The following a guest post from team behind the Education Innovation Conference and Exhibition (EICE), an annual event designed to help education professionals integrate innovation and technology into learning. The event is happening this Thursday 26th – Friday 27th February, and is free to register for.
Making sure you are up-to-date with the latest innovations in education can be challenging for teachers – technology is an industry that can seem to be constantly changing, with new creations being launched every day. So, how do you know which ideas are here to stay – and worth incorporating into your teaching? You could start with a visit to Education Innovation Conference & Exhibition (EICE), a free event showcasing the technologies and solutions that can maximise learning and boost achievement across the education sector.
Tech of the future
The organisations involved in this year’s event will all be able to give visitors expert advice on how best to integrate technology into learning and give their predictions for what will be having a big impact in 2015. On the subject of the innovation in the classroom this year, Dr. Bob Gomersall, chairman at BTL Group Ltd, commented: “The capabilities of the technology available will have the biggest impact – the technology in the learners’ hands is finally of the right quality and affordability to transform learning and assessment. The impact of the tablet and ubiquitous smartphone coupled with cultural trends (such as Bring Your Own Device) are unlocking the technology investments being made by institutions and exam boards. This creates accessible, robust and compelling content for teaching and examinations and produces two welcome effects: examinations are aligning with how we work, play and learn, which are fairer and more accessible for more learners; and educators can focus on what they do best, liberated from paper trails and red tape.”
Tablets are one of the most popular choices of devices in the classroom these days, but knowing how to get the most out of them is certainly not easy. EICE’s Tablet Village – powered by the Tablet Academy – will be demonstrating lots of great tips and tricks for using tablets in schools, colleges and universities, from managing course material to addressing the new computing curriculum. Visitors will get the chance to work with augmented reality, tablet-controlled robots and create a film clip using ‘green screen’ technology.
Tablets can also be very beneficial for pupils with learning difficulties and the event’s SEN Hub will look at what other solutions there are for children and adult learners with special educational needs. This part of the show will bring to life recent developments that can really make a difference, such as the British Dyslexia Association’s Sound Check project, which is currently running in Greater Manchester, Leeds and Swindon, working with children in primary years 2 & 3 who haven’t met the required level in the Year 1 Phonics Check.
A further feature of the show will be the E-safety Clinic – dedicated to helping education professionals tackle problems including cyber bullying and sexting. In a recent survey, EICE learned that over 44% of teachers have discovered inappropriate content on their pupils’ mobile phones. And the problem is not just limited to sixth formers – of the teachers that had experienced this issue, 24% were dealing with the phones of eight to 10 year olds, 28% 11 to 13 year olds, 38% 14 to 16 year olds and 8% 17 years old and over. One teacher commented: “A lack of proper surveillance and knowledge at home on social networking and gaming is a problem. Our school does its bit to educate the pupils but it’s getting parents to embrace the responsibility at home that is the challenge – we have put on parental e-safety workshops/presentations but they are very poorly attended.”
Engaging on social media is seen as one of the riskiest activities for school children by teachers, with many pointing out that the age restrictions are either not known or ignored. The popularity of Facebook, Snapchat and chat rooms often means that children are unaware of the dangers of sharing personal information, including their location. One teacher said: “Pupils have a very blasé attitude about what can potentially happen if they provide personal information and photographs to people they only ‘know’ online.”
EICE event manager Alex Dilleigh said: “It is shocking that such young children have access to potentially harmful material on their mobile devices and one of the key themes of EICE is making sure teachers have the tools to help keep their students safe, whether the issue is inappropriate content or cyber bullying. Technology can be a wonderful thing, particularly in an education setting, but it is crucial we recognise and minimise the risks, while embracing the many advantages it can offer.
26th – 27th February 2015, Manchester Central
Education Innovation Conference and Exhibition (EICE) is an annual event designed to help education professionals integrate innovation and technology into learning.
Now in its third year, EICE provides visitors with the chance to get hands-on with the latest learning technologies and receive specialist advice on how to boost achievement in their schools, colleges and universities.