I am not an expert

In my work visiting schools across East Lothian I've seen examples of the use of interactive whiteboard which are, in my opinion, much more exciting and creative than anything that I have done. This is, of course, wonderful. I'll share this good practice, hopefully in a way which adequately recognizes the contribution of the teachers concerned, many of whom are recently qualified.

I don't think, in taking on my role, that I ever claimed or was expected to be the fount of all knowledge regarding interactive whiteboards, but I have certainly met some expectation in schools that this is what I should be. "Here's the whiteboard expert come to show us what to do" is the way I have been introduced sometimes. From this perspective, it could be seen as somewhat threatening to discover that there are others who know more than I do, or are using the board in more exciting ways than I am!

My perspective, however, is that my job is to support the effective use of whiteboards and voting systems to improve teaching and learning in maths. Nothing in that job description says that I have to be the source of all the good ideas, nor that I have to be the expert. It does say that I have to make a positive difference, and this is made all the easier by the existence of excellent practice to draw upon.

My role in East Lothian is in many ways similar to my Glow mentor role. As Glow mentors, we should recognize from the start that we will not be the experts. Within a couple of weeks of the roll-out of Glow, there will be bright eyed young (or maybe not so young) enthusiasts putting us to shame. At least I hope so! This is all fine and grand, provided we don't create a model for our own roles that is based upon our being the experts. If we do, then we will end up looking rather pointless and ridiculous before too long.

I suspect that I may be simply paraphrasing part of Don's vision thing. Once his podcast becomes audible, I'll find out!

Actually, lest you think me too modest by far, I should say that in the field of web application development I am indeed an expert. Anyone looking for a Ruby on Rails developer should get in touch - I work freelance for very reasonable rates ;)


  1. We had thought of using Ruby for some of Excel because of what it might be able to add. Being a 'non-expert' in this field ;-) I'd welcome your ideas on what it could contribute to the dynamic aspects of the sites. Maybe after that we could look at how it could actually be used. Cheers!

  2. Using Ruby on Rails within an existing dynamic site (probably coded in PHP) is pretty tricky. Possible, but tricky. Starting from scratch with Ruby on Rails, anything is possible. I built FreeMIS using Ruby on Rails


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