Friday, 28 September 2007

What a scrum

Popped into the Regent Street Apple store to buy (yet another - I loose them) power supply for my MacBook only to fine a HUGE scrum round the showcase of iPod Touches. With lots of "oos" and "ahs" as people discovered how cool the interface on this Mac-disguised-as-an-iPod is.

Glad I ordered mine by post (and Lys')! I'm going to try doing presentations from my one - web pages, Quicktime movies etc! Wish me luck.

Monday, 24 September 2007

Slow slow slower

Up at 5 to dash to Bournemouth University, home of much fab media work. But as you see, although my trusty car Polly can do 172 mph (not on public roads obviously - but fun on tracks) on this particular morning we are stuck for about 3 hours (so far) doing no mph at all. But at least I can phone-blog while we wait!

Often when abroad people ask me about the M25 which is fabled for its jams (best joke is that, since it is a circular road, it is the car behind that is holding you up!!). Well, the news it that it IS this bad. zzzzzz

I tried to pass the time calculating the carbon footprint of a 3 hour 7 mile 4 lane jam all with engines running but the number was so big that I fear my maths must be wrong. I hope.

Wednesday, 19 September 2007

By teachers for teachers. .

Fabulous! Up in Glasgow to do a mass of interesting things including a keynote at the Scottish Learning Festival. This huge event (7,000+ teachers!!) has a Fringe Festival too and so here we all are at a wonderful fringe Geekfest.

The rules are simple: everyone arrives with (or has hurriedly created!) a 7 min presentatlon on something cool and learning related that they have tried / are trying for real in their schools. A random "one arm bandit" name selector chooses who presents. Currently I am listening to 7 fascinating mins on Google Map mashups by Ollie Bray. All by teachers for teachers, and all fab.

Oh, and free beer, crisps, stuff.

Sunday, 16 September 2007

11 weeks old and first race!

So here are (some of) the Cracker team winning the Colne YC regatta (in perfect weather) but the smallest crew member is little Amelie who managed to complete both races on borad although, to be honest, her tactical input is not (yet) as good as her mum's. On the other hand starting out with two firsts showed promise. And she did seen to like rope a lot. And wind.

Thursday, 13 September 2007

Green Park, green parks

Arrived a bit early for a breakfast meeting and so had a few moments sitting here in London's Green Park which links Parliament with Buckingham Palace and Piccadilly.

So many parks are what makes London special and, in a week where research has confirmed how important play is for learning, it is properly food for thought about school designs: space, play, tranquility - it is so easy to scrape an informal amphitheatre into the earth while the groundwoks are being done, and many schols i work with have made really great use of the outdoor as well as the indoor space . .

Friday, 7 September 2007

Little acorns... big trees

So, here we all are at the Royal Society of Arts (RSA) in London - with colleagues from Australia, China, Ireland, Scotland, Sweden, Wales... the result of a lot of hard work which has now grown significantly from that earlier fragmented conversation (see In Bafta - below) via Skype and mail and so on before the Summer.

I think this group of pioneers may well be the beginning of a mass of cohorts of teachers in schools, all working together to improve their schools, with research support from children and parents. The result of that improvement will be a whole cohort of staff graduating with a professional Doctorate before passing the baton on, so to speak, to the next cohort from the school to move the place forward again...

As before, not the most exciting picture in the world but flip (!) quite an exciting prospect!!

Wednesday, 5 September 2007


Arrived at the BBC's Television Centre for am interview on their BBC1 Breakfast programme and sat chatting in the green room with Childbirth expert and Identity Card chap (both on before me) who had great expertise and were fascinating. Of course, for the show, we all do our 5 minutes on the sofa which is great for awareness raising I guess...

... but I do worry about where the in-depth debate happens nowadays. . . all the issues we covered this morning deserved a lot more exploration somewhere else. Mind you, I was amazed that SO many people saw the interview - the BBC really does reach out across the nation, doesn't it?.

Monday, 3 September 2007

BBC outside broadcasts (2)

Doing an interview this moring on the BBC's flagship Radio 4 Today programme (it was all a bit rushed - the Prime Minister earlier had gone on a bit, so time was tight...) but it was nice while waiting to reflect on how easy this all is these days - no more driving to Broadcasting House (and entering through the door that says "Let nation speak unto nation" over it), no more ISDN Studio in Chelmsford.. just Skype, a decent Samsung microphone and a bit of bandwidth and it's all done from home - intimate chat with John Humphrys and all!

Now... back to my email- (and there is plenty of that! Nation appears to be speaking unto nation pretty well

Size matters (2)

Back to working properly today - it's September now - and it's time I finished my (slightly overdue) Guardian column "Back and Forth" which this time has a hand-held technology theme. So I toddled up to the attic and dug out my first mobile phone - this is it (!) - and it weighed a ton.

A good freind at the UK's education policy department (currently named Department for Children, Schools and Families) reminded me the other day that it is now 20 since I plonked a "mobile" phone down on his desk and commented that a significant part of learning's future was right there...

As you see, the technology has come on a fair bit since, but I'm not sure to be honest that policy has - schools are still, in many cases, confiscating them!!

Saturday, 1 September 2007

Smack and barge race

As usual, there was a big crowd in Brightlingsea watching the 7 a.m. start of the annual smack and barge race. A big fleet of smacks - with a few of our Cracker crew on board this year - fought for a good start. There days the smacks are tuned and rigged to race and many of them carry some serious sail areas, carefully set.

It's good to see a town turn out at dawn to watch too - a proper sense of community. Seaside towns are special places aren't they?