Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Conferences continue....

Dr. Frank Locker
Lots of seminars, conferences, and more are coming up right now. Some are good, some.... frankly, have little new. I'm really pleased to have been asked to participate in a number of them, which I hope will be really exciting.
The next one I'm involved with is co-hosting a 'Virtual Learning Think Tank Dinner' (no I didn't come up with the title) in Washington DC next week, with friend and colleague; Frank Locker, internationally renowned school planner. There are just about twelve of us and it promises to be a fascinating evening with lots of interesting thoughts and ideas about future learning!.
This takes place during the massive Annual International cefpi Conference which looks to be excellent as usual. This is the largest of the American conferences on the theme of 21st century learning environments. I am really looking forward to it and catching up with old contacts.
I have also been asked to chair a seminar during BCSE's major World Learning Environments Conference in Knowlsey later in the year. This also promises to be a very major conference this year, with some great speakers and sponsored by Balfour Beatty. Even better it will be held in one of the fab new Centres for Learning in Knowsley. (For more on this conference click here).
There is more coming but the forthcoming months look very exciting (as usual!).


Anonymous said...

You will be chairing a conference sponsored by Balfour Beatty in Knowsley.
Just a short time into the use of these buildings, some significant problems are appearing. People are being 'encouraged' to go with the flow and not criticise - "it will all turn out ok". Maybe it will turn out ok, but we need to listen to honest critisism. Don't be hoodwinked into thinking that everything is marvelous. A number of teachers are getting seriously stressed in Knowsley because they are doing their best to do a good job. Unfortunately, many are prevented from doing this job because of the very place they work in.
Talk to some of the teachers, not just advisors and Balfour Beatty.

Gareth Long said...

Thanks for posting a comment.

Just to comment that Balfour Beatty, on this particular Knowsley project, are contractors delivering what they are asked to build, based on a design philosophy given to them. And they are delivering fabulous buildings. On other projects they are more involved with things like change management.

Change management, professional development and organisation issues are not their responsibility in Knowsley, but that of the authority. And to totally agree with your comment, nearly every teacher wants to do the best job possible.

The designs are fab, although some find them a little radical. The secret is plenty of early preparation for students and staff of how to get the best out of the new environments.

They are all new buildings - students and staff will develop strategies for achieving the best but this is not achieved overnight. Hence the need for early and effective ongoing engagement and change management with students and teachers, led by practicing teachers and professionals - not consultants flying in and out, long before any radical new buildings are occupied.

Many people, from all over the place, are visiting and watching the new environments in Knowsley carefully - it will be an interesting, and hopefully very successful story for the learners.