation to us at Glamorgan had two themes: one explicit—emerging technologies; and one implicit—student centred learning (or whatever particular jargon is the phrase of the moment). You combined the two in a most inspiring way, but I think it is important for us as educators to realise that there are separate things here.

Of course emerging technologies offer innumerable opportunities for new and exciting ideas in education, as you demonstrated brilliantly over and over again. But, without the right attitude from the teacher, the technologies themselves will not be so productive in teaching. The glamour of the new can attract publicity, funding, awards, students, and educators; but its novelty and the difficulty (for some people) of adapting to it must scare some teachers. I feel sure there must be many teachers, perhaps in the second halves of their careers, who feel some of these technologies are simply emerging too fast for them to keep up, and who fear showing their ignorance in front of their students. (Yes, I know the good teachers exploit that by getting their students to teach them, but that takes a confidence that many teachers don't have.) Technology alone won't help an unconfident teacher, and may sap what confidence they do have.

On the other hand, the second, implicit theme of your talk, student centred learning, is something that doesn't need any technology at all. Of course these emerging technologies can add wonderful tools, and make possible many ideas which would be impractical without them. But the essence of your presentation—putting yourself on the same emotional level as your audience rather than assuming a superiority; genuinely engaging with every person present (in so far as that was possible!); responding sincerely to everything which came from us; using our needs and interests to choose your direction; and generally giving us as much control as you could—is a style of teaching which, although it can benefit from appropriate technology, does not depend on technology at all. The true value behind all the now-almost-hackneyed phrases: student-centred; facilitating rather than teaching; participative not didactic; self-assessment; and the rest; was actually implicit in your examples, but also in your own style of delivery. That brings me to my main point: good teaching can certainly make use of all sorts of technologies, but can happen without any of them.

So, in brief, I found the technology side of your talk (and your use of an Apple, which I persist in believing to have a significance!) very interesting; but I found your ethos of teaching to be more thought-provoking and inspiring.

Incidentally, I wonder if you are familiar with SEAL, the Society for Effective Affective Learning, which has its roots in language teaching?

My best wishes,

Robert Edwards, Glamorgan
(very proud of having used blogging as a central part of a course here in 1987, even though it was called conferencing in those days; and using total self-assessment soon after that.)

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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.

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