Here’s an interesting conundrum: why is it that, given the trend towards distributed leadership and collaborative change, a lot of conferences targetted at leaders seem to consist of a succession of people lecturing to the audience? I realise there is a place for that – and I have to confess to actually liking the traditional type of conference – but there is, surely, room for a different sort of event as well?
With that in mind, I’m pleased to have been involved in the organisation of the free Collaborate for Change (“C84C”) at the forthcoming BETT show. A group of us, herded led by the indefatigable Dave Smith of Havering’s ICT Support Service, have put together what we believe to be a cutting edge event on the evening of Thursday 13th January 2011. Having taken the Teachmeet model, in which anybody can share their experience with everyone else, as a starting point we have devised a programme which is a mixture of a few mini-keynotes to set the scene, followed by table sessions.
OK, so what is a “table session”. Well, as you will know from experience, most conferences have a few parallel-running sessions, none of which may be of particular relevance to you at that particular time. So what we have done is invite people to run a discussion – at a table – on an issue which is important to them right now. The idea is that, in a small group of, say, 7 or 8 people, ideas can be bounced back and forth, and everyone goes away having had a chance to engage in a conversation with a few like-minded people wrestling with the same issues.
There are some great sessions lined up. For example, Daniel Needlestone will be asking “How can we encourage teachers to innovate and take risks with technology?”, whilst Mina Patel of the London Grid for Learning will be looking at Videoconferencing to collaborate, communicate and educate. Those are just two of 16 possible sessions to attend over the course of 5 sessions, meaning, if my numeracy lessons paid off, the opportunity to attend 3 table sessions altogether.
Have a look at the complete list on the Collaborate for Change wiki (scroll down). If you don’t see one you would like to attend, you can always offer to run one yourself, because I believe there is still room for one or two more. Just add your name and session title to that wiki page.
There will also be a raffle to raise money for charities:
National Autistic Society http://www.autism.org.uk/
So, if the idea of hearing great talks, meeting other people as dynamic as you are, and generally having a good time don’t appeal to you, come along for the sake of your conscience!
This stupendous event – which is being opened by Lord Knight, who used to be the Schools Minister with responsibility for ICT in Britain – takes place at Olympia on Thursday 13th January 2011 from 18:00 to 21:00.
Sign up for a free ticket: it will take just a couple of minutes.
Join in the discussion at Linkedin.
Join in on Facebook.
Follow the event on Twitter: #c84c.
(These are not all mutually exclsuive, by the way!)
This promises to be a fantastic event – don’t miss out!