Port Glasgow session

This morning I got up at the ungodly hour of 6am in order to be ferried to Haddington (thanks Elizabeth!) and thence in a Don Prentice bus to Port Glasgow for a morning of workshops on the effective use of interactive whiteboards in maths.

The first session I attended was run by an enthusiastic chap (whose name I've failed to record). He spoke to us about the way that his department is using interactive whiteboards to support formative assessment developments: waiting times, questioning techniques, self/peer assessment, group/pair work etc. It was a fascinating session - these points stood out for me:

  • Sharing learning objectives on first slide - flip back at end of lesson

  • Pair work - one minute silent, then one minute discussing with partner using clock

  • Pupils making up question - make up a trinomial that factorises!

  • A thick white pen over text can be rubbed out to expose the text

What really shone through the session was the extent to which the presenter's thinking was grounded in the reality of the pupils in his school. In Port Glasgow, in appears that pupils are by-and-large quite happy to traffic light and admit to weaknesses in front of their classmates. This is so different from the culture at North Berwick, where most pupils are uncomfortable about admitting to needing support.

During the coffee break, John Connelly from Musselburgh Grammar shared the following technical tip with me: a button exists in the toolstore that disables the right-click on the pen. Very handy - thanks John!

After the break, I went to a session run by John and [will insert name here once I find it] from Promethean. They showed us some technical tips - I learned about the action icons that are already in the library, and about work with layers.

On the way out, and on the journey home, I think I heard both Tim Schmitz and Paul Goodall saying that they were planning to start blogging about their use of the interactive whiteboards (amongst other things). This is great news - go for it guys!

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