Well, the maelstrom that was last week has now passed, and I have had a wee bit of time to reflect on the Scottish Learning Festival 2009. Don’t think I’m up to writing a massive blog post about the whole thing, so I thought I’d do it in wee chunks, and decided to start with the thing that had been worrying me most – the school’s SMART Table presentation which was on the SMART stand about lunchtime both Wednesday and Thursday.
We had brought 4 children in each day, and had created a new set of Table activities for the event to give them a bit of a surprise. These new activities were themed round Pirates, as that is the current class topic. On arrival at the SECC both days, our pupils went on tour trying to blag as much free stuff as they possibly could – and did pretty well – before heading to the SMART Stand.
Once there,we moved to where the Table was. Given that the stand had been designed to facilitate SMART Board presentations, the location of the Table on the stand made it a bit tricky to present on – an issue I’m sure will be addressed before next year. The pupils soldiered on nonetheless as did the audience (which I noticed included Margaret Vass and Cassie Law from Falkirk, as well as my own Head Teacher). I ended up going round explaining what was going on to those watching and answering questions. Whilst the children did well, and the people who I spoke to seemed to enjoy it, we felt that it lacked a bit bit of impact, and asked if we would be able to move the Table to the presentation area at the top of the stand. Sadly due to cabling issues that wasn’t possible, so we figured we would come up with something else.
The something else was dropped on me about 5 minutes before we started our Thursday talk; I was to gather people in the presentation area and give them a bit of an introduction before inviting them down to the Table itself. I was miked up and amplified, and a good crowd were gathered for the start of our talk, with others joining later – including John Johnston who took some photos and Tom Barrett one of the other British teachers who has had a SMART Table in their classroom. After giving an intro and bringing the audience down to the Table (where the pupils were once again getting on with things magnificently!) I remained miked up and was able to give a ‘play-by-play commentary’ of the activities on the table.
Overall this format worked better than the Tuesday format, and is definitely something I would look at again for the future.
After we presented, I was able to chat to both John Johnston and Tom Barrett, both of whom gave us very positive feedback about the presentation. Tom and I also discussed the very different experience that the Table offers to different classes (such as his and mine).
Overall I think it went OK, but there’s a rumour that we might be presenting it at BETT , so we would need to make sure we got everything sorted. Wish us luck!