Sir Ken Robinson, Professor Sugata Mitra, Greg Whitby, Ewan McIntosh – a stellar line-up at EduTECH
Attracting more than 5,000 delegates, EduTECH (National Congress and Expo), which runs from June 3 to 5, is the largest educational technology show in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region. The UK has BETT; Australia has EduTECH. Both have global status.
The 2014 EduTECH event is in Brisbane next week and I am very excited to be heading there. The speaker guest list and workshops read like a who's who in both pedagogy and technology, which has to be a good sign.
And there are 200 exhibitors to showcase the latest offerings – and reflect global trends – as well as national and regionalised content. This year boasts a line-up that is sure to energise the sector. Like many events these days, EduTECH integrates a number of congresses for its various stakeholders. There are a total of nine congresses to excite and inform delegates, from K-12 teachers to ICT strategy leads.
The buzz here is currently around Sir Ken Robinson who is keynoting the conference and linking innovation, creativity and identification of these within a school context. This seems to link with several global trends currently towards creativity, innovation and their implementation.
'Master classes' led by thought leaders
One interesting aspect of this conference is the series of eight Master Classes. These are led by educational thought leaders that include Professor Sugata Mitra (How to inspire your students with your own ‘Hole in the wall' and ‘School in the cloud’), Ewan MacIntosh (Design Thinking in the Australian Curriculum) and Dr Gary Stager (Children, Computers and Powerful Ideas), to name just a few.
For those who cannot make the masterclasses there are also several 'un-conferences' planned, including TeachMeets organised over the three days by the fantastic Matt Esterman. The high-profile industry speakers will give insights into how the major technology corporations can partner with education. These include Microsoft's education boss Anthony Salcito and Marc Ramos, from Google EDU Enterprise, who will be outlining their roadmaps for their expanding educational offerings such as Windows in the Classroom and Google Apps for EDU.
Plenty of leading Australian educators will also be speaking – including Greg Whitby, Matt Richards and Chris Betcher – and there is good representation of all sectors and areas around the country. In fact it's worth checking out the full list of speakers online. A lot has been happening across all education sectors in Australia, from the new curriculum to funding arrangements, so this will be a good time to catch up, and to see how industry is positioning itself to support these transitions.
Dan Bowen is a former head of ICT and assistant head of sixth form. He was an education advisor in Surrey and the south east of England after cutting his teeth as a National Strategies adviser. He is an active member of NAACE, Computing At School, CEOP, STEM ambassador and a fellow of Mirandanet, and has moved to Australia to advise and work with educational technology in the sunshine for a few years.
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