It is really useful to start the year immersed in ideas and that is often what happens around the BETT Conference in January. Here are some reflections and reports on a week among educational policy makers , educators , educational technologists and the business interests that circle education in the UK and globally.
I'll try and capture each event in a few bullets and offer some follow up links.
The Conference was aimed to be about disruptive education and did it well through informed and engaging speakers who in the main made good use of data to flag up the opportunities that lie ahead for education. David Muir has made a great job of blogging many of the sessions.
- The education service that globally becomes the next facebook will turn up side down education as we know it - this was the underlying thesis.
- Lots of focus on arrival of tablet devices or next generation mobile phones - not much mention of my favourite $100 lap-tops but these are part of solution - one solution a device, built by tech group Raspberry Pi, will provide students with access to a full PC experience. The USB-powered device includes wireless networking, a Linux OS, an ARM processor, an HDMI output. Richard Braben wants to trial the device later in the year radical in that was very low cost.
- Speaker after speaker suggested that games industry and a large education partner may be the place to watch - new consoles and immersive games , growing on-line communities around these and their ever more sophisticated delivery platforms . Stephen Heppell predicts that Education is the next cartell that will be destroyed by people and technology. The argument that the next stage of technological paradigm shifts after hardware, software, databases, search and now social uses, will be learning.
My question would be which cartells move in as we move through period of disruptive changes.
- BBC made announcement that more programming will be available free for education in UK
In the background the Education World Forum aimed at education ministers from around the world was going on in Westminster. The speaker line up looked remarkably similar to last year's event - which included technology in the title. Still on look out for best blog post on this event - there is actually quite a good summary in the press information on events webpage and some good observations on the twitter stream from John Connell and Ollie Bray not sure these will be curated so grab a look soon . Here is Michael Gove's speech welcoming large number of education ministers to UK
On Wednesday evening I attended useful session updating on developments coming our way through Microsoft Partners in Learning. It was good to be joined at this event by colleagues from Learning and Teaching Scotland.
On Wednesday evening too - We brought back a BETT Award for a games based assessment platform for young people on our Skills for Work courses in Retailing, Health Sector, Energy and Uniformed and Emergency Services. Meant that there was a lot of interest on the SQA Stand on Thursday and Friday.
I can't blog too much on all the meetings I had around exhibition and I think my initial post is fairly accurate reflection of experience. Some good blogs are picking up more from event from a practitioner's viewpoint.
and looking forward to seeing work of Leon Cynch who seemed to be everywhere capturing coverage of teachmeet and lots more.