Teaching, Learning and Assessment Conference [#TLAB13]

On Saturday 16th March Berkhamsted School will be hosting The Teaching, Learning and Assessment Conference. The brain child of Nick Dennis and others, the conference is shaping up to be a ‘must attend’ event. Priced at just £40 for the day, it can well be considered a steal when you consider the eclectic mix of educators who will be speaking and leading workshops at the conference.

I am fortunate to be one of those workshop leaders.  As such, I wanted to share my recently submitted workshop outline:

‘Leashes not required’ – In(ter)dependent Learning Inside and Outside the Secondary School Classroom

Spoon-feeding and teach-to-the-test culture seem to pervade the secondary school classroom, as teachers strive to meet increasingly demanding targets. This workshop will demonstrate that such approaches are not necessary; that adopting a strategy that encourages independence, critical and creative thinking; and values the use of new technologies produces equally outstanding results. The workshop will share both the guiding principles on which such an approach is built and also give specific examples of what in(ter)dependent learning is like in practice.

The workshop will expand on my most recent TeachMeet presentation which is based on my developing practice as and educator, as well as research I completed into Independent Learning as part of the Masters in Education I am study towards.

I am excited about expanding on the approach to learning I have been taking with my students and will be bringing some of them along to participate in the workshop, sharing their views and answering questions.

I hope to see you there!

“Something I Learned Today”

Patrick Rhone reminded me today that not only is it important to remember that learning happens everyday and occurs in a variety of ways, but that it is also important to capture that learning.

A practice I have been doing often for the past couple of years is to write down at least one new thing I learned every day… It is a great reminder that, no matter how old I get, there is always the capacity to learn and grow.

Sometimes, the one thing I learn comes from reading. Sometimes, it comes from observation. Sometimes, it comes from conversation. Sometimes, when I get to the end of the day and can’t think of anything new that I learned, I go to a random page on Wikipedia and learn something for the sake of learning.

This got me thinking about student blogging. I have been using blogs with students for some time now, but with a specific subject focus, e.g.: to capture the coursework process (see the archive and sidebar) in AS and A2 Media Studies. But what if students kept a blog (public or private) with the soul purpose of capturing ‘one new thing’ they learned each day? I personally think it would provide a powerful, personal statement for each student about their learning and progress across the year, free from the constraints of individual subjects and syllabi. So much gets lost in folders and books, relegated to cupboards and bins at the end of the year. A blog would provide a permanent digital record.