Yesterday I had the pleasure of meeting one of my childhood heroes: Johnny Ball, the star of many a Childrens TV show from the late 70s right through to the 90s (remember Think Again or Johnny Ball Reveals All anyone?). For the younger readers who may not be familiar with his work Johnny Ball is perhaps best known for popularising Mathematics with his inimtable approach and style.
Luckily for me we were presenting at the same event where Johnny Ball gave a very entertaining keynote on how to motivate young people with Maths. If I’m perfectly honest Maths is not a subject I was particularly fond of at school, but it just goes to show that the right teacher can ignite the interest and imagination of even the most apathetic of students.
It was great to see such a legend from my youth at work and share his worldly wisdom on working with young people to inspire them to better themselves. One point that had particular resonance for me was the importance of further education in giving so many of our young people (who may not have had the best of starts in life) that all important second chance in life and how critical a role the teacher plays in building up the student’s confidence to excel. Ball was clearly talking from the heart as he was quick to add that he himself left school with two O levels, but with encouragement in his formative years went on to achieve so much. Inspiring stuff.
I was covering sessions on social media use and digital identity (hence the cheesey pun in this blog post’s title…) and was discussing how we can best support students to present themselves as positively as possible in the online world. Here’s a Padlet of some of the resources we discussed in the session complete with contributions from many of the attendees too (feel free to add your own resources as well if you like):