After years of ensuring that phones stayed in the kids pockets I realised we might just be fighting the wrong battle, the wave of mobile technology was crashing and if you cant beat them!
Obviously I'm not suggesting that we let the kids play fruit ninja all day but it is time to recognise the awesome potential here and I have a real bug bear about the amount of time spent on social media etc compared to study time.
It started with a Psychology twitter feed, GraveneyP, I'm such a geek and was always going in Monday morning raving about an article over the weekend and telling the kids to try to dig out the article from their recycling bins (if their parents were Guardian readers!). Suddenly I could share there and then, whilst being able to add a comment about why they should read or watch whatever.
The kids went for it and most interestingly they started thinking about their own on-line presence, which is something the staffroom worry about, these kids can share too much. I wrote to twitter re some kind of school mode for additional protection but heard nothing and settled for giving out the twitter teen safety policy. It spread and soon RS, History, Philosophy and Theology were all tweeting away.
And it was fine, yes teachers tweeted and the world did not end!
Next flipped classrooms, my 'Super Teacher', friend in another school had been flipping GCSE Sociology SOCINSKISMASH and his enthusiasm was catching I tried out flipping one unit of Psychology on the Graveney Psychology youtube channel to support their revision, with a view to flipping that unit the following academic year.
The app project started as it just had to be done, seeing how much educational apps have helped my own children there is no going back! I was also trying to win over a new and rather scary head of department. I know a lot of developers and was incredibly lucky to have a talented friend of the family who is interested in getting into educational apps and also had a child with SEN. He was up for being a silent partner in the experiment and we were off.
I had helped run a careers psychometric testing project with savilleconsulting and completed the BPS aptitude and occupational testing course and the potential for testing on line and giving insightful feedback was eye opening. Its definitely something to look into more but will need to be saved for later.
So that was my start, twitter> flipping> apps and I'm now working with my super teacher friend on a flipped classroom/ MOOC app. Collaboration is clearly the way forward and if your a teacher who would like to make the content for an app contact www.madebyeducators.com as this is where my projects have lead me!