Tuesday, 3 March 2009

I started the day at the RM and Education Leeds 'Demonstrating Transformation through the effective use of ICT' Conference at the Garforth Holiday Inn...

I was there to open the conference with Dirk Gilleard who was talking about Evolve, our e-learning vision for Leeds, and to listen to my friend and colleague Professor Tim Brighouse talk about 'Outstanding Teachers in Leeds and the Learning Technologies'. It was a fantastic start to the day with a group of talented colleagues who are working together to unlock the potential of every child in Leeds.


Anonymous said...

Hi Chris,
I didn't find this conference really did the job that was, presumably, intended. Nothing 'transformational' as regards IT was shown until 12.15 - three hours after the conference opened. Tim Brighouse, whilst obviously a very major figure, didn't really appear to be on subject. A long presentation about e-safety, whilst laudable, was a repeat of a previous conference and was, again, not transformational. The first peek at the new learning platform was rushed and there was no time to explore the enormous issues it raised for the organisation and delivery of the curriculum and of learning. The afternoon sessions were a bit better, especially some examples of practice from Robin Hood, but they were, again, brief because so much time had been wasted.

I was also appalled that an RM person had driven all the way from Devon to present a very simple half hour piece about the BECTA Self Review and was then driving straight back again - what a waste of time, money and petrol! If she was so important, why wasn't she video-conferenced? That might have been an example of transformational practice. All this delivered at a venue that took me a total of two trains, two buses and a twenty minute walk to get to and from. The person leading the event seemed to be celebrating the fact that the hotel had to open a rarely used field for parking. Sustainability really isn't on the corporate agenda is it?

I am none the wiser about the e-learning vision. A double sided A3 document promoting EVOLVE was ok, but it's just taken me ten minutes to find it again in the 3-4 inch pile of 'junk mail' that we were kindly given - almost all of which will go directly or quickly into recycling or the bin.

Am I the only one confused or sceptical about the relationship with RM? Who was running or paying for today's event? Who had editorial control? The only brochures or displays were from RM companies and products. Is this to be the case for all future ICT events 'run' by Education Leeds?

Please can you explain what role our own IT advisors now have, and what relationship you expect non BSF schools and primary schools to have with RM. This is nothing personal against individuals in RM - they have been pleasant and helpful - but I feel a little dismayed at time wasted and an opportunity lost.

Peter Harris Farsley Farfield Primary School

Anonymous said...

Sorry to be a complete misery Chris - you know I am passionate about this stuff don't you - but I have just tried to access the website http://evolve.leedslearning.net but it won't let me in! This is supposed to be where we go to be inspired by the Leeds e-learning strategy! Not a good start...
Peter Harris (again)