Why not start with a cliché…? “The last few months have flown by.”

Like a lot of clichés, there’s truth there. Among other things it’s been good to successfully complete an interim post as Head of ICT (on just two days a week), work again with the 21st Century Learning Alliance (with its award-winning schools), help steer a major project on new school builds and continue with various writing projects – all very varied and interesting. Last week was pretty typical: continuing with three projects and then, on Thursday, a thoroughly enjoyable day in Kent presenting at the 2008 ICT Headteachers Conference on Home Access.

kent-conference

The conference organisers took a brave gamble in creating a series of discussion groups to debate the issues schools face in providing home/school access. Perhaps the biggest issue raised was that of teacher confidence and capability. Is that surprising? The groups were cleverly and expertly facilitated by the think-tank Demos, who will soon be presenting the results more formally. I think the gamble paid off. Between the group discussions, presentations focused on the practical experience gained in Kent and beyond.

Stephen Rayner and Kirsty Tonks from Shireland Language College and Crockets Lane Primary gave a very good overview of the successes and realities in using ICT to link home and school. Masses of experience and insight here. I thought I knew a bit about Open Source applications but Phillipa Weaver and Paul Sharrad from schools in Sandwich and Dover really knew their stuff and gave a compelling presentation on the educational and economic benefits of Open Source software. Alison Gaunt, e-learning director of the Homesdale Malling Federation, was equally persuasive on the benefits of 1:1 computer access – as were the four confident children co-presenting. And then it was my turn!  Thanks for a great day to Alan Day and Becki Avery at the Kent Digital Curriculum Team.

More photos here.

Kent Conference June 2008

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