Don't believe the hype. Half the world's people don't have mobiles, and 774m are illiterate. Opportunity?
Cramlington tabletCramlington school has a successful tablet schemeIf mobile technology is so good for schools, why the horror tales of mass iPad purchases without wifi networks to support them? Or headlines like this: "LAUSD report faults iPad bidding"?

Is it because the technology has led the learning? Hard sell and hype from big business? A free-to-join webinar next Tuesday (October 14, 3pm) gives educators a forum to share their insights and opinions. It builds on the recent Eduication Fast Forward 11 debate "Mobile learning for the masses?" Register here.

Ofsted withdraws Computing advice even though teacher confidence is low
David Brown PowerPointBureaucracy works in mysterious ways, but those in education’s computing community are baffled by the news that extremely useful advice about England's new Computing curriculum from Ofsted's head subject inspector David Brown had suddenly been withdrawn.

It’s believed to be the result of a diktat issued by Ofsted to all its HMIs of new and revised subjects, based on the argument that inspectors cannot advise on a subject that isn’t taught yet. The good news for teachers  and schools, however, is that the education adviser who first raised this issue, Ian Sillett, from teacher support outfit onefourseven, has already shared the PowerPoint presentation featuring David Brown’s sage observations and it's still downloadable.

Unesco recognises that mobile devices have massive potential for learning. So what needs to be done?
MeganMegan, aged 9, happily turns to anywhere anytime learning with her tabletChilean academic Miguel Nussbaum puts his finger on a widespread concern about learning with mobile technology: “Everybody is buying tablets and nothing is changing.” And he will kick off the 11th Education Fast Forward (EFF) debate on September 17 (3pm GMT) – “Mobile learning for the masses?”.

This is the first EFF debate as a fully independent organisation (it was created by Promethean with support from Cisco, which continues. It has Unesco as a partner and will feature a range of top international educators, plus two UK educators with significant new books for mobile learning, Professor Angela McFarlane and John Galloway.

Watch out for one of the UK's best regional events for learning with technology – Digitally Confident
THe SageSuper-cool venue for the Digitally Confident Conference: the Sage, GatesheadEducation conferences proved their value for collaboration and support when the Coalition Government came in and policy for learning with technology went out of the window. And a regular regional favourite is coming up on Tyneside next week – the Digitally Confident Conference (Sage, Gateshead, October 16).

The event has brought together a healthy mix of speakers with expertise in classroom practice, innovation and policy, from expert modern languages teacher and digital strategist José Picardo through to former Labour education minister Lord Jim Knight. But the stars of the show are likely to be the digital leader pupils from Normanby Primary School who will be live-blogging, reporting and presenting.

Despite dire predictions, touch-typing is still an asset for those fortunate to aquire it, writes Gerald Haigh
typingIn about 1983, when computers were starting to arrive in schools, I asked our county IT adviser about teaching children to touch-type. He waved the idea away, telling me confidently that the qwerty keyboard was on its way out – it was old technology, a hangover from the days of black Remington typewriters. It was already being replaced by more efficient input devices. (He mentioned Quinkeys for example. Remember them?)

The adviser underestimated, as so many have done across generations, the sheer resilience of a system that, despite its drawbacks, works reliably and, more important, is supported by a massive and ultimately immoveable investment of skill and global acceptance.