Two great days of IPON 2013 just concluded, with many great ideas shared and the future of education already looking brighter. This year’s conference went under the slogan “Learning To Innovate” and the focus indeed was on how technology can change the way students from all ages learn.
The expo contained presentations on everything from how to get the most suitable and affordable hardware in schools to what techniques, methods and software platforms can be used to maximize the learning process. Visitors learned about the educational power of multimedia, social networks and apps. Established companies in computing and startups alike were there to present their views on what the possibilities are for integrating technology in classrooms.
A variety of projects for laptops and tablets were presented, as the focus was on using bigger screens for the purposes of education. Smartphones weren’t a popular subject in most presentations. Still, during his keynote presentation Michel van Ast gave an example of how children can use smaller screens, such as the iPod Touch, as a portal to digital education.
At the other end of the spectrum, presentations on digitized, touch-enabled whiteboards showed how innovative and interactive a classroom can become with the use of just one screen.
Cloud services were also largely praised for allowing students to access material from different devices and in different locations, unlocking the full potential of out-of-classroom education. Irvin Hoogland from Webskoel presented the power of web services and how the internet can provide affordable and reliable open education to a great number of children, regardless of their geographic location.
One of Michel van Ast’s main points was that technology, in whatever form it is, needs to be understood as a tool for improving education, and that teachers and their pedagogical experience cannot be replaced. This echoes the views of the Mobile Learning Academy and our commitment to providing tools for education that enrich, rather than replace, traditional learning.