ICT for Education Conference, Manchester

Today I attended the ICT for Education Conference at the AJ Bell Stadium in Manchester. The event was free for delegates and attracted over 100 people.

An accident on the motorway (perhaps coupled with a start-time that would force people to travel in rush hour) meant that people trickled in throughout the early part of the morning, growing to its busiest state mid-morning.

It was a great opportunity to catch up with a familiar face or two, including my friend and former colleague, Tim Bleazard, Curriculum Innovation Consultant with the Curriculum Innovation Team in Bradford, with whom I was able to discuss and dissect much of the content of the day.

My own personal highlights included:

  • Meeting Quin Chandler from J2E, with whom I had a great chat about the product (which I have used for years and absolutely love). Over half term he has agreed to show me around the new J2Code app and I can’t wait to be able to show other teachers around the new features.
  • The presentation from Jennifer D Begg, who explored all things social media. She described how she’d used Facebook groups with her students, aged 16-22, without the need to befriend students directly. It seemed an effective way of communicating with older learners in a space they were already accessing. She was a very engaging speaker who clearly knows social media and its uses in education and other spheres very well. I am now following her on Twitter and hope to learn more about her work over the coming months.
  • Andy Hutt‘s closing presentation, helping us remember all of the reasons to be cheerful about the world of educational technology. He shared a number of (mostly) free resources that teachers could use in the classroom and I’m sure the delegates that had managed to make it for this post-lunch session were well rewarded for their stamina. His presentation slides can be viewed here (it’s worth looking through, as there are tons of good ideas in there):

    It was also great to be able to meet some lovely new people – particularly the fabulous ladies from the Rochdale schools (you know who you are). I look forward to being able to put some of these new ideas into place next week and hope to see some of my fellow delegates again in the not too distant future.