Went to the GBL conference last week and it was absolutely fantastic. I've been putting off this post to be honest, can't possibly do the event justice in the same way that others have (@dawnhallybone etc) but I will give my impressions anyway. I was a little dubious about attending as ...shhhhhh whisper it.....I'm not actually a gamer (apart from an increasing addiction to Lineup 2 on my iphone) so I was worried I'd feel a little out of it. Of course there was also the librarian tag to contend with so I entered the venue with excitement yes but some trepidation too. Pleased to say I need not have worried - everyone was very friendly and indulged my ignorance happily, guess gamers just love talking about games! So many fantastic presentations that it feels mean to pick just some as my favourites but here goes:
@olliebray and others including @BrianMcL talking about eyepet - I had never seen this before and I absolutely love it, I want one! This was just one thing Ollie talked about and I had sore fingers by the end of his session, what with tweeting and taking notes I was quite exhausted
@mattmason talking about the advisability of becoming a pirate - he's a brilliant speaker and turned my ideas of fair use on their head (you can download Matt's book here http://tinyurl.com/65awsj)
@derekrobertson and others talking about all the amazing games based learning projects Scotttish schools are doing, almost made me want to move
@timrylands presentation which was engaging and fun to watch, students designed cool looking games in just 20 minutes. Starting the session by throwing giant foam balls around the room certainly got our attention and got everyone laughing and playing straight away
@stephenheppell talking to use live from Tasmania during TeachMeet having stayed up until some ungodly hour like 5a.m. to do so
A young lady called Edith (15 years old) who talked to us about how mind numbingly boring her IT classes are and kept us amused with her sharp wit - she will go far
@wonderlandblog (Alice Taylor) outlining new games Channel 4 will be releasing soon including a boy centric sexual health one and one that deals with the subject of self image for teenage girls. Both look excellent and as I am already familiar with and like their internet safety game, Smokescreen I'm looking forward to seeing these new ones.
@dawnhallybone & @duck_star used a Presi to tell us all about using wii fit with students - wonderful quote from a dyspraxic student " before using this I didn't know I was good at PE!"
@jesseschell’s closing address live via video link from the U.S. was amazing ‘If you can make education beautiful, customised, shared and real... everybody wins’
As I’ve said just about all of the presentations (with one notable exception that we won’t talk about) were fantastic and so inspiring. The Twitter back channel was really amusing, the game invented for the conference was entertaining and entailed throwing pants, tomatoes etc at people! It was wonderful to meet up with people that I had previously only known from Twitter and I increased my Personal Learning Network considerably.Loads of stuff I want to follow up on - Scratch for example, that I hadn’t seen much before and looks awesome, especially when free content from other sources such as Flickr is added into it. I want to find out more about Ribbon Hero for Microsoft Office and Microsoft Worldwide Telescope and I have downloaded Drop7 onto my iPhone on the recommendation of Margaret Robertson and I think it may well become addictive.
Some presenters showed videos as part of their presentations and judging by the grins on children’s faces and their absorption in the tasks they were given using games is such a powerful aid to learning I don’t think it’s acceptable for any educator to dismiss it without finding out more. There are so many brilliant practitioners leading the way that there is no excuse for colleagues burying their heads in the sand because they don’t know where to start or don’t see the point – have a look at what other people are doing and follow their lead. This is only a very brief account of what were an action packed couple of days but if you want to know more the videos of presentations are here http://bit.ly/gbl10vids , do watch some of them and I’m sure you will see just what a great conference it was.
My blog is a collection of thoughts and I hope you will learn something about me from the ramblings as well as finding some useful links. I'm Bev Humphrey and I'm a Literacy, School Libraries and Technology Consultant. I am self employed so views expressed are solely my own.