Video Conference Lessons from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland


Posted by upbeat | Posted in Collaboration, Creativity, Curriculum for Excellence, ICT, Learning & Teaching, New Learning, video conferencing | Posted on November 26, 2012

Every Thursday one of our tutors, Grant Golding, delivers brass lessons (trumpet, trombone) to young people in primary schools across Dumfries & Galloway. Grant has been working as a virtual tutor with Dumfries & Galloway for 7 years. We are delighted to be working in partnership with the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in delivering live interactive lessons in HD quality to students in remote rural schools on a weekly basis.

Flute lessons via video-link


Posted by upbeat | Posted in Creativity, Curriculum for Excellence, ICT, New Learning, video conferencing | Posted on November 26, 2012

Since November 2005, instrumental music lessons have been delivered to young people across Dumfries & Galloway via live video conferencing. Brian Renwick (woodwind tutor) is seen hear giving a flute lesson to a pupil. In addition to visiting certain schools, Brian also delivers lessons live from Lochside Education Centre in Dumfries to pupils in schools across the region.

Gordon Brown – UN Special Envoy for Global Education


Posted by upbeat | Posted in Collaboration, Health & Well Being, ICT, International Education, Leadership for Learning, Learning & Teaching, video conferencing | Posted on November 25, 2012

Last Thursday, at the ADES (Association of Directors of Education) conference at the Westerwood Hotel, Cumbernauld I was very honoured to be in the company of Gordon Brown to hear him speaking on global education issues. The UK’s former prime minister has taken on the role of Special Envoy for Global Education for the United Nations.

He was very challenging (in a non-political way) to everyone in the room as to how each of us might support his mission of bringing education to all children in the world. He spoke very passionately of the value of education to children across the world and of his hopes and plans to improve matters in a radical way. His challenge to us was for us to support and encourage  Scottish schools to lead the way in linking and partnering schools in Africa and India in the next few years, particularly as internet connectivity continues to improve in these places.

I’m hoping our schools in Dumfries & Galloway can continue to build links with schools in areas of need in the world, possibly through our growing video conference infrastructure in all secondary and many primary schools.

Theme Music – Winter Olympic Games, Calgary 1988


Posted by upbeat | Posted in Creativity, New Music | Posted on November 17, 2012

I could listen to this again and again. A great mix of orchestra, piano, light and shade, aspiration, inspiration, perspiration….or is it just me? I think it’s brilliant. In 1988 I was just getting underway with composing with digital technology for the first time. I’m told by the guy who had the first Korg M1 in the UK (Ian Watson) that I got the second one  –  what a keyboard, with 8 track digital sequencer, did my first piece for the BBC using it in 1989.
This piece by David Foster really inspired me and still gives goose pimples when I hear it. Here it is  –  the official olympic theme from the Winter Games in Calgary 1988 played by Håvard Gimse and Kringkastingsorkestret. Enjoy.

Heather the Weather – Video Conference delivery of Climate Change lessons


Posted by upbeat | Posted in Creativity, Curriculum for Excellence, ICT, Learning & Teaching, New Learning, Science, video conferencing | Posted on November 13, 2012

I met Heather (the Weather) Reid at the Glasgow Science Centre today to discuss plans for delivery of climate change lessons for upper primary kids (age 8-11) in Dumfries & Galloway schools. We’re planning for Heather to lead sessions from the Science Centre directly into certain primary school classrooms via a bespoke Video Conferencing programme of delivery. It’s proposed that Heather will lead a CPD session (in Dumfries) for teachers involved in the programme early in January. The lessons for kids will be led by Heather via video-link directly into classrooms. Two interactive presentations (an hour each) will be delivered to each school involved between January and March 2013. Lessons will address Curriculum for Excellence Science Experiences & Outcomes at Level 2. Climate change issues, renewable energy sources and our oceans will be addressed in the class presentations.

Our plans with this are certainly new and innovative. However, I’m very hopeful and expectant that teachers will appreciate and value the support Heather can give to further developing learning in science in our schools.

Heather fronted BBC Scotland’s weather reporting from 1994 – 2009. She was chairman of the Institute of Physics in Scotland from 1999 until 2001, is a Fellow of the Royal Meteorological Society and has an honorary lectureship in the Physics and Astronomy Department at the University of Glasgow.

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