Monday, 16 January 2012

How do you keep that buzz from BETT?

Well, it is three days since I was at BETT and still feel a real sense of excitement. As much as I am enjoying it, I'm not sure why I feel like this, when I've never had this happen before in the ten years that I have been going.
It is probably down to a whole combination of things. I had the real privilege of presenting on the Google stand, which has to have been the highlight of the visit.
I have presented previously at BETT, but never to such a large crowd who seemed to be listening very intently. I was also incredibly nervous before the presentation - but as soon as I started, I really enjoyed it and almost wished I'd had more than my 15 minute slot. Whether the audience thought that, I'm not sure, but plenty of people stayed on to ask questions at the end and throughout the rest of the afternoon.
Getting to meet so many tweeters face to face was fantastic, along with the general enthusiasm of people I spoke to.
It was also a great opportunity to have some very in depth chats with Google about what we are doing in Norfolk. The Cloud Educator Programme has slowed slightly, so it was good to talk about some ways of kick starting it.
I was really looking forward to the Spring Cloud Training Sessions before BETT. Now, I just cannot wait.
There was also a great level of discussion going on through Twitter, speculating on what impact Gove's speech may have. The insightful blogs written by many people were inspiring and it was wonderful to see so many people willing to engage in informed debate about how things may change.
I'm one of the optimists in the big debate. So much so that I'm trying to get teachers in Norfolk and beyond to decide what they would really like to see in their schools as far as ICT is concerned and trying to build a collaborative approach through a public Google Site so that we are not all trying to reinvent the wheel by ourselves.
I'm not sure if it is a reaction to the uncertainty we are surrounded by at the moment, but I feel the most positive I have in a long while. I just hope I can make it last!!

Saturday, 14 January 2012

BETT 2012

I am sitting on the train coming back from BETT, thinking just how long it has been since I blogged.
With no excuse of being too busy on the train, I thought I'd put down some thoughts about my afternoon on the Google Stand.
I got the opportunity to do a presentation about what we have been doing in Norfolk with Google and how the Cloud Educator Programme is going. There was loads of interest, and some very loud intakes of breath when I mentioned that we had nearly 150,000 accounts for our students and staff!
It was great to be able to share the fantastic work that has been going on in Norfolk with an International audience.
The rest of the afternoon was spent wearing a Google t-shirt with 'I'm Certified' written across the back. I'm still not sure that the Americans really get the humour in this!
I spoke to loads of people about Google Apps for Education. The most common questions were around eSafety. While there are things that need to be considered, I'm not sure why so many people feel that this is a potential issue. Within Google Apps there are many tools to help you manage the domain, therefore giving you more control than many other apps and services.
Over the next couple of weeks I have the privilege of working again with the Cloud Educators. I'm really looking forward to bringing them up to date with everything I learned today, and hearing what they have been doing since September. I know some have been busy with the Google online test and I'm really proud that two have already gained their Qualified Individual Status already.