Digital Commonwealth Launch @ Platform, Easterhouse, Glasgow

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Posted by upbeat | Posted in Collaboration, Creativity, Curriculum for Excellence, ICT, International Education, Learning & Teaching | Posted on October 27, 2013

On Friday I attended the very successful Digital Commonwealth Launch at Platform in Easterhouse, Glasgow.  The project is funded by the Big Lottery, the Media Trust and the University of the West of Scotland.

In the schools strand of the project, the aim is to involve young people in each of Scotland’s local authority areas in digital reporting of Commonwealth themes (place, people, culture, exchange) in leading up to the Queen’s Baton Relay in June 2014. Learners from 32 school clusters from targeted areas of the most socio-economic need will be offered an opportunity to participate.

IMG_0789The schools programme will promote digital literacy skills through a series of in-school training workshops, using readily available technology to help pupils tell their own stories through blogs, video, audio and social media. Participating schools will receive learning materials which can help support existing and/or new school projects.  These materials will support topics such as e-safety, copyright, active citizenship and media ethics to assist pupils in developing skills and knowledge to produce creative, appropriate and engaging content.

 

Digital Commonwealth launch

How to Change the World (on one A4 page)

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Posted by upbeat | Posted in Collaboration, Creativity, Curriculum for Excellence | Posted on August 14, 2013

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Reflections on the use of Video Conferencing and mini iPads

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Posted by upbeat | Posted in Collaboration, Creativity, Learning & Teaching, New Learning, Science, video conferencing | Posted on July 13, 2013

New Learning

Some reflections on video conferencing and the use of mobile devices (iPads) for learners. Below, Dr Heather Reid leading a training session for teachers in preparation for science lessons direct to primary schools via video conference from the Glasgow Science Centre.

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The Boy and the Bunnet – creative work with iPads in Brydekirk Primary School

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Posted by upbeat | Posted in Collaboration, Creativity, Learning & Teaching, New Learning | Posted on July 13, 2013

The Boy and the Bunnet

5 primary schools in Dumfries & Galloway have just received class sets of mini iPads. Within days of receiving the new kit, kids started to engage in the production of a range of creative work including this example based on ‘The Boy and the Bunnet’. In Brydekirk Primary, class teacher Mr Archibald had them working collaboratively in telling a story using Scots language, artwork and movie making. Other schools in D&G have also been producing excellent work with the newly acquired iPads.

Blended Learning – the new ”essential” element – some possible questions

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Posted by upbeat | Posted in Collaboration, ICT, Learning & Teaching | Posted on July 13, 2013

IMG_0731In a rural context, technology has given us an opportunity to think differently.  Agree / disagree?

You can do anything you like with technology. What would you like to do? What would learners like to do?

What were the things that we couldn’t do before, that we can do now?

Is there a ‘hearts and minds’ issue to be addressed?  How do we do that?  Does it matter?

Have values in learning changed?

Should we be risk takers, and very ambitious for learners?

Do we see technology as presenting challenges or opportunities (or both)?

Using technology, what approaches can we develop to improve the provision of high quality learning in our schools?

Are we able to learn from any local (or other) examples of good practice?

What are the barriers to learning through technology? Can we overcome them? Do we want to?

 

Heading for Australia

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Posted by upbeat | Posted in Collaboration, Creativity, ICT, International Education, Learning & Teaching | Posted on July 13, 2013

sydney-opera-house-482x298All seems a bit unreal, but my case is nearly packed and I think I’ve got all the paperwork I need (train/plane tickets, accommodation arrangements) to get me to Sydney and Melbourne this coming week. I’m heading for the Rural Education Conference at Moonee Valley Racecourse in Melbourne 18/19 July and really looking forward to taking part and meeting teachers from across Victoria. Hopefully I’ll be posting some interesting blog reports (if I have time!) over the next 3 weeks.

