What’s On » Technology


Our key challenge: how do we maximise the positive use of Ed-Tech to prepare young people for wider opportunities? We’ll be looking at:

  • Ed-Tech – what’s coming over the horizon?
  • what will AR, VR and AI offer ?
  • what can Ed-Tech do for developing our professional colleagues?
  • the Digital economy – are we responding to it?

We’ve listed just some of our great contributors below with more to come, we’re also delighted that Tes Resources and The Education Foundation are working with us by curating sessions for this theme.

Our Contributors

Friday Sessions
Andy Goff, Director, ONVU
James Leonard, UK Head of Education, Google
The Rt Hon. the Lord Knight, Chief Education Adviser, Tes Global
Ty Goddard, Founder, The Education Foundation

Panel – Education Technology: What’s happening next?

Ed-Tech is one of the more remarkable developments impacting on teaching and learning at all stages of people lives. Our highly regarded panel will be discussing with Festivalgoers where Ed-Tech might be going and what further differences might it be making in the coming years

Dr Sean Warren Teacher Training and Development Manager ONVU Adapting to remote coaching
Kirri Gooch Regional Education Manager Google The future of learning tech in our schools and colleges
Andrea Layzell 50 Things Project Lead St Edmund’s Nursery School, leading Bradford Birth to 19 Teaching School Alliance 50 Things To Do Before You’re Five and parental engagement
Sue Plant Head of School John Taylor Free School Building sustainable professional learning – how investing in learning for teachers (as well as students) supports the retention of high quality staff
Serdar Ferit Co-CEO, Lyfta Lyfta Let the world into your curriculum with global learning
Zara Sahota Specialist Leader of Education and Head of Mathematics Aston University Engineering academy Using 360-degree video technology to review and reflect on my teaching – boosting my love for teaching again!
Saturday Sessions
Ben Atha, Developer, Developer Academy/Milk Lab (TBC)
Helena King, Senior Manager, Tes Institute
Sabine Little, Lecturer, Sheffield Hallam University
Ty Goddard, Founder, The Education Foundation

Panel – What are the limits of online learning?

Both teachers and students today face a future in which a major proportion of their learning will be online. Indeed, it is now possible for school staff to do all their professional development – and nearly their entire teacher training – using solely digital materials. What does this mean for teachers? And where is it still necessary for learners to interact with a tutor in real time – and in the real world?

Alexis Kennedy, Manager, Weather Gallery
Iain Simons, CEO, National Videogame Museum
Jake Habgood, Lecturer, Sheffield Hallam University
Michael Shaw, Director of Tes Resources

Panel – What – if anything – can games designers teach teachers?

Each day millions of young people around the world learn new skills, willingly… playing computer games. The designers of those games are growing more and more adept at finding ways to teach players what they need to know so they can explore the complex worlds they have created, as well as to drip-feed new information. Are there any lessons here for schools? Or do games makers have it easy in comparison?

David Angrave, Head of Strategic Operations at Twinkl
Michael Shaw, Director, Tes Resources
Zak Ahmed, Founder, AALFY

Panel – Can Augmented Reality ever be more than a classroom gimmick?

Ground-breaking work is going on in Sheffield to introduce new forms of Augmented Reality (AR) to education. This includes Twinkl’s creation of innovative forms of multiplayer AR for classroom use. Tes, meanwhile, acts as the official host for lessons for Google’s AR Expeditions. And the city itself will soon be transformed by AR’ City. But is there more to it than just a fun bit of novelty?

Ann Mroz, Editor and Digital Publishing Director, Tes
Kester Brewin, Teacher and Author, UCL
Rose Luckin, Professor of Learner Centred Design

Panel – Is Artificial Intelligence leading us to education utopia… or dystopia?

A.I. has the potential to transform education, including by reducing teacher workload and predicting the information that will most help an individual student to understand a subject. But machine learning algorithms can have negative consequences as well – not least that they can perpetuate inequality. One educationalist has warned that “we are sleepwalking into the biggest danger than young people have faced”. So will A.I. lead us to an education utopia or dystopia – and how do we avoid the latter?

Nancy Wilkinson, Delta Academies Trust
Nicola Davison, Product Insights Manager, Tes Product Team
Paul Hilton, Technical Director, Can Studios

Panel – How can we ensure Ed-Tech is actually useful to schools?

The UK is a global leader in educational technology, and schools here alone spend more than £900m a year on it. But some kit that is only a few years’ old lies unused and dusty in school cupboards, while some software that made great promises has been swiftly abandoned by teachers. Indeed, some of the world’s biggest Ed-Tech projects have turned into massive flops. So how can we ensure that what is created for schools is actually useful? The obvious answer is “talk to teachers”, but what else needs to be done?


Ann Mroz
Bukky Yusuf
Kat Rhodes
Ranjeet Kaur

Panel – Why are schools expected to fix the tech gender gap? (with #WomenEd)

Last year only 10% of students studying computer science at A-level, and just 20% at GCSE, were female. What can schools do to help shift young women’s attitudes towards computing and technology? And is it fair to leave so much of the work on this to schools?

Robert Walker European and Strategic Projects Manager Sheffield City Council Make Learn Share Europe: An innovative and highly successful peer to peer learning/ mentoring project for the development of Digital Skills for Employability
Paul Hilton Technical Director Can Studios The tech educators really want
Paul Hopkins Lecturer in Digital Education University of Hull Developing usable and affordable VR solutions to schools for a range of educational experiences.  Using both reasonably priced tech and / or BYOD (Bring your own devices)
Gary Shiells eTwinning Project Manager British Council Successful international school partnerships with eTwinning
Zak Ahmed Founder AALFY Ar’ City: Sheffield