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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Conference season

I really rather enjoyed BETT and Learning Technologies this year.

Was inspired by the presentation made by Dan Roberts (aka Chicken Saltash) at the Microsoft sponsored Partners in Learning piece.  First up I loved the word wide telescope, who knew that there was a google earth for the universe?  But even more, I loved the story of the primary teacher who got students to make telescopes out of card and paper in the morning, then asked them to lie on the floor and look up through their telescopes before switching the lights out and pointing the projector at the ceiling, then taking them on a tour of the solar system.

If ever you needed proof that it is not the technology that matter but the use to which the technology is put then there it is.

At learning technologies I was impressed by Jaron Lanier who made me think.  He challenged all the believers in social learning, collective commons etc. by pointing out that we might be living in a fools paradise.  It's all very well for those of us sharing and contributing for nothing to live in some form of socialist utopia when the companies that control the servers over which the traffic that our contributions generate continue to live in a firmly capitalist world.