So to Thursday and back to LWF with the chance to look around and hear some of the speakers in the main event – for me I liked the domes, although at times they did seem small for the number of participants that wanted to listen to the breakouts – having also been to the brewery the same can be said. The theatre space was large -although my favourite was the round from last year. At times the noise from outside could be heard but did not detract from the main speakers – it will need time to develop and I look forward to seeing what Graham has in store for us all next year.
So onto the speakers
First up was Mitch Resnick who I absolutely loved and could have listened to all day! He spoke of the discovery of learning that comes in Kindergarten, of Scratch the programme that he came up with and that is used in my school and thousands of others across the world to give children a chance to discover and program for themselves, he then moved onto warrior cats something that was new to me but will investigate and used it as an example of how people where using scratch to take well known literature and changing it for themselves. including a lovely example of mothers day cards – his talk ended with his view of ICT as “Invention and Creativity Technologies” something that will most certainly stay with me.
Next was Mark Surman and Michelle Levesque from Mozilla who carried on the theme of discovering and creation and talked about enabling a generation of web makers through tools such as hackasaurus and open badges – again another great talk about enabling children to discover and create.
I skipped out of the main hall at this point to have a look around the domes – talking in Lego- building a classroom of the future, looking at the computers in the Museum of computing as well as watching young hackers come up new and interesting developments that would be shown later in the main hall. I missed one of my heroes Jesse Schell speaking as I was hosting a session straight after in one of the salon pods that involved myself and 9 teachers all who I have met via twitter and all who agreed to help me – each of them are inspirational with what they do and I am lucky enough to call them friends.
The aim of the session was to show what is happening in Education now – not in the future but wright now in classrooms up and down the country – we took the approach of starting at Year 2 and taking a journey through the life of a child right up to university. This idea and line up was decided before Gove made his announcement at BETT at the beginning of the year and is an example I feel of what can be achieved in schools with technology – the presentations if you missed them or would like to watch again are embedded below – with a few to follow.
I think we really showcased what is happening in schools as well as the power of Twitter for CPD and forming relationships – it was certainly something special and I know from following tweets those in the audience agreed.
Once it had finished it was time to head back into the main stage after a few conversations – part of these conferences for me is the catching up and the face to face conversations that make these a special occasion.
Back into the main hall for talks from Jim Knight who spoke about the design of spaces to encourage learning and what would schools look like if Steve Jobs had gone into education and not technology an interesting talk – I also enjoy listening to Lord Knight speak – he regularly talks and listens to teachers and the same was true during one of the breaks – a real pleasure. Then it was on to the Young ReWired State with young people demonstrating what they had been working on – a great demonstration of passion for ICT and coding as well as brilliant presentation skills as things sometimes did not quite go to plan a great way to end the afternoon session.
Then it was time for the closing with Sir Ken Robinson live from LA- one of his quotes that resonated both with myself and many in the audience was that Technology does not remove the need for great teaching and active learning – it enables them. This was the last talk of the conference and home I headed.
Final thoughts – the domes I liked being able to move in and out of – although would bigger domes next year be possible? The talks prompted my thinking as always and given me things to think about which is always good, the connections made and conversations were fantastic, I was delighted to host a session and thanks go to Graham for inviting me to put something together. I missed some parts of the Brewery – mainly the main stage area but not others and next year LWF will be in the ‘new’ West Hall of Olympia – it will also cross over with BETT which next year moves to EXCEL which could be an issue mainly for those teachers who would like to attend.