Open Thinkering


Scottish Learning Festival 2010

I’m at the Scottish Learning Festival (#slf10) Wednesday and Thursday this week. In addition to fact-finding and promoting JISC stuff wherever I can, I’m also attending TeachMeet SLF 2010 (#tmslf2010). As part of that I’m leading a workshop on Google Apps Education Edition. Here’s relevant links:


Google Apps Education Edition

25 mins

  1. Google Certified Teacher after #GTAUK –
  2. Differences between ‘standard’ Google tools and Google Apps Education Edition
  3. Google Apps Marketplace – (e.g. Aviary, Flowr, OffiSync, SurveyMonkey)
  4. Google Apps Training Center –
  5. Google Apps Education Edition Certified Trainer –


I was impressed by the two keynote speakers – Mike Russell, Scottish Education Secretary and Richard Gerver, former Headteacher and public speaker – but for different reasons. 

Mike Russell gave a politician’s keynote, a stand-and-deliver lecture without much in the way of visuals. It contained, as I suppose it had to, buzzwords relating to strategy and a dig at the former government for leaving things in a mess. But the thing that impressed me was his obvious commitment to education, his insistence on grassroots innovation, and his tenacity.

Richard Gerver, on the other hand, was entertaining. Whether intentionally or accidentally, 80% of his keynote was anecdotes with 20% focused on ‘the message’ which (I think) was focused around allowing children to take risks, the importance of community, and not imposing ‘creativity’ upon people.

The TeachMeet in the evening was an enjoyable affair with a slightly different structure from those I’ve previously attended. I led a 25-minute round-table workshop on Google Apps Education Edition and there was a ‘World Cafe’ section. This, and the now-standard 2 and 7-minute talks were followed by an excellent curry at India Quay.


After getting soaked on the way from the hotel to the conference centre due to a idiotic truck driver/puddle combo, I was delighted to hear Thornlie Primary School singing wonderful Georgian melodies in the conference hall.

After a bit of a wander, catching up with some folk, I attended an absolutely fantastic session on games-based learning in the Early Years by Derek Robertson. Lots of wonderful ideas, backed up by evidence that I could take home and use with my 3 year-old son!

The final keynote I attended was a bit disappointing. You know when he’s still talking about what ‘this speech is going to be about’ 20 minutes in you’re onto a loser. Which was a shame, as Eric Booth was very enthusiastic.

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