Conference Concessions and Other Goodies

As last year’s Handheld Learning Conference drew to a close, I wrote one word in the notebook I carry with me at all times: “Exhilarating”. I’m therefore delighted that Graham Brown-Martin has kindly offered subscribers to Computers in Classrooms a 10% discount on the booking fee – and that’s on top of the Early Bird registration which also gets you a free iPad (but that closes on 30th September, so get in quick!).

I have to say that this year's event (which is now taking place next year, and is now called the "Learning Without Frontiers" conference, but don't let these things worry you) looks like being a major extravaganza, with several conferences (Handheld Learning, Game Based Learning and Digital Safety) coming together, along with fringe events. It's taking place just before the BETT show, so you could make the week of the 9th to 15th January 2011 a personal professional development week and attend both events back to back. Anyway, check out the Learning Without Frontiers conference here.

In the next few days I hope to be publishing the next edition of Computers in Classrooms, and that will contain all the details you need to obtain the extra 10% off. Please note that that edition will not  be in the public archive of the newsletter: you must subscribe in order to take advantage of it.  The good news is that subscription is free and takes just a few minutes to complete.

I am not making this up!

Innovation conference

Another conference in which you may be interested is  Innovation in Education: Transforming Learning in the 21st Century, which takes place on Wednesday 17th November 2010, Central London, 09:00 - 16:00, and features a couple of people I know: Dawn Hallybone and Nic Hughes, both of Redbridge, and movers and shakers in the worlds of handheld learning and games-based learning. The organisers have very generously offered a 20% discount to subscribers. Again, I will post the link in the next edition of the newsletter.

Online resource bank for primary pupils

I’ve also arranged several prize draws for subscribers to the Computers in Classrooms newsletter, starting with this one: Scholastic has kindly made available a one year subscription to their online resource bank for primary (elementary) children.

Once logged in, you can  browse through the thousands of resources by clicking “Browse our resources”, on the right hand side of the page, underneath the orange “My folder” button.

The “My folder” button is where you can store all your favourite resources, features and news, allowing you to easily find what you particularly liked, for next time!

Alternatively you can search for resources using keywords.  Type in for example “Role Play” into the search field on the main page, and select “Child Ed Plus” from the drop down ‘department’ list to show the resources available.

Being a subscriber to Child Education PLUS online resource also means that visitors have full access to all the back issues of the Child Education PLUS half-termly hard copy magazine, packed with lesson ideas, advice and news.

I’ll be running the prize draw very soon. This is, in fact, a re-run of a draw run last term, which was won, unfortunately, by someone outside the UK. In this instance, unlike the other draw mentioned below, being resident in the UK is a condition of winning. (Please see the competition terms and conditions if you like that sort of thing.)

Thanks to Alison MacGregor and Carly Wonnacott of Mango Marketing for setting this up.

PIMS competition

One of the interesting things to arise from the increasing affordability of sound recorders, digital cameras and pocket video cameras is that these devices are increasingly being used in a ‘show and tell’ way. Rather than try to describe to parents, or even yourself, what the youngsters have learnt, capture it as it happens. See, for example, my account of my visit to Grays Infants School, and my review of the Flip Video – especially my interview with Elaine on how it might be used in the classroom, and the further possible uses we came up with.

Unfortunately, all too often the level descriptors and the digital evidence are stored separately. However, an application called PIMS brings the two together. Julian Barrell, the company’s Director, took us through the system: you upload the evidence right there and assign level descriptors to a child or group of children. In fact, the child could do it too.

You can have a go yourself by  going to Http:// and playing around in the demo school. Use the school name pimsdemo, and the username and password demo.

Now there’s some great news if you look at the system, like it, and are a subscriber to Computers in Classrooms, because one randomly-selected subscriber will be able to use the system with any two classes of approximately 30 children, for up to 6 years. All you have to do is (a) subscribe to Computers in Classrooms and (b) agree to write a brief article for the newsletter and website, on how you find it.

The price is £400 per class for up to 6 years and includes future upgrades, so with a free introduction INSET session by Julian this prize represents a potential £1000.

I’ll be running the prize draw again soon. For this one, all subscribers are eligible regardless of place of residency.

Games give-aways

Thanks to the generosity of Immersion and SeriousGames, I am able to offer two wonderful prizes to subscribers of Computers in Classrooms. The prizes on offer are a copy of Immersion’s MissionMaker, the games authoring software, and a one year school license for SeriousGames Global Conflicts: portal. The two winners will be chosen in a random draw. In this case, each prize is available to non-UK residents as well as Brits! Look put for reviews of these two products on this website.


Global Conflicts

More information on the contents of the games education special issue will be posted here as soon as I’ve finalised the list of articles that will be included.

Inbox heaven

I've also been offered two premium Xobni licences to give away, as a "thank you" for the review I wrote. I will pull two winners out of a digital hat for these as well.

Disclaimer: I was not expecting anything like this. The review was genuinely independent, and not written for any reward from Xobni.

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