Sunday, 12 February 2017

ICT in Education Conference — Equipment

This is the second blogpost from the National Conference on the Use of ICT in Education and Learning in Norway, 2016. The first post deals with publishing, networking, trajectories and reflections around ICT in education. This post will deal with hardware and physical ICT-related facilities for education.

The event took place at NTNU's
Science and Technology Campus.

Hardware Electronics

Senter for IKT i Utdanningen had set up two rooms with new technologies that could be used in technology education. As a former FE College Electronics student I took special interest in the Arduino electronics kits. Arduino has made a lot of interesting electronics and a neat manual of circuits. The circuits could be wired to some unusual sensors, such as apples and bananas. The idea being that the fruit contains water, and by touching them you can make small currents flow from point to point by touching the fruit. My emotions about this are mixed. It is no doubt fun, but by the time students become advanced enough to understand electronic circuitry, they might be better off understanding how real sensors work — I have still to see apples and bananas wired up to hub-tops and security systems. However, the electronics was flexible and a good manual with circuits makes it easy to conduct exercises. Even if teachers were to have limited training in engineering.
Arduino's manual of electric circuits.
Two of Arduino's trainer-boards can be seen. The left handling
networking and peripherals.

Second Hand Computers and Gear-storage

Arrow Value Recovery had an interesting stand that caught my attention for two reasons:

1) as the name suggests, the company ‘recovers value.’ That is, they specialise in sourcing, refurbishing and re-selling used computer equipment. This means that you can buy well-specked second hand computers at a sensible price, and at a reduced environmental impact.

2) Arrow sells storage systems for tablets and computers. The GoCabby case for smartboards was on exhibition and provided a compact, safe and transport-friendly way of storing and hauling tablets around. This was one of my favourite items from the conference as it isn’t just focusing on learning and technology, but also on providing Teachers and Facilities Officers with good storage solutions.

GoCabby System.


Scandec Systems is a Norwegian company that specialises in sound and multimedia solutions. Their company name brings back memories for old sound-engineers like me as they were the distributor for large format mixers like the DDA Q2 back in the 1990’s. Scandec of 2016 offer AV-installations for everything from large venues to conference-halls and schools. Recently, they’ve added Panasonic’s professional screens to their distribution-portfolio. Other products include the Promethean ActiveBoard and the FrontRow Juno speaker system. They latter they are happy to lend to schools for a two-week period.


Microsoft won’t need any further introduction, but I was excited to learn about the ‘Microsoft 4 Africa’ initiative as I have a particular interest in creative technologies education in Africa.


Casio had a stand with a variety of mathematics resources and calculators. This is not my specialty area, but as one of my close friend’s work for them I’ll give them a shout. You can learn more from Casio’s education web-site.


Missed my main post on this conference? Read it here!

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