On Thursday night I was humbled to be announced joint winner of the individual award for the ALT ‘Learning Technologist of the Year’. Having presented evidence of my work as a Primary teacher, it was wonderful to receive such an accolade from an organisation which has traditionally had more of a focus on the Higher Education sector.
I must take a moment to thank a few people. Firstly the many people who have supported and challenged me through the blogosphere and twitter over the past couple of years. Also deserving thanks, my headteachers Neil Hopkin and Richard Hunter for giving me the space to get involved with many things outside of my classroom role. I would also like to thank my family for supporting me through what has been a fantastic, but at times challenging, few years.
It was good to meet many people at the awards dinner, and to see the level of great work and sharing that goes on in the Learning Technologist community and Higher Education more generally. However, it struck me that this kind of community and professional network is something that simply doesn’t exist for many, possibly most, Primary teachers. This is a topic for another post, but whilst I was very happy about the judges comment on my “focus on sharing good practice with other teachers in the UK and internationally”, I can’t help feeling this is something the Primary community is in many ways lacking.
There is just one more group of people to thank, the children who have been sharing their work and their learning with me, and the world, in the last two years. Recently my focus as a teacher has shifted toward getting the environment for learning right, and then letting the children take control of the learning.
In the presentation below I share again some of the examples I showed to the judges of the award. For most of these examples my role was establishing the environment and the ethos; the children did the rest. This has been enabled by technology, but I am not sure it is limited to it. Technology has shown that in the right circumstances children can learn on their own, and this is often accepted within the subject of ICT in primary schools. I wonder if this is a lesson we should be looking to apply across the curriculum.