“Keep Learning” – Roan Lavery HD Live Conference 2012
“It gave a tremendous level of self-confidence, that through exploration and learning one could understand seemingly very complex things in one’s environment.” – Steve Jobs
#HDlive 1st November 2012 An educational perspective
It started with a conversation and a coffee in the summer with organisers John Moss and John Connolly: ‘wouldn’t it be great if some students could come to the HD Live 2012 conference?’ After explaining the aims and keynote speakers, I was sold. I instinctively booked 20 tickets and then set about the task of planning for the conference.
There is always an element of risk: will students get it? Will I even convince 20 students to come? It would fall at half term and therefore the students would have to give up their own time. I fundamentally believe in opportunities like this for young people. It is vital they get the chance to attend and learn from experts. This is learning in the real world and first hand from industry experts. In the end we took 16 students and 4 staff to the event. The students who attended, either had an interest in technology, where talented in ICT (Information Communication Technology) or where undertaking a computing qualification. Students ranged from aged 14 – 16, in Years 9 to 11. They were very enthusiastic about the event and I had some great comments from parents who also felt it would be a great experience.
Over the years I have found it vital to match the students to an activity, planning for events and identifying the students with an interest is crucial. From the very first keynote from Evan Davis, I knew we had made the right decision. He referred to the fact of careers ever changing and that people are currently working in jobs that didn’t exist 5 years ago. Evan talked about the current economic climate, the importance of connecting and going out to making things happen. This covered a number of lessons from business studies, economics, history and technology. I was immensely proud of one of our students, Callum, who after listening to Evans keynote asked: “is Siemens potentially an industrial manufacturing revolution for Hull?” Thus, demonstrating not only had he listened to Evan’s keynote but that he had applied his knowledge and then had the confidence to be able to act on it. You can’t teach character, I hadn’t briefed students to ask question, he was enterprising and took the opportunity.
Every keynote included some aspect of learning, from the latest technology to how to start up a business. Roan Lavery referred to the importance to keep learning and delivered a first class presentation. My highlight of the event was Fraser Speirs, an apple guru and education technology visionary. I completely agree with his hopes from the future for open educational resources and informal learning (although there are significant barriers to overcome).
Students had to sit through 5 different presentations. Difficult you may think, well this wasn’t the case. Each speaker spoke about a different topic, in their own superb presentation style. Bobbie Johnson, the last speaker was a great hit with students, with his 7 lies about the Internet. Funny, engaging and a very good way to end the event! Students were engrossed and listened intently with some making lots of notes. Experience and the opportunity to learn first hand from industry experts is something we could in no way replicate in a curriculum. This provides a first class outstanding enrichment experience for students, one I am sure one they will not forget.
Hull University Business School
Hull Business School as a venue, was superb, most students had never been before and were taken back with the facilities. Students mixed with business and soaked up the atmosphere. What better an advert for raising aspirations than a University and inspirational people, although I am not implying that all have to go to University. Hopefully students can see their future; maybe their future employer was at the event or perhaps they maybe a future entrepreneur employing other people. Or better still, maybe they will be there presenting in the future with the next big thing in technology.
So what’s the impact? I don’t know! For some students it could be this weekend for others, it may be next year. The most important thing from my perspective was to give them the opportunity: if students take away one thing from the event then I feel it was worth it. I will be finding out their thoughts and will share these with you soon.
This was fantastic CPD for two of my colleagues and me. Providing current up to date information on technology in this region and nationally. Our next challenge is to keep current and providing students with the opportunity to develop ideas.
For more information on HDlive check out the following links: