Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Search in comments
Search in excerpt
Search in posts
Search in pages
Search in groups
Search in users
Search in forums
Filter by Categories
Curricular Areas
Expressive Arts
Involving Pupils
Modern Languages
Outdoor Learning
Professional Learning
Scottish Learning Fringe
Social Studies
#PedagooHull: what is it and why is it?

#PedagooHull event for teachers is on May 14, 2016. Put this date into your diary!

Pedagoo’s page for the event: pedagoo.org/events/hull


So, being a new Pedagoo Curator, I’ve decided to organise a Pedagoo event in Hull. As far as I know (correct me if I am wrong), this will be the first Pedagoo event in Hull, if not Humberside. Those of you well familiar with Pedagoo will know that their events are somewhat similar to TeachMeets, but come with a difference. Rather than being short presentations, which is the case with TeachMeets, their main feature are meetings of small groups of teachers around a table, where practice, ideas, resources related to T&L are shared and exchanged. The atmosphere is relaxed, and there tends to be a lot of enthusiasm and laughter! I attended my first Pedagoo event in Newcastle (Pedagoo Christmas Party 2014) at the University there and fell in love with the format and the way it was run quite instantly. It reinvigorated me (much needed in December after the entire term and it always being dark when you go to work and always being dark when you leave!). It allowed me to revisit – with full force – why I am in this profession, why I love it so much, and how I am surrounded, in every school I go to or work in, with dozens of other teachers dedicated to the same: preparing children for the world ahead of them. Day in. Day out. Teachers were sharing practice with each other – always amazes me what we can learn from each other and how inspirational we can be for each other! – their spirits were lifted. It was an event when we were able to reclaim our profession and professionalism.

The plan is that you leave #PedagooHull with the same uplifting feelings and lots of ideas to use in your own classrooms.

The groups will be led by Learning Conversations leaders and there should be 9 different ones. Any teacher can be a leader, so if there is an area you are great at (feedback, questioning, differentiation, marking, IT in your classroom) – everyone has their strengths! – do sign up to lead one using the relevant form on the page linked to above. We already have 3 leaders, but there is space for you there!

I would like to extend a HUGE thank you to @lisajaneashes and @SeahamRE and @lovelinkous. Lisa, in particular, has been incredibly welcoming and inspirational to me both both prior to the Christmas Party event in Newcastle (extremely welcoming!) and whilst the event was on. All these three wonderful people have been supportive of me over the last year. They are a true example of what can be accomplished when a community of like-minded, sharing-practice and research-driven people get together. Without them, I wouldn’t have thought of becoming a Pedagoo Curator. Thank you!

So who is this guy? Why is he doing this?

My name is Kamil, and I am an EAL Coordinator at one of Hull’s secondaries. I have had a long career in English language teaching, starting in 1999 back in my home country Poland. I moved to England in 2007 to be a teacher of EAL, and worked at a secondary in Wembley, London, for three years. I have since taught in Scotland, then back in London, and now I am in Hull. In essence, I am committed to three things, which drive my own practice and how I work with other teachers:

Disseminating good EAL practice to other teachers – and networking:

be it in my own school, where, beside teaching EAL learners myself, potentially half of my role is advising other teachers on EAL practice, or through networking and training other teachers across the country. I’ve spoken at well over 10 different teachmeets on EAL in the last two years (my first one was, I think, @TMHullEY at Malet Lambert!), and wherever I’ve been, it was quite apparent to me that mainstream teachers ache for this knowledge. I’ve spoken at conferences, too, such as a ResearchEd in Swindon in November 2015. If you are an NQT, you might just see me delivering a short workshop at the NQT Conference at the University of Hull next week.

EAL is a vast area, drawing on insights from studies of bilingualism, English language teaching, literacy, issues of cultural belonging and race and far more: it is at huge disadvantage to many teachers that there is so little training in this area: as a result, people struggle knowing what to do, facing with the prospect of teaching both language and content in their classrooms. Theories and strategies such as CLIL (Content and Language Integrated Learning), CBLT (Content Based Language Teaching) and writings of people such as Pauline Gibbons, Thomas & Collier, Bernard Mohan or Neil Mercer remain unknown to many. Language is incredibly important and I wish there was more of a concept of language across the curriculum instead of just the literacy. I want to help those struggling teachers. Most teachers I speak to want to learn about how to better serve EAL learners. At the risk of sounding like a Tesco employee: I am here to help. I have the knowledge of both theories and strategies that can be flexibly used for EAL learners and am willing to share these. I am willing to train or help individually any mainstream teacher.

