6th March 2015

Are you inspired or are you inspiring?

<p>Having just come back from the Education Innovation Conference and Exhibition in Manchester (#EICEManchester); I have to say that I am feeling inspired. The passion and enthusiasm that came from the teachers and educators attending the many conference sessions and workshops was truly inspiring.</p><p>The energy and vibe was electric in Vic Goddard’s keynote speech. He talked about how ‘teachers are the innovators’ not just the technology or the kit they use and how a teacher can impact a child’s life throughout their adulthood. Think back to when you were at school, how many teachers can you remember and which ones inspired and motivated you to become the person you are today?</p><p>Vic Goddard also said that “teachers are not there to judge a child’s dream or ambition but to inspire them to drive to achieve and not give up on their goals”. These words of wisdom ring true in my own ears as I can still remember the teacher that had a positive impact on my life.</p><p>With all this technology about it should be so easy to bring inspiration into the classroom and engage learners! However, it isn’t that easy, you can’t just buy the latest gadgets and expect them to transform your lessons. You need to have an IT strategy for your school that everyone understands, with clear objectives, measures and targets. Your strategy should incorporate your schools mission statement for learning and it is always good to seek help and advice from other schools, businesses and resellers as they can help with your strategy.</p><p>Paul Ford, Jigsaw 24 spoke about 1:1 deployment and the impact of 1:1 learning and how the classroom is changing. Jigsaw 24 focus on digital learning with in-house trainers that have education backgrounds. Companies such as this can help put your IT strategy together and then assist you implement it and provide training. Again, Paul reiterated that “the device itself is not at the heart of school improvements, it is how they are being used”.</p><p>Andrew Stogdale, a Distinguished Apple Educator, Elsium, delivered an engaging session in the Tablet Clinic and talked in brief about Flipped Learning – a great pedagogical approach in which direct instruction moves from the group learning space to the individual learning space, and the resulting group space is then transformed into a dynamic, interactive learning environment where the educator guides students as they apply concepts and engage creatively in the subject matter.</p><p>There are so many apps available now across all devices and many of them are free or with a small cost. They can help the teacher quickly give out material, share content, give instant feedback and assessment. Andrew mentioned the free app ‘Showbie’, which makes it easy to assign, collect and review student work in the classroom. Another great tool for teachers is iTunesU by Apple, which is a great way to access complete courses from leading Universities or other schools – plus the World’s largest digital catalogue of free education content.</p><p>The conference had over 100 exhibitors of which LapSafe® Products were one. LapSafe® showcased their Diplomat™ LMS a dynamic self-service, multi-bay locker system designed to store and safely charge laptops and other similar devices. Full integration with most library management systems (LMS) allows the device to be loaned similar to that of a library book. For more information visit www.lapsafe.com.</p><p>There were so many engaging sessions throughout the two days all conveying that message ‘Teach to Inspire’ but one of the best quotes I heard was “Tech is only tech to those who were born before it” – how true, thank you Paul Ford, Jigsaw 24.</p>

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