Castlemilk Kids – writing, performing, recording their own song ”It’s Up to You”

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Posted by upbeat | Posted in Collaboration, Creativity, Health & Well Being, Learning & Teaching, New Music | Posted on June 2, 2013

book-40As a music teacher in Castlemilk High School, Glasgow in 1998, I received a video that was sent to all schools in the UK. It was a short video of no more than 10 minutes, perhaps less, featuring legendary Beatles’ Producer (the fifth Beatle) Sir George Martin exhorting schools up and down the land to get involved in composing new songs. These songs were to reflect young songwriters dreams and aspirations, engaging them in collective creative experiences working together in composing new songs with powerful  messages. It’s a long story to share exactly how we went about this, but for now I just want to share that out of thousands of schools involved in this venture, the kids from Castlemilk High ended up featuring on the CD (100,000) sold in Marks & Spencers shops in the UK. We were invited to open and perform at new M&S stores. We recorded in Sir George Martin’s Air Studios in London, met the great man himself (our Executive Producer!) and admired his Rolls Royce parked outside. We performed in front of 3000 (opening the concert with the first song!) in London at the Skyscape Auditorium adjacent to the Millenium Dome in February 2000. It was an adventure I’ll never forget, and hopefully the whole process from start to finish is one that will remain with those kids for the rest of their lives.

 

‘It’s Up to You’  Track 20/22 track CD (Children’s Promise Charity no. 1073761)   20 It’s Up To You

WE’RE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER, EVERYONE ME AND YOU, WE’VE GOT TO SEE THIS WHOLE THING THROUGH, THERE’S WORK TO DO

CHORUS: OUR HANDS WILL BUILD A FUTURE, OUR VOICES WILL BE HEARD, AND IT’S UP TO YOU

CHILDREN OF OUR WORLD TODAY, THEY’VE HAD IT TOUGH, WE CAN CHANGE THEIR DESTINY, IF WE WORK HARD ENOUGH

CHORUS: OUR HANDS WILL BUILD A FUTURE, OUR VOICES WILL BE HEARD, AND IT’S UP TO YOU

MAKE THE FUTURE A BRIGHTER PLACE, FOR EVERYONE, FOR EVERYONE’S THE SAME AS US, LET’S SHARE OUR LOVE

CHORUS: OUR HANDS WILL BUILD A FUTURE, OUR VOICES WILL BE HEARD, AND IT’S UP TO YOU

THIS SONG HAS BROUGHT A MESSAGE, A MESSAGE SUNG FOR YOU, ALL OF US NEED FAITH AND HOPE, TO SEE US THROUGH

IT’S UP TO YOU (MAKE THE FUTURE A BRIGHTER PLACE, FOR EVERYONE)

Europe v USA at Southerness Golf Club

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Posted by upbeat | Posted in Collaboration, International Education | Posted on April 16, 2013

I had a great time last Wednesday at Southerness Golf Club with Dumfries & County Golf Club former Captain Ian McEwan, and American friends Dr Chris Nagy and Steve O’Neill. The weather was beautiful, perfect for a round of golf as we took some time out in the midst of a hectic education exchange visit. The Southerness course provided a challenge for us all as we took part in our own fun Ryder Cup event. This picture, taken last month at the Scottish Golf Show in Glasgow is the closest I’m ever likely to get to the Ryder Cup!

Fun and games!

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Posted by upbeat | Posted in Health & Well Being, International Education | Posted on April 16, 2013

Whether you’re from Scotland, the USA or anywhere else in the world, everyone (of all ages) likes to get together and just have fun! The 48 kids and 9 chaperones that made up our New Jersey / Dumfries & Galloway exchange group had a great time at Cream O’ Galloway, Xscape and on the water at Loch Ken. The pictures say it all!


USA / Scotland exchange visit

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Posted by upbeat | Posted in Collaboration, Creativity, Health & Well Being, International Education | Posted on April 16, 2013

Young people from Dumfries & Galloway, Scotland and Northern Valley, New Jersey shared a week-long exchange with visits to a variety of cultural places of interest. They also had great fun at Xscape in Glasgow on the snow and kayaking at Loch Ken. The weather was great, although a tumble into the loch felt more than a little refreshing!

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