Learning from the mainstream teachers:

I don’t find it enough, however, to be just sitting there in my specialism. There are some EAL teachers out there, who in some utopian way believe that “we are in the right” and “they are in the wrong”. It’s just not me. In my view, we simply need to learn from each other. In my role, I cannot hope to advise teachers of English, Maths, Science, Geography and other subject teachers, if I don’t understand the kind of knowledge that they took from their trainee university programmes. I was originally trained in Poland and a good while ago, and most to be an English language (TEFL) teachers. A teacher who knows about language theories (such as Chomsky, Skinner, Krashen and Pinker) is likely to be a great teacher in English-language schools, but cannot hope to help British mainstream teachers navigate the need to teach content and language. Everyone needs to know about the writings of Bloom, Piaget, Dweck, Hattie and Dewey. I continue to read and learn about what knowledge teachers I am advising have coming in to schools in England, so I can find common ground.

I want to learn from you guys how to improve my teaching too. At TeachMeets and other conferences I’ve attended I have learnt so much. My morning silent reading with my EAL student uses an adapted by myself version of silent reading cards I picked up at EngMeet in Buckinghamshire last year. At Yorkshire TeachMeet last year, I picked a great idea on how to mark more effectively. At a NATE TeachMeet in Leeds just last week, I learned how to use PlayDough to engage learners reading literature. At Ross McGill’s TeachMeet in London last year, I picked up how to use Kahoots and Plickr with my students. There is massive experience and knowledge there that I can use to improve my practice. It is certainly not a one way street.

Research, research, research:

I am always on the lookout for more research into education and like-minded teachers who want to use action research and/or just reading about others’ research to improve their own practice. Taking the time to think about what we do and reflecting on what we do as professionals is extremely important to me. Obviously, it’s not that we’ll ever be able to incorporate all the good ideas into our own practice, but the more we know the more we can choose from. Exploring ideas of others (not just from the UK) is of utmost importance. Engaging with other points of view gives us, the teachers, the power of knowledge. That power mean we can be more critical about what we’re asked to do in our classrooms and why we are asked to do so. (For instance, the knowledge I have about bilingualism and language learning equips me with power – in some schools, EAL may be perceived as a marginal concern, but being knowledgeable means one can stand one’s ground.) That way we can, I strongly believe, enforce a bottom-up approach to education. We are the people on the ground – we are the once who know what it feels like to be in our classrooms – and we should be the ones who have more of a say (to begin with, at least) in what the education system looks like. But we need to be equipped with knowledge to change this highly politicised landscape we’re dealing with these days. But we need to have that research knowledge that empowers us.


I do hope that #PedagooHull will bring the teachers and educationalists in the Humberside, East Yorkshire and Lincolnshire together (and beyond, if you’d like to come!). I would like to begin building a community of teachers that network together and share practice and ideas. If you’d like to be part of that community, please do sign up to lead a learning conversation at the event or simply sign up to the event. We’re first looking for conversation leaders; following this, we’ll be opening the event to general registration. If you want to be informed about when that general registration opens, there is a separate form for that at the Pedagoo Event’s page.

I do hope to see you there on the 14th! Please share this with other teachers. Let’s share practice and empower each other!

Kamil Trzebiatowski

(EAL Coordinator, Teacher, Trainer, Speaker, Education Blogger)

MEd in Advanced Studies in Inclusive Education

Education bloggerValuing and Protecting Diversity Through Education

EAL Academy Associate, NALDIC Publications Committee Member, Pedagoo Curator & ATL Union Rep

Twitter: @ktlangspec , LinkedIn: http://uk.linkedin.com/in/kamiltrz

Admin of International English / ESL / EAL Collaborative Group (Facebook)

Wellbeing 15-16 #teacher5adaySlowChat #ScotEdChat
December 30, 2015
Screen Shot 2015-12-30 at 16.20.43

I have been following the teacher slow-chat wellbeing posts this week with great interest and decided to have a go at a 15-16 wellbeing post myself.

