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Naacely does it. March 11, 2012

Posted by IaninSheffield in CPD, Inspiration.
Tags: , , , ,

naace 2012

Attended the Naace Conference for the first time today, albeit just the final day of what had been a three day conference. Have to say there was an enticingly extensive set of sessions from which to choose, so spoilt for choice, here’s what I experienced in chronological order:

“BYOD” – delivering ICT to students’ own devices reliably, securely and effectively. Given our plans for exploring the affordances of BYOD, it would have been remiss for me to miss this session. Well actually no! I neglected to spot it was a sponsored session and as such proved little more than a sales pitch for Meru Networks, but that was my fault (I’d forgotten my specs and was struggling to read the programme!)

Leon Cych (@eyebeams) provided some case studies of how social media are being used in schools and the strategies employed to enable the school to be comfortable in their use. In addition Leon introduced the Social Media for Schools service which aims to connect senior leaders across schools making use of social media and thereby enable interesting practice to be shared.

“A mobile in the classroom isn’t a distraction, it’s a teaching and learning tool.” Kevin McLaughlin (@kvnmcl) allowed us some hands on time with a variety of mobile devices as he extolled their virtues, suggesting the balance should tip in favour of potential that they offer to enhance student learning, rather than possible problems they may cause.

“Rethinking CPD – Exploring the Vital In-House PDP Model.” Peter Twining brought us up to date with the work Vital have been undertaking over the past couple of years, what factors make for good CPD and how their new model delivers that.

From there I was able to catch the tail end of the panel session discussing whether the fundamental model of school education which has been in place for decades, will still be relevant in twenty years’ time. I actually dropped in where the point was made that the formal examination system is driving much of what is done and that it has an unduly significant influence. Whilst agreeing with that general principle, Ollie Bray also observed that there are many schools succeeding in being innovative in their approach, thereby suggesting that exam culture needn’t drive all that we do. I wish I’d been there for the whole session and I guess that was part of the problem for me – an embarrassment of riches from which to choose.

teachmeetThe morning and conference proper closed, but we moved into the afternoon over lunch and a chat with some familiar and friendly faces, then on to TeachMeet Naace to enjoy an incredibly eclectic series of presentations:

  • @theokk talking about scoop.it as a way of curating useful web content and offering invites for accounts
  • @edintheclouds wanting to ‘engage the rest.’ i.e. those not at TeachMeet who perhaps don’t access PLNs.
  • @lordlangley describing a collaborative Kindle project in which the devices were used to share and read student-written  chapters of stories.
  • @boydon1967 whizzed through how eTwinning enables teachers to collaborate across countries.
  • @advisorymatters  described the AdMission project and “ambient” advertising
  • @grumbledook – how to plan your broadband provision using the toolkit developed by the Schools Broadband Working Group.
  • @Teknoteacher explained how to fire up the minds of tomorrow’s coders through Hack to the Future.
  • @milesberry asked his trainee teachers Why teach ICT?  And the degree to which their findings correlated with those of dICTatEd.
  • @digitalmaverick  described how using ‘live’ data from the Fantasy league to made spreadsheet work more meaningful.
  • @bevevans  described how important it is to give SEN  pupils  (and any others!)  choice in what they use to support their learning and using technology that is appropriate to their needs.
  • @stevebunce showed us how to knit … and how similar that was to learning about computers.
  • @kvnmcl  exhorted us to throw out the 3 step teaching model  and our lesson plans and try something new.


 I learned during the morning that for CPD to be effective, it needs to be strategic, relevant, enquiry-based, sustainable, reflective, involve collaboration with peers and require findings to be shared.

I think the £50 my school spent of getting me to the conference was probably money well spent. All the morning sessions (and some of the TM presentations) were related to points in our school ICT development plans and school strategic plan. All the presentations were relevant for me; everything and anything related to ICT in school matters and informs my thinking one way or another. The morning sessions in particular were somewhat enquiry-based in that I could explore areas of interest with the presenters and indeed could extend that enquiry by discussing with my peers over coffee and lunch. And finally here I am sharing and being reflective.

What might I have changed? With hindsight I might have opted for different morning sessions in some cases and I’m sure I would have found the panel sessions challenge my thinking. As for the TeachMeet, my only criticism is one I and others have mentioned before and that’s that I’d welcome the opportunity to ask questions of the presenter immediately after their delivery. A couple of minutes extra perhaps? I know we have their contact details and can follow things up later, but sometimes things just pop into your head … and then a short while later are gone. Or perhaps that’s just my age?



1. OllieBray - March 11, 2012

Nice write up of the conference – might borrow you picture of the panel for one of my own posts if that is alright? Best wished. OB

2. colinmaxwell - March 13, 2012

Would love to have been at the Naace conference. Sadly shrinking budgets are preventing anything that isn’t free! It has been good reading all the blogposts and tweets, though.

ianinsheffield - March 13, 2012

Interesting that in constrained financial circumstances in education there are perhaps fewer opportunities to innovate (e.g. through attendance at conferences and being exposed to others’ ideas), whereas in other sectors it’s considered important to seek out innovative pathways.
“Innovation will help determine how quickly companies can recover once the upturn gets under way.” (www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/2794406/Innovation-is-the-key-to-recovering-from-a-recession.html)

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