Nick Dennis's Blog

Pessimism of the intellect, optimism of the will.

Tag: Teaching and Learning

Conference Update #2

I am very pleased to announce that we can now confirm the final main speaker for the Teaching, Learning & Assessment Conference at Berkhamsted on the 16th March 2013.

In addition to renowned trainer and writer Alistair Smith (who has produced a new set of training resources for schools called ‘Step Up‘) and the thoughtful, challenging but always practical Professor Bill Lucas (seen through the ‘Expansive Education‘ Network) speaking to the whole conference, Dr Bill Rankin has agreed to share his thoughts and intellect to the event. Dr Rankin has been a leading light in the use of mobile technology in the US and his talks are always deepely rooted in scholarship and a desire to improve learning. I highly recommend viewing the video below:

With quality workshop leaders from all sectors and Key Stages and speakers of international standing, the conference is really shaping up to be something special. The only piece missing is you! We are working hard on pricing and are hopeful that tickets will be available online in mid-November. If you have any questions about the conference, please post below. I am really looking forward to seeing you on March 16th to share, discuss and learn.

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Conference Update #1

I love good news especially when I know others (as well as myself) will benefit. This weekend I had two good pieces of news which I am really pleased to relay.

The first piece is that Alistair Smith, author of Accelerated LearningLearning to Learn, the Secrets of Successful Schools and renowned trainer has agreed to speak at the Teaching, Learning & Assessment conference at Berkhamsted School on the 16th March 2013.

The second piece of good news is that Professor Bill Lucas, co-author (with Guy Claxton) of New Kinds of Smart, The Learning Powered School  and co-director of Real-World Learning at the University of Winchester has also agreed to speak.

With workshops run by outstanding teachers from across the country alongside distinctive and challenging key speakers, we believe that the conference will be a unique learning experience for attendees with lots of practical, effective ideas. Ticket prices and details about booking will appear on the blog and the Berkhamsted School website in October. What I can reveal is that the event price will be pleasing to everyone!

Places will be limited on the Saturday to make the workshops manageable so please bear this in mind when tickets are released. To enhance the weekend and to provide as much collaboration as possible, we will also be holding a TeachMeet on Friday 15th March which will be free to everyone. Further details will also be released in the next few months.

The response to the call for workshop proposals has been fantastic and we are still looking for more suggestions. If you would consider presenting a workshop or would like further information, please sign up to our Google Form on the original announcement post.

We look forward to seeing you on the 16th March! Stay tuned for further updates….

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Proposed Teaching, Learning and Assessment Conference, Berkhamsted 16th March 2013

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I am very pleased to announce that we are fully into the process of planning a conference focussed on teaching, learning and assessment to be held at Berkhamsted School on the 16th March, 2013.

I always want to challenge myself to be consistently excellent in teaching and learning and I have been fortunate enough to connect with many people via Twitter and visit their schools. However, the opportunities are still limited to hear from practitioners in other schools/sectors and we wanted to do something about it. Hosting the conference allows us to get all these educators in one place and on a personal note, it selfishly allows me to learn, without too much travel, from educators I respect and admire!

Organise, in the first instance, quality CPD that enables colleagues to look at learning across the subjects and sectors and to use the conference as a springboard for reflection and effective practice.

We want to bring practitioners together to share their expertise explaining the why, how and what of learning in their classroom/institutions for a one day conference. We aim to keep the cost low (hence why it is being held on a Saturday to reduce cover costs) and we are currently aiming for the price of a gig.  The focus will be on learning and not policy (although I am sure that it will be touched upon by our keynote/plenary speakers). We are also investigating the possibility of a TeachMeet the night before to kick the weekend off and we are also thinking of ways to involve students from participating schools in a meaningful way…

Below is a small selection of the teachers who have agreed to present:

Laura Knight (@elearninglaura) MFL and Educational Technology

Zoe Ross (@ZoeRoss19) Computing

David Didau (@LearningSpy) English

Neil Watkin (@nwatkin) History/Project Based Learning

David Rogers (@davidERogers) Geography

Ian Yorston (@IanYorston) Computing/Physics

Dawn Hallybone (@dawnhallybone) Primary and Educational Technology*

Without coming across in a Lord Kitchener fashion, this is where you come in. We are still looking for outstanding teachers who are willing to share their expertise and also learn from colleagues in other schools, sectors and areas. If you would like to present, please sign up below. It will also be useful to gain some sense from fellow educators what they are are interested in as initial feedback suggests that there is a big gap that together, we could fill effectively. As we move forward with the planning, your responses will help shape what is becoming a very exciting conference.

Please fill in the Google Form below and updates will be posted periodically on this blog and also on the new Berkhamsted School website which should launch by September.

Look forward to seeing you on the 16th March!

*Dawn will present if she can tear herself away from the Wales v England Rugby match!

UPDATE: Alistair Smith, Professor Bill Lucas and Dr Bill Rankin will be speaking at the conference. Prices and workshops will be released the week starting the 5th November.

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