Tag Archives: BETT

Naace ICT Impact Awards

naace-logo

It felt very strange on Thursday whilst down at BETT … I was nervous, excited, pensive and lots of other things which generally mean I was not too sure how to feel.

I had been put forward for an award and was waiting to hear about being shortlisted.

Naace has no doubt about the impact that ICT can have on learning and teaching when used well by skilled and creative professionals. ICT makes a real difference to learner’s achievement and engagement; it offers access to resources that would otherwise be beyond the reach of any school or college, it allows communication and collaboration beyond the physical and temporal limits of the classroom; it allows learners to think more clearly and see the world from another perspective. Naace has a long standing history of supporting those working in education to use ICT to achieve the greatest possible impact, and now seeks to provide some formal recognition of outstanding work in this area. (taken from [url=http://www.naace.co.uk/events/conference2013/naaceimpactawards2013]Naace: Naace Impact Awards 2013[/url])

I was put forward for the following award

Technical Support Service Impact – Sponsored by Meru NetworksExcellent customer service and technical competence are assumed by this award, but to win it, it will be essential to demonstrate the key differences that the service has made to the learning opportunities and outcomes of young people.

And have been shortlisted against the following.

  • Tony Sheppard, Edugeek For tirelessly supporting colleagues around the country, providing guidance on suitable technology and facilitating the sharing of information and expertise
  • Joskos Solutions Limited For providing a consistently reliable ICT support service, with the flexibility to incorporate special projects and events, and enabling teachers to use ICT in their lessons with complete confidence
  • Phil Jones, Pool Academy For his enthusiasm and commitment to making ICT as accessible and enjoyable as possible, removing barriers to learning
  • Simon Sloan, Bedford Drive Primary School For his hands-on approach to supporting staff and students with their use of ICT in the curriculum and for introducing a range of opportunities to further the students’ experiences of ICT
  • Sahib Chana, Platinum IT For leading a range of technical changes and providing bespoke solutions across the curriculum that have accelerated and broadened the Academy’s use of ICT

I am amazed that a) I was initially nominated by someone who I respect for the amount of work he has done to enthuse his school, his fellow teachers, the education community and folk in general … and b) that folk are seeing the benefits you get from keeping technical folk involved, the impact that we can have on learning and also that we are thoroughly nice and helpful. As far as I am concerned, this shortlisting could have gone to numerous members of EduGeek (and it deserves too) and I am pretty sure that most of the above are members / lurkers anyway.

Good luck to all involved (and in the other categories as well) and I look forward to seeing as many of you as possible at the NAACE conference.

BETT – Mr Gove’s Speech

It was interesting to finally get to an opening keynote at BETT and it turns out to be Mr Gove, Secretary of State for Education. Having read a few newspaper articles over breakfast most of us knew the basics of what the speech was going to say, but we all know and appreciate that, short of publishing the whole speech in a newspaper, there will always be some element of selective editing … and some important bits can be missed.

I did video the whole speech and will probably do some selective clips in a later post to highlight certain points but the key things (for me) can be drawn out of the full text which is available on the DfE website, which also has a copy of the video.

Over the last few months we have seen a bit of softening from Mr Gove on some parts of technology and ICT. The initial lack of any comment or ideas on technology were disconcerting for many, and the rawness of the demise of Becta, coupled with the scaling back of LA involvement, had hit a nerve with many. Whatever the good reasons for such a rapid change, it was detrimentally viewed due to so many other issues it was causing. The political flags waved on all sides and some tended to forget a key fact … lack of information and unsure direction was having a detrimental effect on schools who were delaying adopting good use of technology often because they were waiting for the next hoop to jump through.

Well, the core of the speech helped solve some of that. Some of the hoops are going. The Programme of Study is going under consultation with a view to being scrapped by September 2012. No hanging around waiting for alternatives to be formulated, discussed, dissected, tested, implemented and reviewed … but a quick change to let schools get on with doing what they know best. There is still a requirement to teach ICT, but no prescription about what / how.

And for the schools who still need help and support? There are plenty of folk who can help with this, ranging NAACE to fellow schools, commercial suppliers through to consultants, and a number of special interest groups. Comments from others at the speech ranged from “About time, we have been giving examples of where it could be better for ages” through to “Oh yes, another chance for people to profit at the expense of schools!”

