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Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Learning Through Technology conference

I attended, and presented at, the Learning Through Technology conference yesterday, which was part of Holyrood Conference programme, held at Our Dynamic Earth in Edinburgh.

The keynote was given by the Cabinet Secretary for Education, Mike Russell, who gave an interesting talk about the importance of technology in education. He talked about the new version of GLOW, recognising that it needs "to move on", and to be "more attractive, more open, easier to use, and more enjoyable". He also spoke about the use of personal technology in schools and colleges and how the current position, where it is generally prohibited, is "artificial" and unsustainable. He acknowledged the need for security in schools and colleges and councils, but this "had to be proportionate".

John McCann, of Scotland's Colleges, also spoke about the need to modernise teaching and learning. He said that the focus should move away from institutions towards "learning communities". He gave a lot of examples of how teaching and learning had changed in colleges, but finished his talk by pointing out that the one area where practice had not changed much was assessment. He concluded by asking for this to become the focus of attention in future.

Me and a colleague, Graeme Clark, delivered two breakout sessions, which were attended by around 100 people in total.
I spoke about how SQA had modernised its ICT qualifications, and Graeme spoke about the digital resources available to centres, particularly SQA Academy and SOLAR. I also talked about the need to modernise assessment, but acknowledged some of the barriers to change.

Contact Graeme if you want to know more about SQA Academy or SOLAR, or contact me if you want to know more about ICT awards. You can download my paper on modernising assessment here.

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