ACLWalesPodcasts #3

February 22, 2009

Gabcast! ACLWalesPodcasts #3

This blog has moved…..

September 26, 2008


This blog has now been incorporated into RSC-Wales website at

Hope to see you there!


Adult Learners in the Community are best placed to understand the simple truth that teachers come in many different guises, and some of them may be children. I love this piece in today’s Woman’s Hour in which a bunch of children talk about how they have taught adults to use computers – and the older learners have taught the children (girls and boys) to knit. The children have learnt that it is hard work to teach some learners (“they are slow, but it is fun”), and this has surely got to be great for their capacity to learn, as well as their abiity to teach. Inspirational stuff!

(click on Thursday 17th); 26 minutes in


I have had some requests for the conference presentations, so I have gathered them together here:

Alun Burge (Communities at One)

Alan Clarke (E-Guides)

Cerys Furlong (Niace Dysgu Cymru)

Christine Major (DCELLS)

Liam Keeley & Alison Walker (Estyn)

Peter Scott (RSC Wales)

I hope this helps…

The Power of Video

February 25, 2008

The RSC Wales has been gathering some video of learners testifying to the value of their experiences, and I have already pointed out some examples which Esther has posted on Teachertube, and also showed us at Llandrindod. One of the learners in the video also mentions telling her own story on video. This idea is, of course, not new. The BBC started producing ‘Video Nation’ videos as long ago as 1993, and publishing these on its website since 2001. However, the disadvantage of their approach was that you had to hand over your material to them for editing (although they let you decide whether or not to publish).

But the world has moved on… The hardware is now relatively cheaper, smaller and easier to use. Editing software is also not as complicated , and some of it is free and/or open source. This means that the control is more in the hands of the teacher and the learner, and people are making and editing their own videos.  Many teachers are really taking this on , and we will be linking you to some good examples over the coming weeks.

First off, here are some very moving pieces from the BBC, involving people in NE Wales. I really like the use of still images supplemented by audio commentaries. Really good work can be done even without a video camera. Here are a couple I particularly like, which both chart social change, and its impact on individuals:

…is the title of an excellent draft discussion paper by Frank Coffield, for LSN. If you are looking for an antidote to the frustration which we all suffer from hearing about nothing except targets and inspections, then look no further. There is some truly inspired thinking here, which both challenges preconceptions, and also gives plenty of scope for constructive action. What I particularly like is the perspective that teaching and learning are essentially interconnected processes which cannot simply be segregated (as evidenced by the same word being used for both in the Welsh and the Russian languages). This is important, as it compensates for the recent trend to place greater emphasis on learning, wherein the teacher is easily relegated to the role of ‘guide on the side’. The best teachers are much more than this, in my view. There are also some Activities in the paper which allow the reader to focus their own thinking, and to pass feedback to the author. Some of these would also make good activities in a teacher training context.  The paper is at

Alistair McNaught’s presentation is linked below, for you to download. As Alistair has pointed out, technology alone cannot make your teaching more accessible, but intelligent use of new hardware and software can certainly help. And this stuff is great for all learners, not just those whom we happen to have labelled as disabled. Please explore, and let us know what you use. It’s all free (or bundled with stuff you are likely to use anyway), and pretty easy to do. I shall be trying some more things out next week, and letting you know how I got on…

Inclusive Teaching