I am a driven person. I am not sure when I became  slightly addicted to pushing myself; I think that it hit somewhere around the age of 14 when I decided that I wanted to go to Cambridge. I think that I failed, as a teenager, to ever get a real sense of myself and threw myself into models of what I thought I ‘should be’. The underlying psychological issues are not for this post but safe to say that at 47, I’m still working on it….

Thereafter the joy of childhood seemed to slip away and I became very goal driven.

But of course hard work is a GOOD thing and workaholism is one of those addictions that is secretly ok because it is about ‘achieving’. As is an addiction to exercise….. You don’t get the same criticism for being addicted to work or exercise as you do for being addicted to booze or heroin….or self-harm.

I am not sure whether genetics added to my driven-ness. My maternal grandmother, widowed while pregnant, was a Lithuanian-German who lived a guilt-driven existence as a slave to the Protestant work ethic. I never really knew her.

My paternal grandmother, the polar opposite to ‘Oma’ in many ways, was also unable to sit still for long and lived on her nerves; a sociable, generous soul who would do anything to keep others happy. I miss her to this day.

My parents both committed their working lives to teaching in the state sector and worked accordingly. Dad was better at work-life balance than Mum. He was lucky enough to be part of the generation to retire in his early fifties. Mum similarly retired early but on ill health grounds, probably related to being a brilliant Mum and teacher but not so good on the self-preservation. Both parents engaged in marathon running and extreme gardening as ‘hobbies’ and so there was never much time for down-time in our house.

I had vowed never to be a teacher myself, having felt that the long holidays didn’t really make up for the other stresses and pressures of the job. I vividly remember my Dad avoiding shopping in our local town for fear of a pupil sarcastically shouting ‘Alright Sir!’ across the square.

But somehow the plans went awry. I didn’t become a GP. Or a lawyer. Or an actor. Or a drama therapist. Because ultimately I decided that I was born to teach. That may sound corny but it is the truth.

Doing a PGCE while I was waiting to be snapped up by the West End confirmed that. It also confirmed that drama teaching was the ultimate thing for me to do in order to assuage a thirst to change the world, one child at a time, through the power of theatre.

I am a good teacher. Years of affirmation from pupils, parents/carers and colleagues back this up. But I have to say that I never feel good enough. That is partly down to my psychology, I know….but it is also because it is a job where culture, society and the processes for measuring my profession constantly put me and my job down.

Several voices in the slow-chat (including @robfmac) have called for the development and promotion of teacher ‘agency’ and I would agree that this is a crucial part of helping improve the wellbeing of the profession. We need to have educational leaders at national and local levels who understand teaching, understand education staff and protect and nurture them, rather than subjecting them to unrealistic performance measures.

@LCLL-Director asked, on day 1 of the slow-chat whether perfectionists become teachers or teachers become perfectionists? I stated that I felt that there is an interesting piece of research to be done here.

But whichever way round it is, teaching and perfectionism can never be a good combination within the current climate. It is a climate where, in Scotland, we are told that we can do our job in 35 hours a week when we simply CAN’T. The non-contact time we get is so frequently taken to allow other absent staff to be covered that it is almost not worth having. Hence a system where we are set up to struggle and fail before we even start. It is a climate where electronic management systems that were meant to reduce teacher workload are so unwieldy and user unfriendly that they cause excessive stress and add to workload. And it is a culture where a politician visited England to learn about ‘closing the gap’, was told there were no clear conclusions to be drawn from the approach adopted South of the border but then decided to impose it on Scotland anyway. (For more on that, ask @realdcameron)

If I cleaned toilets, I would have a specific number of toilets to clean and set working hours in which to do it. I might go home and worry about the standard of my cleaning but it is unlikely that I would be able to go back into my place of work out of hours…. Or be made to feel guilty for not doing so. Equally, I do not believe that there is a technical solution whereby toilet cleaners can clean toilets from home. Whereas, thanks to IT, teachers now have little excuse not to ‘catch’ up on admin, marking, report writing outside of the contracted 35 hours.

