Creating a culture of innovation, part 1: Conferences and exhibitions

How, as leader of Computing in your school, do you create a culture of innovation, ie of trying out new things? This is what we explore in this new ten-part series.

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The (digital) revolution comes to the London Barbican

Digital Revolution explores and celebrates the transformation of the arts through digital technology since the 1970s. The exhibition brings together for the first time a range of artists, filmmakers, architects, designers, musicians and game developers pushing the boundaries of their fields using digital media. It also looks to the future considering the impact of creative coding, DIY culture, digital communities and the creative possibilities offered by technologies including augmented reality, artificial intelligence, wearable technologies, robotics and 3D printing.
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As I was saying…

I have two blog posts already started, and another two waiting to be transferred from my head to the computer and thence to the web. I have had to interrupt myself so many times because of work commitments that I have become impatient – with myself! Hence the title of this post which should read, in full:

As I was saying before I was so rudely interrupted…

Anyway, while I am in the process of completing the aforementioned articles, I thought I would mention the Propaganda exhibition that is currently on at the British Library.

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Out of this world

1936- "Things To Come"- posterIt’s August in Britain, and it’s raining. In fact, I was reading today that the Meteorological Office has issued a severe weather warning for the South-East of England! So, a typical British summer in other words. What better time, if you’re still enjoying the school holidays, to visit an exhibition or two?

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31 Days to Become a Better Ed Tech Leader -- Day 17: Visit an Exhibition

As an educational technology leader, one of the most important things you can do is to actively look for new ideas. One great source of ideas is an exhibition.

A task a day for 31 daysBut, you say, there are no educational exhibitions going on right now. Really? Well maybe there aren’t, but maybe there are – I’ll return to this in a moment. However, it’s not necessarily that relevant anyway. The point of attending an exhibition is not to just be spoon-fed ideas, but to kick-start your imagination.

So, your task for today is to try to identify, and possibly even visit, an interesting exhibition. Where are the best places to look? Here are 8 suggestions.

  • If you live in the UK, have a look at the Exhibition and Trade Fair website. This is very comprehensive, and should enable you to plan ahead if you can’t get to an exhibition in the near future.
  • On the subject of planning ahead, don’t forget to pencil in the BETT Show for next January. A cross between an exhibition and a conference, this is a must for any ed tech leader who is serious about keeping on top of their game. You can read my thoughts about it in my BETT Highlights articles.
  • Museums, especially science museums, can be a great source of inspiration. They often also showcase very interesting applications of technology. Sometimes they house exhibitions of the development of technology over time. Perhaps you could take a look, and if it looks good arrange to take a group of students along.  Search for ‘museums and galleries’ online for lists of useful links.
  • Another source of useful links is the tourist board for your country. Enter ‘tourist board’ into your search engine. For example, the English Tourist Board website lists lots of interesting exhibitions and similar attractions.
  • Have a look at the website for your local area: there may be an interesting exhibition not a million miles from where you live.
  • In fact, there may be an exhibition going on in the foyer of the Town Hall, or your local library.
  • Perhaps a local school has put on an exhibition which you could attend.
  • Maybe a colleague in your own school has mounted an exhibition you could get to in the next ten minutes.

Even if attending an exhibition does not, in the end, furnish you with any great insights, not to worry. In the words of the old adage: a change is as good as a rest!