Sunday, January 29, 2012

#LWF12 a quick review

I used really to go to events like #LWF12 and come back with an immediate sense that the world would irrevocably change,  within in the next six months - I am afraid this year's conference did not give me that feeling - but then that could be a good thing.

It may also be that with Tedtalks http://www.ted.com/talks and lots of channels for ideas sharing like twitter that it is harder now to sustain events that rely on big key note speakers and big ideas from the frontiers of learning - harder when the frontier is here already.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Class Dojo

I think this is interesting  development and probably running ahead of policy makers in this area of classroom management and reporting.

Young learners  who have seen Kung Fu Panda will probably understand concept of a Dojo and those that haven't will quickly see normal penalty and reward system of classroom management in this tool

Appeared on my radar a few times now in last six months and flagging it up for this reason alone.

Check it out at  http://www.classdojo.com/tour






Monday, January 16, 2012

#TeachMeetImpact



If I've done this correctly each time this page loads you will see 10 more photographs from one of the Teachmeets  that are happening right now somewhere in the world - Images from flickr tagged 'Teachmeet' and a  wee tool courtesy of Flickr Badge

The inspiring thing about Teachmeet is that it has travelled well

It works best where there are about 40-50 participants

The rules work well for teachers - who are not used to

a. Being in the audience
b. Talking for only a minute in some cases
c. Speaking in front of their peers and/or strangers
d And originally who wish to share and build their confidence in using technology in the classroom - and might not be that confident.




Created with flickr badge.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Playing with Drawing Packages

I am a terrible doodler and result of being away from home and trying to seek inspiration in meetings is that I sit and doodle .
I wonder if any of my pals recognise these doodles ;-)

The Bett Show 2nd Helpings #bett12, #BETT_Show, #bett2012




Michael Gove set a much better tone and direction for this year's conference, he may have disappointed some with talk of making programming exciting while perhaps overlooking the  fact that many folks still see a need for ict to permeate the curriculum more,  just using the stuff does require support and neither teachers or learners naturally apply technology in a learning context. We still need a focus on digital literacies.


I looked around for some familiar Education Department folks to compare notes with - I think an Education Department Stand at BETT would be useful. Though I have to say Naace and ALT are doing a fine job in keeping debate going and providing guidance for schools in maintaining quality of ICT Provision for learners.
It is worth looking and contributing to the  following debate at SchoolTech.Org.Uk 

When you see commercial muscle that is on display each year at BETT it is easy to see how and why local authorities can be seduced in to making large investments. There is an  interesting on going BBC investigation on UK Schools paying up to fives times more for technology than other parts of the world.

There was I thought some misplaced smugness from Scotland - we have done much around games and learning , programming in classroom and lots more and Curriculum for Excellence genuinely opens up a very broad range of opportunities from 4- 19 and across the full subject range,  but we still have much further to go.

Hoping Gove's  damascene conversion is what it appears and that it spurs on some more joined up messages and actions from Education Scotland and SQA . We've been talking about wikifying education for last six years hope some ears pricked up at Michael Gove taking this forward in England.




Saturday, January 14, 2012

The Bett Show First Pass #bett12 #BETT_Show, #bett2012 , #mmafa , #tmbett2012 , #C84C , #EWF , #ELB2012 , #ATC21S



Lots of people can and do spend a lot of time slagging off the BETT Show but it is the one week in year where you  get the sense in the UK that learning technology has a full part to play in the future of learning.  

It can be really hectic but it is always a privilege to attend and critical I think that anyone who gets to attend shares things with the broader learning community. There are a few learning 'consultants' who top up on their jargon this week and will drip feed it to their clients for the rest of the year.  I think "flipped classroom" will be the term  for Bullshit Bingo this year.  ( not knocking theory but those who will mouth it emptily in the coming year ) 

The event was a lot busier than last year both on exhibitor and it felt on attendee front.  Some folks said rightly that last year had a poor turn out because of the weather but it still felt busier than last two previous years.  Good too to  meet up with both Education Scotland and Scottish Government at the  event - it is really critical we make the most of events like BETT both for information gathering and on promoting the best of Scottish Education.

I'll do a few posts  to summarise my BETT experience. There were lots of great links and interesting topics flying around on twitter I hope some of these streams will be archived.

#EWF,  #ELB2012  , #ATC21S I think lots of folk are unaware that BESA now helps organise an Education World Forum on the Monday and Tuesday before BETT started.  There are quite a few useful snippets in the feed from this  http://www.ewf2012.org/  , Microsoft's Education Leaders Briefing  and one to have a look at the assessment and teaching of 21st century skills programme http://atc21s.org/ which we at SQA have been engaged with from inception.

#bett12 #BETT_Show,  #bett2012   - I wish that the official BETT Tag did not have an underscore in it . I don't know who came up with that idea but hopefully one that changes next year. 

 #mmafa  The Miranda Mod  Unconference and some excellent sessions http://www.mirandanet.ac.uk/bett/ 

#C84C  Collaborate for Change a useful new additional fringe event on Thursday evening some lively discussion from vendors and ICT support people http://www.c84c.org.uk/   Looks too that it has a format that can sustain large conference numbers.

#tmbett2012 The one and only - but I'm still not able to hang about until Friday and I am still not sure that teachmeets work when you get 200 folk in one room. But it looked good as ever http://teachmeet.pbworks.com/w/page/48562279/Teachmeet%20%40BETT%202012  and its still critical to have this kind of informal , informative , networking event for teachers at BETT. I'd still like to be able to offer some  no strings sponsorship for  this but I am not quite sure what is happening on this one. Delighted too that John Johnstone has been nominated for a NAACE award for impact of teachmeets http://www.johnjohnston.info/blog/?e=2245 I am sure lots of folk from across UK and beyond will want to help John get his portfolio together. 

More posts to follow 




Sunday, January 08, 2012

#BETT12 Here it comes



Well my diary is almost full of the important catch ups with vendors that I can only really make in this slot in the year.  I'll  be at BETT from Wed morning to Friday afternoon this year.

Normally I am aware of what the main big ticket issue is as a backdrop to BETT - in the past you could guess before you went that dependent on year you would be running into

- purveyors of electronic whiteboards
- ICT Training initiatives for teachers, learners , adults , civil servants ....
- whole school and local authority management information systems
- technical service providers for local authorities
- special deals for bulk buys of hardware
- Virtual Learning Environment providers
- Schools for the future , gazers , describers , sellers , costructors - in handy pre-formed partnership teams

The only constants over last 10 years are quiet stands full of fuzzy felt and interesting things for primary learners and  appalling really for Britain's premier education exhibition, wi-fi will be inaccessible or really dreadful.

It is hard to tell what main thing will be this year - I am guessing policy folk will sit around and talk about PISA - this has been main topic for last three years. It is verging on the obsessive really.

I'd like discussions to be around how education in the  UK can support BYOD if not for learners then certainly for teachers and how and why we can't be as ambitious for learners as a county like Uruguay can be in terms of moving to one lap top per child and building the infrastructure around this.
It may only be a short hop away as 4G and new networking technologies may mean that high bandwidth is available to support new initiatives in this space without cost of all the hard-wiring.

Would be great too to hear from school system of some examples where local authorities of regions have moved into cloud in an open scaleable way and overcome any security issues they may have had for learners and for information security too.

I usually come back with some great new ideas from international links we have http://www.joewilsons.net/search/label/BETT  and a huge sense of relief we don't operate in the same policy landscape as the English education system. ( should add for blogging police this is a fact on policy landscape  rather than any form of  political statement )

See you there folks