New year update

I hope everyone has had a good Christmas break, and is enjoying a happy new year. This is an update of what has been happening within the DeFT team since the meeting of the 8th December… We have been busy. Thanks to everybody’s flexibility and cooperation we have now established dates for the preliminary visits between participating teachers and the core team.The link tutors, and Anna or I, are looking forward to seeing all the teachers before the end of January.
We have also been contacting the PGCE tutors from Sheffield Hallam University and The University of Sheffield, and have been hearing about the exciting developments that will contribute to the project. One of our partner tutors has filled us in on the ways her PGCE students are using blogging to help pupils develop writing skills. Another has described a mini topic that he arranged with his students involving film, cemeteries and poems (!) He suggested I should meet with some of those students to get their perspectives on how they feel it went. He mentioned (amongst other things) his involvement with Rawmarsh CLC, http://www.rawmarshclc.org.uk/. This is a city learning centre that is exceptionally well kitted out with exciting up to the minute technology. Anna and I will be visiting there the end of the week to find out if they have any resources to share with us, and whether they are interested in becoming involved with the project…
I have had a very productive chat with Sheffield Hallam’s own expert information specialist who gave us a useful outline of an information literacy framework presented through the lens of digital literacy… He also offered useful suggestions on how to catalogue resources for the open textbook for teacher education that we are aiming to produce as part of the project. I have been keeping an eye out for various resources related to digital technology and open education resources that have been recommended by partners and twitter contacts.
Anna and I have found an interesting venue for our next team meeting: a room that presides over the square between the two Sheffield theatres. We expect that the Crucible’s function room will, with its quirky features and open aspects, inspire us to reach even greater heights of creativity!

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