Monday, 18 January 2010

I dream of learning

Back in 2009 Feltham City Learning Centre (CLC) in London's Hounslow ran a competition around the theme "I dream of learning" and there were some very high quality entries from students - of course!.

I was SO delighted that at the annual BETT Show in London's Olympia this january (2010) amongst the Lampton School students who were on my Playful Learning stand (and who were wowing the BETT guests and various Ministers of Education with their thoughts about the importance of Play in learning) were these four who were the winners of the competition!

Here they are making their acceptance presentation to an audience of some very senior and important folk upstairs in a presentation lounge at BETT. The four of them - Dharmbir (left), Ejiro, Yayra (speaking to the hand held microphone) and Steffan (at the rostrum) - are shown here as they make their school very proud of them indeed - not the least because the £££ prize is: enough funding to actually build their dream learning space, complete with chill out zone, astro turf floor, cognitive colouring, great tech and bean bags!

I thought their presentation was well paced and highly articulate, but also the way they fielded and answered some really tricky questions from the senior folk there was even more impressive, as a host of folk have made a point of mentioning to me since.

Well done students - and well done Tony Peaty at Feltham CLC for putting the competition on in the first place. "I dream of learning"... fab.

here is their Powerpoint from the competition presentation earlier in the year.

Thursday, 14 January 2010


Our Playful Learning stand at the world biggest learning technology show (eMAP's BETT show)was rammed with people throughout the first two days - a mixture of children from Lampton School (who had a really clear understanding of the role of play in learning and would bend any passing adults ear to show and tell why) and presentations about playfulness in learning by our stand sponsors: Google, YouTube, 2Simple software, MangaHigh and Satmap all added up to a lot of activity and visitors from all round the world.

I think everyone remembers, or already knew, how important play is in learning, but it took the children to show and remind them how easily technology can re-inject play back into important classroom tasks without being a distraction. In the end, engagement is a key variable in performance isn't it?

Tuesday, 12 January 2010


Our wonderful Be Very Afraid event was on yesterday - ten institutions with students all highly articulate in describing their work with ICT.

But, as guests arrived they were presented by this choice of 2 events, to much laughter. But it starkly shows the choices we face in changing the world: conflict or learning?. The yearly cost of one soldier posted to Iraq would support 20 school, perhaps more, at local prices... In Afghanistan it would BUILD 20! I type this as I listen to a senior Iraqi policymaker describing the challenges in taking learning forward today - and saying just how hard it was before with
www, phones etc banned (with a potential lifetime in prison for using them he reported).

No simple choices are there? But it seems to me that learning has a better chance of mending the world than the alternatives...

We are at that crossroads right now.