ICT for Education Conference – Brighton

| September 17, 2010 | 3 Comments 

Down to Brighton, for the keynote presentation at ICT for Education conference,

The ICT for Education Conference Programme is titled: The influence of ICT on behaviour

“With technology such a key force behind the transformation of our educational landscape, are we at the stage where it is technology that is driving both the learning and behaviour agendas in schools?

ICT is all pervasive in the building of schools, the preparation and delivery of lessons and the management of schools. ICT has raised expectations and contributed to the greater inclusion of parents, governors, administrators and children in the education system”.

The ICT for Education Conference Programme addresses the issues of how education needs to provide a structure in which ICT can provide an effective educational environment for children. We look at how successful schools use ICT within an educational framework and with clear objectives, managing technology rather than being managed by technology.

One of the main aspects of our work is helping folks to investigate the impact that motivation, inspiration and challenge, can have on behaviour, engagement and, inevitably, standards. We have discovered that, a child who is engaged by a challenging task, who knows what to do when they don’t know what to do, who feels respected and nurtured, will raise their own game significantly.

I refered to a few cases where, taking some of the ideas we present on training days, teachers have experienced notable improvements in behaviour, and even attendance. Sonja Weed was one teacher who wrote to us about how her class attendance rate rose markedly whilst they were doing a unit based on virtual worlds and games.

“The children have responded in ways in which I could only have dreamed of. The obvious is the improvements in their writing skills. Not only in literacy but the impact in other areas – the children are no longer reluctant writers but enthusiastic participants. I think many have had barriers lifted and realised that they can do it!! But the other stuff I was not prepared for – we had improved attendance for the whole 4 weeks (almost 100% which is unheard of usually), improved behaviour – just one child losing Golden time in 4 weeks, increased group-work skills – no squabbling in class and the children who ‘hate’ writing were so switched off they would come in in the morning asking “Is it Myst writing today, Miss?”. One child who is my weakest and perhaps most reluctant writer even asked if he could stay in one lunchtime to finish writing. The words feather, over and knocked sprang to mind!”

Lima Publishing, the publishers of ICT for Education Magazine, “the UK’s leading magazine for buyers of ICT products & services for UK schools” are hosting five conferences this year.

As well as todays conference we will also be presenting at the following events:

Manchester: Friday 15th October at the Hilton Deansgate Hotel
Bristol: Friday 5th November at the Grand Thistle Hotel

Dr. Peter Twining, Director of  Vital, delivered an opening presentation entitled “Revitalising the ICT CPD”. “Staff development is critical, but problematic, particularly in the context of ‘rarely cover’ and the changing political and financial landscape. Peter’s presentation explored what we know about effective CPD, drawing on the literature and work within the Vital Programme. (see www.vital.ac.uk). He suggested a model for 21st Century ICT CPD informed by this analysis and work on approaches to learning emerging from the Schome Park Programme. (see www.schome.ac.uk/).

Ian Glasscock, Director of  Games for Life, presented some fascinating glimpses into Mind-controlled educational computer games and how they can  aid attention deficit disorders and attention related learning difficulties. A recent scientific breakthrough reveals mind-controlled game training reduced core symptoms of ADHD. Recent UK examples showing non-medical alternative intervention to improve attention and learning. He showed how a game can train children with attention problems to concentrate in school and at home, in a homework environment.

This was truly fascinating. A volunteer, from the delegates, went virtual diving, controlling the depth that the virtual scuba-diver swam to, by concentrating: more concentration and focus – the deeper he “swam”.
A key point to Ian’s presentation, was the element of breaking a label that can be imposed upon students. Also, giving students an experience of what being in “a focussed state” can feel like.
Ian, though dressed in his magic cycle helmet, ( 🙂 ) presented some compelling evidence of results of trials of the sensor controlled games.
Each virtual experience collects data on the levels of concentration, including percentage of time in a focussed state of attention, or off task. The processes have shown to have a significant impact on concentration, and engagement.
I, for one, want to focus on the potential of Play Attention, in more detail. Great stuff!

Brian Vidler, Essex Leading ICT Teacher posed the question: “Virtual learning environments – are we using them properly”?  Taking a look at case studies from the national scene and how we can make VLEs personal and more than just emails and files, engaging pupils in a full spectrum of anytime, anywhere learning in new, purposeful and exciting ways

We ended the day with a question time with all four speakers, including questions from the floor.

Category: 1) Events and Training days

Comments (3)

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  1. Another great presentation from Tim. Having watched Tim recently I thought we might be in for a similar presentation yet I walked away with another page of notes…. and video….and photos…. and many thoughts! The key to the future of ICT in education may well be getting inspiring teachers like this in front of the ministers! Thank you

  2. blog says:

    Thanks for this encouraging comment Simon. Glad you got so much from the session. It was a great day, wasn’t it? See you AGAIN soon maybe 😀

  3. Fiona Shearer says:

    what an inspirational day … about to make a nuisance of myself at school, spreading some of the ideas … my head is quaking in his boots!!! Thanks for making it so much fun!

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