Of course, it is worth saying that some of what Michael Gove was saying raises even more questions. The repeated bashing on about the ICT curriculum being poorly taught to bored children seems to a little away from demonstrations I saw at the show, from what I saw at the TeachMeet, with what I see in local schools. I am not saying there are not times when it is boring and mundane, and is merely hoop jumping for tick box curricula … we all know that some courses and work can be done that way, but it doesn’t mean that it is *all* done that way … and the knocking of ICT by some to promote other agendas (including Computer Sciences) seems to have been jumped on by our political masters. Of course, we can argue that this would not be done without evidence and cause, but I worry about the good being thrown out with the bad. At least now, after the speech, I can hopefully say that those schools who are still doing good stuff with ICT will continue to do so.

But Computing … that is the next big thing. Lots of reports abound about how we are missing the skills for this and the various groups working on dealing with this are coming from different positions. Ian Livingstone spoke at the recent Microsoft Partners in Learning event about the role of computing and creativity (linked in with the games and creative industries), with STEM ambassadors stressing the link with science … and naturally you will come across many IT Professionals who will push computing / computer science with a greater understanding on the use and management of computers.

I am not saying that any of these are wrong or any is more right than others, but it does come across at times as a bit fractious and people are grabbing for control … sometimes losing some of the benefits of joined up work. Recent discussions on the Computing at Schools group have shown this too me … people annoyed at the perceptions about others possibly charging for access to a robust curriculum, in spite of this being something that Mr Gove was clearly promoting … buying in resources, expertise and structure …

And so we get back to the core of the Speech. Mr Gove says that Computing is important … because lots of notable people and some important reports say so. No direction will be given on exactly how this will turn out but references to work from BCS (actually from CAS, which BCS are helping to co-ordinate, but supported by Microsoft, Google and others), mention of NAACE and talk about commercial firms providing knowledge and expertise.

Nothing on Open Source, other than an oblique reference in a section heading … no real mention of what it means and even possibly mis-representing how open source products can be collaborated on with developmental forks and code being rolled back into a single project … in fact the opposite of what he says about things being in a single document. Nothing explicitly about examples of collaborative sharing. In fact … you could say that this opportunity to mention the Big Society seems to have been missed as well …

So where does this leave us? Or rather where does it leave IT Professionals working in schools?

If computing is going to have a larger role in schools then we have to make sure that schools have ready methods of allowing computer studies / computing / coding to take place. There have been a number of comments to me that teachers in some schools (thankfully a small number but still over 100 in the last 2 years) have experienced problems with their IT Support staff blocking changes. Yet I know of many schools where teachers and children code on a regular basis. When asked about this at the NAACE conference last year I had to explain that there is no standard way of saying to schools, “this is how you do it” … because there is no standard for IT facilities in schools … not even in those with managed services under BSF.

And after the speech we know that there will be a number of different ways of enabling the different options for computing to take place in schools … in fact it is an important part of the speech … no central prescription … schools choose what they think is best. So the only way it will work is if IT Support staff and companies become even more flexible. It means ensuring that you are actively talking with other staff in school now about what they are planning, it is all about instead of saying ‘no’ to something tying to explain what the issues are, what compromises can be made and making people aware of the legal requirements which you have to comply with no matter how important the educational needs are. It is about talking to other schools in the same position. It is about taking part in the planning of the curriculum as well.

One comment that has stuck with me, from Miles Berry (Senior Vice Chair of NAACE), was that IT Professionals in schools are in a pretty unique position to work with teaching staff. Their wide experience of technical expertise, planning, scripting and understanding of UI almost makes them perfect to help develop what happens with computing in schools …

So I look forward to the next 12 months and what it brings to IT Professionals in schools and the impact of Mr Gove’s speech. hopefully it also brings more professional recognition as well as fostering closer working between them and teaching staff.

BETT 2012 – The Summary

It may seem a little strange to write a summary without having written the other posts … but best to keep things short and sweet.

There will be more posts, but rather than the initial splurge of activity post-BETT I thought I would share ideas, opinions, what I saw, conversations I had, etc … but over a longer period … and it also means that I have the benefit of looking at blog posts from others too … and this year there are a plethora of posts!

