Mini-review of the Motivating Educators, Inspiring Learners Conference

“Well”, said Elaine as I bounced in last Wednesday evening. “You’ve got your mojo back.” This was quite true. Having spent a few hours reading various articles about why things can’t be done, or how there could be dire consequences if they were, I wasn’t in much of a frame of mind to attend a conference, especially one which seemed to be ‘motivational’. Quite frankly, when I’m feeling miserable the last thing I want is someone trying to cheer me up.

Russell PrueNevertheless, I went along to the conference, and was thoroughly glad I did. Having had prior commitments in the morning, I was able to attend only the exhibition and the last talk of the day.

The exhibition was small but useful. There were some very interesting companies represented, including 2Simple and Oddizi, both of which I talked about in Developments in Education Technology: Reflections on the first day of BETT.

I also had the opportunity to chat with Tim Rylands, although, sadly, I had been unable to attend his presentation. (If you’d like to learn a lot more about the conference than I am able to report here, see Tim’s post about it.)

The very last talk of the day was given by Russell Prue, and it hit the spot, as they say. It was humorous, serious and challenging, and Russell, as ever, was prepared to call a spade a shovel, if you see what I mean.

Part of his talk was on Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), and the message was very much that we need to utilise what the kids bring in to school, but in a planned way, with a properly-designed wireless network. Russell didn’t really deal with the challenges of introducing BYOD, but in some respects that would have been out of place in a talk designed to alert people of the possibilities. Russell was kind enough to give me an interview after the conference, and that should be appearing soon.

From what I could see of the talks, all sounded like they were going to be very practical as well as ‘motivational’. That was certainly true of Russell’s talk, which is the only one I can really comment on from first hand experience. Being basically an old hippy in the guise of a grumpy old man, I’d say the conference had a really nice ‘vibe’. If you missed it, that’s a shame, but I understand that Mondale Events will be running more of these conferences around the UK, so it would be worth visiting their website from time to time for an update.