Future of Technology in Education conference (#FOTE14)

Members of the Elearning team went to the Future of Technology in Education (#FOTE14) conference in London on Friday 3rd October 2014.

The conference is hosted every year by ULCC and is intended for those with an interest in the application of technology to learning; such as Learning Technologists, managers and teachers.

Samantha Swift, from McAfee Labs, spoke about promoting positive role models to reduce the gender gap in the IT industry, generally. This was followed by a panel discussing the issues for women in IT. This included mention of the Women in IT publication.

Dave Coplin, from Microsoft, spoke about our current work practice and how it doesn’t facilitate creativity and should change. Minecraft was given as an example of transformational technology.

Bethany Koby spoke about Technology Will Save Us, her company and its products, which are allow children to be more creative and produce real products that they are interested in.

Miles Metcalfe painted a bleak view of education and technology’s influence on this.

A panel discussion featuring the above speakers followed their presentations.

James Clay spoke about the differences between IT departments and those who used the IT. Some conflict resolution required!

Keith Martin spoke about ‘Securing Academic Cyberspace – Does anyone really care?’, illustrating his talk with a number of recent articles on the BBC website, including

Keith considers that one of the real threats is theft of intellectual property.  He referred to the government publication ‘Developing our capability in cyber security‘ which says that universities must ensure their networks are secure.

Steve Wheeler‘s presentation was entitled ‘Mind the Gap’, with reference to various types of ‘gaps’, eg, the generation gap, the ‘digital divide’, the gap between what preconceptions of the future of technology will be (often limited by imagination) and what it actually turns out to be. Steve illustrated the differences in perception of technology – if it’s unfamiliar, its capabilities can appear to be magic – and advocated embracing technology, applying it where it can encourage creativity and where it is most useful, enabling students to demonstrate ‘digital wisdom’. Learning today incorporates things that most teachers did not experience for themselves when they were students.

The conference produced an interesting turn of phrase and an alternative definition of WTF – ‘snacking on information’ (also known as ‘infograzing’) and ‘Welcome to Facebook’.

Recordings of the presentations are available for viewing now.



Hi I am a Learning Technologies Adviser at the University of Brighton.

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