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November 2, 2006

The training session I was talking about in my last post has been and gone… I survived!

First the bad… I was disappointed with the turnout. There were only half a dozen people there. However, what I didn’t realise at the time the session was first mooted was that Celtic would be playing in Portugal there was also a Chartered teachers session scheduled at the same time. However…

…I am able to use the cliche “quality over quantity”. The session does appear to have gone down very well with all participants getting a blog set up, joining wikispaces and setting up a netvibes account and importing the prepared opml file. Result!

I also took the time to give a very sketchy overview of the importance of these tools in the classroom and as communication tools for mentors/Newly Qualified Teachers… there is, after all, only so much one can do in 90 minutes! There was no time to talk about flickr or but I pointed people in the right direction to find out more.

There were two main things (and loads of little things) that I learned. In no particular order they are that:

  • I need to be clearer about what I’m saying when explaining wikis. I like to think I’m honest enough to admit that I did not do them the justice I think they deserve. I’ll need to get some feedback from the participants to try and work out how to improve this aspect of the session.
  • The other thing that I learned and which was a very pleasant surprise, was the realisation and admission by all the participants that they saw blogging in particular as a means of becoming a more reflective practitioner. I know that I have become a more engaged teacher and learner as a result of my blogging, and it was good to hear my fellow teachers saying much the same.

I am always wary when we talk about becoming reflective practitioners as I have long feared that the more cynical of my colleagues may pooh-pooh the notion as being an irrelevant encroachment into their professionalism. However, if I’m honest, I’d have to say that I question the professionalism of anyone who isn’t prepared to consider if they could be doing things better.

So… the session finished only slightly over the allotted time, and I’ve got a few colleagues in Perth & Kinross who at least know what a blog and a wiki are! As they say ‘small steps’…

Thanks to Ewan for his comments. They were just what I needed to hear and helped me immensely.

[UPDATE: I’ve been asked to give a similar presentation to the NQTs themselves as soon as it can be organised and I also have a date in February 2007 to give a demonstration to the PKC Modern Studies teachers… Wow! I must have done something right!] 

4 Comments leave one →
  1. November 2, 2006 1:02 pm

    Great news Neil! I’m so glad it went well. It doesn’t matter that it was small numbers – better to get a few involved than loads that listen but then don’t act.

    Also, I couldn’t agree more about professional reflection. We need to be sharing far more of this!

  2. November 2, 2006 3:13 pm

    Thanks AB!

    I’ve been reading about your exploits in South Lanarkshire, so I might need to pick your brains a bit about wikis once I’ve had time to reflect on where I can get it better.

  3. November 2, 2006 7:02 pm

    “A wiki is a webpage anyone can edit – just like an online word document. Now what would *you* do with that kind of power?”

    Get rid of the responsibility of explaining it, is what I would suggest 😉

    I’m glad things went well and can’t believe you got through all that in 90 mins. Are you sure you didn’t lock the door and do some kind of hypnotism to make them stay longer?

  4. November 3, 2006 11:05 am

    I can’t believe I did it all in 90 minutes! Actually, I think that is why I ended up feeling disappointed with the wiki part of the session.

    Of course, the proof will be in the pudding… I’ll need to sit down this weekend, tidy up the wiki and start checking up on how the participants have been getting on since.

    Thanks for your help and suggestions!

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