March 05, 2008

Naace08 Keynote: Our future, our lives, our technology, our learning

A vague title so that I could get away with pretty much anything that I wanted to at last night's killer slot, 8pm, after dinner and before the next time Naace delegates could get to the bar. They did pretty well to make it through to the end and have some energy to talk about the issues I ended up raising. John, Ian, David and the Naace livebloggers managed to capture elements of what I cobbled together.

I could have done something zingy around the whizzbang technology that really is engaging our kids (and offer delegates the chance to view that presentation in full now that they've done the serious thinking). In the end, I took the strands of thought that have been hurtling around my head this past week (community, participation, tipping point or not, and a bit of the "We're adopting" talk) and wove them together with one common message:

The people who will make the difference in the classroom will not be the national organisations, the regulators or the civil servants. It will not be the QCA, Becta or various exam boards in England (though I think the leaner Learning and Teaching Scotland has potential to offer an extension of expectations that our counterparts on the border have failed to yet deliver). It will be the teacher, the one actually working with the child, who will make the difference.


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Hi Ewan, sorry I missed you at Naace, been spending time in schools working with teachers to build creative communities, on the day in question we kick started our most Northern School only a stones throw from the Scotland. This included portfolio presentations, a set of delightful original works, readings and interviews, plus a theatrical maths puppetry show, assembly singing and even a school council meeting all shared with parents and governors later that day , phew!!!

What is going on with the live blogging!, why not just capture stuff properly, so it can then be understood!

The live blog entry can be found at:

Andy, live blogging is not about "capturing stuff" (the video will be on the conference blog site soon), but about interaction between delegates in the audience, 'commenters' outside and the speaker in real time. The conference used coveritlive, which makes this very easy, for the first time, and although not all the features were used, it has interesting possibilities for the future.

Hi Gareth, Thanks for clueing me in on the idea behind it. I read the live blog and it seemed like the live blogger had a tricky task of trying to type in what was being presented with text and in the process may have been unable to concentrate on the presentation itself therby missing some of it or losing the thread. Would seem to be a very difficult task unless you are a court clerk or something. It might be off putting for the presentor if their audience is staring at their laptops tapping away. Wierd dynamic taking away meaning rather than adding to it. It it a solution looking for a problem ?

What did the Live bloggers doing it think?
kind regards

It depends a great deal on the presenter as to what they are used to, and if a room full of laptops is off-putting. I'm personally used to it and, on top of that, a back channel that is projected onto the back of the stage revealing what people really think of what you're saying, in real time, so that you can add more detail when required, come up with an example or rephrase what you are saying to make your point clearer.

Not having that, for me, is a disadvantage, but I know plenty of other more 'traditional' conference planners and speakers for whom this would be too much.

Hi Ewan,
I may be a bit old school where courtesy and dynamics of interpersonal communication is a consideration and I see screens as a problem. I also think that its reduces authenticity eg second life, as a space for me it is like looking at pictures food on a menu(always a dodgy indication of quality) as opposed to actually cooking it and then eating it, there is little sensory satisfaction.

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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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