So, this new year I make 3 vows.

1. To myself. It is time I sorted this out once and for all. I have been exhausted from pushing myself too hard. I love the Facebook ‘memories’ function where you can see where you were and what you were doing on this day in previous years. But I am concerned that I have been saying the same things about needing to slow down and look after better myself for 10 years. Now is the time. My family needs more of me and I need to accept that excuses won’t do any more. Only I can do this but but I am hoping for a bit of help from @Doctob’s book ‘Inner Story’ which fortuitously came into my possession recently….

2. To education. I am doing the Scottish ‘Into Headship’ course this year and intend to learn all I can about how to be a Wellbeing-motivated educational leader.

3. To Twitter. I will use this forum to engage in the debate about wellbeing and teacher ‘agency’ and to support and nurture like-minded souls. I will not beat myself up if I don’t manage to tweet or blog as often as other brilliant twitterati friends…..(as I have in the past) but I will use Twitter for all its potential….

So, Happy New Year. Let’s make it so.

Q&A with twice edtech co-founder Emma McCrea
December 16, 2015

1. What edtech projects have you been involved in?

My first foray into the world of edtech was with Numeracy Ready, a learning environment to help trainee teachers with Numeracy Skills Test revision. We started to build it when I was heavily pregnant with our second child. I remember recording screencasts before and after he was born!

After that, we started working on Staffrm. This was a very different edtech project, which aimed to improve student outcomes by enabling teachers to more easily connect and share practice. We’re currently using Numeracy Ready to support this social venture!

2. Which aspects have been most rewarding?

It’s always rewarding to receive positive feedback from users. People who sign up for Numeracy Ready are often very nervous about the test. Many of them are so pleased to have passed, they send us a lovely message. Equally, hearing that a story on Staffrm that has clearly had a positive impact on classroom practice is incredibly rewarding.

3. Which bits have been most difficult?

The most difficult part is staying motivated. When we built Numeracy Ready I recorded over 50 screencasts, many of them needing several takes. It’s sometimes hard to stay focussed on the end point when there’s so much to be done to get there. Especially when you’re 8 months pregnant and would rather be snoozing on the sofa!

4. What advice would you give to someone interested in starting up their own edtech organisation?

Go for it. What do you have to lose? I’ve learned so much along the way and get to be a company director (who’d have thought)!

As well as being an edtech co-founder, Emma is also a part-time Lecturer in Teacher Education, and mum of two. Follow her on Twitter, or read her Stories on Staffrm.com/@emmamccrea

The ‘Ta Da’ in Learning
December 12, 2015
ta da

I have a motto when I’m teaching music “If you’re not making mistakes, you’re not trying hard enough”. It’s a bit flippant really; obviously nobody aims to make mistakes, after all, if we’re going to learn something we should be aiming for excellence.

The problem…….   is ……………… when ………………..we …….are ………..so ……………………fearful ………… of ….mistakes……………..we …………..take ……. every ……. little step……. so ….slowly ……. and ……………..carefully……………… we ……………end ……………….up …………….taking…………………………ten                 times                           longer                     to                                 learn                           it. You see I believe we learn best and most efficiently when we allow ourselves to make mistakes.

The end result may well be perfect one day, we should always aim as high as we can, but the learning can never be perfect. And by that I mean mistakes will happen. In fact its imperative that mistakes do happen.

No parent sits their toddler down in front of a manual to teach them how to walk. Toddlers teach themselves through a repetitive process of try – fall over – try again. Each time they fall, they learn a little bit more and get that little bit stronger. The learning is intrinsic and it happens due essentially to mistakes (or falls and stumbles in this case). I remember clearly our three boys learning to walk and without doubt the one who took to it earliest was the least careful and fell over the most!

Don’t you just wish you could approach each new task or learning in life like a toddler. No fear of failure, no embarrassment of falling and no feelings of being judged. This can be critical with performance related learning like an instrument, acting or singing etc. Because you see even during the learning process, during lessons for example, there is usually an element of performance. With this performance comes exposure followed swiftly with a host of fears of judgment and comparison etc.

