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The first meeting with our Beijing colleagues

On Monday 14th August, 2006, Lawrence Williams and his wife, Susan, arranged to meet a number of teachers and teacher educators in the conference room at the Plaza Hotel, in Beijing (see below for the background). The aim of the meeting was to see in what ways Susan’s school, Raynes Park High School, a Technology College in Merton, and Lawrence’s school, The Holy Cross School, a Science College in Kingston, could work together on international projects using email and video-conferencing equipment.

Arriving straight off the London to Beijing flight, Lawrence and Susan were immediately engaged in a three-hour discussion about how ICT tools are used in UK schools to support learning. The Beijing team was organised by Ms Wang Wei, a researcher working in the Beijing Academy of Educational Sciences (second from the right in the picture), and her assistant Ms Gong Zue, a student from Beijing Normal (Teacher Training) University. The Beijing group also consisted of teachers who are from 11 primary schools and 6 secondary schools, and some researchers who are from BAES.

The Williamses meet the Chinese in Beijing

Also present were teachers from two Beijing schools, School No. 50 (a secondary school) and School No. 27 (a middle school).

From a laptop, Lawrence showed a range of his Year 8 and 9 students’ ICT work and copies of these files, as requested by the group, were left with the teachers as exemplar work. Lawrence also presented copies of his Collected Papers in ICT Education, which will join the libraries of the university teacher training colleges.

Following this introduction, the group divided into two sections for more detailed discussions of how Raynes Park will work with Beijing No.27 to develop work under the “Enterprise” heading, and Holy Cross will work with Beijing No. 50 to develop cross-curricular learning, including an introduction to the NASA/ Holy Cross “Science Through Arts” Project.

Lawrence Williams in work mode (don't look at the sandwiches)

The meeting was extremely fruitful, and Wang Wei, the group leader in Beijing, very warmly invited Lawrence and Susan to join her and her colleagues for a special Chinese meal at the hotel, including several dishes which she had kindly selected herself.

We plan to build on the success of this meeting during the coming months, working to develop both school to school links, as well as supporting new ideas in ICT teaching and learning at the Chinese teacher training colleges.

Lawrence Williams MA
Susan Williams MA

If you have any comments on this page, please contact Lawrence Williams ( ) .

MirandaNet Editor adds: If you have ever wondered “How do you set up an on-line project with teachers in another country, such as China?”, you can read the email correspondence between Lawrence Williams and Wang Wei, and follow the negotiations in detail.

Beijing - London Learning Together

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