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ICT officer to speak at major conference 18 May 2007

A SENIOR officer from the Department of Education’s Information Communication Technology (ICT) section will be among keynote speakers at a major education conference in Scotland next week.

Graham Kinrade, who is ICT Project Manager for the Department, will address eLive!, speaking to an audience of 1,500 educationalists from across Scotland, on Tuesday, May 22.

The two-day event, billed as a Festival of Learning for the 21st Century and featuring seminars and exhibition stands, takes place at the Murrayfield Stadium in Edinburgh.

Mr Kinrade will speak about the highly successful Isle of Man one-to-one scheme, through which more than 130 pupils at two primary schools – Dhoon and Anagh Coar – have been issued with laptop computers for educational use at home as well as at school.

The trial scheme has been running since September 2005. He will also address other aspects of the ICT Department’s pioneering work within schools, which has attracted international interest and recognition. ‘I will talk about progress since 1999, when networks went into schools, where we are at now and how we see this feeding into education in the future,’ Mr Kinrade said.

Recently, Mr Kinrade was invited to computer giant Apple’s Executive Briefing Centre in Paris to address a top-ranking group of Australian educationalists travelling around the world to learn about best practice in the field of ICT.

That visit followed an invitation to Apple’s London Executive Briefing Centre a year ago to speak to Parliament’s powerful All Party Internet Group about the Isle of Man’s ICT achievements.

His talk there led to a high-powered delegation of Moscow educationalists visiting the Island last November to see at first hand how ICT is being used in schools and within the Department.

The five-strong delegation included Elena Bulin-Sokolova, the director of the Centre of IT and educational environment of Moscow’s Department of Education.

The delegation said afterwards that the visit had left them ‘buzzing' with great ideas, adding:

‘The way in which teachers have adopted and integrated ICT was wonderful.'

It brought home how ICT can be used as a tool for empowering teaching and learning and not dominating the classroom.’ Mr Kinrade also returned to the EBC in London to speak with Federal Russian politicians on the topic.

His audience there included representatives of the Russian Ministry of Education and Science and the Federal Agency for Education. In November he has been invited to be among the keynote speakers at a conference of educationalists in Denmark.

The two-day event, entitled Education Forum, is organised by the Danish IT Centre for Education and Research. It is the most important ICT conference in the Danish calendar. Organisers say they are keen to feature the ‘Isle of Man story’.

John Thornley, ICT Adviser for the Department, commented:

‘Internationally, Isle of Man schools are seen as working at the leading edge in ICT, which is prompting educationalists from other countries to take such a keen interest in what we are doing.’

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