2010 Conference Write Up

Another year’s Training Conference draws to a close. This year’s event was the 13th National IT Training Conference and with over 200 attendees joining us in the Crowne Plaza, we’re pleased to see our event going from strength to strength.

Conference crowd shot 2010Exhibitors and sponsors included those servicing teachers/trainers/centres such as the interactive whiteboard company Smart Technologies, the companies that support the background technologies of ATS such as EnlightKS, the latest knowledge resource coming to Ireland – The Global Grid for learning, and information on the Inspire challenges for students ‘F1 in Schools’, ‘Scratch’ and ‘ChooseIT’.

The conference began, not when the talks started but before that, with tea and coffee, so all there could mingle and exchange greetings. The conference is not only a chance to become informed on the latest IT in education developments but also for trainers and centres to meet face to face.

Jim Friars, CEO of ICS Skills, opened the conference and left it in the good hands of host Gwen Conlon, Programmes Coordinator.

Mary Cleary, Professional Development Manager of ICS Skills updated all centres and trainers on the new developments at ICS Skills. Later in the day she also lead a catch up and review of the ATS (Automated Testing System), which was introduced at last year’s conference.

New this year was an invitation for attendees to investigate the upcoming Global Grid for Learning.

Stuart LawlorICS Skills is constantly developing to provide the best support and service to every level of entry to ECDL. One of those services is working to help those with learning difficulties. To give an appreciation of the issues faced our speaker Stuart Lawler presented Learning for those with Disabilities.

Stuart is the manager of the rehabilitation Training centre at NCBI (National Council for the Blind of Ireland). He gave an insight into the problems facing the blind in learning and accessing computers and a live demonstration of the tools he used to create his presentation. His talk ended with a very informative Q&A.

With the proliferation of web 2.0 and social media in all walks of industry – media, entertainment, information and education, we brought in the experts to show you what’s being done in training. Experts like:

Simon Lewis: Cloud Computing in EducationSimon Lewis 2010
As the principal of Carlow Educate Together National school no one is better placed than Simon to show us how embracing web & cloud computing technologies can help with some of the day-to-day problems teachers face. Simon graciously gave us insight and examples into his virtual staff notice board and how he has made life a little easier for his teachers using free web applications. You can see some of his projects on http://www.simonlewis.ie

Thanks to the conference feedback forms we can see just how strong a chord Simon struck with our attendees.

Ann Donnelly 2010Ann Donnelly: How (not) to be a Social Media Guru
Ann is a trainer in Social Media, a marketing and SEO expert. Ann presented the audience a brief review of Twitter and how to spot and avoid the common pitfalls of entering the world of social media. She can be found on http://www.e-business.ie/social-media-marketing.html

Keynote Speaker – Joe Dale: ICT in EducationJoe Dale 2010
Now that we’ve learned through Ann what to avoid in web 2.0, we learn through Joe what rewards we can reap. Joe Dale is a technology in Education expert and languages consultant for the BBC.

His talk not only showed the huge wealth of resources out there (forums, feeds, newsgroups, videos) and how they were being used in a very practical way by educators but also a live screen of real-time interactions in with other trainers in his twitter stream. His award winning blog is at www.joedale.typepad.com

ICS Skills also presented its annual excellence awards. Congratulations to all our winners! You can see them all here.

A heartfelt thank you from ICS Skills to all who attended this years IT Training Conference and made it a resounding success. We look forward to seeing you next year for the 14th National IT Training Conference.

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