Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Session 1 - 16th November 2011

It was with a certain degree of  trepidation that I sat down at my desk on Wednesday night for the first ever #NIedchat. Would the people who thought this was a good idea really turn up or would I be left like a man shouting down a well…"Helllllooohoooooh…"?

I needn’t have feared because turn up they did and the first every #NIedchat got of to a flier.

Question 1

What are the biggest issue facing NI educators?

Participants in general thought that we were in a period of great change in education and the feeling was that many teachers had not grasp how seismic the changes would be. The rationalisation of the school estate, the transfer system and the likely impact of ESA all got a mention. It was generally felt that rationalisation could be a good thing in terms of creating a more holistic approach to CPD but school closure, redundancy and lack of opportunities for newly qualified teachers were also envisaged.

Question 2

What have been the success stories in NI education?

Many teachers welcomed the freedom that the NI curriculum gave them to be creative and to incorporate new methodologies and technologies into teaching and learning. There was some debate as to what extent  all teachers had entered into the spirit of the NI curriculum with some suggestion that lip-service was being paid to it at times. Others suggested that a balance was required between skills acquisition and knowledge and that it was difficult to do this. Another issue raise was that of parental attitude to the curriculum. There was a fear that parents would not appreciate how education had changed and would expect to see children receiving a traditional type of schooling. A way around this was is to involve parents more in the schooling of their children through effective communication between teachers and parents. Many also welcomed the recent relaxation of web filtering by C2k through “grey filtering” Well done C2k (there…I said it!).

Question 3

What do you hope to gain from #NIedchat and how can we promote it?

Some suggestion was made that we should produce posters and have C2k promote or forum through their portal. The general view was that #Niedchat should be a supportive and friendly environment for teachers to share ideas. It was generally held that although we shouldn’t shy from controversy it would be a better idea to let the forum develop before more challenging issues were tackled. The term 'supportive environment' was mentioned by a few and it is what we aim for.

Question 4

How often do we want to meet?

Most participants who responded to this question felt that a weekly twitter chat would work fine. It was generally held that we should have another chat next week.

Question 5

Any volunteers to host next week’s chat

No reply!

Thanks to all who took part. We hope you can all make it for the chat next week. If you have a topic you wish to have discussed please send it as a tweet or DM to @niedchat.

Top Tweets

MrMalcontent Barry Corrigan
Rationalisation within all sectors is surely a pertinent one for teaching professionals. Fearing for jobs?

medv2 Donna Vaughan
Well just in from a BoG finance meeting, budget cuts has got to be up there at the mo :(

ict4mfl Edmund Ellison
Budget and funding cuts here are causing a lot of anxiety amongst colleagues n PGCE students I've spoken 2

AnGaeilgeoir1 D Mac an tSionnaigh
I've a feeling we may well see the end of training during term time. These could well be organised into agreed staff days.

Nic5Harrison Nichola Harrison
I'm feeling overwhelmed - 6 new ICT initiatives this year, Emergent leaders course, cross curricular assessments, AB involvement

medv2 Donna Vaughan
@MrMalcontent do parents understand the value of this or is it not learning unless its sums and reading homeworks all the way?

AnGaeilgeoir1 D Mac an tSionnaigh
Another successful change is being allowed access to YouTube in the classroom. It did take a while though!!

he4therw4t5on Heather Watson
 its about getting balance right between traditional&creative to embed the knowledge& trans skillsmedv2 

ict4mfl Edmund Ellison
I think that CPD is def an important element to support colleagues and should maybe take priority #NIedchat

Tweet of the week.'s a toughie but considering it was our first chat I think that Tweet of the week should go to @medv2 for

#NIEdchat Keep at it! its a great forum for sharing ideas about what matters others will benefit - it will grow ;)

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