June 12, 2007

Have a conversation with Stephen Heppell in East Lothian

  Stephen Heppell 
  Originally uploaded by Edublogger

Tomorrow East Lothian is welcoming Stephen Heppell to its shores (and coalmines, and golf courses) to take a look at some of the teaching and learning we feel has been making a difference to the student experience.

It's a shame we only have a day together, since two days or more could have been packed with some inspiring youngsters telling their tales. Thankfully, a lot of what goes on is also online and should help Stephen paint a picture for his keynote at the Scottish Learning Festival later this year.

Here's the trip outline. If you feel there's something going on in your school - whether it's in East Lothian or not - that would help complement the stories in these schools then please do leave a comment here. We'll be liveblogging the day on edu.blogs.com and trying to respond to your questions and examples as we zip between classrooms.

09.00 - Arrive at Gullane Primary School:
   ICT throughout the school with HT, Maureen Tremmel
   Animation and digital media with Johnny Baxter
   Critical skills with Kathy McGrane
10.35 - Leave Gullane Primary School

11.00 - Arrive at Yester Primary School:
   HT, Dorothy Hilsley
   Active Learning & Learning Teams with Jen Macauley
   Digital video and podcasting with Iain Devereux
12.30 - Leave Yester Primary School

13.00 - Lunch in John Muir House, Haddington, with Don Ledingham, Head of Education

13.45 - Arrive at Meadowpark Primary School:
    HT, Lorna Macleod
    ICT Team, Elizabeth Cowan
    Use of ICT and digital media with children with additional support needs with Anne Cockburn

15.00 - Arrive at Prestonlodge High School
    Use of digital media in art with PT, Jim Cramb, and Jacqui Nanson
    Active Learning Partnerships [ALPs] with Barry Smith
    eduBuzz and our online learning with myself and David Gilmour

17.00 - Approximate time to leave Prestonlodge High School

Do get in touch with your own examples or experiences of how student experiences have been improved in your school, to help top up the face-to-face with some virtual goodness. I'm sure we'll be mentioning many of them in the car anyway :-)


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Hi Ewan,

blogging and podcasting are probably two of the main social medias that everyone are turning their hands to effectively to create a social platform and an audience. As you know these have provided rich contexts for learning in our school through our RadioHigh and bear blogs.

I would have to say that wikis has had a larger inpact in enabling me to create a platform that can be accessed any time, any place, anywhere (like martini!). This melts down the barriers of time and place in the classroom creating active learning environments. I do think the wiki is the tool of the future with the discussion area and more so the history aspect where a piece of work can be tracked from the seed to the final product. The collaborative aspect enables children to not only work with the class peers but others from around the world creating a 'flat' world where we are all working on an even surface. You can see how I have developed wikis into my teaching at: http://juniorschool.wikispaces.com/.

This flat surface has enabled me to embark on a new project with schools around the world. 'Voices Of The World' (https://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=35044951&postID=2198632565735299136)aims to unite all the voices around the world as one voice. Each school will send a short audio file on the theme for the month which will then be knitted together at my school to create one podcast. This is unique and exciting allowing the voice to be as important as the written or typed word and allowing children who struggle to construct written sentences to communicate vocally.

Hope this is what you were looking for.


PS - when are you coming to visit us ;)

That's exactly the kind of useful thing we'd love to be talking about tomorrow. Any other suggestions more than welcome!

Hi Ewan,
Very jealous here. As you probably know the HyperCard connection makes Mr Heppell one of my heros. I'll be interested to see how he has replaced HC as a presentation tool at SETT (he had a wonderful presentation the last time).
After seeing him at SETT (at the start of masterclass) several lightbulbs went on in my head and my ict interests started to chance from 'providing resources' to enabling children to have a voice.
I had the start of a conversation with Stephen at Be Very Afraid 3 where he expressed (AFAIR) some reservations about wordpress, it got interrupted, I wonder given edubuzz's reliance on WPMU if you could explore that a little more?

Interesting - things have moved on so much, though, even in the past year, that things might be different. And, again, it depends how you're using WPMU (which is very different from WP, I think). It can't be shoehorned into providing a virtual learning environment, for example, but is great for a new kind of school website or personal learning log.

For what it's worth, I think WPMU and eduBuzz work because the ambition is relatively simple - that, initially, as many teachers as possible and a growing number of kids share their learning logs online (and by proxy a lot of people start a learning log online that they would not have kept on paper at all). For that, WP is great.

Morning Ewan and Steven,

Sounds like you’re going to have a great day! I have a couple of questions for Steven that maybe you will have a chance to chat about?

1. What is the scope for expanding notschool.net into Scottish schools with a pilot in East Lothian?

2. Would Stephen like to come to Teachmeet at SETT 2007? and if so what would he present in his seven minutes?

3. As well as ICT, Sailing is Stephan’s other big passion. What’s the scope for linking technology to outdoor learning? and what innovative ideas has he seen from elsewhere in the world?

Hope you guys have a really good day! Ollie

Now, for the first time in a while, I feel isolated from the main event, at least in Scotland.
I will be watching to see what idea's I can be inspired by from each of te schools.
I know everyone will have a great day.

Just a wee reply to OlieBray's post regarding using technology outside. Whilst in Estonia I at an E-twinning seminar we spent the afternoon in an open air museum. We were given mobiles and hand held GPS systems. Our first clue was sent to the mobile with the co-ordinates sent to hand held. Once we reached the destination we participated in an activity then took a picture as evidence which was sent to base mobile. If correct our next clue and co-ordinates were sent. This took 4 hours to complete rather than I reckon 1 hour without the gadgets. Using mobile technology in this way mirrors how I use them in school as part of orienteering. Sharon

Hi Ewan,
For the record I think the edubuzz setup is wonderful and should be replicated across Scotland. Not such a simple ambition an admirable one.
I think wordpress is pretty sweet, both as a single install and mu, and have recommend it many times.
I was just hoping to get Stephen's perspective as I have always found his ideas to be fairly unique. I was left tantalised the last time.
(I'd also like to discuss blogs as a VLE sometime, I might have the wrong definition of a vle but I think blogs could be bent that way...)


Thank you for your time. Keep the good work.

Hi Ewan
I cannot believe the man I've quoted so often in my post grad work is visiting EL tomorrow. Its a shame he's not visiting Pencaitland :( I look forward to reading your blog tomorrow and hearing his thoughts on how we're devleoping ICT in East Lothain schools.

Hi Ewan,
your flickr stream is looking as if you had a really interesting day. eg Task planners on Flickr - Photo Sharing!.
Hoping we get some details soon;-)

So sorry for the delay in writing things up but it was so rich and I want to do it all justice. We have some amazing kids!

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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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