November 15, 2007

Derbyshire ICT Day - Steve Beard's top technologies

  Ewan in Derbyshire 
  Originally uploaded by stevebeard73

M'colleague Steve Beard has stepped up for the graveyard shift at the Derbyshire ICT Conference, with 45 minutes to enthuse us with his take on new technologies and how we can exploit them to their full. Steve does it for real in Shropshire Council, from providing blogging platforms, podcasting solutions or Second Life islands.

This morning I somehow managed to completely overrun by 15 minutes - I think my brain was hard-wired for one hour when it was a 45 minute stint they had asked for. Mea culpa from me to the other workshop leaders and, now, Steve, who has it in his interest to make it to the finish line in time for people to get home.

Here are Steve's top technologies for learning:

1. Second Life
Steve's created a great closed environment for his students and teachers to interact in ways that they just couldn't in First Life: discussions (recorded automatically) about teacher development podcasts, newsreaders on the walls which take the pain out of RSS, making it seem like one big newsroom...

His inspiration for getting this started was down to a machinima (a video shot in Second Life), where a student has created a 3D virtual version of Vincent Van Gogh's Starry Night:

Show this to your art advisers, or even your music staff, and they will see things of which they could barely have conceived two years ago.

2. YouTube
Blocked by most schools and Authorities, but a recent discovery that someone from Aunty has been publishing elements of the now defunct digital archive on YouTube might make it easier for people to swallow in an education setting. Try explaining the Gunpowder Plot in words, and then try using the moving image, sourced straight from the high quality creative commons archive the BBC had made available, but which they have since pulled from their own official site.

Or, how about starting your maths lesson with this cracker for a starter-for-ten:

Worth showing, just because it's so easy to create such a simple effective film. Educationally, maybe it's not all that absorbing, but for a teacher with a last ditch, five minutes left in the lesson to get some record of the class's efforts published online for mum and dad moment, it's perfect.

4. Flickr
And this is where this blog post end, for the moment, in a bid to show how a pic from Steve's phone can be uploaded to his Flickr page and then blogged seconds later by me. 'Nuff said. If you want to see my photos, you can just go to my photos page.

Thanks to everyone in Derbyshire for your warm welcome. Thanks to Steve, too, for making such a great endnote. My links from this morning's keynote will be posted shortly.


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Enjoyed the speech this morning at the conf. 15 mins over - good job you're not on an hourly rate.

Thanks for the info on flickr - any chance you can use your influence at Derbyshire and get the site de-barred?

Totally inspiring! Technology seems to move so fast it is hard to keep track. I can certainly see that the kids would completely engage with this stuff. I suppose my job is working out how to integrate it into the classroom setting.
Excellent work, thank you.

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About Ewan

Ewan McIntosh is the founder of NoTosh, the no-nonsense company that makes accessible the creative process required to innovate: to find meaningful problems and solve them.

Ewan wrote How To Come Up With Great Ideas and Actually Make Them Happen, a manual that does what is says for education leaders, innovators and people who want to be both.

What does Ewan do?

Module Masterclass

School leaders and innovators struggle to make the most of educators' and students' potential. My team at NoTosh cut the time and cost of making significant change in physical spaces, digital and curricular innovation programmes. We work long term to help make that change last, even as educators come and go.

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