Whether you want iPads, knitting or SpeedGeeking, Jan Webb has seminars for all tastes
Do you ever wish you could be in several places at the same time? I am definitely getting that feeling as we approach the season for Bett2013, as I have been in the privileged position of having a really close look at the Learn Live seminar session programme as it has developed by Naace, with plenty of time to peruse outlines and speaker biographies.
Want to know about learning when all the students have iPads? Longfield Academy can help with that. Does programming give you the needle? Teacher educator Steve Bunce will give a thoughtful and drily funny expoloration of "Knitting and Thimbles". And tim Handley will be bringing in his own learners for his "Let's get 'appy'".
Naace, the national association for ICT, with our mission for "Advancing Education through ICT", is involved with three of the Learn Live tracks, with input about the sessions that are to be included and support for the sessions with our members and partners chairing each of the sessions in:
* Learning and Teaching:
* Buying and Integrating.
With such a huge increase in the total number of CPD sessions available at BETT this year there's a wealth of choices for whichever time slot you have available during the day. And I know that whichever sessions I attend I will be missing out on equally interesting, relevant and helpful alternative choices
Does programming give you the needle? Try Steve Bunce's 'Knitting and Thimbles'
There are intriguing titles such as "Knitting and Thimbles" (#G72, Wednesday 13.15), which Steve Bunce assures me is all about practical ways of teaching programming. When he explained his theories to me on the phone, it actually did make a lot of sense and I am sure it will prove to be a popular and worthwhile session. He will be presenting and developing the "social knitworking" theme with teacher Zoe Ross.
"Let's get 'appy'" might hint at a little more than Steve's enigmatic title, and Tim Handley (#G71, Wednesday 12.15) will be bringing some of his learners to show how they use a range of web and device-based apps to develop learning both in school and beyond. And all of this (plus another nine sessions) comes before 2pm on the Wednesday, the first of four packed days!
There are different themes that emerge from the Learn Live programme and the aforementioned programming and use of apps are just two of those available. The programming theme continues in a number of ways. Raspberry Pi (#B18, Friday 13.15; #G63, Friday 15.15) and Mindstorms (#E23, Saturday 11.15) both offer timely and topical opportunities for CPD.
There's also a whole range of sessions that focus on the use of mobile technologies in school, from initial considerations that a senior leadership team will find helpful to effective deployment and use in the classroom. These include a number of experienced schools and teachers sharing their experiences of iPads. A practical case study will be shared by Longfield Academy (#B06, Wednesday at 15.15), the school at the heart of the Naace iPad research carried out by Paul Heinrich in 2012, and this follows on from a great example of using Apple TV with iPads in schools (#B03, Wednesday 12.15) from Yousef Fouda. Emma Darcy's session (#B15, Friday 10.15) promises to bring a wealth of experience from the national award-winning elearning@luton Centre, and will focus on making a deployment of these devices cost-effective and efficient.
Using mobile technologies does not necessarily mean Apple, and David Rogers talks (#C20, Friday 15.15) about how students have been involved in moving forward the "pedagogic revolution" by allowing the considered, planned use of mobile devices at his school.
Early adopters support their colleagues through SpeedGeeking CPD
Another group of sessions considers how best to encourage the effective use of technology-enhanced learning in schools through some innovative approaches to professional development. RiskIT proved to be a popular initiative in October 2012 and A Benjeddi will be sharing the principles, practicalities and some great examples of what teachers have tried (#C08, Thursday 10.15). I rather like the sound of "SpeedGeeking", another of those intriguing titles which paints many mental images. Alex Isaachsen will be sharing how this has been used effectively with disparate groups of staff, with early adopters supporting colleagues who may be less confident (#D11, Thursday 13.15).
There is a strong focus on Learning and Teaching on Saturday, often referred to as 'Teacher's Day' at BETT, to reflect the numbers of teachers expected to be making the most of an opportunity for professional development that doesn't involve using precious contact time with students. That's why the programme is fuller than ever before and the rich variety of sessions available – e-safety, social media, augmented reality, programming, apps, mobile learning, flipped learning, personalised learning, collaborative learning, and creative learning – looks set to inspire, encourage and equip teachers with a whole new set of tried and proven ideas to take back to their own schools. Teachers looking to develop their school curriculum in light of the current debates will also be interested in lessons shared by others on this journey (#D14, Thursday 16.15).
Whether you are interested in looking at the innovative uses of spaces and pedagogies or creative learning experiences using ICT, it is worth checking out our wide-reaching programme of sessions. There are also tracks for those with particular interests in SEN, Higher Education and Learning at Work, as well as industry-supported sessions. I, for one, am completely spoilt for choice. These free professional development opportunities could make the trip to BETT well worth the cost of my rail fare and time.
Jann Webb is a professional officer with Naace and an independent ICT consultant