RBC (or NEN) Conference 2007

My last post will make it obvious that I have been at a conference for the last three days. Here is slide which was used as the main banner for the conference.

It is interesting that on this slide we have the title of the conference which is “RBC National Conference” but also there is also on it the National Education Network (NEN) logo. This is understandable because the main focus of this group was originally the Regional Broadband Consortia (RBC) which are all English bodies. However there is now ( I believe) a need to adopt the NEN brand which I think now more appropriately describes the scope of this group.

I am pleased to say that during the course of this conference I have had the pleasure to interact with people from all parts of the UK. It is great to see how England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland can come together despite the fact that each has its own education system which is being served by the NEN. We are all relatively small countries – the implications of this are powerfully illustrated in video ShiftHappens – see my last post. So I feel that it is imporant that we combine together to get the best outcome for out future generations – I feel that the NEN as concept is a good example of how we can do this.

The following photo shows colleagues engrossed in one of the many interesting sessions.

One pleasurable consequence of this event was its location which is on the shore of Lake Windermere. Here is the view of the front of the hotel and conference center.

And this is the view across the lake from the hotel.

The content of most of the sessions have been English centric – which is slight source of disappointment. But as a Scot, I have found it very interesting to see how current curriculum developments in England share some similarity to the developments which are taking place in Scotland. This serves to re-enforce my view that we should continue to work in a joined up manner across the four countries to get the best possible outcomes for tomorrows generation of children and adults. There is no doubt in my view that ICT has a key role to play in the delivery and support of learning experiences – it is important to realize that ICT cannot and never will replace the classroom teacher. However, we might want to challenge our traditional views about what it means to be a learner or teacher – perhaps the boundary between these are now very much more blurred than they might have been in the past.

Yes there is quite a lot of food for thought here!