This week, my colleagues in the eBCC ICT working group and I organised and ran the first ICT Expo at our school. The expo had 16 ‘stands’ over a handful of classrooms and a large central area. As pictures often tell what words can’t quickly describe, have a look below at the short clip from the event (if problems, use a link to the video on TeacherTube).
Here is more about the occasion pictured in the video…
The stands included a collection of thought provoking videos such as Sir Ken Robinson’s classic ‘Killing Creativity‘, Mark Pesce’s ‘Those Wacky Kids’ and a few other gems. There were stands with self-serve click-and-watch clips from the Common Craft’s Plain English series, a stand where students showed teachers how to work with Google Earth, stands where fellow teachers (all eBCC members) gave personalised presentations to interested small groups of teachers on a range of topics from using Moodle in teaching, RSS, search strategies with Google and so on. There were a couple of hardware stations too – how to set up an LCD projector and how to book, use and teach with a mobile bank of laptops. The participants walked away with a CD of goodies such as useful, ready-to-install freeware, 2 Minute Moodles tutorials, copies of materials from the presentations they have seen, list of useful websites and so on. In short, the expo tried to cater for a range of different skills, abilities and interests and give the staff with ideas (and tangibles) to walk away with.
The expo was not intended to be an in-depth learning opportunity but rather an opportunity to raise awareness of the possibilities ICT offers in teaching and learning. The tone was deliberately informal and based on the 70:20:10 principle described in my previous post. The informality and ‘fragmentation’ was a little challenging to some staff members but the majority of them really liked and appreciated the format and a chance to make their own decision about what they want to learn about. The honesty of teachers in talking about ICT, their problems, successes, tips, tricks to each other was invaluable. The engagement with the ICT ideas, not just the tools, was palpable and literally brought a smile on my face.
This was just one of the strategies to improve integration of ICT at our school. As I write this, I have not shown the video to staff just yet but I imagine the reaction will be a positive one.
A real change is beginning to take place at our school. Why? Because we (staff and students) own it. It is not imposed, not taught, just worked on and – caught. I often wish more people would actually know more about some of this work at our school but we are ‘just a middle-size public school’ in a part of town that isn’t exactly renowned for excellent schools, so we neither promote ourselves nor do we get promoted much. But that’s another story…
PS If you would like to see the full list of stations, videos, clips and the contents of the CD, please feel free to ask for it. Comments welcome!