My Personal Background and Some Teaching and Learning ProjectsPosted by Lawrence Williams on September 7, 2010
It’s always helpful to know a little about who is writing contributions and what their interests are, so here is a brief introduction of myself.
I am on the cusp of retiring from almost forty years of secondary level teaching, mostly at comprehensive schools in south London. I have been variously, a Head of English, a Head of ICT, and a Head of Music, ending as Assistant Head Teacher, and Head of Creative Development at The Holy Cross School, in New Malden (Kingston-upon-Thames). This rather grand job title has meant that I have been able to develop a wide range of new ways of teaching and learning, using ICT tools, as well as engaging in the day to day teaching of an unusually large number of secondary school subjects: English language and literature, Music, ICT, Drama, Dance, Geography, Technology, Business Studies, Latin, and Mandarin.
I have been very fortunate that this work has brought me many awards, the most pleasing being a National Teaching Award (a Guardian Award for the Most Creative Use of ICT in Secondary Schools), and “Achievement in Schools” (at Buckingham Palace). The work of my students has appeared on TV programmes made by the BBC (Blue Peter: Japan Special); Anglia TV (Connect: ICT on TV); NHK, Japan (twice in their Media and Education series); EBS, Korea (the Educational Use of ICT in the UK); and on Macedonian national and cable TV.
As a result of the international drama, “Kabuki Gift”, performed by a video-conferencing link simultaneously in London and Osaka, classroom drama has now become an additional secondary school curriculum subject in Japan. And our cross-curricular approach to using ICT tools for teaching and learning forms the basis of ICT teaching in Poland. So, I think I have earned my impending “retirement”….
Over the last twenty years, I have been most interested in using ICT tools to create:
- cross-curricular links, through projects like The Light Project and other topics
- video-conferencing links with NASA space scientists, through my “Science Through Arts” (STAR) project. Scroll down for a picture sequence.
- links with Japan and Taiwan (Click on “English Enter) through music, dance and drama
- and, more recently, community cohesion projects, working with our local NHS, Social Services, and FE colleagues
I have lectured widely on these topics, in the UK and abroad, and I plan through this blog to continue sharing some of these new ways of working, over the coming months.