I am pretty sure I can summarise the event pretty quickly …

From the point of view of a regular visitor / exhibitor … a few new things, not much of a change of emphasis (i.e. no sudden swings to IWBs, VLEs, tablets, content, $new_revolutionary_tech, etc) but more emphasis on showing use in classrooms / the difference it makes to a school.

Strategy … a fair chunk of the show was taken over by the idea that schools have to make the decisions now (a good thing) because there is no-one there to help them. I felt this is not quite true as there are a raft of people around to help schools … LAs still exist, communities of other schools are collaborating more, there are plenty of formal groups ranging from The Schools Network and NAACE through to think tanks and special interest groups such as Computing At Schools, and this is before we get to the amount of support and sharing going on via the exhibitors at the show. To some extent Mr Gove’s opening speech covered the importance of taking control of your own destiny and so on … but more on that in other posts.

Networking … for many this is the key to the show. We are not talking about the movers and shakers meeting in closed rooms, but innovative and exciting teachers / senior leaders / IT Support having a chance to meet with others of the same ilk, sharing ideas and projects. These range from people from the K-Team through to fellow EduGeek members. Sometimes it is a mutual friend who introduces people, sometimes it is the fringe events giving chance for people to find new connections (Collabor8 4 change) and sometimes it is the exhibitors joining the dots.

So, a hectic 4 days followed by a few weeks of picking through the various notes I made, videos and pictures taken, emailing new people I met and keeping in contact with old friends.

I will also try to link to specific blogs and articles I have found of interest during or post event … and looking forward to reading a lot more of how other felt about the show.

(Also posted via EduGeek Blogs)

Tweeting ideas at the #BETT_Show (#BETT12)

Looking at some of the tweets going on during the latest (and last) BETT Radio show (hashtag #bettradio) I saw a comment from @peteschneider about what is the best hashtag which can be used by tweeps who are visitors to share what they are finding at BETT.

When I asked if this was because he was concerned that other hashtags could end up as just broadcast / taken over by exhibitors he said that yes, this was the case.

I said I had a plan … and I do … I have several in fact and there are some good and bad points to all of them. Some of it depends on how you use twitter, how companies work with social media / social networks and also how much of a sense of fair play people can expect when using a free tool at a free event. There are some hashtags already in use so let us have a look at those first.

#BETT_Show This is the official hashtag (according to Mango Marketing) and I presume it will be used by Mango Marketing and EMAP in the lead up and during the show … it also likely to be used by all and sundry .. because that is how hashtags can be used.

#BETTRadio This is the hashtag used by @russellprue before and during the show for the Radio shows. Russell has done 5 shows prior to BETT (available to download as a podcast) and will be on Prof. Stephen Heppell’s stand during the show. Russell has already said he is happy for this to be used to help people share things too.

#bettchat This has been used as part of the Tuesday afternoon discussions to find out what people think about particular things that are likely to see at BETT. Loosely similar to the #edchat #ukedchat and #edchatie hashtags, it has been a core group who have shared things … and considering the time in the day it was on some of the discussions were good … but occasionally did end up being exhibitors broadcasting where they were and what they are planning … nothing really wrong with that, but it can put some people off.

#bett #bett12 #bett2012 have already been used by many as these are similar to what has already been picked up by many other in previous years … and like any crowd-sourced choice, it is led by those who are most active and so you might have to wait to see which one gets picked up by the twitterati.

There will be other hashtags in use … exhibitors might use their own … the Fringe events will have their own … notable individuals might have their own too … so you can even see the situation where tweets will be full of hashtags before you even get any content. I’ve been in similar situations before when replying to tweets and it has begone to include more and more people … resulting in only 1 character left in each tweet to use … it was fun, but now how I like to do things.

And so we get to part of the issue. Some people, like Pete, are worried that the signal to noise ratio will be poor. That the tweets will be full of broadcast messages from exhibitors and little sharing of what visitors are finding interesting. Now, don’t get me wrong … there are some exhibitors who understand the 2-way nature of twitter, are actively taking part in conversations about technology, pedagogy and general stuff without pushing their products … but there are some who are shouters … broadcasters … almost deaf to what others are saying because they are used to only talking about the next wonderful thing they are doing … and this can be a turn off for some, or at the least a distraction.

