Technically, not the #batttman, there are two of us: myself and Stephen Lockyer – a twitter pal that I have befriended recently. We thought about creating an account on twitter called battt and since its birth, has been pretty well received.
I hosted my first ever #ukedchat the other night (Valentine’s Day – madness, I know) and was extremely happy with how it all went. I think the thing that has stunned me more than anything else is just the sheer almost viral spread that has happened since we began. So many people are taking on other battt identities in their countries and are hashtagging battt even without us being mentioned – I mean, that’s pretty big. Great stuff.
I have reposted the #ukedchat post from the battt site here.
Last Thursday – that’s right, Valentine’s Day was my first stab at hosting #ukedchat. Stephen has hosted before but I was a newbie. We ran it as @battt and it was bonkers. So many tweets in such a short time period just about turned my phone, laptop and fingers into a blurry mess. It was great though, lovely to see so much interaction and enthusiasm from so many educators out there. @ICTmagic has placed the summary HERE in the archives but I thought I’d include it here as well. Double whammy!
Session 138: The Wonders of Twitter for Teachers
“What’s the point of twitter?”
“I haven’t got a smartphone, I can’t use it!”
“Why do I want to follow Stephen Fry and Justin Bieber?”
“I haven’t got time, I’m too busy marking or searching for resources?”
“What do you mean, ‘ask other teachers’?”
Ever heard any of these questions or statements? Ever been the one asking them?
For the uninitiated or unaddicted, Twitter is just another social network for people to lose themselves in; just like Facebook but without the photos of somebody’s dog or precious children. Twitter is so much more than Facebook, so much more than just random people’s streams of consciousness – yes it is that, but it is more.
I signed up my teacher account just over a year ago (with the arrival of my new smartphone) and have been staggered by the help, followers and general networking that I’ve achieved in that time. It was through twitter that I stumbled upon a like-minded educator called Stephen (@mrlockyer) we very soon hit off a bustling bromance and put together an idea called BATTT – Bring A Teacher To Twittter. The principle is very simple, as the twitter bio states: Bring A Teacher To Twitter. It’s simple: invite one of your teacher friends to Twitter, guide them, help them – let them loose.
We set up a twitter account (@batttuk) and a blog and set about trying to engage with teachers, getting them to cajole, interest, bully and tempt fellow colleagues into joining twitter and seeing its impact. I have used it so many times to ask for help, to see if anyone has a wheel so I don’t have to reinvent one myself or to offer help and wheels of my own.
We have been delighted by the success of battt so far; hundreds of people are following @batttuk and are now trying to set up their own versions of battt in their country – see here.
Lots of new teachers have been introduced and are actively engaging in twitter and blogging but we need to keep encouraging them, RT their work, introducing them, helping them – in short, doing all the things we said twitter was great for in the first place.
1: Lead them to water.
2: Get them to drink.
3: Get them coming back to the water to drink themselves.
4: Watch with joy as they lead others to water.
This is the basic principle of any evangelising, which is what we’re doing.
Both Steve and I were really impressed with the chat on Valentine’s night and the amount of people sharing their newbies and helping others. We did feel that the sheer volume of tweets and pace on the night was high – too high for a newbie, possibly mind-blowing. That’s why it is so important to keep coming back to any new teachers we have set up, keep encouraging them and making sure that it doesn’t just become another social network or a digital stream of consciousness but something with purpose.
Some notable tweets – there were so many, to be honest.
Ben Waldram is an assistant head at a junior school in Derby, he loves his job and is in charge of ICT; Y6 transfer & transition and SATs arrangements; CPD; AG&T; children’s camps; Y6 business projects; Investors In Pupils – Jobs; a hundred other things and the Fridge. He has a wife and two (and a half) children and likes tea.
He also eats more kebabs than he should
Stephen Lockyer is a Deputy Head in the south of England, is a father of four and adores innovation, creativity and lifelong learning. He is mastering the ancient art of Timetabling, and sees Technology as important, but not as vital as it may at first be seen. He is distinctly smaller than Ben Waldram, and only met him through Twitter.
