BETT 2013

What to look out for:

Prof Brian Cox keynote 12:30  Feb 1st
Tim Rylands 10:30 Feb 2nd
Sugata Mitra 1230 Feb 2nd

Learning Together area with heppell.net

BETT video conferencing day 31st Jan
Www.vcfl.net. lots of cool people doing seminars from 1030 until 1430

SEN zone – I am hoping for better things this year from SEN zone.  Last year was a little disappointing. 

Technology training live has lots of training on all day 30th jan from ipads to science and maths

Learn live MS theatre
Weds to Sat.  Again lots of fun stuff from seminars on BYOD…cloud computing and all that jazz

Learn live – sponsored by NAACE
Lots of cool stuff from people such as Leon Cych, Steve Bunce Miles Berry, Penny Patterson, Eben Upton, Tony Sheppard, David Rogers,l

Learn Live SEN also looks fab on Weds 30th January

The schook leaders summit at BETT has some really interesting strategic people from DfE and inspectorates across the world.  http://www.bettshow.com/schoolleaderssummit 

Exam boards
WJEC stand f106 ..get some computer science resources

SMART technologies are on stand c240 and are showing new multitouch projector LightRaise 60wi

Learn live – Jan 30 to 31st Higher Education is quite good and has many good speakers talking about VLE, blended learning, MOOC’s, eportfolios, digital reputation (pete yeomans)

Learn Live – Learning at work 30th to 1st Feb.  BBC Academy and so on.  Good if you are CPD lead in corporate world too.

Links
Www.besa.org uk
Www.alt.ac.uk
Www.naace.co.uk
Www.nasen.org.uk

…..and as its the new year im looking at http://www.techogym.com

BETT part 2

So I don’t know why I tagged this post with innovation. For me BETT got back to basics which was a good thing. Last year BSF meant that companies pitched for the grand prize and not the sector as a whole. The people that are here a teachers who want to innovate but have no money…show some respect. (rant over).

So what was good….well lots of Cloud based software and solutions. lots of software for subjects. APPs to integrate with software such as SIMS I found interesting. I however think I enjoyed the TeachMeet Takeover and TeachMeet BETT. These were all well prepared and interesting and more importantly done by teachers for teachers. Awesome..again if you want to know who presented you need to Google it.

It was great, I mean really great, to catch up with all my friends on twitter. Amazing
There are so many awesome, innovative educators around.

So with that we all head back to work hoping that some of our musings will change practice in schools and impact on the kids that we teach and support. Money well spent? Yes….Time spent with colleagues and educators….priceless.

LWF and BETT part 1

What a week. It started with the learning without frontiers conference and ended with a teacher centred education event, more commonly know as a teach meet. So how was it. the LWF conference was excellent. A lot of top quality speakers and debate organised by Graham Brown-Martin. He does do his best to get high quality, inter sign people and this year did nit disappoint. I particularly enjoyed Evan Roth’s disruptive view of life. A breath of fresh air IMHO. There were some good presentations such as Tim Rylands et al however the mist aggravated back channel of the event went to Katherine B…. You know the one…ex deputy at school in South East…Tories love her she hates progres in terms of ICT and whitters away with sound bytes and non research based nonsense. However, I believe she did keep the event real. I love the way Graham Brown-Martin does this on the last day. Anyway….to cap the mid week celebration there was the TEDxOrenda. This was organised by Drew Buddie (@digitalmaverick). What an uplifting event themed with the proposition of change and moving forward in adversity. there were so many speakers and fantastic people at this event that this blog would not do it justice so look it up! (it will be worth it).

Now for BETT…

BETT 2011

What a week. It started with the learning without frontiers conference and ended with a teacher centred education event, more commonly know as a teach meet. So how was it. the LWF conference was excellent. A lot of top quality speakers and debate organised by Graham Brown-Martin. He does do his best to get high quality, inter sign people and this year did nit disappoint. I particularly enjoyed Evan Roth’s disruptive view of life. A breath of fresh air IMHO. There were some good presentations such as Tim Rylands et al however the mist aggravated back channel of the event went to Katherine B…. You know the one…ex deputy at school in South East…Tories love her she hates progres in terms of ICT and whitters away with sound bytes and non research based nonsense. However, I believe she did keep the event real. I love the way Graham Brown-Martin does this on the last day. Anyway….to cap the mid week celebration there was the TEDxOrenda. This was organised by Drew Buddie (@digitalmaverick). What an uplifting event themed with the proposition of change and moving forward in adversity. there were so many speakers and fantastic people at this event that this blog would not do it justice so look it up! (it will be worth it).

