Want ideas, solutions, apps from experts? Free? Teachers get your wish lists to #StoneHack2013
North Liverpool AcademyNLA brings games expertise to BETT 2013For teachers it's the opportunity to hear from top educators, or to help design and create an app to solve real problems in their everyday professional lives (free of charge) at a live Hackathon. And for developers it's the chance to demonstrate their skills and capabilities for partnership with education.

It's all at the Stone BETT stand (C70), with its theatre running across all four days at the BETT 2013 show at ExCeL, London, along with the first ever BETT Hackathon – three one-day hack events running from Wednesday to Friday.

That's just a taster of what a schools supplier, Stone Computers, can offer when it brings in a Hackathon organiser, Milverton Wallace, and an educator, Tony Parkin, to develop its stand activities.

On Wednesday and Friday Tony Parkin curates an impressive collection of theatre sessions, bringing together activities from some of the most innovative practitioners, school leaders and thinkers working in education, in partnership with a number of well-regarded organisations and companies. Futurelab's Niel Mclean opens a stream of half-hourly inputs on highly topical subjects, including ICT curriculum and classroom design, student digital leaders, open badges, app-building, gaming, strategic leadership and one-to-one computing.

World class professional development for free

Learn about raising standards in reading and writing through blogging from David Mitchell and Ian Addison; Games and mobile learning in the classroom from Dawn Hallybone; Teaching Schools and ICT from Bob Harrison; Apps for Good from Debbie Forster: School leadership, ICT and the One to One Handbook from Hannah Jones: Student Digital Leaders from Glyn Barritt and Sheli Blackburn; and Computer gaming and coding at the North Liverpool Academy, with Don Callan.

Debbie ForsterDebbie Forster, of 'Apps for Good'That line-up adds up to world-class professional development in itself, but there is even more from the likes of Havering's Dave Smith (Switched On ICT) and TIm Riches (Open Badges). And all the activities are listed in a user-friendly Google calendar file created by Tony Parkin. Visit  "Stone Theatre Sessions at BETT 2013" and click on the item that interests you for it to open up with further information. Then click on "add to my calendar" and the data goes into your own digital diary for safe-keeping to make your BETT visit easier and more effective.

And on Thursday and Saturday visitors to the stand’s Theatre get the chance to see the outstanding apps from the Autumn Hackathon 2012 and meet the teams that produced them. (See full details on the StoneHack Challenge web page.)

Across the first three days of BETT, the StoneHack Challenge is a series of three BETT hack events supported by Hackathon Central and Stone Group, in collaboration with Hacker NewsLondon Android, PHP London and London Java Community. Its purpose is to identify areas where teachers could be helped in their professional lives by specific apps, and then create working prototypes of those very apps. All within a day, with a Hackathon running on each day, Wednesday to Friday (January 30 to February 1). And there will also be prizes for the participants.

Teachers can submit their ideas for apps right now via Twitter (hashtag #StoneHack2013) or by email (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.). And if they are visiting BETT, they can work alongside the developers helping bring their ideas into practical reality.

'I was delighted when Stone gave me a totally free hand' – Tony Parkin

Tony Parkin, former head of ICT development at SSAT, now freelance educational adviser and disruptive nostalgist, is excited at the opportunity to host the professional development sessions. "Having attended almost every BETT, I know that many visitors want to hear from innovators about what is working in real classrooms where the technology is being used effectively," he says, "rather than sales pitches for unproven devices.

Tony ParkinTony Parkin: 'delighted'“I was delighted when Stone gave me a totally free hand to seek out and host workshop speakers that could offer genuine continuing professional development and insights into current practice. I was Stone-free to do what I want, as Jimi Hendrix sang. TeachMeet Takeovers on stands at previous BETTs have shown the way, and this year Stone have given over a large part of their stand to a theatre that is showing off the best and next practice in schools, or offering teachers a real chance to engage with developers to help make educational ideas a reality.

"As an avid user of Twitter I was able to track down and recruit active practitioners and pick up current topics that were causing a bit of a buzz and a stir. I was also delighted to receive partnering offers from many organisations and suppliers, including Futurelab, Rising Stars Publishers, SSAT, Naace, Toshiba, DigitalME, Makewav.es, Connecting Learning, and IETAssociates, who all highlighted some great practitioners. In fact I had more volunteers than I could squeeze into the time available.

"The new ICT curriculum and interesting ways of teaching ICT were bound to be an area of interest, and the continued growth of the student digital leader movement and the potential of open badges to recognise their contributions were other obvious candidates. But we also have teaching schools, app development, computer gaming and coding, affordable classroom redesign, strategic leadership, and more. All delivered either by exciting new and innovative practitioners, or some of the best-known, wisest and most knowledgeable heads around, who are still being just as creative and innovative in this new climate. The packed programme line-up compares favourably with some of the most expensive CPD conferences, and it’s all free.”

Milverton Wallace, the hackathon organiser, added, "StoneHack2013 is an audacious project from Stone Computers, never before attempted. Three Hackathons in three days! Come on down and challenge the developers to show you what they can do. And teachers, please send in your ideas now via Twitter (hashtag #StoneHack2013) or by email (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.). And don’t forget that the creators of the winning apps from the Autumn Hackathon 2012 are chafing at the bit to show off their apps to a knowledgeable audience in the Stone Theatre at BETT on Thursday and Saturday."

Logo BETT 2013




The Stone Theatre and Hackathon are on stand C70
Full details of the theatre sessions can be seen here. A mobile-friendly theatre programme, which allows you to add specific session details to your own BETT calendar, is available here
Details of the hackathon sessions can be found at http://www.stoneatbett.net/hackathon/

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