How do you bring learning to your BETT stand? Take a leaf out of Tony Parkin's book
It’s that time of year again, Christmas is over, schools have re-opened, and thoughts turn to preparing for the annual edtechfest that is BETT, in its newish home at the ExCeL Centre in London’s Docklands.
For teachers who can manage to get time off on a school day, or who are happy to brave the lack of DLR (Docklands Light railway) trains on a Saturday, it's the opportunity to see the latest technology, meet up with old friends, enjoy the craic, maybe get to a TeachMeet session or two, and, if they know where to look, hear from some of the most innovative teachers, school leaders and educationists working in English schools (and elsewhere), and even meet the irrepressible Johnny Ball.
On Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, familiar face Tony Parkin is again curating an impressive collection of CPD Exchange sessions on the Stone stand (C102), bringing together activities from some of the most innovative practitioners and thinkers working in education, along with key figures from a number of well-regarded organisations and companies.
'Badge the UK" brings ideas and tools for the new computing curriculum
And not only theatre presentations. The stand will be hosting the Badge The UK initiative, with practical CPD activities and workshops exploring web and media literacy, open badges and working with student digital leaders. Tim Riches is leading teams from DigitalMe and BTUK partners, including Makewaves, Code Club and Telefonica, to run a range of practical 'digital making' sessions that will provide teachers with ideas and tools to deliver the new computing curriculum.
Student Digital Leaders from across the UK will be helping to run the activities, as well as operate #DLTV, ‘The Unofficial BETT Media Hub’. Visitors to the stand will see how badges are used to recognise the students’ web and media skills, and also learn how to engage in these activities and start to use badges in their own establishments. Badge the UK is a project funded by the Nominet Trust which aims to create a currency for young people using Mozilla Open Badges. You can read more about these activities on the ‘Stone at BETT’ site and at www.digitalme.co.uk.
The absolutely unique Johnny Ball, science and maths evangelist and TV celebrity, will also be on hand again this year, as well as delivering regular sessions at 11.15am and 14.00pm showing how technology can enrich maths learning, and help it become more dynamic, ambitious and empowering for students of all abilities.
This year’s CPD sessions are organised around four key themes that will be at the forefront of developments in the coming year. There is, of course, a particular focus on the new computing curriculum, and ways in which schools can prepare for this fundamental shift in teaching about and with technology. Open badges are an exciting new approach to accreditation, and alongside the practical introductory activities will be CPD Exchange sessions that will provide easy access to this exciting development. Students on the stand will be operating #DLTV, ‘
Coding is not the only significant change on the ICT/Computing horizon
The Unofficial BETT Media Hub’, blogging and reporting on the BETT Show live and earning badges as they go, are all Student Digital Leaders from various schools. They will be showing what the SDL opportunity for young people can mean in enabling schools to extend the capabilities of some of their brightest and best, providing benefits and developing confidence for both students and staff alike. The fourth theme, Whole School ICT, will remind everyone that the introduction of coding is not the only significant change on the ICT/Computing horizon, and will explore wider aspects of the fundamental shifts in the learning technologies agenda.
Tony Parkin, former head of ICT development at SSAT, now freelance educational adviser and disruptive nostalgist, is excited at the opportunity to again host the CPD Exchange sessions. “Last year at the stand we saw that teachers really welcome the chance to hear from, and chat to, many of the practitioners and educational leaders who they may know from twitter, or read about in the educational press, but rarely get a chance to meet. They enjoy the chance to network, bounce ideas and make new contacts.” said Tony.
“The theatre sessions we offered from students and teachers working with DigitalME and Makewav.es went down really well last year. So I was delighted when this year Stone decided to offer these two organisations more extended opportunities to show off their exciting work, with practical workshops and activities on the use of open badges, and in developing web and media literacy with students. Visitors will get a chance to try these out, with guidance and advice available from student digital leaders and their teachers.
