It’s late, I’m a wee bit tired, but I’m buzzing! I’ve just got home from a Sitech Conference for Champion Schools -( a contract that my school is on ). Wow – we have some very talented people out there in good old New Zealand! Guests included Frank Augustino, Vice President of Business Development and International Sales GTCO (Interwrite software) whom I am forever indebted to because he donated an extra Interactive Whiteboard (which I won for my school !!!!) and a man by the name of Peter Kent. Now I’m sorry I can’t hyperlink anything to Peter because he doesn’t have a website or a blog. He’s Deputy Principal of Richardson Primary School, Canberra Australia – and he lectures in his spare time. Man was he inspiring and did he get you to think about how you use your Interactive Whiteboard.
His message is about Teachers and more specifically e-teaching. He demonstrated lots of practical ways to ensure interactivity. And that’s what his company’s name is called Practical Interactivity. He states that the school environment needs to possess certain traits to ensure that IWBs can enhance teaching and learning within the school and advocates that “e-teaching” involves harnessing the potential of digital technology in presenting a concept, exploring the implications, placing the concept in various contexts, creating links with existing knowledge and leading discussions that probe student understanding and allow students to take their learning in personally relevant directions. WOW! If you ever get a chance to hear this man speak – it’s simple DO IT! The examples he showed us were so simple that you found yourself going, yeah, I could go home and do that, or that is such a simple idea – my students would love to do that.
One of the very simple ideas he showed us, that I’m going to start doing is, record students explaining how they think. He had spelling and maths ideas. 3 x 30, how’d you work that out? Recorded was the student’s thinking in their own words! How powerful is that?! Hyperactive – how do you remember to spell that? Another idea was for the teacher to record a quick self-reflection on the last page of the IWB – how did this go? what would you do differently next time? etc – 30secs max. So simple, yet so effective!
We are so lucky, well I feel I’m so lucky to go to these kinds of things and be inspired, be refreshed, and be motivated to go back to class and action one or two neat ideas I saw. Thanks Peter, thanks Frank, thanks Jenny, Garry and team at Sitech and thanks to all those brillant teachers in New Zealand that came to Hamilton and shared their ideas so willingly. Fantastic, fantastic fantastic!