So, on Tuesday I am to do my first presentation to parents and staff on e-safety. It should have been done some time ago but got postponed for many reasons. Of all the meetings that I’ve led (and I’ve led a few) this one has taken me the longest to prepare. Maybe it’s because it was my first dip into Prezi, maybe it was because there was just a wealth of information available or maybe, it was simply down to the fact that I know it is so important, that I didn’t want to take it lightly.
I have included a link to my prezi and the notes that I will use along with it as well as some of the resources I’m giving to parents. If you want to use any of them, feel free to tweak/use/abuse just let me know what you thought.
I’ll follow up this post with my reflections on how it went… we shall see.
A little late in coming but I’ve been busy with projects – some new, some recycled.
The mini-enterprise project. Working with year sixes on aspects of running a mini-business. They have to work in teams, partners and individually to work through a series of tasks (like the Apprentice but without the firing). This has worked really well in all the years I’ve ran it and gives the children a chance to showcase skills they might not always get to use in the classroom. We always finish with an interview, where each one of them has to have an individual chat with two professionals: sometimes local business people, sometimes teachers loaned from other school, sometimes governors. This is a brilliant ending to the project and gives them an opportunity to grow in confidence, perfect before our summer performance. I also take them to Frankie & Benny’s as their treat.
Summer performance. End-of-year shows/productions/performances are an integral part of any year six and a sort of reward after the hard work and slog through the cold start of the year in preparation for SATs. In previous years, we have put on Shakespeare 4 Kidz versions of A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Macbeth (scroll down to see all posts on the link)- challenging indeed. When I tell people we are doing Shakespeare, they look at us in amazement and raise their eyebrows in disbelief/respect/prospect of exhaustion? This summer I am toying with either The Tempest or Romeo & Juliet – we will see.
Grammar Test. The lovingly-named #spagtest is coming this May and, after seeing the sample tests, have had a mild panic. It was going to be hard work ensuring our sixes achieved the levels they needed in maths and writing and now they have to sit this beastly, boring test too. I know they should know what’s in there, that’s no excuse, but it just seems so intense. I will be posting some of the resources I make on here, soon.
Chrome Books. So, after seeing a tweet stating that they were getting a load of Chrome Books on trial, I jumped on that digital bandwagon and our shipment are expected soon. I will be posting about what we get up to when they arrive. Am pretty excited, just hope our WiFi can cope with it.
Investors In Pupils. Our PSHE lead and learning mentor are working towards the IIP standard and as part of it, we are doing several different things, such as: children writing their own non-curriculum targets (I can tie my shoelaces, I will tidy my room once a week, I will bake my teacher a delicious cake etc); sharing what the school budget is for and how it works and giving them a class budget; instead of class rules, we have rights & responsibilities – works well; I also introduced jobs, nothing new, but if the children want to do a school-based job: tidying book shelves, toy monitor, audio-visual team, hall monitors, they have to apply for it. Application Form. We are just starting out on this but know that no school in Derby has the standard yet. Exciting.
ICT revamp. My biggest job this year has to be the complete overhaul of the ICT curriculum. I have burnt the QCA folder and scattered the ashes so am in mid-completion of the long term plan for ICT across KS2. I want it to incorporate the new skills that children have and make it relevant and engaging. I have used @ianaddison’sictplanning.co.uk to help with this.
E-safety. Alongside the new ICT curriculum, I wanted to make children and parents aware of how important e-safety is. I am running a couple of events this year and am hoping that it is something that will have a real impact on all.
#batttuk. I am working alongside my not-so-twin-like wingman @mrlockyer on a project called battt – basically, we are aiming to get more teachers involved in twitter (bring a teacher to twitter), we know how useful twitter is and want other teachers to reap the benefits of the digital staffroom. We are presenting at the teachmeet following Bett 2013.
There is a load of other stuff, but this will do… for now.