I was at the iPod 2010 conference at Oldham City Learning Centre yesterday. This was a celebratory and collaborative event looking at the use of ipod touches in education. The event started with a look at the educational context to using mobile technologies for teaching and learning, by Richard Millwood, Reader in distributed learning at the University of Bolton. I would like to say more but the content of the presentation doesn’t seem to be available yet. There were then a few short presentations on the use of ipods in schools. I was particularly impressed with the presentation from the ESSA Academy in Bolton. They had introduced iPod Touches for all pupils as part of a home/school contract.
The day was punctuated with workshops for discussion. Unfortunately these were dominated with technical questions and while technical matters are vital to successful implementation of mobile technolgy for learning, they were not of particular interest to a non techie like me. Perhaps future events could split the delegates according to their interest. I was also disappointed that all the good work that has been done by the MoLeNet projects over the last 3 years was neither acknowledged nor even referred to. It did seem to me that the delegates (and possibly the organisers) were unaware of their existence – a sad state of affairs considering the amount of work done on learning using handheld devices (not necessarily iPod touches). As usual with these events the networking opportunties were excellent and they have set up a Ning to enable ongoing discussion and collaboration.
The afternoon session saw three year 3 and 4 pupils talking about how they used their iPods. They were obviously keen and it was impressive to see them talk to a room of nearly 100 adults. Finally there was a presentation from Sharon Tonner from the University of Dundee on how to enable teachers to take ownership of the tecnhologies and embed their use in their own practice.
A good event and it was useful for me to see what the school sector are doing to embrace handheld devices.
You can catch up on tweets from the day with the hashtag #ipod2010 (I didn’t read the wifi instruction to the end so omited the proxy settings – situation normal – RTM!) This will hopefully be the first of a number of events organised by the City Learning Centres network – I hope I’m invited to the next one.