Day 2 @ SSAT

November 27, 2008 § Leave a comment

A enjoyable start to the day with a  seminar style event with Sir Ken Robinson, only problem was the booking system delayed the start and frustrated a fair few delegates and of course restricted the time we had to hear him speak and confer with the audience. Technology, you can’t rely on it? Disappointingly, just ask the Minister if you dont believe me.

We then looked around the exhibition, I liked one or two products, in particular nComputing who were offer low-cost virtualization software /hardware to tap into the unused capacity of the classroom PCs and share it with other users. 1 PC acting as a host to 6 PCs.

Benefits are; creating desktop space, dramatically reducing your e-waste and recycling costs and a reduction in power, well your are only running 1 PC for 6 access points. All PCs are recognised by any classroom management software you have running.

Another interesting product was Vivo Miles. Vivo Miles is a very comprehensive rewards and sanction system and very current in its design and application. Plugins allow it to integrate with websites and they have plans to marry up with the VLE providers. A powerful way to raise standards but also for students understand and achieve economic well-being. Its a schools club card – complete with its own hole in the wall. What I will note, is that its visual presentation is excellent, a very web vogue, social networked, internet market place user interface will, IMHO engage.

Next Sir Michael Barber, again a very impressive public speaker offering an aliens aural feedback from a recent Earth inspection – the written feedback to be posted later. Outlining where perhaps organisational failing are impacting on education. Concluding with E(K+T+L) an the equation / solution left by the aliens to prompt thinking. That Knowledge plus Thinking plus Leadership underpinned by ethics is required for effective leadership, and from his tone, not only in education.

Charles Leadbeater – web thinker / innovator highlighted the shareability of the web, and that term again, web 2.0. For the SSAT conference, I felt that the pitch was excellent, as web innovators / enthusiasts often engulf their audience with techno speak / babble. I wise decision considering the next keynote information….

‘The web allows them (Charles Leadbeater referred mainly to learners, which this context inferred students, but I am confident his view is broader than that) not just to publish but to share and connect, to collaborate and when the conditions are right, to create, together, at scale.’

His analogy of big organisations as boulders, including schools, being hard to move was coupled with the new technologies as pebbles more fluid and flexible, slowly swamping the cumbersome boulders. I enjoyed the analogy of User Generate Content (UGC) as pebbles, but I think the boulders are a little further up the beach than he perhaps presented, but that would have been a far less impressive communique. And yes, perhaps Google and little brother Youtube are the best pebble examples in the mainstream. In fairness he touched on others, World of Warcarft, Sims, Flickr.

(What would a seminar follow up with? Twitter? Social BookMarking)

Should any educator stumble upon the post FREE animation tools and some great examples! Now stickman may look simple, but our Year 7s and 8s spend hours creating and share it and there is a huge back channel / community sharing ideas.

Finally, the impact of generations and eras on leaders and leadership and Dr Graeme Codrington keynote. Although not obvious to me as an aspiring young teacher, this is very important. Ironically, it was as important to the seasoned professionals in the audience. It would appear, few of the professionals in the audience, either young or seasoned, had fully considered the imapct of their default settings on colleagues they worked with. Something to reflect upon. Dr Graeme Codrington has promised that these slides will be available but a short cut to the download section of his site.

So, another very good day. Now for the informal learning.

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