Sunday 23 September 2007

Teachmeet 07

Exciting/Frustration is my personal description of teachmeet.

First of all Teachmeet is an unconference, this time it was a fringe event of the SLF. That means its an open forum for people to share their ideas (7 min max). All of which were very exciting.

Now to explain the frustration part.

The first teachmeet was in Edinburgh as a fringe event to eLive. I was able to go as I was speaking in Glasgow the next day and I decided that I had better have a clear head.

The second one was at last year SETT (Old name for SLF) I said I wanted to speak and was quite excited about talking but their simply wasn't time.

The third one was at this years eLive conference. I was all ready to go and my authority was prepared to pay for the travel but then lots of things came up at school and I decided not go.

I was so keen to talk this year that I had my name up as soon as the wiki was setup.

It was obviously not meant to be.......

Ewan produced a totally fair and random fruit machine to select the speakers........ the Bu*****!

It is obviously not meant to be as my name, along with several others, didn't come up.

Having said that, it really was an excellent event. I was particularly  impress with Andy Black and his energetic presentation. It was wonderful to meet Krysia at last. She has a much fuller description of the evening.

Maybe the frustration comes from missing out on the food, company and drinks later on. I wasn't feeling great and ended up at the doctor's on the Thursday afternoon with a sinuses infection.

So maybe I will get some time sometime to present. I just hope I have something worth talking about.

Google Sketchup Seminar

As I said in my last entry I was expecting small numbers for my seminar at the Scottish Learning Festival and I planned to turn this an advantage.

I hope I managed this. Certainly the small numbers seemed very positive at the end. I said I would place some useful links for Sketchup for the small band of 10 who came and were made to work.

Useful links:

Sketchup Home -

Sketchup Download -

Sketchup Blog -

Video Tutorials -

Self Paced tutorials -

Education offers from Google -

3D Warehouse to download pre made models -

Google Earth home -

I hope those who were at the session found it useful.

Those who asked about the project with Monroe County Ga. I will ask Keith Hamon if he minds if we publish the details here.

Here is the published doc

Wednesday 19 September 2007


I am sitting in the tower that is the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Glasgow. It took a wee while to get here.

The small plane had to circle for quite a while ( the normally takes 30mins it over an hour) before getting into Glasgow Airport because another plane had got 'stuck' on the grass.

The reason I am here is that I am speaking at the Scottish Learning Festival. I got my list of participants on Friday for the 2 talks. As I suspected previously, being on at the same time a Stephen Heppell has had an effect on the numbers.

I have decided that I will turn the small numbers to my advantage. I plan to drag them from the the very back row and bring them in close. I will gave a background to the Google Sketchup project we did this year and show some work and how we approached it.

Then I would like to have a discussion with them to where they could see it being used. I hope that this will turn the disadvantage of have 10 people into an advantage of getting them involved and not just watching.

The second talk is at 9-30am on Thursday. I am delivering this one with the head teacher, Dr E Cunningham has very healthy numbers. I have spent today recording some of the other people who have been involved with our School of Ambition project.

Sunday 16 September 2007

BBC - The politics Show II

As I said on Thursday, the BBC were over filming on Friday for today's Politics Show.

I am just home from lunch with my in-laws (They are visiting from Newcastle and I couldn't change nor want too change the arrangements)

Several people have stopped me and said the 5 min piece came across very well.

It should be available on the Politics Show (Scotland) web site later today but I would be very interested in opinions (Negative as well as positive) or questions raised by the piece.

PS Just had this written article sent to me.

Thursday 13 September 2007

Ups and Downs

Prompted by Andrew Brown, I have decided to say what I am doing at SETT SLF.

Well I am speaking twice his year.

The first talk I suspect will be one of the quietest of the Wednesday. Its not because it will be boring (Honest!) but because its on at the same time as Stephen Heppell's keynote. I am so disappointed with missing him and wonder what people will choose my talk over Stephen Heppell. We shall see.

The second talk is early (9-30) on the Thursday I am speaking with Dr Elizabeth Cunningham(The Headie) abut what we have been doing as School of Ambition.

Apart from the official stuff I am going to go into the wild with Channel 4 and , of course, teachmeet07. This year I am determined to speak rather than just drink and shout abuse as I did last year.

I will be making merry later on with other teachmeeters. Just wish me luck to make it to early semniar on the Thursday.

BBC- The Politics Show

politics show

Tomorrow we are being filmed for 'The Politics Show' (Scottish Version).

They are coming over to look at the ICT and the use of it as well as the other changes we have introduced in the school over the last few years.

I will come back and give more details after the event.

Tuesday 11 September 2007

Chaos Theory II

Its been a busy week. We have been rolling out the UMPC's to all the pupils. A small number of 3rd years have still to get them but I have been trying avoid Certificated classes and when I am free they aren't. When they are free I am teaching. (I have a full timetable myself this year).

Therefore I had a delegation stop me in the corridor at lunchtime today, voicing their concern. They were desperate to get going with the UMPC's. The place I was going at lunchtime was the school library to run a drop in surgery on any problems or questions the pupils may have. I had 35 turn up. 4 had a problem the rest had questions.

I am planning to run these sessions on a Tuesday and a Thursday and I am sure the numbers will ease off, I hope. 

I have also had one example of the opposite from a pupil who has said to me, "I am bored with this".

I am glad that the group were putting pressure on me to get them out and I am delighted that such a large number want to learn more in their own time . It showed that the pupils, on the whole, want them and can see a point. Now I just need to make sure that the point they see is an educational one. I will leave you to come back with a definition of 'Educational use'

Thursday 6 September 2007

teaching Scout | pushing boundaries

I have been following Krysia and Stuart Meldrum's probationer NQT Blogs.

They are both reflective and keen to learn. On 'Teaching Scout' she is asking for advice.

Does anyone have any pearls of wisdom? I would be interested in them as well.

Maybe the walk will be less lonely

teaching Scout | pushing boundaries

Tuesday 4 September 2007


Some funny, (though I am not sure about how Dr Elizabeth Cunningham (Head Teacher) feel about being drawn as Grounds Keeper Willie),


from the suppliers press.

Some amazing from the last 24hrs of the Blog on Google Analytics

The reaction of the pupils has been hugely positive from those who have theirs so far and hugely jealous from those (The Majority) who have still to get theirs.

I will take another week to get them all out and then the real evaluation will begin.

Monday 3 September 2007

Starting to Roll out UMPC's


Period 5 today we starting rolling out the UMPC's to the 6th year pupils.

I have spent the last few weeks delivering training in their use with all year groups and developing an Acceptable Use Policy in conjunction with the pupils.

S5 tomorrow......