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MirandaNet Fellowship Profiles (MirandaNet Archive - as of March 2015)
Twitter ID: @sjfSoS
I have worked for 23 years as a Learning and Teaching Adviser for Learning Technologies in Worcestershire and am now branching out into independent consultancy. Initially, I trained to teach PE which I did for 15 years until injury forced me to change track. I became involved in educational ICT in its infancy and have been priviledged to be part of many innovations in the field.
I have recently been accepted as an Achievement for All coach and look forward to the additional experience this will provide and the challenge of making use of my experience in the field of Learning Technologies to provide schools with creative strategies to develop their repertoire of tools to have an impact on vulnerable learners.
My first piece of serious research was into the use of ICT to enrich and extend the educational experiences of more able pupils (as part of an MA some years ago). Since then my interests have widened into many related fields.
I have become passionate about the use of digital concept mapping in recent years and have spoken at BETT and Mirandanet events several times.
I was the 2006 recipient of an Inspired Teacher Award from Inspiration, who produce Inspiration9 software for concept/mind mapping. I have also produced the UK teachers' notes for version 8 of the software.
I was the first recipient of the Bill Tagg bursary, courtesy of NAACE, through which I researched the effect of introducing the QCA SoW for ICT in a primary school in special measures. The report was published on the NAACE website in October 2001.
I have lead on the development of the Managed Assessment Portfolio System (MAPS) in Worcestershire, working with TAG Learning. I have created a case study based on this, which is available from the TAG website. Although initially this development was focussed on KS3 to support teachers in the assessment of ICT, I am now working predominantly in KS2 to develop MAPS as a transfer tool. The system facilitates the transfer of pupils portfolios and associated assessment data between schools in the system and one major project currently is to foster this within pyramids of schools in Worcestershire. I won a Becta award for Innovation for this work in 2004.
I was priviledged to work with colleagues from Italy who are at the centre of the move to introduce IWBs to their schools over the past few years. I spoke at their conference and visited several schools who are early adopters. It was incredibly refreshing to be in the presence of such passion!
Most recently I have been looking at the potential of geocaching as a cross-curricular activity to engage and excite learners.
Using Inspiration opens up a whole new world to many learners, but what is the effect of giving young children additional access through mobile technology?
A pilot group of year 4 pupils in a Worcestershire first school have been using high specification PDAs, including cameras and audio recording. Inspiration has been installed on the PDAs, along with a number of other applications, giving them a choice of methods of recording their experiences.
Many of the children were identified by their teachers as reluctant writers and Inspiration was one of a number of strategies to help the children to plan and develop their ideas.
Using ICT to Support the Development of Problem Solving and Thinking Skills Chapter in Teaching Thinking Skills Across the Middle Years; Wallace and Bentley; NACE/Fulton 2002
Inspiration Teachers' Guide Cross-curricular support for the use of Inspiration in the UK curriculum Y5 - 9, including background information on concept mapping and full lesson plans. TAG Learning; 2004
Using SPEX+ to promote a creative approach to problem solving in KS2 Article in Primary Focus on Creativity and Challenge; NAACE; Summer 2005
Inspiration in the Classroom UK Curriculum-focused Activity Plans; Jane Finch; Inspiration Software Inc; 2006
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