And so the last thing we want to do is make mistakes…

Which leads us to perform within ourselves…

The very thing that the piece demands of us – to express ourselves at our most authentic – becomes lost on us…

We play it safe, learn slow, settle for less.


So can we just press a switch, turn off the fear and start embracing failure?

Well I would argue it’s a mindset thing, and the thing about mindsets is they are simply based on a belief, and the thing about beliefs is we get to choose what we believe.

So what’s our mindset when it comes to mistakes?

What do we believe about our mistakes? Do they define us or shape us? Are they failure or opportunity?

Well, how does a carefree learner, like a toddler, view mistakes?

I love the ‘Ta Da’ Calvin and Hobbs cartoon strip. Isn’t it so true? Toddlers don’t just not care about the falls and the bumps and the mishaps, they celebrate them. They clap their own misfortune, laugh at the mess they’ve just made and are far more likely to show off their latest graze than their latest development in walking.

So if mistakes are necessary in learning we need to embrace the process, learn to find the fun in it, enjoy it. The best learners find it easier to live in the moment, with less pressure on the outcome. They not only allow mistakes, they embrace them, and they see them as part of the beauty of the journey. They celebrate them for what they are, a necessary part of their journey. This whole mindset frees them up to use the mistakes as tools to learn even more and above all they enjoy the Work In Progress.

And do you know what. Being open to mistakes, embracing them and celebrating them is about far more than just us personally. When we are vulnerable and allow others to see the mistakes, the fails and the falls, we give them a glimpse of our own Work In Progress allowing our lives to be living testimonies. We learn from others and others learn from us. We give and are given that little bit more license to get it wrong.

A Play Odyssey

This term I seem to have embarked on something of an odyssey through play. I keep having enjoyable and unexpected encounters with all things play-based, and it has got me questioning many things in my practice. It all began last year, when I led a collaborative enquiry into encouraging children to talk more – which sparked a rather geeky obsession with Vygotsky! I drew on his theories of language development and play to introduce “talking time” sessions, where children and adults played together at a variety of activities. You can see a summary of this at: Getting Children to Talk More: Prezi. At the height of my Vygotsky obsession I was lucky enough to attend a seminar led by Galina Dolya, author of the Keys to the Curriculum, and bona fide academic from the Vygotsky Institute in Moscow. A couple of great concepts I have introduced following this are the idea of external reminders (e.g. editors glasses; a king ring to support good pencil grip; presenters microphone; a magnifying glass for comprehension questions) and focussed work on encoding and decoding, using symbols and social tools such as venn diagrams. If you ever get the chance to hear Galina speak, I highly recommend it.

Following on from this work last year, I heard that my school was looking at introducing more play-based learning opportunities, and offered to lead a working party on this. Our intention is to run this working party along the lines of a collaborative enquiry, and so our group has been gathering evidence of current practice and looking into theory and practice of play-based learning in order to gain more insights and ideas. As frequently happens when you get a group of teachers together to actually focus on learning, the ideas have been flowing thick and fast and I am really looking forward to trying out some new approaches in the new year. Meanwhile, two further opportunities presented themselves to learn more about play-based learning.

The first was at the Pedagoo #EnquiryMeet at Grangemouth High School in November. I attended a session entitled “Throwing out the Plastic; Constructing an environment which supports the development of high quality creative play”, led by Catriona Gill. Catriona (@LintonLass) shared her work developing play in a nursery setting using Froebelian principles. I had never heard of Froebel before (too busy reading Vygotsky!), but as these things seem to happen, I am now finding the Froebelian approach popping up everywhere! The approach, I learnt, involves providing children with “an environment which allows free access to a rich range of materials that promote open-ended opportunities for play, representation and creativity” (The Froebel Trust, 2012). Suddenly I understood what my HTs obsession with “loose parts” was all about! One of the great opportunities in all of this, is that many of the materials which provide greatest stimulation (stones, shells, mud, water)  are free!

