Posts tagged interactive White Board

Erickson RImini Conference HAll

Erickson Congress Rimini 2013

Erickson RImini Conference HAll

Last Friday I was really delighted to speak at the “Qualità dell’integrazione scolastica e sociale” conference in Rimini. The bi-annual conference is a huge event in the Italian education calendar. Something like 4000+ teachers attend each time the conference is held, so you can imagine I was more than a little bit nervous to be invited to speak there. Thankfully I had a significantly smaller room than the huge hall you see here.

My workshop was called “iDidattica” or iTeaching, where I was basically trying to get across the point that simply “digitising” lessons won’t change their quality or pedagogical effectiveness at all. Instead, I tried to argue that we need to adopt a more student-centred approach to our teaching methodology and then apply whatever digital tools suits our needs. One methodology that might achieve this I argued is Project Based Learning. I suggested four key tool categories to allow students to create interesting “final products” for their projects: a note-taking app, an audio recording app, a video editing app and an webpage annotation app.

I tried to make the workshop a bit more interactive, by using a few tools like to provide a “backchannel” where the 150 – 200-odd teachers in the room could discuss what I was talking about, disagree, add new ideas and so on. Reading back though it today, it seems like they were enjoying themselves -yaay!

Anyhow, I promised all the teachers present that I would upload the slides form my presentation so that they could go through the links and re-read what I’d been talking about.
In the next few days I’ll also add a second post with a few of the fun things we did like recording podcasts during the workshop, using a chatroom for a backchannel, sharing links with Diigo and a few others.

Anyhow,without further delay, here are the siides:

The Amazing Main Hall of the Yeditepe University

10 Key Things I’ve Learned about IWBs – IATEFL Conference Istanbul.

The Amazing Main Hall of the Yeditepe UniversityI was delighted to be invited to speak at this year’s IATEFL LT & TD SIG conference in Istanbul, Turkey. I put in a proposal to discuss IWBs and the lessons I’d learnt from watching teachers get used to using them in my training sessions. When the confirmation came through in early May, I gave a whoop! I’d never been to Turkey before, but had heard loads of good reports from friends who said how friendly and welcoming people there tend to be.

What’s more, Burcu Akyol who is a conference organiser par-excellence, was co-ordinating the team which organised the whole weekend. Basically I need say little more than I can’t wait to go to Turkey or Istanbul again. I had such a great time, the conference attendees were wonderful people, the talks were really top quality and the on the last night, when I went out for dinner… the food… oh the food! It was fabulous!

Anyhow, let’s get to the point, during the talk I promised the teachers present, that I’d post up the IWB slides I used to support my talk. The slides contain useful hints and tips for teachers starting out with IWBs as well as a whole bunch of links to some really handy tools to make teachers lives easier when creating interactive activities.


Francesco Zambotti

Francesco Zambotti – How to Get Your Students Actually Using your IWB

Francesco Zambotti is a research assistant at Bolzano Free University and Erickson Publishers of Trento. His area of specialisation is the pedagogically sound use of new technology in the classroom. as such, his talk at the Erickson “Schools in the Digital Era” was one that I’d been looking forward to all conference. And I’m pleased to say, he didn’t disappoint.

In my experience training teachers to use Interactive Whiteboards (IWBs), most teachers are really positive about the potential to bring interesting, stimulating and useful material to life their class’ IWB, but they often complain that it takes so very long to prepare materials that they are put off. Francesco had a simple, but effective solution to this: prepare less, present less, get the students to do all the work – then they’re using the IWB.





Pete Sharma Associates and Digitalang – An Exciting New Collaboration!

We are delighted to announce that Digitalang have teamed-up with The Pete Sharma Associates, and we’ll now be “officially” offering courses on behalf of PSA in Italy. We are really excited about this, not only because such a top-quality teacher-training company has recognised the standard of the courses we offer, but also because Digitalang training material, along with the already established training material available from PSA, will now also be offered worldwide by the network of PSA trainers.