One thing which could be done is that visitors and exhibitors agree that one hashtag will only be used by visitors to share things, or by people reporting on behalf of visitors … the information points perhaps or people like Russell. Exhibitors could be politely asked to play fair (and I think most would) and those that don’t could be spoken with, and named and shamed. From personal experience a similar method is used on the EduGeek forum where commercial vendors (who are not sponsors) tend to play fair as they know that users are usually the best advocates for their products / services anyway.

For those who worry about the broadcast traffic being too much, or if some people don’t honour the above (which is only an off-hand idea), then you could always create a second twitter account dedicated to BETT. Let people know you will be sharing your thoughts and hope others share theirs. Follow your regular folk and add in others throughout the day … and then if you find a shouter … then you can send a reply back pointing out that if you wanted their sales spin you would visit their stand (give them a chance first) but then you can block them and not have to worry about them any more. The downside is that people may not be following you so may not see some of your wonderful insights and you may miss some good stuff from others.

I’ve not seen any of the marketing infer this year (thankfully I don’t do any organising anymore) so I might be missing some guidance which has already gone to exhibitors … but I would be interested to see what people think of the ideas … whether it is just too much hassle … and even whether people think twitter is going to be the best tool? People might want to use Schmooze … or simply wait until the regulars who blog write up their own thoughts …

As always … open to ideas and feedback.

Tech Support – By Schools, For Schools

I know some of you might already recognise the phrase including in the title, as it is a central tenet of the ICT Register, but the same ethos is wide spread within the education community. It doesn’t matter whether you are talking about school staff getting together at TeachMeets, having in-depth discussions via twitter though things like #ukedchat, online communities such as EduGeek.net or more local groups such as NorthantsBLT the growing role of schools taking ownership of their advice and guidance and how they share it with others is a very important part of how schools need to react to recent changes which have come out of DfE.

Many of the above are free … well, when I say free I really mean that they are paid for by people and schools using their own time for the benefit of others because they get the same sort of response back, or it is a bit of educational philanthropy on the part of others. This is brilliant in many ways, but can make it difficult to plan for sustainability. Also, there is nothing wrong with paying for advice, guidance, ideas, expertise, etc. There is often a saying used, “you get what you pay for!” and this is very true. People forget that the payment is not always cold, hard cash, but time and your own expertise … and when time, expertise, capacity and ideas are running short then people face the reality that paying for something is almost inevitable.

And this is one of the areas where I think some schools do it wrong. It shouldn’t be that paying for something in cash is the last option, it should be considered an option from the very beginning when you are planning what you need, what your goals are, how your school will develop / deliver things like CPD, technical support, parental engagement, etc.

Technical Support is a perfect example of where failing to plan can result in staff in the school, both techie and teacher, having to scrabble around to find information and guidance. I have been preparing a number of reports around the use of Framework for ICT Technical Support (FITS) within Northamptonshire schools and conversations with schools who have staff trained and accredited against FITS has shown what a difference planning makes. Except that it doesn’t just stop at the school gates. A number of schools are actively involved in supporting other schools. This will range from Lodge Park Technology College being actively engaged with the ICT Register and Microsoft’s Partners In Learning, Sir Christopher Hatton School providing support on Microsoft training courses and technical support to local schools, Wrenn School providing technical support to local schools and staff being active in online communities such as EduGeek.net, and both The Duston School and Southfield School for Girls providing staff time and expertise to chair local working groups such as the Schools Broadband Working Group and NetworkNorthants (the local IT Community for technical staff in schools and school support providers). Some of this is for free (i.e. no charge to others) but some of it does have a cost and is well worth it.

Having another school cover your tech support or provide advice around it has some major benefits. This can range from educational understanding and expertise, through to experience of deploying some education specific technologies. Couple this with easy access for teachers to talk with teachers, SLT to talk with SLT, you can having a winning combination.

