ICT For Education Magazine Conference, Kingston Park Stadium, Newcastle upon Tyne

| September 23, 2011 | 2 Comments 

A brief visit to Newcastle for the ICT For Education Magazine Conference at the Kingston Park Stadium, Brunton Road, Newcastle upon Tyne

Drawing on both regional and national ICT expertise, ICT for Education put together a conference schedule looking at issues for both teachers and schools, as well as a vendor exhibition showcasing solutions to meet a range of needs.

We delivered two presentations. The first started at 8.15am (Yes! Just after midnight!) looking at some innovative tools and ideas for raising the levels of creativity, writing, speaking and listening among children of all ages. We investigated at the powerful effects of using games, Web2 tools, software, handheld devices and more, in way of teaching that focuses on quality learning, rather than the latest gadget.

We are very grateful to Simon Finch and Steve Bunce. Neither of them ran a mile when we uttered the infamous words “Are you up for a challenge?”!

Steve and Simon accepted a speedy mini-challenge: to head out during the first session, take photographs to illustrate a story, and then manipulate those pictures.

They tried out a couple of on-line resources (Psykopaint and Tiltshift Maker) to focus on the story behind the images.

The boys went off, in to the other rooms of the event, and took photographs to tell their tale.

Our dear friend Steve Bunce, is manager for north east England, Vital. Steve did a presentation that got us all considering Professional development in challenging times. Staff development is critical, but problematic, particularly in the current political and financial landscape.

Steve’s explored what we know about effective CPD, drawing on literature and work within the Vital programme. Steve shared work from the project, including using innovative technologies such as digital storytelling and games. He showed how Vital has approached professional development and proposed opportunities for schools to get involved.

The glorious Simon Finch, e-learning officer, Northern Grid for Learning, shared his expertise looking at ways of Ensuring e-safety in education.

Well done to both of them for rising to a speedy challenge. The story will be aired this afternoon.

The second of our own talks was a whirlwind tour of over 60 web tools, mostly free, in just 60 minutes! While pressures on educators can push enjoyment, inspiration, creativity and fun out of the classroom, teachers recognise the need to inspire young people and fire their imaginations, enhance their creativity and confidence, encourage resourcefulness through challenge and motivate a love of learning for life. We took folk on an exploration through a huge and accessible range of ways to engage and motivate students of all ages and abilities, pointing out essential elements for quality learning experiences and how these elements can have a massive impact on standards, achievement and enjoyment.

This conference is the latest in a string of events throughout the year including Bristol, Cardiff, Brighton, London, Manchester, and Birmingham.

There was a raft of great speakers in an really interesting two stream day.

Thank you to both Sarah Underwood, the editor for ICT For Education, and events organiser Antony Bebbington, for organising our visit.

The Danish UNI-C EMU travelled with us, and made a guest appearance:

I have written about tilt shift before, and a few people were asking for our links to examples:

Tilt-shift photography is basically using  your camera to make the photo taken seem miniature.

You could spend hours with camera movements,  selective focus, shallow depth of field, a tilt-shift lens, rotation of the lens plane relative to the image plane, “tilt”, movement of the lens parallel to the image plane, shift

Or you can try the cheats way and use Tiltshiftmaker.

It makes the whole process easier, however you still need the right type of photo to get a decent effect. Start with stills, and you may be able to take the next step in to motion minis.

Sam O’Hare’s miniature New York is true delight, whilst A Day in the life of Disney is another lovely example.

You don’t have to use tiltshift on a large scale image. It can focus attention within close up shots.

Keith Loutit’s “Small Worlds” are classic examples of the tiltshift genre. A File Magazine article features much of Keith’s work, with links to some of the films too.

A good film about Vincent Laforet photographing sporting events and then using tiltshift to turn great athletes into tiny models!

Talking of Vincent, have a peak at Van Gogh’s art after the tiltshift treatment.

Smashing Magazine has one of the best collection of Tiltshift photographs, and the Behance Network‘s gallery Little Worlds is well worth a peek. There are many examples on Flickr.

A pretty detailed description of how to do Tiltshift “for real” can be found at the Cambridge in Colour website. However, as well as Tiltshiftmaker, you could also try the slightly more detailed Art and Mobile Tiltshift Generator which is now also available for the iPhone.

Category: 1) Events and Training days, 2) Useful n Interesting

Comments (2)

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  1. Joel says:

    Hi Tim,

    As promised I said I would give you some feedback on your event today!
    I just wanted to say that I thought you were a fantastic presenter and had great presence up in front of the group. I particularly liked your range of resources and your lack of fear of trying things out.

    I think that your use of powerpoint is quite unlike most powerpoints I have seen and I mean that in the most positive way possible.

    I will be directing our staff to many of your resources and encouraging them to watch you teach via this blog.

    Kind regards


  2. Xarna says:

    Really enjoyed the conference. Thank-you for all the useful links.

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