Talks About Tech Weekly 102: Excited Conference


On this episode we talk about the Excited technology and education conference 2014.

Excited Conference 2014

excited-about-logo1The Excited Conference was a collaboration between the Department of Education & Skills, the Galway Education Centre and the Athlone Education Centre. The conference addressed education and technology; how teachers can use technology to teach and how teachers can teach technology.

Day 1
Day 1 of the Excited was full of very interesting events and discussion panels. Ciaran Cannon, Minister for Training & Skills at the Department of Education & Skills introduced the conference. Lord David Puttnam then talked about computers and creativity and how important combining the two is.

Teachers Versus Techies
An interesting conversation was one that turned out to be teachers versus techies. Many of the teachers argued that the engineers who are making new online learning methods for students don’t understand how to teach. They don’t have experience in teaching and as a result they cannot create effective products.

Mike Feerick
Mike Feerick, the founder and CEO of ALISON talked about how websites such as his own will change the way people learn and with the collaboration of teachers, will make the education system more effective. ALISON is the third largest organisation in online education with over three million users world wide. They offer free courses in subjects such as Business & Enterprise, Languages, Digital Literacy & IT Skills and more!


Day 2
Young scientist winners Ciara Judge, Emer Hickey and Sophie Healy-Thow represented young people at the conference. They talked about winning the BT Young Scientist and about how hearing the student voice is critical to our success.

Lego Education
René Tristan Lydiksen, MD of LEGO Education in Europe spoke about creative construction, playful learning and the importance of play. He talked about how children learn and enhance their creativity through play.

Also speaking about creative construction was Stephen Howell, Academic Engagement Manager at Microsoft. He talked about the free game, project spark which allows you to create your own world and everything in it. Project Spark teaches the basics of game mechanics in an easy to use, visual way.

Marty Cooper
Marty Cooper was the leader of the team at Motorola that made the first Mobile Phone. At Excited he talked about the history of the GSM phone as well as the future of education.

Sal Khan
Sal Khan, Founder of Khan Academy finished the conference with a Questions & Answers session with Minister Ciaran Cannon and Sean O’Sullivan, Managing Director at SOSventures. Khan Academy is a non-profit that provides free education for anyone, anywhere. Students have access to the whole library of educational content and can use quizzes and exams online to help practice what they have learned.

Overall we thoroughly enjoyed the Excited 2014 conference. There were some really interesting speakers and the conference was really well run.