So I was please to see, over the weekend, a tweet from a friend on the south coast. Tim Dalton is the IT Consultant at The Wildern School, the school which runs its own TV Studio (BBC Schools Report), has previously run YouTube style services for other schools, has developed advice and guidance on using media technologies in schools … and much more. Tim put a tweet out letting his PLN know that they are doing it again, taking their expertise and bundling it up for others. This time it is is punnet; a support, development and advisory service for other schools. Whether it is hands-on, regular tech support, development of software and applications for schools or advice and guidance around classroom use of technology and school strategy, Wildern hopes to be able to cater for your needs.

Yet another example of By Schools, For Schools …

Do you have more examples? Are you involved in similar to the folk at punnet or the other schools mentioned? Have you spoken with other schools to share ideas, expertise, tools and goals? Go on … now is your chance.

I’m sure I had some budget left?

Let’s face it … we have all had this thought in our heads at some point in the school year. We may have even said it out loud in front of the Bursar / Business Manager as we try to sneak an order in for something. We may be at the point of having to work out what we can’t do until the next financial year and hoping that we can at least do a little bit of what is needed, or buy essentials.

Well, I hate to break it to you but it is not going to get any easier. Whilst the CSR might have been reasonable to schools, you will find that the extra money will not come the way of any form of technology (I am not going to get into the political debate about whether there is actually an extra money. There will be for some and not for others … presume the worst, hope for the best!) This means that all those posts you might have read from Ray Fleming and Miles Berry are more relevant than ever.

If you haven’t read them then go and do so … don’t stop to read this drivel … read and read!!!

Oh … you are back … good show!

Where was I. Oh yes, budgets. All those out there who have a long term school development plan which take care of development of technology in the curriculum, how to fund it and when to change it please pass go and collect £200 … oh yes … there goes Paul Haigh and Mike Herrity … and a few more. Good to see you again chaps. And not forgetting Elaine Brent … actually … quite a steady stream of people going past now …

Ok, and let us see who is left. Ah … as I thought … still too many of you.

Let us see what we can do to deal with some of the problems. Have you looked at the LGfL/Becta Budget Planner? I know that it is a bit old, but still perfectly serviceable. You may have to use a bit of lateral thinking for virtualised servers and it doesn’t quite cover cloud services (not all of which are free) but it is a good starting point, and it will be a huge improvement on having nothing to help in planning your costs. There may even be someone who fancies putting this into a series of Google forms to help people in their planning, or it could be incorporated into your Sharepoint setup …

This is presuming that you know what kit you have got. I’m not going to start a rant again about inventories, configuration management databases, definitive software library … most people will have read my earlier posts about how important this is, how they are important to supporting FITS and how IT Support can struggle without them. There are plenty of good discussions on software to gather most of this for you, whether it is open sources (GPLi / OCS NG, etc) or built in with other tools (SSCM, NetSupport DNA, etc) and there are others out there with far more hands-on experience to review the software … so I will let you make up your own mind. Just remember that you cannot plan what you are going to use technology for, or look at what technology you need unsless you know where you are starting from.

And then we hit the big snag … not a small one … or even a middle sized one … but a dirty great big one that means you could have to delve into your god-like powers again. Surely you have heard the motto of the IT Manager who has stuff dropped on them days (or hours … or even minutes) before it is needed.

Miracles I can do today … for the impossible please give 24 hours notice … and some pizza … and coke … and chocolate … and a bit of time off afterwards … and did I mention the chocolate?

Yes, the White Paper means the goal posts are shifting once more. Some of you will be in schools who are not that bothered. You may have SLT who are strong enough to recognise that the goal posts always shift and so you adapt or just create your own … sticking two fingers up to the world of politicians and they know what they do is good for the kids. For others … you might find that the targets of the last few years (or perhaps the last few months) are now out the window.

The first thing I would recommend you do is to take stock of what you have (darn it … I’m talking about the inventory again) but not just the physical aspect … but the functionality too. What software have you got? Office suite? Stuff for graphics and art? CAD/CAM? Programming? Numeracy? Go on .. delve down into that long forgotten cupboard of old software and check the licences on them?

Now, your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to try and find out what the educational need is for the school. Are the school going to change any of the courses they run? Perhaps drop Media or Music Technology (well … you didn’t need those Macs you were planning to buy, did you?) and concentrate on English and traditional music courses (let’s all get classical).

