Thursday, 29 January 2009
On the English east coast the water can be very shallow (you can stand waist deep in water, out of sight of land) and these hovercrafts are used as workboats to get to the places a floating hull simply can't reach. Hovercrafts were very much "of their time" and almost all the short ferry services have ceased now, they were just a bit too thirsty and quite hard to control in rough weather. You can hire this one, I'll add the website when i find it...
It is a nice illustration of how hard people find it to "think afresh" (cue debate about education): when Sir Christopher Cockerell invented the hovercraft he showed it to the armed services. Famously the Admiralty said it was a plane not a boat; the RAF said it was a boat not a plane; and the Army were "plain not interested"! Today they are used by the military more than anyone else... but it took a long time.
Monday, 19 January 2009
Jonathan is an inspired and inspiring teacher and you can see the difference he has made too; as the show started the students just quietly got on with some wonderful learning embracing all kinds of technologies - here, as the show opens, they are just camped out all over our stand and the Show with their projects. Later, having been introduced to John Davitt's clever lesson planning tool "Learning Score" they produced a lesson plan for teaching chess, and introduced it in a spontaneous presentation on the stand.
I think the 21st century will be Ok with this lot!
Saturday, 17 January 2009
The students were (of course) unfazed by all this and chatted, as ever, so comfortably, but the stand was packed for these sessions. BETT is prefaced by an event that something like three quarters of the world's population are represented at by their ministers of education - it is all becoming very global and exciting.
Tuesday, 13 January 2009
The Learning and Technology World Forum in Westminster brought a host (collective noun suggestions please?) of education ministers together and I invited a group from Lampton School to come along and form a panel talking to the ministers about how they use tech in their personalised learning. Their confident use of YouTube and social networking, their MSN support from teachers at night, their phones-as-a-classroom-resource, their sense of ICT entitlement, and more, captivated the audience who were however divided in their facial reactions! Everyone could see the value of course but half were nodding in a reaffirming kind of way, the other half looked frankly terrified! There's that Digital Divide again...
In the photo the students' hour and a half of confident answers to the ministers' questions is over to be followed something of a stampede to the front to ask more yet questions and seek more of their wisdom. Here the students are, statesmanlike, answering this last lot of questions! The same school - and some of the same students - went on to really impress the BETT guests with their projects on our Learning Elsewhere feature stand - they really were exceptionally and persuasively articulate about their learning lives.