School Design Awards

One of the nice things I am involved with is being part of the national school design awards evaluation panel. My job is to sift through the entries and comment on how well they have incorporated ICT for learning, and engaged the students as part of the stakeholder engagement process (clue here is the word ‘process’, as opposed to the word ‘event’!)

This year I can honestly say the quality of entries was exceptional. The eventual entries recommended to the final judges were each capable of winning outright. It is fortunate that we didn’t have to make that call!

The awards ceremony is to be held at the Emirates stadium in June and I am really looking forward to if! A chance to put on the black tie outfit, but also to meet the people behind the visions for each school.

The picture shows the evaluation in full swing. It was a tough day, but extremely worthwhile. I can’t say who the winners are (yet) but watch this space… Or the space on the BCSE website 🙂

Ray Winstone

May bank holiday saw me input local Chinese restaurant, a few yards outside Sawbridgeworth and nearly in to Harlow.

Great food, I turned up slightly under dressed for the establishment, but they were good enough to let us in all the same.

I was commenting on my predicament when another group of people walked in behind, one of whom also appeared more casually dressed than the others. I smiled as I saw it was one of my all time favourite actors Ray Winstone!

Thanks Ray – you made my day, and if I could stop you for a chat at some point I would really appreciate it. Perhaps over some Chinese food at the Straw Hat?


Anglia Ruskin Summerschool 2009

The beginning of May has been the time when Anglia Ruskin invite prospective students in to experience university life. Each year we have worked with them to run a mini project using digital technologies, and this year was no different.

The theme was ‘broadcast journalism’ as in previous years and our role was to lead the project and work with the students to teach them some of the skills for video capture and edit, presenting, camerawork and production. We also get to define the task, too.

This year it seemed obvious to have the group make a five minute news story on the impact of swine flu. Working in small groups the students were given a variety of tasks, such as gathering vox pops, researching the facts, organising the schedule and presenting to camera.

It was a tough challenge. From no experience whatsoever we expected the young people to create a news broadcast and present it live over the Internet by 3pm on the second day.

It is therefore a real delight to say that they did. It was a close call, but they rose to the challenge and managed to produce a very credible result. Given that this was their first ever attempt, and the time constraints are huge, I think the result is yet another example of the stellar performance of young people when given the opportunity to be creative. Getting the level of challenge right is incredibly important, but giving enough space for creativity to thrive is more so…

If you want to see the result, have a look on YouTube for Anglia Ruskin Summerschool 2009. I will link to that from here as soon as I can.