15 of our secondary schools answered my inquiry about who was going to the Edutech on this talk list and there maybe more at the EduTech 2014 conference.

At the moment a year 10 student is explaining why we need to build coding (computer programming) into our curriculum. I suppose that you know that the UK will introduce coding / programming K-12 in the near future. This is something that we need to grapple with because there is a bright future for those that can tell their computer what to do for them, rather than than just use it as it is. This is something on which we could collaborate.

This morning we were inspired by Sugata Mitra. Some of you may be familiar with the “hole in the wall” experiment. Professor Mitra won the TED prize last year for his work in bringing learning to the disadvantaged like those children on the streets of India. If you google hole in the wall or his name, you will find the ted talk and other resources.

He raises issues such as is knowledge obsolete? His experiments found that the street kids can work it out themselves. They view what is in the hole in the wall, collaborate and work it out. He has extended that idea to disadvantaged schools and has come to the conclusion that finding the answers to questions about the big ideas of knowledge is more useful to build knowledge than learning knowledge by rote. This would not be new to most of us, however we do struggle with getting out teachers to stop telling and start asking critical questions to guide student learning.

He calls his idea a Self Organising Learning System and he is using his prize money to implement the program throughout the world. Please take the time to have a look at it

http://m.wikihow.com/Set-Up-a-Self-Organized-Learning-Environment-(SOLE)-at-School

http://www.ted.com/pages/sole_toolkit

And we have had the lecture from a Microsoft VP, and someone from Intel, good ideas couched in the hard sell.

Jennyluca.com is worth a look. Some of you might be following her blog. Jenny Luca is the manager of ICT and elearning at Toorak College. Her presentation focused on the use of collaboration tools and social media in the learning process, balanced with the effort to ensure students (the girls) are working in a safe environment. Our challenge here is to open up these platforms and manage the risk. She makes the point that schools can help our students to use these platforms to learn and keep safe. It is a little complex however, in my view we owe it to our students to learn how to use these platforms in a diverse manner. Have you unblocked the YouTube yet and found out to manage it? (Look into the filtering system called content keeper. Interesting that the DECD uses it however not all schools have explored its potential. )

I notice that Ross Treadwell has put something out on using the cloud. The ICT manager at the ASMS has completed a risk assessment that we could share if you are interested in the processes that need to be put in place if you are considering using the cloud.