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Written by Handheld Learning on Monday, 17 September 2007
/hhl2007.jpg Naturally, we’re excited by this year’s Handheld Learning Conference. Who wouldn’t be? After 3 years, with the help of its participants and supporters, the event has grown to be the world’s largest conference focussed on learning using mobile and ubiquitous technologies. This says as much about the sheer level of interest in this area as the quality of the event itself.

/jim-knight.jpgThe line-up of speakers taking part this year is unprecedented. UK Minister for Schools, Jim Knight, opens on Thursday (11th Oct) morning, followed by Stephen Crowne, Chief Executive of Becta, then Tarek Shawki, UNESCO/tarek-shawki.jpg, then Francesc Pedró, OECD and wrapped up with Marc Prenksy, all in a single plenary session chaired by Doug Brown DCFS. Announcements will be made and products launched, all before lunch.

This isn’t simply an opening salvo for members of the media either. In fact on Wednesday (10th Oct) afternoon there are a selection of pre-conference seminars that are not to be missed. Hosts include Becta, Marc Prensky, e-Learning Foundation, Futurelab, MoLeNET and the European Mobile Learning SIG.

Other plenary sessions feature leading industry figures, policy makers and practitioners. On Thursday afternoon, Professor Stephen Heppell leads a session themed “Technologies for Learning 2012” where senior industry figures from the BBC, Intel, Microsoft, RM, T-Mobile, O2 and others present their vision of how mobility will impact learning by the time we’re celebrating the Olympics in the UK and television is all digital.

Friday (12th Oct) morning covers implementation and support issues lead by Steve Moss of Partnerships for Schools joined by speakers from the TDA, Steljes, Durham LA and SOAS. The afternoon looks beyond the pilots and towards the future of initiatives that are now making the commitment to long term deployment.

/audience.jpgFor those delegates with specialist interests there are breakout sessions to suit everyone from best practice in primary, secondary, post 16 and higher education to hands-on workshops and technical sessions. Apple are running a sponsored seminar on creating mobile learning content and Promethean are running seminars encouraging us to “Think Outside the Board”.

The exhibition, like the conference, is one of the largest of its kind where the leading organisations that provide products and services to the sector are to be found from device manufacturers to infrastructure specialists, software providers, connectivity providers and learning consultancies. If that wasn’t enough there’s the Practitioners Village where you can meet with practitioners from key initiatives and see their successful work using mobile technologies.

Judging from the above you’d be justified in thinking that this conference is all work and no play. Well, it’s true that participation and interaction are an essential element of the event. With that in mind you’ll be pleased to know that we have factored in well-proportioned networking breaks, energising lunches and a fabulous social reception on Thursday 11th evening in association with Steljes.

/bectabar.jpgIn bringing together this years conference we have enjoyed the support and vision of Becta together with endorsement and support from the DCSF, e-Learning Foundation and the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust. Our industry sponsors; Nintendo, Samsung, Fujitsu Siemens Computers, Seamless Internet, T-Mobile along with our associate sponsors, seminar sponsors and exhibitors are leaders in this rapidly growing area of technology for learning. By supporting this event they not only demonstrate their leadership but also their willingness to enable an open exchange on where technology sits in the future of learning.

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It’s hard to even comprehend how much has developed in the past year since Handheld Learning 2006, something’s took look longer than expected while others accelerated, new lessons were learnt and new discoveries made. The general consensus however is that, as a collective, however loose that might sometimes have felt, we moved forward and are now being heard more clearly.

As Stephen Heppell said “If you care about learning and handheld technology, this event is simply unmissable. Be there.

We look forward to seeing you again at Handheld Learning 2007!

The Handheld Learning 2007 Conference & Exhibition runs from Oct 10th-12th
Central Hall Westminster, London, SW1

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Last Updated ( Monday, 17 September 2007 )
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