This tied in nicely with the second event I attended, just last week, the Midlothian Association of Play Conference “Un-popping the Bubblewrap”. The keynote speaker was Tim Gill, presenting on “No risk, no reward: Liberating the bubble-wrapped generation”. Unbeknownst to him of course, Tim led on nicely from Catriona, reminding us that children are naturally boiphilic and that we have a responsibility to provide them with play spaces which allow them to interact with nature, with one another and with the challenges and responsibilities we want them to become skilled in dealing with. Listening to Tim I felt incredibly lucky to live in a town blessed with some great play parks, not to mention woods and beaches – but it also made me wonder at how often these spaces are devoid of children playing. There is clearly a need to change attitudes, and again if you ever get the chance to hear Tim speak, then I would highly recommend it. You can also download his book for free from his fascinating website Rethinking Childhood.

Following the keynote speech, I attended two inspiring practical workshops. The first looked at making toys with junk – I can’t wait to make my first water rockets with a class! And the second explored a myriad of simple activities you can do with young children in the woods, including tin can cooking, painting stone people with nail polish, making fairy homes and framing transient art with a lashed stick frame. It rained all day, but I left with a big smile on my face.

So where has all this led to? Firstly, thanks to so many people sharing their ideas and experiences, I have a sackful of practical ideas that I can’t wait to try out. Secondly, thanks to Tim Gill (my new Vygotsky?) I have a deeper understanding of the value of play, some of the barriers to play for today’s children, and the absolute necessity for ourselves as educators to help redress the balance.

A touch of Scrabble – A brilliant plenary!
December 1, 2015

I first used this Scrabble based plenary a couple of years ago when I saw it on Amjad Ali’s – @ASTSupportAAli – wonderful toolkit – – http://cheneyagilitytoolkit.blogspot.co.uk/ – which is full of great ideas and really worth a visit. Take this link to what inspired the activity – http://cheneyagilitytoolkit.blogspot.co.uk/2013/07/scrabble-tiles.html  …  One of these ideas is using the principles of Scrabble to promote and compare key words that help summarise students’ learning.

This activity asks students to come up with key words from the lesson and then use the letter points system in Scrabble to work out how much each word is worth promoting discussion and comparison with an edge of competition included if you can see who has got the word with the highest points score. Such was the popularity of this activity with my classes, I used it in an interview lesson and got a round of applause from the students who had never seen it before! More recently, I have seen this idea floating around Twitter a lot and it certainly deserves a place in the Pedagoo toolkit with Amjad Ali deserving credit for first sharing this idea nearly two years ago.

The link below will take you to a PowerPoint slide which contains the Scrabble activity and can be slotted into any presentation where needed.

Plenary – a touch of Scrabble


National art and poetry initiative to commemorate the centenary of the First World War
November 28, 2015
Screen Shot 2015-11-27 at 18.49.29

Never Such Innocence is a charity committed to helping children to commemorate the centenary of the First World War through poetry, art and drama. We’ve launched a national art and poetry competition – children from Years 5 – 11 are invited to submit a piece of art or a poem relating to the First World War. We have a fantastic resource pack to help to stimulate responses, packed full of information ranging from the role played by animals in the war to art and propaganda. There are great prizes and every child who enters will receive a certificate of commendation.

We’ll send two free packs on request to any school – just email us at enquiries@neversuchinnocence.com . All the details can also be found on our website, neversuchinnocence.com

Many teachers who entered their students’ work last year said it helped with literacy development and understanding of poetry!

Please get in touch. Thanks.

Mini portraits and time travel to engage our budding historians

The world of twitter was never something that I was interested in, until I completed my teacher training. Now in my NQT year I eagerly scroll through the #PedagooFriday tweets on a quest to steal new ideas and strategies from everyone else. Having posted an idea last Friday I was approached to write about it on the blog. Please forgive any ‘blogging faux pas’ I may commit as I am completely new to this too!

During my training year I had a conversation with a fellow teacher who suggested using portraits to explore pictures, so this idea really is the result of that conversation. This technique encourages students to put themselves into the pictures and let their imaginations run wild. I have used this idea recently with my year 7 groups, who have been investigating what it was like to live in a Roman town; however the idea could be adapted for almost any subject.

