Wow, what an excellent schools conference we had on Friday. Apart from some minor issues with the technology (there were plenty of ICT people in the house) it was our best by far. Amanda said that they get better and better every time and so the next one has to be even better. Having it at the Cricket Club helped enormously, the venue brings people in but it was not exactly cricketing weather. It’s best not to talk about football these days.
These are interesting times in the learning sector and I was delighted to see so many people there. This is a market, if that is the right word, that we as an organisation are absolutely committed to yet everyday there seems to be a new challenge to rise to, such as the different kind of school models, a changing curriculum, the new skills that our students need for the modern economy and an emerging new relationship between the local educational authority and schools. It all keeps us entertained if nothing else.
We had a full agenda. Dughall McCormick was our keynote speaker. He is a past chair of NAACE (The Education Technology Association) and is a recognised expert in the use of technology to enhance learning, online safety and games-based learning. As I do, he believes passionately in the role of technology to facilitate innovation and transformation in education. His talk was excellent. He showed how mashing up different technologies can create a rich and new experience for the learner. I am going to try some of his suggestions at work. We are all still learning.
This was followed by the first of our breakout sessions. ICT seems to be fuelled with the new must-haves and cloud computing has been on many of our lips of late. It is a technology that will the dramatically transform the way we use ICT. Its impact at home is already being felt by many of us. We are already working with a pilot group of schools to help them realise the benefits of moving to the cloud. These breakout sessions gave the delegates the opportunity to see both market leading platforms to help them with any future decisions.
After lunch we had a question and answer panel around another very important issue, e-safety, security and safeguarding. I had a few questions to get us going in my pocket in case the audience was shy and this was followed by a further break out session. In total we had twenty six suppliers and organisation with stands at the event and their representatives did a great job in engaging with as many of the delegates as they could.
All in all it was a great event. The team played a huge part in making it a success, as did the suppliers and, of course, the delegates. I wonder what we can do for next year.