Now for BETT…

Education – new coalition

So today they produced the document we were waiting for….lets take a look. Intersting bits bolded for you: 😉

The Government believes that we need to reform our school system to tackle educational inequality, which has widened in recent years, and to give greater powers to parents and pupils to choose a good school. We want to ensure high standards of discipline in the classroom, robust standards and the highest quality teaching. We also believe that the state should help parents, community groups and others come together to improve the education system by starting new schools.

• We will promote the reform of schools in order to ensure that new providers can enter the state school system in response to parental demand; that all schools have greater freedom over the curriculum; and that all schools are held properly to account.
• We will fund a significant premium for disadvantaged pupils from outside the schools budget by reductions in spending elsewhere.
• We will give parents, teachers, charities and local communities the chance to set up new schools, as part of our plans to allow new providers to enter the state school system in response to parental demand.

• We will support Teach First, create Teach Now to build on the Graduate Teacher Programme, and seek other ways to improve the quality of the teaching profession.
• We will reform the existing rigid national pay and conditions rules to give schools greater freedoms to pay good teachers more and deal with poor performance.
• We will help schools tackle bullying in schools, especially homophobic bullying.
• We will simplify the regulation of standards in education and target inspection on areas of failure.
• We will give anonymity to teachers accused by pupils and take other measures to protect against false accusations.
• We will seek to attract more top science and maths graduates to be teachers.
• We will publish performance data on educational providers, as well as past exam papers.
• We will create more flexibility in the exams systems so that state schools can offer qualifications like the IGCSE.
• We will reform league tables so that schools are able to focus on, and demonstrate, the progress of children of all abilities.
• We will give heads and teachers the powers they need to ensure discipline in the classroom and promote good behaviour.
• We believe the most vulnerable children deserve the very highest quality of care. We will improve diagnostic assessment for schoolchildren, prevent the unnecessary closure of special schools, and remove the bias towards inclusion.

• We will improve the quality of vocational education, including increasing flexibility for 14–19 year olds and creating new Technical Academies as part of our plans to diversify schools provision.

• We will keep external assessment, but will review how Key Stage 2 tests operate in future.
• We will ensure that all new Academies follow an inclusive admissions policy. We will work with faith groups to enable more faith schools and facilitate inclusive admissions policies in as many of these schools as possible.

BETT musings – part 1

After a week of the BETT show from an LA authority point of view, an exhibitors point of view and through BSF goggles I thought I would pop a few of my thoughts down here. Following the tweets, blogs and musing of others really brings home the variety of things at BETT. However it is not about the tools…it is about how you use them and this is what is usually missing from large-scale events like these. However, teachmeet and teachmeet takeover….brings it all home and makes you feel warm again inside…..anyway here goes:

    Hardware

Ok, the new tech at BETT for me seemed to be the 3D projection. I have seen some of this tech recently up close and personal and although it looks amazing the content and development of content is my biggest fear. One way around it is the google warehouse and possibly sketchup to create your own…but when are teachers going to get the time….

Epson Ultra short throw….good…getting there….interactive walls and the like…However pedagogy seems to missing in the software for some of these devices so a Frankenstein solution of Smart Notebook or ActivInspire is also needed in my opinion. Also OMI had sensory ceiling mounted projectors. And Casio had its bright LED projectors that never need a bulb change…a good tick in the sustainability box and green agenda.

Steljies / SMART have a new interesting project to monitor and edit timelines on video for CPD.

New Visualisers were available from Genee World, Avermedia and Elmo. (thanks to Dave Robinson for highlighting this for me) Finally Dave Robinson pointed out the TTS Group whom has has several new resources including the Tuff-Cam 2 digital camera and Easi-Walker class pack pedometer system and Easi-Torch designed for Early Years.

    Software

Learning Platforms were making the most of parental engagement tools with Fronter, UniServity and itsLearning all moving on this one. Roadmaps for LP’s are interesting and are a blog post in their own right but there are some really interesting developments and some quite radical ones in the case of the new product ‘Life’ from UniServity which seems to have lots and lots of potential.

Again, BETT had a range of ICTAC software and some fab resources for SEN. Not however as much SCORM compliant software as I had thought, although Pearson is beginning to push all their content into Fronter which is exiting. Some software providers seem to be claiming they will work within LP’s but full integration with assessment data and the like seem to be missing.

Miles Berry and the Open Source cafe crew did a fantastic job and the CD has gone down a treat with all who popped into their stand. Twitter was buzzing with the OSS CD recommendations. And in the week that the whitehouse also claimed use of OSS for their comms….great timing.

2Simple were showing their new software 2Create a Superstory which, like 2Do It Yourself, is a Flash creator that can be uploaded to websites and Learning Platforms.

