Friday 30 November 2007

Different world - Same issues

The view from the primary school windows of the International School of Monaco (ISM)






I am blogging from ISM. And yes, it is as glamorous as it sounds.

I am here for 3 days in the school. They have very kindly brought myself and my wife over. The purpose of the visit is to consult on the introduction of effective ICT.

Several questions had to be asked about 'effective ICT' before coming out. Effective for whom? Methodologies of Learning & Teaching? The ethos and values of the curriculum.

I am going to start with the curriculum. I was not familiar with the International Baccalaureate curriculum but my research has shown a great similarity in ethos with the Curruculum for Excellence (ACfE) being developed in Scotland. The desire to develop a values based ethos driven curriculum is vital in any system. If its driven purely on an exam based outcome then it will produce highly 'qualified' individuals with no ability to change/adapt or to work with others. The IBO has reflective learners as one of its core values.

The school itself is in an office block. The early years is on one floor in one part of the building. The Primary and middle school are in another floor of the same building. The high school in another part of the block entered by another door. The lunch room is entered directly from the street and is basically a shop front.

Every teaching area  has Promethean boards but the classes are so small that the teachers struggle to get these used let alone used effectively. Promethean are coming in during January to deliver initial training.

On the first afternoon I gave a talk to all staff who were available and interested. I had about 15. I had hoped to skype with Meach in Georgia but usual thing happened. Its was against the ICT rules to use skype. They were willing to try and change it though but we didn't have time.

I spent the rest of my time speaking to staff about the use of technology in classes and to get an idea of where they stood.

I must say I am impressed by the level of commitment and desire to be open to these ideas. They had fears, which is a good thing, but were prepared to listen and ask wonderful questions.

The staff now need to reflect on where this can be used within their subject area but then that's the same for every teacher in the world, isn't it?

Friday 23 November 2007

"Its really cool to talk across an ocean"

The Monroe Islay connection has been developing. Last Friday I spent 45 mins delivering a class on how to use Google Sketchup. We had some connection problems but we got their in the end.

I have recently found an online video of our first session. Its great to see what they saw, at least a little.

Wednesday 21 November 2007

SQH Leadership

I have been working towards the first Unit if my Scottish Qualification for Headship (SQH) or the Post Graduate Diploma in School Leadership & Management, to give it its full title.

The first unit has been looking at the role of a head teacher and what the Standard of Headship is, as defined by the GTC, then checking where I am in relation to that standard. The Assessment is in the form of a 5000 word essay defining the context, Leadership, change,The Standard and the comparing myself to the standard via 360 feedback from colleagues and self reflection.

I am looking for your help.

Can you, no matter what your role in education (and we ALL have a role in education), answer some questions.

1. What do you see as the role of a Head Teacher/Principal?

2. Define the word 'Leadership'.

So not much ;-)

Tuesday 6 November 2007


I have just come across a Wiki called edtechroundup which is setup around the idea of people in education giving real examples of where it is being used.

It has regular online meetings, though I have still to attend one.

I have always been much more interested in Wiki's than Blogs (Haven't I Andrew?). I like the collaborative aspect and I see a much more positively productive outcome. (He say's while on his own soapbox blog)


Saturday 3 November 2007

Monroe Islay connection

On Friday afternoon we had the start of a new Sketchup project. The idea is that each group will become the eyes and ears for the other group. On Islay we will be looking at the 'Round Church' in Bowmore. They will take pics, video and scan in plans for the other school to draw in Google Sketchup. The project is specified in a Google doc here.

Myself and 'Meach the Teach' setup a Skype chat between 2 classes. I have 7 pupils from S3 (All Male unfortunately), Banks - Stephens Middle School have 12 in their group.

A huge thank you Keith Hamon on Monroe County School District for his simple comment on Ewan McIntosh's Blog which has started this whole thing.

Thursday 1 November 2007

Hand Held Learning 2007

I would like to point people to the HHL07 site


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