Today ,more than ever before, we need to provide opportunities to support our teachers and school leadership teams. Austere financial restrictions mean teachers are working to increasingly demanding time frames and under intense pressures, and we must strive to provide opportunities to inspire, motivate and support our colleagues.
On Friday 22 June 2012 The Northern Grid Conference will take place at the Gosforth Marriot, Newcastle upon Tyne. The conference is without a doubt the greatest professional development event in the region, and probably one of the greatest in the UK. I realise this sounds a little immodest but let me explain..
Most conferences, including the Northern Grid conference for many years, have a rigid structure and programme – usually one or two keynote speakers and a collection of workshops.. dare I say, of varying quality. These keynotes are often Big Names and may add a sense of gravitas to the proceedings and perhaps even seen as a coup for the conference organisers if they have managed to get ‘someone famous’. Traditionally there may be a range of workshops, a bit of food and a walk around the ‘exhibition’ The exhibition which may be a random collection of company stands – often populated by sales folk with a near desperate look in their eyes as they realise they only have about an hour to catch your attention and sell their wares
#ngconf is different. Very different. We understand that edtech companies, speakers and delegates are partners, have mutual interest in the success of the conference, and the day of learning must be structured to maximise benefits for all.
All our speakers are crowdsourced via socialmedia learning communities and by trusted recommendations. This means each speaker has an impressive reputation as someone who has genuinely been developing activities in real schools, with real teachers and learners, with real tangible identifiable successes.
This year we have speakers travelling from England, Wales and Scotland and if they’re travelling that far, then we need to make sure as many delegates as possible have the opportunity to attend their sessions. This is why all our ‘out of county’ speakers will be repeating their sessions in the morning and the afternoon. Each speaker shares a workshop with one other and has just 15 minutes to share their ideas and resources. With a grateful nod to the TeachMeet model of CPD we feel that short and intensive sessions make for a more meaningful and motivating experience than those workshops which last an hour, yet so often feel much longer..
Delegates be confident that we have done everything logistically possible to ensure they can choose to attend as many workshops as possible.
Unlike other conferences we understand the needs of our commercial sponsors and exhibitors and the day is also structured to ensure there is constant footfall in the exhibition area ensuring they have maximum return on their investment of time and money in attending the event.
Our speakers represent an amazing blend of classroom teachers with a track record of sharing and inspiring other teachers and independent consultants who consistently work with schools across the UK, sharing and inspiring young people and teachers across the key stages.
All of our conference speakers are respected and valued by teachers in the classroom. Each has a proven track record of understanding and meeting the needs of schools across the education sector.
A further benefit of the staggered and repeating workshop programme is delegates can use the time between workshops to discuss ideas and resources highlighted in the workshops with the relevant speakers. They can also use this time to network with teachers and LA colleagues from across the region and beyond.
This CPD format worked exceptionally well at last year’s conference where we had record numbers of delegates, exhibitors – and outstandingly positive feedback from all who attended.
- I wish all the staff at my school could have been at the conference
- I had an excellent day out. Learnt a lot and now my colleagues are benefitting in the classroom by using the simple tools I picked up. Well done Northern Grid Conference.
- The best one yet!
- This was a fantastic day, and I came away with pages of notes, as well as links to all the presentations to look at again properly. Well done to all involved
I genuinely believe that if you can only attend one CPD event this year then you should make every effort to attend #ngconf. It is a day of learning and fun with practical, achievable strategies, ideas and resources to use on your return to school.