I couldn’t quite believe they had the right person when the organisers of the South West Grid for Learning ICT Conferences asked me to deliver the keynote speech at the Bristol and Torquay 2009 conferences. After all, previous speakers had included Lord David Puttnam and Professor Stephen Heppell! So it was a great honour to be asked, and a great honour to speak to so many practitioners. The wonderful Tim Rylands was there and I’m grateful to Tim and Sarah for taking a couple of photos of the Bristol event at the University of the West of England.

The title of the talk was “Reasons to be Cheerful” – I wanted to give a motivational, inspirational and practical keynote that avoided pessimism, national targets, government jargon and all the associated educational ‘bullying’ and hectoring that we’re so often inflicted with. I met a great group of performance artists at Glastonbury this year that summed up the gloom merchants perfectly:

British League of Pessimists

British League of Pessimists

Fortunately, the upbeat nature of the presentation seemed to hit the right note (phew!) with some great feedback from delegates and organisers. A big thanks to John, Hilary, Ken, Uta and all the other good folk at the SWGfL for their encouragement and hospitality.

More on the content of the presentation in the next few days when time may allow…

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