Friday, November 28, 2008

Cluster = Unconference

Southwell held it's first Cluster Unconference last night. Even though we are now at the end of our cluster contract, it is important to keep the professional development going and an unconference is a great way to do this. While it was a small gathering, it was still a successful night with good PD, drinks and a lovely meal to end the day. Thanks everyone for organising this.

If you didn't get the chance to go, for what ever reason (family commitments/writing reports/just too busy) I recommend you take the opportunity next time, as there is ICT PD for everyone, whatever your level of ICT is - You just have to be open to it.

Altogether we had five round tables.

Table 1 - Heath Sawyer - Gordonton School - Blogs, wikis and eportfolios

Table 2 - Gill Hammonds - National facilitator primary - ICT PD - Sharing Classroom Best practice

Table 3 - Dave Winter - Southwell School - our cluster facilitator -Gaming

Table 4 - Jo Wilson - Southwell School - our school lead teacher - Managing Change

Table 5 -Barbara Reid - ICT Facilitator -Web2 tools

I spent most of my night racking Barbara's mind for new web2.0 tools and sharing a couple of my own new to her. Talking to Barbara made me realise that I'd actually been kidding myself with regards to what web2.0 tools I could live without due to having restricted access on my linux, firefox browser based class set of Eee PC's this year.

I kind of accepted this, this year namely because we didn't have fast enough internet access anyway, web2.0 programs just weren't their yet and I did have a few I could use. But now we've got the fast internet pipe (100 Mb national, 10Mb burstable international with no data cap) and web 2.0 programs have become so much more sophisticated over the last year or so I think I'm just going to find it too frustrating having the restrictions on my licence.

Which is why I have to announce that my love affair with my Eee PC is officially over.
The Eee PC was and will always be my first love but it's time to grow up and move on.

In two weeks times I'm going to pack away my class set of Eee PC's and move on to - dare I say it a class/syndicate set of ____________.

Well for that you'll have to wait and see, but for now here are a selection of web2 sites we discussed last night, some old, some new but all highly recommended if you haven't used them yet.

flowgram - interactive presentation software
blabberize - talking pictures
mywebspiration - visual thinking tool (it really is just like inspiration)
exploretree - online library of thinking maps
sumopaint - image editor (bitmap and vector drawing program with layers - reminds me of macromedia - fireworks)
scribl - shareable online whiteboard

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