Last week I had the privilege of traveling to Toulouse and the Practical Pedagogies conference arranged by Russel Tarr and IST.
I had been alerted to the conference by a colleague who follows Russel’s Active History feed on Twitter and thought the Tech Tools workshops would be right up my street – how right she was!
In my new role as an advanced skills teacher at IEGS, my focus this year is on embedding technology in our teaching practice. I firmly believe that technology can be harnessed to create independent, creative learners. In Toulouse I met inspirational educators who share my vision. A few of them I had followed on Twitter for some time but one of my big takeaways was meeting new teachers and expanding the list of educators I follow and engage with on social media.
One of them was John Sutton (Creative Blogs) whose workshop on blogging relit my interest in a tool I had long been curious of. John showed us that by having students write for a larger audience we can engage them more in the process.
John talked about a young Bolton Wanderers fan whose grasp on punctuation confounded his teacher. It was only when a reader in Australia commented on the errors on this pupil’s blog that the boy finally made corrections to his writing. The exasperated teacher asked what prompted this change, after all he had been giving the boy the same feedback all term. The boy’s reply was, “Yes, but he’s a real person.”
By having students write for a larger audience we can engage them more in the process.
A blog can empower young writers. We go from teaching students how to write, to teaching them to be writers. Blogging is also a useful tool to help me process the plethora of tips and tools I was introduced to in Toulouse. So, with that in mind I have decided to be my own guinea pig. I aim to test drive a number of new tech tools and hone my skills in others. I will share my experiences here and hopefully offer new ideas to interested teachers.
This blog has been brewing for some time but it’s thanks to Toulouse that I am finally writing.