Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Hand Held Learning Conference Day 2 Part 1

Here is the programme for today and some notes from my scrap blogging with my ever dying laptop

09:30 - Industry Announcements

Stuck on a National express train somewhere out of Stratford
09:45 - Welcome & Introduction

Tension between Graham and the next speaker over home access
10:00 - Opening Address – Andrew Pinder, Chairman, Becta (bio)

Passionate about kids getting good ICT teaching and kit - especially if you are poor
10:20 - Steven Berlin Johnson, Cultural Critic & Writer (bio)

I felt smug because I had read his book this summer - so this wasn't new to me but still good to hear him in the flesh and its all so true

11:00 - Break – refreshments, networking, exhibits

Lots of coffee
11:30 - Danah boyd, Social Media Scientist (bio)

Fantastic- inspirational my new online heroine
12:15 - Laurie O’Donnell, Director of Learning and Technology, Learning & Teaching Scotland (bio)

Interesting slides and first fifteen minutes but we then descended into open questions - this is when i kicked into engaging with the other Pictochatters in the room
13:00 – 14:30 - Lunch – finger buffet, networking, exhibits

Networking with others and standing by the kitchen doors to try to secure some lunch - a cross between Pot Noodle and a Kebab

14:30 - Break out Sessions -

I went to:

Game On

Chaired by Chris Deering, former President of Sony Computer Entertainment (bio) Do games consoles and off the shelf games titles have a role in learning?How game-based learning is challenging all the rules?

This session featured Derek Robertson and our own Dawn Halybone.

Networking with others and standing by the kitchen doors to try to secure some lunch - a cross between Pot Noodle and a Kebab

Today was the best day of the conference for me -I loved Danah Boyd's talk on Soc ail Networking and Derek's passionate rallying cry to us all to get gaming in the classroom was like William Wallace with a giant Nintendo Stylus held aloft, who can not be moved by his infectious enthusiasm and his cogent arguments around context for learning, progression, differentiating and Vygotskian talk for learning around a small screen.

Scrap Blogging from the day...

Graham showed us a video of his 3 year old daughter playing with the DS - doing some scribbly drawing and also taking her Nintendog for a walk. We then saw her playing Club Penguin with her sister.

This is a bit like the video I begin my talks with - the one where Leo learns to use the mouse-

Watching the video two things struck me:

Gosh I thought Club Penguin was a Key Stage 2 phenomenon

I need to give my kids my DS to play with and stop limiting them to just a mouse


Andrew Pinder

There are some Becta presentations which leave me annoyed and irritated,as the speakers can appear stuffy, a bit too cerebral and a t worst out of touch. But I was encouraged and inspired by Andrew Pinder the chairman of BECTA.

He believes it is a disgrace that not every child in the country has access to good ICT both in terms of a home connection, a school rich in IT teaching and learning and a school where the infrastructure is effective. Sometimes he says it is puzzling for children that the school IT is worse than the IT the children experience at home.

Pinder meets many teachers who are annoyed that they can not set homework for the kids to do online, because the children are not equipped with a PC.

As this was a Handeheld confernec there was slight tension over the device that the recipients of the vouchers for home access would get, and Pinder did not rule out mobile dveices but emphasied that there would need to be a screen that both child and parent could see.

BECTA will be supporting and assisting the government in implementing the new Home access scheme. They are also driving a campaign on next generation or 21st century learning, something like that anyway.

As one questioner asked isn't the question about 20Th century teachers. Good point, but it is not enough to bash older teachers who do not get excited by technology. All teachers need permission, context and examples of good practice , in order to use ICT more creatively and effectively. Frankly they also need some money and an infrastructure that works.

I do hope we see a big push from BECTA on Innovative and effective ICTs in 2008-9. Yes, when ICT is used well it can have an impact on both Reading and GCSE score, but it can also make school a far more exciting and relevant experience.

I have embedded the talk here, and I thank Handheld Learning for allowing us Bloggers this embed option.


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