Tuesday, February 27, 2007

It's all about presentation

I'm here in Torquay ("the English Riveria") for the 2007 NAACE Conference. My presentation is on Thursday - up against people like Christina Preston and Mel Philipson... so, just me and about three people in the seminar room, then...
My presentation is part of the Learning Platforms and Web 2.0 theme (even though - oi! - for some reason it's not listed in that theme's page) - other presentations in the theme include ones by Miles Berry and Mark Bethelemy, both strong users of Moodle.
Right now the Minister of State for Schools, Jim Knight is giving the opening address via videoconference, as is custom at the start of the NAACE Conference. In contrast to some Government people who've addressed the conference at this point, he's clearly very technologically literate and aware of the issues and relevant technologies in this area - a reference to 14 year-olds splicing together videos of Prime Ministers and American Presidents into unseemly scenes may have been taken from experience of seeing it on YouTube, I'm not sure...
He says the most important issue is equity of access to technology - the e-inclusion issue, which is very relevant and something that should underpin everything that is done in the Learning Platform arena. He's also clear on the fact that e-inclusion doesn't just apply to schools - it's something which will affect all of society. It's really interesting that he seems to believe what he's talking about (yes, I know, insert cynical comment here...) but it sounds good.

We need to encourage all schools to adopt technology... but they need
(NAACE's) insight to support them in changing pedagogy and practice.
Chris Davison from SEGfL asks how the Government's going to support the cost of broadband for teachers - Jim Knight is very honest and says that there are no plans to fund that (obvious really - should the Government fund every piece of broadband access for teachers, eBay, music downloads etc - or how do they discriminate between professional use by teachers and personal use... it's not really going to happen, is it?). All in all it was an encouraging presentation, it seems that he wouldn't be phased by a relevant discussion about Learning Platforms. Oh, and he has a sense of humour - what are the chances of that happening?

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