Gove@BETT something happened #natcur #BETT_show

I am still trying to work out what to make of Michae' Gove's announcements at BETT. I don't often find that I agree with what he says but on this occasion at least technology is getting some attention. There was not much apparent engagement with BETT from the Department for Education in 2011. So there is some change that can be explored.

There are a couple of blogs found so far that balance my enthusiasm. 

Richard Hall sees the new policies as part of more general policies-

Government is closing down all public discourse that threatens or questions private profit maximisation or the extraction of value by corporations from our previously accrued social goods. Progress is to be realised by the privatisation and marketisation of public assets, and education is a pivotal terrain for making concrete and securing this neoliberal agenda.

But much later there is a statement on possible benefits from the situation

The crack in this revealed assault on education as a public good is Gove’s final statements connecting “an open-source curriculum” and “Disapplying [sic.] the ICT programme of study”. Gove talks here about freedom, and enabling teachers “to cover truly innovative, specialist and challenging topics.” This might be seen as an attempt by capital or corporations to enter, control and enclose what has previously been seen as open source or as the terrain previously set-out and negotiated by hacktivists. However, it does open up a space for educational technologists working with programmers and educationalists to challenge the dominant logic of how we construct and re-produce our educational worlds as commonly-defined, social goods. 

It is this space that is interesting. I have found that Gove's speech is on YouTube with a Creative Commons licence and a link to the remix options. I have tried this out and it works ok. The edit might be improved with a download but at least there is the chance of adding comments in a way that will get public attention and is not often available with a speech.

Tech Czech is concerned at the commercial nature of BETT and the low visibility of open source options. It costs a lot to fill Olympia and the lack of volunteer stands is not really surprising. 

There are links to one stand and a meeting. The Open Source village has not come back but I think the case is fairly well known and exists in the cloud.

Richard Hall links to this radio report on the Cloud through Christopher Newfield

The radio is presenting the Cloud as consumer electronics but I don't see why this prevents it from being public space. Newfield claims that "the future emerges in erratic bursts from the secret development operations at companies like Google" but the Cloud discussion may continue some other ideas that have a wider basis.

There is a debate about what the Gove announcements will mean as in what is possible in schools. I think it is worth studying this and checking out the wiki options.