September 30 2008

Scottish Learning Festival

Last week Online ventured north to the 2008 Scottish Learning Festival … always worth the trip because of the buzz around the show (and the fact that it’s far more manageable than London’s rather overwhelming BETT show).

The show itself is ok, but the talks, meetings (e.g. Teachmeet) and case studies on offer around the festival is where the good stuff happens. Channel 4 was there to showcase their latest education projects (e.g. The Insiders), and LT Scotland impressed with their attitude towards and demonstrable results of the use of commercial games in schools. Who knew that the Nintendo Wii and games such as ‘Endless Ocean’ could be such an effective learning tool! LT Scotland’s Derek Robertson clearly does and has been busy ‘evangelising’ and persuading students, teachers and parents through his work at the Sottish Centre for Games and Learning - Consolarium. He has just been nominated for special achievement award at the upcoming Handheld Learning show, and I can see why.

They even found time to organise a Guitar Hero competition between schools on Glow, Scotland’s national learning ‘intranet’, with the final taking place at the show, which livened things up a bit.

Even a talk on classroom voting technologies and devices proved to be a lot more interesting than expected. These things have moved on a lot since I last paid attention to them. In fact they do their best to appear and function much like a mobile phone. How long, I wonder, before students will be able (and allowed) to use their own phones?

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