Initially provide each of your students with a small piece of paper, no more than a 2-3cm square. Instruct them to draw a portrait of the person they are sat next to; give them no longer than two minutes to complete this task, it does just need to be a sketch not a masterpiece. Then let the students hand the portrait to the relevant person. There will of course be lots of laughing and joking at this point as a result of their creations.


In this case the whole process hinges around the idea that each of the students has had the opportunity to time travel. I explained this idea to the students and then revealed the picture we were going to explore. In this case I used a lovely view of a Roman town. A large colour version of the picture was on the projector and each student was given a smaller copy with a number of descriptive words and key features of a Roman town, as a scaffold for their discussions. Initially I asked each of them to place their portrait into the picture and imagine they were there, in this case back in AD55. I gave them a demonstration as if I was the person in the picture and then gave them ten minutes, in pairs, to discuss the picture and describe their surroundings.

Roman town

Roman town worksheet 

To consolidate this work each of the students wrote a letter to a friend describing their time travelling experiences. Overall, the students produced some amazing letters talking about their experiences and this technique was one that all students could access. Very pleased with the results so I am looking forward to using this idea again with future topics.


November 24, 2015

On Monday (16th November) I had a Skype conversation with Marialice Curran who is one of the moderators for Digital Citizen chat (#DigCit) and the organiser of the recent Digital Citizenship Summit in the US (#DigCitSummit), which took place on 2nd October. The events aims and focus was on:

“How children and teens use social media and technology is incredibly important. The focus of the Digital Citizenship Summit is to promote positive and practical solutions towards SAFE, SAVVY and ETHICAL use.”

As our Skype discussion developed it became less a case of an initial discussion about what would be involved, and who should be included in planning a UK event… it became more of an operational conversation.

One week on and we have a venue as Larbert High School have kindly agreed to host the summit, we also have 50 educators and people from a variety of sectors with experience of social media who are keen to get involved and, hopefully, speak at the event.

We are working on some dates that fit in with Larbert High School’s calendar, and expect to have this next week at some point.

Given the momentum there is at the moment with Social Media and Digital Learning in Scotland we felt holding an event sooner rather than later would have the most impact.

As we are expecting some international speakers to attend we thought it would be good for them to be able to attend BETT (20-23rd Jan) and/or the Learning Technologies Conference (3-4th Feb), so we are looking at a date in January or February.

Obviously this is a tight timescale to work towards and it’s going to take a global village of connected educators to pull it off.

I’ve asked critical friends and members of my PLN to help out with this, and wonder if the Pedagoo community might be interested in lending a hand and getting involved in any way that their schedules might allow.

Please Tweet out to #DigCitSummitUK or @mbfxc @EdTech_Stories any and all assistance would be gratefully received.

For more details about the US event please see the links below;

DigCitSummit Description

Pedagoo Beach Walk 5 December 2015 #PedagooMeetBoMo
November 23, 2015


Earlier this term, I attended #PedagooHampshire, organised by Martyn Reah at Eggar’s School in Hants. The day was an amazing success: a wide range of sessions throughout the day, filled with teachers (and some other professions) clearly passionate about their jobs. The conversations were rich and filled the local pub long into the evening.

The day ended with an incredible speech from Vivienne Porritt (@LCLL_Director), and her message really stuck with me. Here we were, 100 or so teachers giving up our Saturday for CPD, but would it be worth it? What difference would this event make to the teaching and learning in our own settings, long term?

As a result, we were determined to keep the ‘learning conversations’ going, and so Martyn, Abigail Mann and myself discussed a follow up event. And so  #PedagooMeetBoMo was born. The plan is to rendezvous on Bournemouth seafront on Saturday 5 December. The day will consist of beach walking, hot chocolate and mulled wine, more walking, and culminate with a Christmas party at the Spyglass and Kettle pub. The main purpose is to catch up again after #PedagooHampshire, and share what has been happening since. How did the day impact our own teaching? Where are we going next?

All attendees of #PedagooHampshire are invited, as are people who didn’t actually make the first event. Come along, find out what we discussed, what we learnt, and what is happening as a result.

The day itself is very informal. No timetables and no set speakers or presentations. Just an opportunity to catch up with fellow colleagues and keep the conversations going.

Hope to see you there. Bring your thermals!


Sign up here:


Skip to toolbar