Blog

Twitter

I have been aware of Twitter for the last couple of years - really since our then New Technologies for Learning national adviser Ewan McIntosh started to play around with it. As an infrequent blogger I decided to keep an eye on it but leave it for now. Anyway signed up for an account a few weeks ago after watching Stephen Fry on the BBC website and within a couple of days was following (and being followed by) around 50 fellow twitters. There appears to be a few people.
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Glow is ‘Out of This World’ – According to The Scotsman

Another good news story for Glow in this morning's 'Scotsman' newspaper. Fiona McLeod notes that the capabilities of Glow 'are proving to be out of this world for teachers who can use it find free resources and materials for school projects as wide ranging as The Vikings to the planets.' Lots of great stuff beginning to happen using Glow - some of which we could never have imagined when developing the idea. We still need to work hard to make sure that every learner and teacher in Scotland has the opportunity to take full advantage of what Glow.
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Learning and Technology World Forum & BETT 2009

 Learning and Technology World Forum Not been keeping my blog up to date recently - sign of being too busy. I spent the week before last in London attending two events. The first was a Becta organised conference which was attended by 60 ministers of education including our own Maureen Watt, MSP, Minister for Schools and Skills. Some great speakers including:
  • Sir Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the world wide web, who called for more investment in the science of the web, the fostering of a culture of sharing/the commons of the web and for governments to open up their.
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Robert Burns – Celebrating 250 Years

 Robert Burns Sitting at home listening to BBC Radio Scotland's celebration of the 250th anniversary of Burns' birth - Auld Lang Sang. We have just published some new Burns resources for schools (and others) to use on the LTS Online Service. The highlight for me is the Burns songs performed by “The Cast” ( one of Scotland’s finest contemporary folk bands - I am told that their version of Auld Lang Syne was featured in the recent 'Sex and the City' movie). These 6 songs are unique content, recorded especially.
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Tagging Game: Facts About Me

Hilery Williams has tagged me, asking me to participate in some end of year frivolity: listing 7 things about myself others might not know (not to mention not be very interested in). Anyway looks like a good way to get me back into the blogging habit again for 2009! So here goes:
  1. My dad was a joiner and I really wish I had asked him how to properly use the tools I inherited. Luckily my 12 year old daughter is a natural – assembled her own bed from IKEA last month her grandfather would have been very proud.
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Dr Tom Conlon RIP

 Dr Tom Conlon I just picked up the very sad news of Tom Conlon's death today. Tom was one of my lecturers when I was training to be a teacher at Moray House (along with Tony van der Kuyl who died last year at this time). He was a brilliant lecturer and the high standards he set for me as a trainee were great preparation for life as a new teacher. Tom was one of the most articulate people I have ever met and it was great to see him in full flight.
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Public Sector Summit – 3

I usually get stir crazy after a couple of days at a conference but yesterday afternoon’s plenary session really was inspirational. First up was Jorge Sampaio, this former president of Portugal and now elder statesman, who reminded us that we can’t take democracy for granted. As a student he struggled against the dictatorship in his country and today continues to work towards improving global citizenship, a cause that needs all of our support. Dr Narenddra Jadhav, Hon Vice Chancellor of Pune University in India was next. This former ‘untouchable’ has a wonderful story to tell of a rise from the lowest caste.
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Public Sector Summit Day 2 – Stockholm

Having a very interesting second day at this event which has 450 delegates drawn from 45 countries. Some of the highlights for me were: Deputy Mayor of Stockholm Capital of Sweden is made up of 14 islands. There are 1.9m inhabitants in the region and 800k in the city itself (similar to greater Glasgow and the city itself?). Stockholm has 1,000 parks and broadband penetration rate is an impressive 98% (need to check if this is the same as broadband usage). It is also the home of the Nobel Prize. The city is using technology to become greener and safer with a focus on improving public services,.
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Public Sector Summit 2008

I am in Stockholm and Oslo this week attending a 'Public Sector Summit' organised by CISCO. Apart from having to get up before 0500 to catch a flight to London on the way to Stockholm this is a pretty good way to earn a living. The event starts this evening in Stockholm and finishes on Thursday evening with a concert and dinner in Oslo to celebrate award of the Nobel Peace Prize. The agenda looks really interesting with a combination of keynote. The highlights for Tuesday morning look like:
  • Professor Carlota Perez - 'The Roles of State and Market in Shaping a Sustainable Global.
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On Innovation

I'm on my way to Inverness to speak to Highlands and Islands Enterprise STEM strategy group about how Glow might be used to support the teaching of science in some of Scotland's most remote areas. To my mind this is exactly the kind of need that Glow was designed to (help to) meet. Glow is not just about making lesson content available online it can also facilitate remote teaching and enable the kind of wrap around personal support that will help our young people to succeed wherever they happen to live. Anyway more of this later. I don't do a lot.
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