This year's Isle of Wight Conference
is fast approaching and takes place over the weekend of the 25th - 26th October
at Nodehill Middle School
in Newport. The cost for the whole weekend is just £100 and is money very well spent. There will be speakers from around the country who make fantastic use of ICT to help teach Modern Foreign Languages at both Primary and Secondary level. Promised sessions this year will include; using songs, wikis, mobile blogging, digital storytelling, video conferencing, assessment for learning, eTwinning, one stop animation, blogging, podcasting, vodcasting, power point, Interactive Whiteboards, eCreativity, web2.0, the new KS3 curriculum, primary languages and (phew) lots more besides.
The event is run by Joe Dale
, TES blogger, SSAT important person, webmaster of the wonderful blog 'Integrating ICT into the MFL classroom'
and all round Mr Nice Guy. I say this because the first time I came across Mr Dale's blog, I was very rude to him - he had written about making podcasts in the classroom. Being very non-techie and having only discovered his blog by accident, I rudely added my first ever comment - something along the lines of 'Podcasting is all very well but I don't have the time or inclination to do it with my class of 33 mixed KS2 children'. Mr Dale, being a very nice person, emailed me and politely said 'No it isn't - have a go and I'll help you'. To cut a long story short I was forced to eat my words when my class managed to download audacity
, create a podcast, host it on podomatic and link it in to iTunes the next day over lunchtime. And it was easy. And we've never looked back! You can read the whole story here
if you want to try it yourself.
So, when I attended my first ever Isle of Wight conference last year (after bumping into Chris Fuller
who had attended his first ever one the year before and assured me 'it's the best cpd you'll ever do') I felt sheepish to say the least.But I bought Joe a pint at the free Friday night 'show 'n' tell' session in the pub
where I found Lisa
regalling an audience with tales of teddy bears and voicethread
and breaking into 'pigloo', before Doug Dickinson
started telling us all about textease and podium and Steph explaining her adventures in blogging and.... well I soon realised this really was the BEST EVER CPD I had ever attended and it hadn't even started yet.
You see, Joe has an uncanny knack for bringing together normal classroom teachers who have a passion for their subject that is infectious. They don't even talk like 'techies'. They use ICT because it is available and simplifies or serves a purpose. They are people who, like Joe, are happy to sit next to you and hold your hand (virtually if not in person) and show you which button to press. You feel welcomed into this conference, not lectured at. When questions are invited, so are suggestions and shared experiences. And when that many talented people get together and start chatting you know you are involved in something exciting. Hope to meet you there!