Live blogging highlights for 2012

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In 2012 I was fortunate enough to attend more conferences and events than I had in previous years in total. Documenting the best bits as I went through ‘live blogging‘, I’ve amassed quite a portfolio of ideas and examples around great learning that I have come across. Here are my highlights from a year on my live blog.


January saw a flurry of posts from the BETT education technology show, including the highlights of seeing my students Amy Parkin and Emma Taylorson presenting at the TeachMeet. I also kept a seperate ‘scrapbook’ of interesting technology I discovered at the show.

The Dell #domoreedu ‘think tank’ event was really though provoking, and I blogged the discussions as they happened.

I blogged a lot of the talks from the Learning Without Frontiers conference. Highlights for me were:

Paul Howard Jones on the neuroscience of education

Mitch Resnick on making school more like kindergarten through programming

Mozilla on ‘revealing the lego lines’ of the web for young people

My colleague Professor Andy Phippen also made me think a lot in his inaugural professorial lecture on the impact sexual content on the internet is having on young people.


This month I attended a big announcement at the House of Lords on the developing ‘University Technical Colleges’ movement, including a short speech by secretary of state for education Michael Gove. Lots of discussion about authentic learning and specialisation in practical subjects for young people in danger of dropping out of education.


In March I traveled to Florence for my first academic conference on Science Education. Lots of really challenging thinking was shared, and I blogged a number of the talks. I found John Paul O’Riordan’s grounded theory exploration of how teachers deal with students’ misconceptions in science particular interesting.


April was all about the PELeCON conference, for which I headed up the social media activities. I blogged a lot of the keynotes and sessions, and ran the blog for the conference curating what was shared. Particular highlights for me were:

Keri Facer on ‘future building schools’

Helen Keegan on an innovative module run as an ‘alternate reality game’

Alec Couros on how openness and documentation is changing learning


Just one post in May about the ‘Code School’ event we ran encouraging year 8 students to get interested in programming.


Lots of posts this month, including many of the talks from the ‘RethinkingICT’ conference on new directions on teaching with and about technology.

The Sunday Times Education Festival was a goldmine of challenging thinking for me, with the different sectors of education in the UK coming together in a way I had not been a part of before. Particular highlights were:

Carl Gombrich on his work on an interdisciplinary ‘BASc’ course at UCL, with ideas on ‘generalism’ in education which really chimed with my thoughts around generalist teachers in primary.

Anthony Grayling on the importance of thinking, cutting through the false dichotomy of the knowledge vs thinking skills debate with some incisive insights.


This month saw the ‘South West Digital Educators’ conference I ran with colleagues take place. Stephen and Juliette Heppell shared their work on pupil voice and co-construction of a learning environment, and Pie Corbett and David Mitchell shared some powerful strategies for getting children enthused about writing. Sadly I couldn’t blog Tim Rylands’ excellent closing keynote as I was organising the presentation of awards to some well deserving ‘Digital Educators’ from the South West.


In September I learnt a lot from attending a conference of developers and programmers, and a talk from one of the team involved in the development of the ‘Raspberry Pi’ computer.


I was privileged to share a conference billing with the first head teacher I worked with; Neil Hopkin. Neil has been a mentor to me from the start of my teaching career, and he provided a hugely challenging and though provoking keynote about the state of the teaching profession.

I also blogged another head teacher not afraid to challenge his audience; Vic Goddard spoke of the importance of staff buy in to whole school ethos.

Later in the month Professor Alison Wolfe provoked my thinking on the place of economic arguments in education, and challenged many assumptions about education and jobs market.

In November, the Mozilla festival provided some thoughts on getting young people involved in creating the web, and I blogged Michael Gove’s controversial interview at the London Festival of Education on his vision of what an educated person looks like.


The year drew to a close with ex ‘Dragon’ Doug Richard’s thoughts on why entrepreneurship matters to everyone in the current climate, not just those who want to start their own business.


Image: CC BY Erin






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