Sunday, February 10, 2008

Looking for the Good

I am quite excited about this years Redbridge ICT conference. Not least because we have Ewan Macintosh speaking, but also because, we are going to play with the format slightly. Though last year was a great comnination of both a scaled down BETT show with a key note from Lord Alan of November, and yes we all learned a lot. It was quite stressful to get all the exhibitors in the right place and ensure the programme ran to time, in order that Alan November did not miss his flight.

This year I'll admit the format has been influenced a lot by the Stephen Heppell event I attended late last year. The 'Be Very Afraid' event showcased cutting edge work in ICT from schools across the country. These schools set out their wares across the conference room, video conferencing, Nintendo work, NXTs, Podcasting etc and right in the middle of the room was the island of coffee (well a table with continually topped up coffee on actually).

As I travel round Redbridge, I see some amazing things going on, these needn't be 'cutting edge' or an example of exploiting the latest handheld device. The well delivered, creative lesson with dated software is just as exciting to me as the geeky innovative stuff. so too is Podcasting and Video conferencing, even though they are possibly becoming slightly passee now. Our innovation culture in the ICT world, often means we are chasing the next gadget or application, when many of our schools and (NFER stats show) one third of our teachers have yet to master the basics, i.e. the classic setup of whiteboard, laptop and projector, alongside all its associated software.

So what will Redbride ICT 08 be like?

Well I hope a mix of the traditional keynote, a chance for listeners to be inspired, provoked or affirmed in their ICT visions and methodologies. And alongside this a chance for visitors to informally chat with ordinary teachers and their children at small bases, not stressful presentations that often cover up the flaws. For some of our visitors what they see will be dynamic and new and for some it will look mundane, so we will see some typing work, next to the NXT , next to a MAC video project. But I hope to include a bit of everything, with the over riding theme of good practise.

Below is a video of the Be Very Afraid event- can you spot ex adviser Mr O' Neil within the first two minutes?

( PS can't get spell checking to work on Blogger today, so the above might look like drivel, please excuse!!)

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