Face to Face

I had another great day out yesterday. Once again, I was working directly with practitioners.

Sincerest thanks to West Thames College, in Isleworth for inviting me down to deliver two sessions on the pedagogical use of mobile phones in teaching and learning

And thank you too, to the thirty odd staff members that passed my way for being so receptive, positive and enthusiastic. Your students are very lucky.

Since the downturn, I’ve found it hard to get this type of face-to-face event, but every time I do I come away reinvigorated and recharged.

Since all of the national eCPD progammes stopped, several colleges and providers have been kind enough to invite me in on their staff training days and each one has told the same story: Practitioners still need help in learning how to utilise technology in teaching and learning and how to recognise opportunities for that utilisation – the difference is that they are now ready to accept this learning.

There is nothing like face-to-face workshops to encourage this kind of development. I never just deliver, I always show and then allow time for practice. Yesterday it was TEXTING (we all sent texts and explored Wordle as an aside) >> PEDAGOGY (some Q&A interaction around Bloom’s Taxonomy) >> QR CODES (everyone created codes and discussed uses) >> MULTI-MEDIA (we looked at iPadio, and sent photos and videos to Flickr). Everyone contributed and everyone stayed on board. Well done.

Over the last twelve months, I’ve also been invited to lead workshops at Blackburn College, Gloucestershire College, Leeds College of Music, Pontefract New College and at a small number of events with mixed audiences. Each time it has been like giving ice creams to children: much appreciated and very much enjoyed.

Thanks again to all concerned.





I’ve known about Wordle for a quite a while now, but over recent months I’ve learned to respect its power and versatility more and more. For those of you who have not seen it yet, Wordle allows you to create pictures out of words. http://www.wordle.net

I began to recognise Wordle’s real potential during the work I carried out at Blackburn College in March. I had shown the site as part of my Mobile Learning and Web 2.0 presentations there. During these I showed the Learning Apps http://www.textwall.co.uk (ex-Xlearn) Text Wall, which features a Wordle link that presents a picture of any words sent to the Text Wall.

One teacher in the room immediately voiced the potential for Wordle as she saw it. She taught law and suggested that she could first ask learners to text their understanding of a particular act to the wall and she would then create a Wordle image of those texts to begin discussion of that act at the beginning of her next class.

Later, in Cheltenham, teachers became enthused once more with the power of Wordle. Assignment briefs would be headed by a Wordle image; lessons would be introduced via a Wordle image highlighting essential aspects of the forthcoming lesson. Today in Newcastle under Lyme, other ideas included reminders of induction sessions (equality and diversity?) via Wordle images; students creating their own images from their understanding of such (or other) sessions and most interestingly, the review of personal statements for UCAS via Wordle image. An English teacher considered taking a poem, reducing the word-count in Wordle (easy enough to do) and then asking the class to consider THE most prominent words and to create a new poem using those.

(original movie via Screenr at: http://www.screenr.com/Iq2s]

In each place it was Wordle that the majority of teachers took away with them to create change. This always signals success for me and the work I do, as this is always intertwined with reminders of and closer looks at Bloom’s Taxonomy. By using Wordle effectively, learners can be encouraged to analyse, synthesise and evaluate pieces of work whilst ‘creating’ (HOTS in original and revised taxonomies).