Visionary video in the massive red building

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Over the past few years I’ve been on a whole load of varied and equally valuable development activities that aim to bring out specific management and / or leadership qualities. None of those has resulted in establishing a vision quite like that which I saw at TeachMeet Hants yesterday.

Yesterday’s meeting was a smaller and cozy group than I had experienced previously. I suppose there were about fifteen of us together in a single classroom at the Priory School in the centre of Portsmouth – amusingly described to me my David Rogers, our host, as “the massive red building”. You can check out David’s summary of the event over at his own blog.

So what was so special about the vision? For me, something I’ve picked up from a number of particularly enthusiastic teachers – most of whom are working closely with technology – is that they have particularly clear objectives for the integration of digital tools in building learner skills. Of particular importance are those that promote both creativity and innovation in the individual. You’ll get the idea if you check out a couple of these tools like IsleOfTune and Poisson Rouge (which is utterly and brilliantly bonkers, by the way).

David and his team have chosen to embody and communicate their vision – and their passion – in video. I’ve never seen a ‘vision statement‘ communicated in this way by a small group of teaching staff before. I have to say that I thought it was great. Video communicates so much about the abilities and ambition of the individuals to a far greater extend than any written counterpart might. In producing a video, it is clear just how much effort has been made not only to conceive the vision (hard enough on its own), but also to represent it in such a way that their creative skills and abilities can be demonstrated at the same time. During his presentation to the group, and in later conversation, David explained that he and his colleagues will refer to the video regularly; it keeps them on track, reminds them of their purpose, and offers some additional motivation when needed!

This team of geographers are so very keen, and ambitious too. They choose to challenge classroom convention with activities like Gorilla Geography – mapping out student opinion by chalking up their views around the school block, and then using this opinion to influence the development of their learning cohort. I applaud them for this, and look forward to visiting David and his team again someday. Why not check out the video:

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