Handheld awards sparkle

We enjoyed an excellent opening day here at Handheld Learning 2008 tonight. The sparkling handheld education practitioner and innovation awards were hosted by TV legend and education champion Johnny Ball, (he joked that the reason he was here and not his daughter Zoe, was that she charges more than him) and several well deserved prizes walked away from the superb venue here at the Brewery, East London.

The award for Primary innovation went to Dean Bank Primary School, Durham (head teacher Chris Young, with colleagues Lynda English and Fiona Brown pictured). They set up a 24/7 access systems using PDAs so that pupils could gain support for whenever they required it. Since the start of the initiative, all parents have bought into the scheme, promising to purchase Q1 systems for the children as they transition into Secondary School. An excellent scheme and a worthy winner. Other awards were given to Manchester University and the Open University for further, higher and adult education and special needs provision.

The evening has been topped off with a great performance by a 10 piece band who have been playing samba, reggae, jazz and blues amongst other styles, and regaling the caberet style seated audience of delegates with their virtuoso performances. Have been seated all evening with a variety of the great and the good including Kath and John Trinder, Andy and Julia Pulman (they all seem to be in couples tonight!), Jill Attewell, Mark Kramer and James Clay to name a few. More form the conference tomorrow as the events unfold...

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