DEB meeting 12th July at Lighthouse.

The meeting was attended by 12 people and started with a general round the table intro and then

Update on the three projects that were identified at the last meeting.

  1.  Using smartphones in the classroom. Mick updated the group. There has been interest from some teachers in participating in this. Notably Anna has a secondary teacher friend who teaches in Hassocks and has expressed interest. I have been in touch with her and if the school are willing I will then set up a meeting in the summer with her and our project team to flesh out some ideas so that we can ‘hit the ground running’ when schools return in September. There has also been interest from two teachers in Patcham through Sue, and we will establish further contact with them in September. Darren form Blatchington Mill school who presented at the ‘Wired for Education’ event in March is also interested. He was unable to attend the last meeting but is keen that we meet separately to discuss possibilities.
  2. Teachmeet.  Anna updated on this and there has been considerable movement since the meeting. One of the issues arising from this was that if the Teachmeet were to be included in publicity for the Brighton Digital Festival details needed to be passed on to the festival organisers urgently. This has sparked some considerable activity by the team involved in the Teachmeet with the result that the event is now organised to take place on 29th September at Brighton City College on Pelham Street. Full details will be forthcoming.  Many thanks must go to Anna, Sarah, Teresa, Jon, Col and Martyn in particular for their sterling work on this last week.
  3. Mobile games competition. Richard updated on this. There had been little activity on this since the last meeting, although Richard has now set up Basecamp group for this group and the general membership. You should have received an email about this. All those on the shared spreadsheet have been included. Some progress was made at the meeting with the decision to enjoin the mobile game project competition with a mobile competition Matt is currently involved in with Pearson. It was also agreed that Richard would contact Jay Caines-Gooby regarding the Barcamp he is organising that will have a Kids Hack day in conjunction with Young Rewired State as part of the Brighton Digital Festival in September.

Project group structure and communication

Each identified project will have a project team made up simply of those who have expressed interest in particular projects. Each will also have a project leader who will take on the responsibility to co-ordinate activities of the project group. Communications can take place through individual Basecamp project groups and/or email as required. All email addresses are on the shared member list document.

Of the three projects thus far identified the project leaders are:

  •  Using smartphones in the classroom        Mick Landmann
  • Teachmeet                                                 Anna Pedrosa
  • Mobile game competition                           Richard Vahrman

 Engaging the hard to engage

Interestingly whilst this agenda item was intended to explore the issue of getting to young people who are hard to engage, around the room a number of people interpreted this as the issue of persuading reluctant teachers to use digital technology for teaching and learning.

There was an interesting general discussion around this that raised issues of whether or how organising conference type activities with engaging prominent speakers might be a way to persuade more education professionals of the benefits of digital technology in education. Also that a way of persuading more teachers is through example, e.g through the sorts of actual practice that we are getting underway.

It was felt to be important to engage headteachers in the issue as they could be very important in allowing digital technology into their schools, and are clearly influential in forming school policies e.g banning mobiles in classrooms. In this respect Paul Bonett (our esteemed chair) is brokering a meeting between head teacher representation and representatives from our group to familiarise them with the groups objectives and hopefully get them onside.

 AOB

A few items were raised in addition to the main agenda items:

  • Anna mentioned  Social Media Week that takes place around the world in September 19-23rd. We had thought it would be good to do something for this but with a deadline of last week to submit projects we were in the event unable to get anything together for this. Worth noting for future reference, though.
  •  There was some discussion about the group being the conduit for a debate about the whole issue of mobile phones in the classroom with the potential of developing a policy document around this subject. Whilst this was met with general approval it was also felt that it was not something we could address in the immediate term as our concentration should be on the three projects we have identified but that we would note the issue for future action.
  • Secretariat. In respect of the point above it was noted that whilst we felt it a good idea to keep hold of any potential project ideas that arose for future action it was also pointed out that to do so we probably would need to be more organised in respect of taking and maintaining a full record of each meeting through some sort of Secretariat. It was agreed that we would consider options for this including involving a student, seeking sponsorship. Please contribute any ideas around this on our Basecamp.
  • Into employment. The issue of what young people need in order to help them into employment was raised. Unfortunately I do not have any notes on the discussion so would ask anyone who is able to contribute, Wikipedia like to this document with any more detail about this.

I know I have missed some things out for which I apologise. Please do add anything to this document that has been missed.

Next meeting

There was a general feeling that August is a difficult month for meetings because of holidays. Whilst it was felt that it would be easier for individual project groups to organise themselves to meet during this period it was agreed that the next meeting of the main group would be in September.

The date for this is Tuesday 13th September at Brighton City College on Pelham Street from 5.30pm for 6.00pm.

As I will be away for three weeks in August Paul Bonett will be sending out invites to the meeting during August.