Well … some English courses are now very media laden, so check out about cross-over of kit. Did you know that those Macs you did buy for the fancy sampling also have tutorials for playing the piano? Why not look at things like GigaJam to make the use of them for teaching the local community to teach themselves keyboards, etc …

You get the idea … if you have a tool to do 1 thing then try to find 3 other things to do with it.

Projectors and IWBs … now I know IWBs have been round for ages but by teaching staff how to use it to save annotations from what they have been doing during that lesson (save as PDF, upload onto your VLE) then you can get revision materials created without having to get a heap of handouts printed out before the exam at the end of the unit / course … another cost saving there …

I think you get the picture now.

Find out what you have got.

Find out how it can be used.

Find out what changes the school plans to make.

Talk with people about making the most use of the kit.

Talk with SLT about buying stuff that will have the most impact for least money.

Be prepared for change … change is inevitable.

Why did I leave an internet start-up?

It has been a slow month for blogging and I am quite a bit behind in setting down various notes on from paper to the digital page. I presently have 3 articles partly written around Sharepoint and other tools on the LA Learning Platform (Sharepoint & Web 2.0, hosted vs local Sharepoint and SafeMail vs alternative email solutions), 2 additions to the Standard Network Configuration / Build for our schools, and so on. However, this time I want to speak about TeachMeets, having spoken at one again about a week and a half ago.

Most times I have spoken at TeachMeets it has been a fair chunk of rhetoric (not being a classroom practitioner) and every time it has been a last minute thing, to fill up space and mainly because I have been inspired by something I have at that particular TeachMeet or the event associated with it. This time was meant to be different. I knew I had what I wanted to speak about, had stuff ready to show … but it never works out like that does it!  I do have a good excuse though.

Last January I retired from EduGeek.net, and if you don’t know what it is then think of it as an online community, herded carefully to share ideas and answer each other’s ideas. Nothing new there really … except that it is now one of the top hits in google, has the backing of thousands of members and is now a company. It earns money which is ploughed back into the site, running an annual conference for members (free to attend) and helps fund the running of the Technical Help Point at BETT each year …

So why would I retire from being on the staff (a volountary role) just as it takes off? Why would I step down from a group I had been part of since a fortnight or so after it started up? Why would I move on from a group where I had a position of authority and control? Well … I didn’t. Leave that is. I discovered that I had to get a balance between work and life. I also discovered that my use of EduGeek really needed to go back to about the collaboration and sharing. I was missing that bit and it was a really important decision.

My need for collaboration has always been great … not because I don’t have ideas, I do … but I need to share and compare them. Since getting online properly 11 years ago I have been lucky to be involved with a number of sterling communities … starting with Alt.Fan.Pratchett and other newsgroups (I remember with fondish memories the circular arguments between the windows, linux and RISC fanbois on uk.education.schools-it!), then moving onto JISC Mailing lists, Becta forums and then I found EduGeek … a sense of coming home occurred and after a bit of cajoling into doing more behind the scenes work I discovered that I was one of the admins … a respected member of the community and running things with the support and direction of the EduGeek EduGod, Chris Byers. But I continued with my other networks too … I was on twitter mainly due to Russ Dyas (fellow EduGeek Admin), facebook due to a plethora of old friends, blogging due to Peter Ford and I have a presence on most social network / web 2.0 sites … partly to protect my online presence (ooohhh … that is another post that I need to finish actually). I have had a few prods recently about it being strange about stepping down from an EduGeek role  too … in spite of repeatedly explaining about needing a life, work commitments and having to do other stuff.

So … what does this have to do with TeachMeets? Well, at TeachMeet Bett 2010 I was originally going to talk about collaboration and the benefits of it and EduGeek.net was going to be my principle example, but I ditched that … not because Edugeek.net was the wrong example … but because I got inspired. Although collaboration could be about one site or one group, it plainly isn’t with me.

One of the previous presenters that night demonstrated a fantastic site, http://linkbun.ch, as a URL shortener and once you have put a list of URLs on the page it will give you a single shortened URL. Click on it and the page gives you the option the entire bunch … each link in a new tab. http://linkbun.ch/kc2y was the list I put together and this is pretty much my list of sites where I have learnt how to collaborate. Translating this to teachers, they could get the various resources they need for a lesson and just send a single link out to kids, translating it too techies then this could be the various FAQs and how-to guides for soemone else to complete a piece of work. It has lots of uses for me and it was just perfect to show people where I use to collaborate.

