Bettr at Demos, 14th January 09

On Tuesday the 14th I went along to the cosy Demos offices with some of my colleagues to Bettr – a one day education unconference coinciding with the BETT education and technology conference at Kensington Olympia.

It was an interesting day with some very cool people and ideas. Here’s a few snapshots…

* I heard the BBC described as ‘a quasi arm of the government’ which certainly raised a few eyebrows and caused Geeorge Auckland to remark “bollocks”!

* I watched Ian Forrester nearly go into meltdown on the suggestion that schools should be ‘Apple-isd’ the ensuing discussion was quite interesting as Cubicgarden made the point in reply that Apple is a very closed entity and that using open source tools is a good idea – ‘just use Twitter – you don’t need to rebuilt it!’

* Dave Pook (Sqoo) – did a good session on web services and education. This generated lots of thoughtful comments and conversation.

* Heard an interesting debate on ‘what can we learn from from 2.0 learning apps?’ The audience discussed technologies that have come and gone or ended up in ghettos.

* A chap from talked about experiences of unconferences – from planning to organising forums and publisising events on sites like Upcoming.

* Ant did a session on a BBC Micro for the 21st Century, which intrigued and was enjoyed by quite a crowd.

* My partner in crime at Backstage, Ian Forrester, gave a talk on our new Ideas Store – an area to submit and talk about ideas. Hannah, James & George talked about Open Lab (Open Learning) and George fielded some unexpected questions on the BBC Archive.

* Dave Green talked about the London Games Fringe.

* JISC dev8D – developer happiness days were talked about.

* People from the Young Foundation gave a quick talk – they’re keen to give away money to social entrepreneurs aged 14-25 and are looking for scaleable and sustainable ideas.



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