Before setting off for a week in Brittany, I attended the Lead Practitioner Induction Day at the Emirates Stadium and met up with the languages team for 2008/09 including new LP Chris Fuller. The atmosphere was very positive and colleagues enthusiastically shared ideas about their forthcoming seminars.
During one of the breakout sessions, I had the pleasure of listening to Alex Savage, LP coordinator for ICT talking about effective ways of using technology to build a learning network and maximise a training event.
In just under fifteen minutes, Alex gave us his top tips for enhancing an LP seminar using ICT and ideas on how teachers can best network in the 21st century. First he talked of a three step process of organising a successful event e.g.
- Find or create a network
- Make your event as enticing as possible
- Give delegates the opportunity for feedback to inform you for future events
He then went on to suggest that to meet their training needs, teachers need to adopt the Pull Media approach favoured by many of today's young people where they select content they want to access when and where they want rather than Push Media which is delivered at a given time in a given place.
Alex referred to Alec Couros' diagrams for The Typical Teacher Network v The Networked Teacher to exemplify the Push/Pull Models.
The tools which Alex highlighted as facilitating this process are:
- iGoogle - Google Bookmarks, Gmail, Sticky Notes (personalise your desktop and keep in touch with your network using keywords instead of group email)
- Edublogs - CommunICTy blog (post articles of interest for your target audience, let people leave comments, create a newsletter on a blog)
- Wikispaces - CommunICTy wiki (a place to share and develop ideas collaboratively prior or after the event)
- Ning - ICTnet Ning (open or closed social networking site for you to upload resources and create fora for delegates to access after the event and extend discussions)