Dates For Your Diary

At the moment we have a very unfortunate situation in the UK: at the very time people need to be getting as much professional development as they can, because of the need to keep up with all the changes taking place, it’s becoming harder for them to do so because of budget tightening. Nevertheless, do try to get to at least one professional development training event a term, if possible. As a public service, I’ve listed some of the ones which have come to my attention and look interesting and useful. Subscribers to Computers in Classrooms (the free newsletter) have been able to enjoy concessions for admission to some of them. I will be talking more about some of them in further detail in the next issue of the newsletter.

Spreadsheets across the curriculum. This takes place on Monday 8th November, at 8pm UK time – it’s in the evening, and it’s free, so no excuses! (Use the world clock to work out what time it is where you are.) Here’s the link. Oh, I should have mentioned: it’ll be me doing the talking for 15 minutes, and then discussing it for 15 minutes.

You will also, I’m sure, be interested in the series of Teachshares – online discussions – that Drew Buddie and I are running. The next one coming up is at 7pm UK time on Tuesday 9th November. Please note that our clocks went back an hour last week, so we are no longer on British Summertime. Shelly Terrell will be looking at how to encourage non-specialists to use technology in their lessons, especially given that they may not even want to or feel the need to. She will be drawing on the work of Seth Godin, so it should be an interesting session. See this article for details of the one from last week, and how you can listen to the recording of it and look at the chat room.

Cyber Security Conference 11th November. This ostensibly has nothing to do with educational technology, but I think the issues that will be raised will prove useful for class discussions, especially (but not exclusively) with older students.

Innovation in Education Conference 17th November. This looks really interesting, as you can see from the agenda, and features such luminaries as Dawn Hallybone and Nic Hughes and Pete Bradshaw of the Open University and Vital.

E-learning Foundation Conference: Survival of the Fittest? “As we face an age of austerity, we look at how will schools be affected by the economics of school funding in providing 1:1 access for pupils.” I will be discussing budget-related matters in the next newsletter, so this is very timely…

… as is this one: Running a School ICT Department on a Tight Budget, a Guardian seminar. 6th December 2010.

Online Information Conference 30th December to 2nd January. This is free (unless you’re a corporation). It is not about education as such, but often features interesting talks about search engines and how people are using Web 2.0 tools.

Conference: Vital IT Specialist IBM Workshop, Winchester Fri 12 Nov 2010, 10:00 - 15:30 Free conference, but only 25 places. Takes place in Winchester. See the Vital website for other conferences.

* Learning Without Frontiers Conference 9th-11th January. Formerly known as the Handheld Learning Conference, this promises to be a veritable extravaganza. It takes place just before BETT 2011, from the 9th to the 11th January 2011, so what you may want to do is plan a whole load of professional development for yourself, and your team if you lead one, for that week. I’ve written a bit more about the Handheld Learning Conference here. To book and pay go here:

BETT 12th-15th January. This is free (although you have to pay for some seminars to guarantee a place). Always useful, for new product information, interesting seminars (like mine, for instance!) and meeting people.

Listening to Children -- the future role and remit of the Children's Commissioner and the next steps for young people's services – Westminster Education Forum. 20th January 2011. Ostensibly nothing to do with ICT, but this conference could well be of interest as what else is Information and Communications Technology all about?

Reforming the School Estate: Refurbishing, Rebuilding and Maintaining Our Schools. And there was I thinking that school building and refurbishment programmes had all but finished. This is what caught my eye from the agenda: “Understand what the Spending Review will mean for education”. It takes place on 30th March 2011, and you can look at the key areas to be covered by clicking this link:

Education 2011 17th May 2011. Here’s an extract from the blurb:

In the recent Comprehensive Spending Review, Chancellor George Osborne announced that education system is one of the first priorities of the government. This will include developing a new National Curriculum that excites and challenges young people, whilst giving teachers the space to develop their own pedagogy.

It has reinforced its commitment to tackle issues including achieving value for money across the school system, Free Schools and Academies, raising aspirations, ICT in education, dealing with behaviour, attendance and bullying, developing a word-class children's workforce and reforming assessment and qualifications.

I hope you have found this list useful.