So .. to answer the original question, I didn’t leave an internet start-up … I am just looking for the next stage in my journey (but glad to have various places to stop back at on my way around).

I’m also wondering at which point I will turn up to a TeachMeet and actually talk about what I planned to instead of having a cracking idea on the night!

BETT 2010

It isn’t that long until BETT 2010 and I am in the fairly novel position for me of having some time on my hands. In previous years I have been running the EduGeek Technical Help Point, been assisting on stand such as the ICT Register or Lapsafe … or had a steady stream of suppliers to catch up with in a limited period of time because I am only down for a single day.

This year I am down 3 of the 4 days, and all of the evening events, and am still pretty open for catching up with people. So I have decided to plan out my days and evenings here … and perhaps people who would like to catch up with me (or me with them) can at least arrange it via this blog or check on whether I am around when *they* are free.

Wednesday

Time Location Activity People
Pre-10.30 Press Launch Finding out what is happening at BETT 2010
10.30-12 Grand Hall Looking at stands for ideas
12-1 Grand Hall – G89 : EduGeek Technical Help Point Eating Pizza
1-3 National Hall Looking at stands for ideas
3-5 Grand Hall Looking at stands for ideas
5-late Apex Room TEDxOrenda

Thursday

Time Location Activity People
9-5 Northampton Training Course
7-late Apex Room Amplified

Friday

Time Location Activity People
Pre-10.30 Outside Olympia Meeting those coming down on LP+ sponsored coaches
10.30-12 E46 – Learning Possibilities Talking with people about the uses of Sharepoint in education
12-1 Grand Hall – G89 : EduGeek Technical Help Point Eating Pizza
1-2 Microsoft Stand Heckling Ray Fleming
2-3 Grand Hall Cafe Catch up with people Ray Fleming

Mike Herrity

Tony Parkin

3-4 E46 – Learning Possibilities Talking with people about the uses of Sharepoint in education
4-5 E46 – Learning Possibilities Talking with people about the uses of Sharepoint in education
5-late Apex Room TeachMeet / Teach Eat / Share Pint

Saturday

Time Location Activity People
Pre-10.30 EduGeek Breakfast Gossipping
10.30-12 Grand Hall Freebie hunting
12-1 Grand Hall – G89 : EduGeek Technical Help Point Eating Pizza
1-5 G89 – Technical Help Point Saturday Giveaway
5-late Local Curry House EduGeek wind down

The Bug strikes again

(I can’t believe I had left this in as draft and not posted it! Originally written on 24th October – Published 2nd November!)

I marvelled last night to receive a message from Drew Buddie about where the plans had reached when looking at what is happening over 3 nights at BETT 2010 (yes, that is 3 nights) and more information can be found at his blog.

It is quite timely actually since myself and Peter Ford were talking yesterday about trying to set a date for a Northamptonshire TeachMeet. We are collecting a number of people on the way who just inspire us so much with what they are doing in their schools or schools they work with that we want to give them a chance to showcase and link with others of a like mind.

We are presently looking at opportunities in May and although I was going to wait until after half-term, people like Drew and Tom Barrett have given me the bug to get things going now. It is worth mentioning that the EduGeek stand at BETT was inspired by the Help Us Get To BETT Moodle stand that Drew and others got going. If not for that idea and the support of EMAP (who have come up trumps for Drew and co this time again) then such ideas would not have happened. Not said it publicly before, but thank you.

So … next step, TeachMeet Northants!

Information overload, communication underload

I have a number of things to blog about at the moment after the NAACE conference 2009, but I am still aware I have a pile of notes from BETT to put up and some more sharepoint stuff too… too many conferences / shows, too much operational work and not enough time to sit down and think about what things mean and how things change because of them.

Oh well… for the moment I will just collect my thoughts from the last few days and see where we go from there. Perhaps a few more hours over the weekend to work a bit more on the generic ICT Vision Statement that Peter and I are putting together. NAACE 2009 definitely sparked off a number of things to put in there… but a number of things need to be taken out!