You'll need to plan carefully or make some hard choices to get the best out of SETT 2005. Douglas Blane points you in the right direction.
"Engage Me or Enrage Me" is the stark choice to teachers presented by Marc Prensky's keynote speech at SETT 2005. Prensky is convinced that a great many educational problems spring from the contrasting attitudes, learning styles and even brain structures of today's young people and those who struggle to teach them.
"Our students have changed radically," says the internationally acclaimed writer and consultant. "Today's students are no longer the people our educational system was designed to teach."
But as the subtitle of his keynote - Educating Today's Digital Native Learners - suggests, this is no counsel of despair. Prensky has turned penetrating insights into practical techniques which he will share at SETT 2005.
Other keynote speakers include Sir Ken Robinson, an inspirational expert on innovation and education, Dr Chris Yapp, one of the prime movers of the National Grid for Learning, and Prof Guy Claxton, author of the "essential guide to creativity" Hare Brain, Tortoise Mind: Why Intelligence Increases When You Think Less.
Over two days of seminars and exhibitions, visitors to SETT 2005 will have few opportunities to think less. Getting the most out of a visit will take careful planning and difficult decisions: Being Interactive or E-Twinning? Arts and Minds or Listservs and Blogs? MIICE or Virtual Buddies? Choice abounds.
But while there are slots for the ambitious (SSDN: Inventing Our Own ICT Future) and the speculative (An e-Learning Vision 2010) the emphasis will be on experienced and award-winning practitioners sharing good practice with interested colleagues.
In the exhibition hall more than 100 suppliers will display the latest software, hardware and services, with friendly experts on hand to demonstrate what they do (and why you want them). Centre stage will be the Education Village, with its rolling programme of innovative practice presented in bite-sized chunks by teachers and pupils, as well as three new resources from Learning and Teaching Scotland, the public body that promotes and supports developments in education.
In the end, the most important choice, says Marc Prensky, lies between accepting or rejecting how much young brains have changed. Teachers and educators can persist with traditional methods or they can accept that they themselves have become "Immigrants into a new digital world" - then seek out ways to communicate their "still-valuable knowledge and wisdom. The route they ultimately choose," Marc Prensky will tell his audience, "depends very much on us."
Making the link: Teaching tips
* Build your own website
Using Intuitive Media's take2theweb technology, teachers can build a website within the browser without using any software. It is ideal for primary and secondary schools. There is an annual subscription charge which you can pay using e-learning credits. And if you have any problems, you can email one of Intuitive Media's technical advisers who will respond within four hours.
Global Leap offers video-conferencing lessons, opportunities for networking with other schools and information about other school projects on its website.
Kingsmead Community School's global community radio programme is only the second school podcasting project in Europe.
www.kingsmeadpodcasts.com For podcasting news: www.podcastingnews.com
iPodder, the home of podcasting to many www.ipodder.org
For Podcasting software check out www.kudlian.net
* The electronic links that support joint curriculum work between state-maintained and private schools are eligible for grants from the DfES's Building Bridges fund. Leaden Hall School secured pound;15,000 from this funding stream, which it has match-funded to support its partnership with Dihlabeng Primary in South Africa for three years.
* The Department for International Development offers Global Curriculum Project Grants to schools that are developing or working on joint activities that embed a global dimension within their respective curricula. A total of pound;4,800 is available for pre-schools and primary schools, and pound;6,450 is available for secondary schools and sixth form colleges. The next deadline for Global Curriculum Project applications will be in spring 2006.
New application forms and guidance notes will be available this autumn.
GET SETT: Contacts
Opportunities for visitors to reflect at length on SETT's stands, seminars and speeches are being organised for the first time this year, in a series of round-table discussions - topics and times will be available at the show.
Learning and Teaching Scotland will be launching three new resources at the show: Birth to Three Support Materials, Modern Foreign Languages Environment, Archives for Schools, and Maths Problem Solving Resource.