Guest post by Kristian Still. Kristian is from Wellington Academy and delivered a great BYOD session in the Microsoft Learn Live Theatre at Bett 2013.
This post was started on day 2 of BETT and finished on the train on the way home from BETT. I wanted a little time for my thoughts to ’brew,’ to see if I held the same view a day of two later, and I do. Here is why.
Presenting as part of the Microsoft Education team is clearly going to be very different to experiencing a trade show as a delegate. First the day is longer, starting with geek chat over breakfast, the 9am debrief and wrapping up with the 6pm meeting. Second, it’s given me an insight into how ‘business and enterprise’ approach the education sector and the breadth / depth of Microsoft's interests, partnerships (OEM) and investments in education; hardware, cloud, coding (Kodu, Touch Develop), communications, teaching support (PiL) political dialogue and influence. Not to mention – all the meetings held behind the scenes, that we were not involved with or privy to.
I am not for one-minute professing to understand the Microsoft business in just three and a half associated days, far from it, but what I do recognise and respect is, the commitment and the expertise of the Microsoft education team. This was best evidenced in how specialist staff responded to delegate questions and queries; carefully filtered or redirected to expert Microsoft staff (and remember we are only discussing just one division of Microsoft here).
In two days working along side the team, listening to their conversations with customers, I would urge school leaders to take advantage of their passion for their products and expertise. I was left with little doubt that Microsoft Education could have a positive impact on almost any school in the country given the opportunity - stretching the reducing budget, reducing IT staff workload, enlivening the curriculum (particularly Computer Science), developing teacher skills, extending the schools licensing agreements into the students homes. As good a place to start as any is the UK Schools Blog.