For those of you who know him, you’ll be aware that, apart from being a lovely guy, Pete Sharma is a real guru when it comes to pedagogically-sound ways of using technology in the classroom. He has co-written some exceptionally well-received books such as Blended Learning , 400 Ideas for Interactive Whiteboards along with many other really well-known Business English books. What is sometimes not quite as well-known, is that working with Pete, is a highly-experienced and skilled group of professionals, The Pete Sharma Associates. PSA run courses and offer consulting for language schools internationally, along similar lines to Digitalang does here in Europe. They offer in-house training, online training, and of course blended training courses to language teachers from as far afield as India and Bangladesh; to Spain, Germany and Chile.



The BETT Logo

Best of the BETT – Part 2

BETT (The British Educational Training and Technology show) is one of Europe’s biggest EdTech shows.  It’s been going for close to 30 years, attracts almost 30,000 visitors each year with a round about 700 different companies exhibiting there. In the madness that was BETT 2012. It was very easy to feel overwhelmed. As an antidote to my mystification, I set myself a task – find the top 5 most interesting, relevant, or influential stands at the show and interview someone important there for my dear blog readers. So, over the next 5 days, I’m going to post one video interview per day with a key BETT player, starting today with Chris Klein, the Educational Consultant and Macintosh Specialist for SMART Technologies, one of the leading IWB (Interactive White Board) manufacturers.


The BETT LogoSMART had a huge, and I mean huge presence at BETT. At a guess I’d say they had 50-60 odd people working at their stall at any one time. You know what, they were all busy, all of the time, too! SMART were showcasing their soon to be released Notebook software version 11, which had some amazing features. My favourite feature I think was the web mash-ups, which allowed you to bring streaming video, Google maps, online flas animation and seemingly any other internet based content directly into your IWB pages. It really was very impressive and a big leap up from the Notebook 10 software. Kudos to them!

Well, Chris very kindly agreed to do a short interview on film. I thought I’d make it a bit of a level playing field and asked him and all the other stall holders the same questions:

  • Why do you / your company come to BETT?
  • What have you been talking about most  to the teachers and other people here?
  • How are you making teachers’ lives easier?

So to kick off our short series of video interviews, which took place in a very noisy conference hall, so there’s a fair bit of background noise, it’s over to you, Chris:


Thanks once again Chris for talking to everyone who couldn’t make it! And in tomorrow’s post we’ll have Simon Lee, from the incredible LiveScribe company, manufacturers of SmartPens (one of my favourite gadgets it has to be said!)

Update: This post has been entered as part of the “Ed Tech Carnival” being run by Danny Nicholson over on The Whiteboard Blog. The carnival should be published in early February 2012, so take a look over there for more useful Ed Tech articles.

The BETT Educational Technology Show

Best of the BETT – Part 1

The BETT 2012 Educational Technology Show just came to a close last weekend. It was four days packed full of back-to-back training opportunities, dazzling technology demonstrations, a thousand and one machine-gun sales pitches and teachers, thousands upon thousands of them. I’ve wanted to go there for years; ever since the late, great, David Eastment told me about it. Well, this year I was lucky enough to go there myself. What’s more, I brought a little bit of BETT 2012 back for you guys, too!


The BETT Educational Technology Show

The picture above doesn’t do the show justice at all. There are two halls this size and two levels to each hall. It’s just enormous! The Show is absolutely mind-blowing, as you might imagine with so many exhibitors there. I quite literally spent the first 6 hours I was there in a daze wandering around from one amazing stand’s software, to another incredible stand’s hardware. To be honest I should have planned my first day much better, but I now know for next time and will do a better job! As might have guessed then, I really enjoyed BETT and I’ll definitely be going back there again next year.

For all those of you who weren’t able to make it this year however, I had a brainwave on the final day. I had spoken to almost everyone I wanted to about matters for Digitalang, so to bring BETT to you, I did a series of short interviews with five of the exhibitors who I found most interesting. And I actually was very lucky to get some really interesting people to speak on camera. Over the next few days, I’ll be posting and interview per day, starting off tomorrow, with Chris Klein, the Education Consultant and Macintosh Specialist for SMART Technologies, probably the world’s largest Interactive White Board (IWB) Manufacturer.


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