It was with great interest that I read the programme for this year's Handheld Learning conference. It's being held in The Brewery in London from Oct 13th -15th. I've attended this event for the past two years and have found this to be a particularly lively and worthwhile conference to travel all the way from Scotland to. Last year I even managed to get myself on the programme!
One of the main sponsors this year is Nintendo. Yes, Nintendo are sponsoring a conference that's all about mobile learning. Some of you who have followed or found out about what I've been doing in Scottish schools with games consoles, including the DS and the Wii, and will no doubt appreciate the wealth of learning opportunities that are inherent in many of the games that can be played on theses devices but to see this feature so prominently at and education conference is for me a massive step in the right direction.
I believe that these devices have so much potential due to the fact that there is a low technology skills threshold when users get their hands on them. The DS for example is a device that teachers of all ages and dispositions to technology can get success with in a very short period of time. Teachers are learners just like pupils in class. They need attainable success targets and when this success is achieved confidence grows and inhibition to use the technology dissipates. This then allows the teacher to use the cultural cache of the games device, as well as the dynamic and challenging learning environments within the games, to create rich tasks and contexts for learning. I tell you, it works.
Now, if you sign up early to this conference then you will receive a FREE Nintendo DS to use during the conference AND you'll get to take it home with you when it finishes. I'd get signed up asap if I were you!
I'm also pleased to say that LTS have agreed to support this years event and we'll be taking a number of speakers down to London to share much of the exciting and progressive work that we have been doing in our schools with our friends and colleagues in London.. More of this to follow...
Well the dates for HHL 08 are in my diary now and this event is one that I am looking forward to. I also look forward to challenging the delegates to all manner of games on my DS.