    TeachMeet takeover

Now this was where I saw some fantastic stuff. The amount of good, next, emerging and outstanding practice at these micro presentations was brilliant. Seeing inspirational teachers discuss projects and resources is what BETT should also be all about. TM takeover reflections

    Vital CPD

The OU project Vital to collate and share CPD with others seems to have a great pedagogical perspective. Free courses, online courses…however the commercial training companies suppliers may struggle to fit into their business models but this will be huge I am sure.

    Learning Spaces

This area set up by PfS was very enlightening to all with BSF or new builds commencing. There were some excellent resources, companies and ideas that made my brain boil. I need to probably do a separate post for this.

My predictions for 2010

Ok let me put my money where my mouth is…what do I think will happen?

Open Source in schools
Learning Platform Next Generation
Hand held learning revolution with itouch and android
Google apps takeover
Windows 7
Android…did i mention that
BSF funding cuts…PfS change the goalposts…
Interactive walls
3D projection systems
Emergence of thin client technology
did I mention Open source in schools
Maybe even less KPI on OSource Learning Platforms
Android….
Streaming content
Video content generation
Students gernating rich media and distributing
SMS / voting devices via web more popular

I have probably missed something

That’s a wrap

The autum term is complete but what for next?

Subject leaders meetings
Feb Internet Saftey Day
APP monitoring
Narrowing the gap agenda
The National Strategies demise…..

What will the post April Local Authrority SLA look like for the next financial year? I wonder how it will all pan out. What about the change of government..how will this alter the perception of BSF and funding?

Handheld device research

The controversy this weekend on Twitter has been evident The use of handhelds in teh classroom and the work completed by LTS (Learning Teaching Sctoland ) has been directly met head on by reserachby Della Sala.  (see BBC link page below).  LTS link can be found at http://www.ltscotland.org.uk/

 

The claim that computer games consoles can improve pupils’ maths ability has been dismissed by an Edinburgh University brain scientist.

Prof Sergio Della Sala said pupils’ performance was just as good when using traditional textbooks.

Use of the consoles has been supported by government body Learning and Teaching Scotland, (LTS) and has spread beyond Scotland and around the world.

Derek Robertson of LTS said he has had support from both teachers and parents.

The criticism from Professor Della Sala came in a speech to Scotland’s headteachers at their annual conference.

He said: “This research shows that when pupils in a school use a games console after 10 weeks they become a bit better in performing maths but the same applies to the students who did not use the console.

Generally the parental attitudes and responses have been wholly positive
Derek Robertson
Learning and Teaching Scotland

“It may be fun, but it is not a learning device.

“The message for teachers who are bombarded with these new flim-flam initiatives about how they should improve their teaching is they are good professionals, they should resist.

“The message for parents, is always look at the available data.

“Who says this improves the performance of their kids? Show me the evidence.

“This study shows there is no advantage – why should we spend money on finding out more rather than spending money on good teaching and good learning?”

But Derek Robertson of Learning Teaching Scotland responded: “These devices have a low technology skills threshhold – teachers don’t feel compromised by them.

“They’re the ones who report back to us about the impact on the children in their classrooms and they like what they’re seeing.

“That’s one of the reasons this approach has spread quite widely across Scotland and has then spread further into England and further afield.”

He said parents’ attitudes had changed in recent years and they were no longer so suspicious of computer games.

Girls playing computer game

 

LTS says teachers and parents like the use of the consoles

“Generally the parental attitudes and responses have been wholly positive,” he added.

Michael Taylor, primary six teacher at Rosehearty near Fraserburgh also supported the use of the consoles.

He said: “The DS has been a super tool for motivating children for maths in particular. It’s an accessible format and the children really enjoy it and they look forward to it.

“We’ve seen huge improvements in all abilities of children in their mental maths testing.

“I wouldn’t say it’s the only resource I would use for maths – to have children sitting in front of computer games all day would be ridiculous, but in conjunction with the work we do in the classroom, its helping, especially their multiplication tables.”

He added: “It’s accessible for them and we know for ourselves it’s not fun to sit down with a textbook.”

Sally, aged 10, said: “It’s fun and it helps me get better at my maths. It’s much easier than reading things. It tells you if you’re right or wrong.

Eleven-year-old Joseph added: “It’s more fun because it doesn’t take so long to write it out and it helps you speed up because it times you.

“I’m doing my sums a lot faster than I used to.

“It’s more easy and it lets you know how you’re doing and it shows your record through the day and since you can do that you know that you’re getting better. We’ve all been improving I’m sure.”

The LTS trials involved 600 pupils and cost about £30,000.