States of Jersey’s Thinking Differently Conference

Guest Blogger – Sebastian Witts – Geography Teacher Chiswick School

Thank you to Renaldo Lawrence for allowing me to be a guest blogger on his site.  This is my account of how the eLearning conference went in Jersey at Hautlieu School. The conference was ran by 9ine Consulting.

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The conference was aimed at ensuring the education system in Jersey encouraged students to be innovative, think creatively and work collaboratively with others. The conference was part of the process of developing a curriculum that is relevant, inclusive, engaging and encourages children to develop the 21st century skills and aptitudes.

Our day started out with a taxi collecting me, Mr Witts at 4.30am it then proceeded to pick up the two young presenters, Jayden and Theo at 5.00am. Because of the distance Mr Lawrence met us at Gatwick Airport and we went for breakfast to prep ourselves for the long day ahead. Whilst in the airport we bumped into a few other presenters, Elm Park Primary School and Niel McLeod @HPSMrMcLeod.  

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Renaldo was very happy because he got a tweet from @JerseyITGuy, Rory Steel also an ADE who welcomed us before we even got there. Rory, Renaldo really appreciated that tweet.

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From the airport we boarded the plane and were once again bombarded with questions from Jayden and Theo, are we there yet? Are we going to be able to wear our beats and is Jersey going to be hot? The flight was a relatively smooth flight and Mr Lawrence and Mr Witts ran through their presentations.

We were met at the airport and taken to the venue and taken through the Jersey education system and how it differs from mainland UK.

Pretty much as soon as we reached the venue it was presentation time and we got ourselves set up. We ran three presentations throughout the day which each ran just over an hour each with questions at the end.  Throughout the day we presented to a huge amount of teachers and educators from Jersey all looking at new ways of using technology to transform the learning within schools.

The presentation ran as follows

1st up Mr Lawrence ran through the philosophy behind the work he has been doing at Chiswick school and how he has been using Adobe software to create educational resources for use with their ipads, iphone and Android devices. Mr Lawrence spoke about the creation and developmental aspect of the resources.

Then Mr Witts started to talk about how he has implemented these technologies into his classroom. He spoke about how the work Mr Lawrence has been doing has allowed him to liberate the learning within his classroom so that students can access it independently from the teacher. He discussed how he felt that truly independent and personalized learning could only happen when learning was a shared commodity rather than something owned and exclusively managed by the teacher. By placing control of the learning with students the technology developed by Mr Lawrence facilitated a new type of learning.

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Each session were rounded off with demonstrations of the technology by Jayden and Theo, as well as a brief question and answer session, where they were questioned about the technology from a students perspective. The conference finished around 4.30pm and we were very pleased as we received load of really positive feedback from the audiences.

With 2 hours to kill we took both the boys for bowling and burgers as a thank you for doing such a fantastic job at their first e-learning conference and also with the wonderful job they did with the voice-overs for our award winning entry to the BETT competition.

On the flight back the boys were offered one more treat as the pilot invited them for a tour of the cockpit! We arrived home after a long but productive day at around 11.00pm!2014-02-10 15.54.57

Renaldo here – I would like to thanks everyone for making the day and experience for us a very positive one.  Good luck.

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