Posts Tagged ‘diary’

Addicted to Trash

Posted 29 Aug 2010 — by cheersphilip
Category diary, thought

I have a confession to make – I am addicted to free online Flash games.

I can’t stop playing them, every moment I get. I love playing them, but when I finish playing them I feel somehow lessened and unfulfilled, as if I’d just been stuck in traffic for hours.

This has not gone unnoticed by my ever-loving wife, who has pointed out that this may be some sort of diversion strategy. In fact, she has wisely pointed out that I may find myself being more fulfilled by, perhaps, cleaning the house or, just maybe, cooking us our dinner, or even – who knows? – doing some shopping.

Now, a couple of days ago my wife and I were musing over the possibility that we don’t have anything that stimulates us mentally. Having just completed her degree, and not considering herself an intellectual, she was surprised to find herself enjoying her dissertation. We decided to do a little essay each over the next fortnight. We will choose a topic, research it and write up our findings. The results will be presented to each other one evening over a bottle of wine.

So, having found this quirk in my character that enables me to eschew my responsibilities and focus only a 17″ screen for hours on end, I’ve chosen to investigate the psycho-physiological effects of video gaming.

Results will be, undoubtedly be posted here in a fortnight.

Game on!

PS: God only knows what my life would be like if I’d ever ventured into serious MMRPG games such as Halo, World of Warcraft and others… you would literally never hear from me again!


Crikey, it’s interview fever!

Posted 26 May 2010 — by cheersphilip
Category diary, Rant

Okay, so I went to an interview on Monday – and I got the job!

Sweet – a part time design & technology teacher in a nice school in Norwich – exactly what i was looking for.

But then…

Then I heard back from the SSAT. They were looking for a National Network Coordinator on secondment, which on paper pretty much looked like my dream job – travel around the country talking to specialist D&T departments. Lovely.

Except now I already have a 0.5 appointment. I wouldn’t want to change that; they are extremely nice and I’m really looking forward to starting in September, it’s just that the SSAT job was the one that i originally wanted…

However, the SSAT have kept me waiting OVER TWO MONTHS after the application date to inform me of the shortlist. Okay, they were waiting for the election and some certainty about their funding. (goodbye BectaX – the right idea, just a little too late!).

So, what I am going to do is go to the interview (tomorrow – short notice!?) and see what happens. I think some negotiating is going to be called for.

But… if i get the secondment as well, what am I going to do about my RDTHSC training? I won’t have any time left to go and train teachers how to use their workshop machinery. Crikey.

Onwards and upwards. In other news, I’m still making oak boxes, fully mitred, for my wife’s degree show, selling our campervan, renovating my Vespa, moving house and progressing with the DVDs. Will this ever calm down? A part of me hopes not!




Today’s Lesson

Posted 13 May 2010 — by cheersphilip
Category diary

Well, this is a first.

Can you see what I'm doing wrong?

Looks like I’m using my blog to help me deliver a lesson in a ‘foreign’ school! This lesson will take place in Norwich, which I’ll have to get to by starting out at seven in the morning and travelling until eleven.

After that, I’ll be in interview mode. For a teacher this means doing a sample lesson, sort of like try before you buy. Its a funny old situation, as you have no idea about who the students are, where they’ve come from, what their day might have been like, or anything.

For the lesson I’ll be using eggtimer (thanks to @chrisleach78 for finding it).

The school gives you a topic in advance, and some basic information about the students i.e. how many there might be, and you have to come up with a lesson to fit the slot you’ve been given. In this case twenty minutes.

My worst fear is that another teacher, given the same broad topic (exam preparation), has chosen the exact same detail to focus on. Of course you don’t find out until afterwards, so i guess you can’t worry about it too much.

The reason I’m typing this up in the blog is simple. Going to a new school, with various different IT solutions is a tricky business. Will your powerpoint work? Will their computers recognise the file type? Its all a bit of a nightmare, so I thought ‘why not put it all on the internet?’ I know they have this, and have asked the head of department if they can see my blog, which they can, so all good.

The lesson is simple – the topic is exam preparation and the learning objective is to gain an understanding of what makes for an effective study environment.

  • Show the first picture (me in my untidy spare room) and ask for comments about what I’m doing wrong vis-a-vis study
  • then get students to write or draw in detail what their own study areas are like (with the timer),
  • share with a partner (timer again)
  • note down some comments for improvement that their partner suggests
  • round it up with some examples fromt he various people
  • finish off with the second picture, showing me putting into practise what it is that I’m preaching.

What have I changed?


Hope you enjoyed the lesson. Wish me luck!




BectaX: What Happened?

Posted 01 Apr 2010 — by cheersphilip
Category diary, Rant


Originally uploaded by Cheersphilip

So there we have it – an amazing event with some truly inspiring speakers.

But what actually happened?

I had no preconceptions about what was going to happen, and having talked to many people yesterday, many of them were in the same position.

We talked, discussed and tweeted about many different aspects of technology in education, but there was one thing that was noticeable by its absence.

There was a missed opportunity to talk ABOUT education, its purpose and current heading. The talk centred, in the main, around how to use technology.

As a teacher, I was so chuffed when the group I was with asked me what it is actually like to be a teacher. I was totally dumbfounded – no-one has ever seriously asked this question before.

The answer was, I am sure, as convoluted and contradictory as someone who enjoys what they do but doesn’t like the way it is done could possibly give.

There was no way I could give the technology and media people an accurate picture of how teachers think and feel, but hopefully I could get them thinking about it in a different way. Who knows. it was an amazing discussion.

Technology has its place in education, but its clear that technology cannot drive education – only people can do that.

As I heard so many times yesterday ‘the teachers just don’t use it’. There is little take-up of these new and startling technologies, because thats just not what most teachers are into.

No doubt I’ll come back to this time and again, but for now I just wanted to get my initial thoughts down.

Big cheer for the school kids who participated yesterday – can’;t have been easy hanging on to a webcam all day while Sony did their sales pitch!




I’m looking at Education

Posted 19 Mar 2010 — by cheersphilip
Category diary, Ideas, thought

Good news, people:

I’ve decided I’m going to concentrate on one thing – education!

More specifically I’ll start with design & technology education reform, then move swiftly on to changing perceptions about what education for young people can be.

This is going to be a lot of fun, but first I’m to meet someone for coffee ;)

Actually, you might like them - studiomold is a UK designer couple who have some really intelligent use of form, coupled with a fresh take on materials use.

Damn, now I’m running late!