It was my first ever Naace Conference and I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. However, I did know that there were many people going who I already knew from previous events and Twitter, not to mention other members of the Bradford Curriculum ICT team who were at the event: Vicki Cox, James Langley, Mark Chambers and Rob Bashforth.
Vicki and I travelled down together from Bradford on Thursday afternoon and had arrived, checked in and were in time to attend the early evening programme of events. In the intervening minutes, I was delighted to be introduced to Mark Rushworth of DB Primary, a thoroughly nice bloke with whom I enjoyed many an enjoyable conversation throughout the day.
Of the content which interested me most during what I saw of Thursday’s conference, London Hackspace and Coder Dojo are things I must research more. From what I gleaned in my travel-weary state, both are interesting ways for children to delve into a world of deeper understanding about the technologies around them. That I don’t believe ICT and computer science to be synonymous is in this instance irrelevant. I inherently support any project which aims to increase pupils’ understanding and engage them in new learning opportunities.
For me, the presentations at conferences, however high quality and useful, are always secondary to the immense networking opportunities available and as such I had already arranged a meet-up with Jill Duman, an ICT consultant in Norfolk. For many hours we chatted away and shared our cross-Local Authority experiences of the world of ICT along with Vicki and Belinda Evans, another ICT consultant from London.
The evening also brought about food(!) and delegates were treated to what would be the first of many impressive meals.
Post-dinner conversations continued into the early hours with copious notes made, ideas forming and opportunities awaiting.
**Check back soon for Part 2: Naace Conference 2012 – Friday**