“The new Computing curriculum was bound to be an area of interest, alongside the CPD needed to support it, and we have some superb practical solutions on offer. The continued growth of the student digital leader movement, their potential role in web and media literacy programmes, and the potential of open badges to recognise their contributions were also obvious candidates for sessions. Whilst the whole school ICT strand covers a wide range from the importance of Inclusion, and how to engage more girls with technology, to the safe and secure disposal of old equipment. This packed programme line-up compares favourably with some of the most expensive CPD conferences, and of course it’s all free.
New faces – Rising Stars, SSAT, Havering Schools and Apps for Good
“Last year I was delighted to receive partnering offers from a number of organisations and suppliers, and this year we are pleased to include many of them again, but also to welcome some new faces to the Stone stand. I’m so pleased to be joined by old friends such as Andrea Carr of Rising Stars, who has developed an interesting online CPD offer in association with the Guardian. Glyn Barritt of SSAT, Debbie Forster from Apps for Good, Dave Smith from Havering Schools Improvement Service and the irrepressible Bob Harrison of Toshiba are back with us again, telling us of their latest initiatives. And of course Tim and Mark Riches and the teams from DigitalME and Makewav.es return, taking on these much wider activities as part of Badge The UK, as well offering matching CPD Exchange sessions. Sharon Middleton from Makewav.es will also be showing us how to use their exciting new app, enabling much of this work to be done using tablets too.
Hackathon winners with Milverton Wallace return, providing inspiration and development ideas, with their winning pitches showing what innovative coders can do when given a chance. And legendary individuals like David (@deputymitchell) Mitchell, Dawn Hallybone, Carrie Ann Philbin and Miles Berry will again give their own unique and insights and helpful guidance.“The
“We are really pleased to be joined this year by a large number of speakers and other organisations new to the CPD Exchange. People such as Sue Nieland from eskills UK, Doug Belshaw and Melissa Romaine from Mozilla, Mark Dorling from Computing at School, Stuart Ball of Microsoft’s Partners in Learning, Steve Mellings of ADISA, Bethany Koby of Technology Will Save Us, and the wonderful Bev Evans, SEN lead from the TES team. All of them well-known speakers and leaders in their fields, who will highlight and simplify key issues for schools. In fact we again had more volunteers than we could squeeze into the time available.”
The SSAT is running a series of its successful ‘Speed Learning’ sessions in the Platinum Suite during the same days of the BETT Show, and for the first time attendees and presenters will be offered open badges to accredit their attendance. Participants in Speed Learning will be able to call by the Stone stand and collect their badges in moments or, if they wish, can have short sessions from student digital leaders showing them how they could use badges in their own schools. Details of the speed learning sessions, and a chance to reserve your place can be found here - http://bit.ly/19ZzM3q
TeachMeet Takeovers get their own Stone space on Saturday morning
And those attending on Saturday are not forgotten. TeachMeet Takeovers on stands at previous BETTs have shown the value of practitioners sharing their ideas directly, and this year Stone have agreed that the presentation area be made available throughout Saturday morning for a series of Teachmeet Takeovers, bookable via the Teachmeet Takeover wiki, for teachers wanting to offer their own short sessions. Tony will again be on hand to host and co-ordinate.
The Stone CPD Exchange and Badge The UK and #DLTV workshops will all be located on stand C102 at BETT 2013 . Full details of the theatre sessions can be seen at http://www.stoneatbett.net/cpdexchange/, and the Badge the UK sessions are at http://www.stoneatbett.net/badgetheuk/. A mobile-friendly BETT Stone CPD Exchange agenda, which also allows you to add specific session details to your own BETT calendar, is also available. The Badge the UK equivalent agenda is at http://bit.ly/1cZ8zSK.
And finally, there is even an app for that! Just use the phone or tablet’s browser to go to http://apps.appshed.com/19553 to find the web app offering complete details of all these activities, and again allowing you to add sessions of your choosing to your own calendars.
Stone looks forward to welcoming many of you to this CPD experience, and of course the remainder of the large stand will be staffed by Stone’s own in-house teams, offering infrastructure and device advice throughout the show. See you there.