#frog11 – National Learning Platform conference ICC 14 June

Written by admin

Topics: Education, Leadership

Queue music (Lenny Kravitz amongst others) and FROG11 opens at the ICC in Birmingham. Gareth Davies (FROG MD) opened the days proceedings with the launch of the schools self evaluation and school improvement programme. Schools, both at an organisational and individual level access this via the Frog community site. Schools go through and assess themselves against key performance indicators. these are not specific to Frog’s e-learning provision but take a more holistic view as to how the school is engaging with technology to support learning. The process has been kept fairly simple and intuitive so that schools can get a real handle on improvement planning very quickly. Each indicator has a slider that is brings up different descriptors as it is moved. All of this feeds into a fantastic graphical display when complete that overlays the school result with national averages so schools can see how they are fairing in different areas. It should be noted that on submission all school data is submitted into the dataset to provide the national perspective, but this is done anonymously.

The keynote this year was delivered by David Pearl. He eluded that all delegates would be singing before the end of the session – interesting, this certainly got people’s attention. He started off by talking about the different mindsets that would be within the room, summarised as follows:

  • I’ve seen it all before
  • I’ll wait for someone else
  • I’ll simulate mild interest
  • I’ll say maybe to change
  • I’m going to hoard what little i pick up

I found this really interesting as successful change management and it’s associated leadership is key in getting schools to embrace change and develop successful adoption of new technologies that impact on teaching and learning. So, a very pertinent start. Be curious! Curiosity is a wonderful way of connecting with other people. Top level managers and leaders need to be able to develop curiosity within the organisation. David demonstrated this notion by injecting an image of a tiger into his pages presentation but not referencing it. So, for schools – how can we get staff to become more curious and inquisitive to create a mindset that is one of embracing new ideas and exploring new ‘stuff’.

Don’t wait for an innovator – be one. What does it take to be an innovator? David’s account gave something of interest to him and that was the following, which he notionally calls the innovation constant.

V x p x d = 1000
V vision
P plan
D discontent – unless people are itching for change, or annoyed, then key drivers may not be there. This expression is based on the variables being scored 1-10, a score of 700+ is needed to instigate change. People say they want to change put in lots of invisible lines – at this point David referenced a Rave that was organised for senior managers/leaders in Dubrovnik – hardly what you expect from senior leadership. I cannot imagine any school SLT’s sitting around the table, adorned with glowsticks and thinking in unison with the incessant beat of 90’s underground trance.

Reflecting on the keynote it’s just gone further to stews the importance in my mind of putting people and pedagogy before product. To enthuse the desire to instigate change by developing curiosity and capacity of staff to be able to explore the potential of new technologies. There are many schools that are managing to do this effectively, but equally so there are probably more schools that need to get this point in their strategic thinking and visioning to unlock the next step in their journey of school improvement.

Laters :)


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