Kings ICT Conferenece 2017

On Monday I was involved in the King Edward VI ICT conference where a number of interesting presentations and workshops were put on.   This is the 2nd time I have attended the event, this time being involved in presenting as well as listening.

I found the talks on offer to be both topical and interesting starting off with the keynote on Online Safety, previously known as e-Safety, by Karl Hopwood.    I have now seen Karl present on a number of occasions.   As always his focus on the “how students are using technology” as opposed to the “what” comes through clearly.   It doesn’t matter which app students are using, whether it is Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Yellow, etc.   What matters is the purposes and the method of use.    He also explained using personal anecdotes the reasons why students may not raise issues with the adults who may be able to assist them through fear of losing their access to technology and to personal devices.    This represents a key challenge in opening up channels of communication with students such that they both know who they can speak to and also feel comfortable in doing so.

The presentation by Cal Leeming on hacking was a very interesting session in terms of Cal’s frank discussion of the risks associated with hacking plus his view on how students should be supported where they are beginning to experiment and explore technology.    I found he made a lot of sense in his comments around making vendors “criminally responsible”.   If a vendor is processing another organisations data and a breach occurs, and where the owner of the data has carried out all required due diligence, should the vendor not be considered liable?   Where a vendor suppliers hardware which has poor security capabilities should they not be considered responsible.   I think this makes a lot of sense, and it aligns with some of my thoughts as included in previous postings.   The new GDPR regulations will help move us in this direction in some respects however there is further work to do especially in relation to hardware vendors of IOT devices and other home network devices.

On a related topic to Cal, Christopher, the director of IT at Harrow, presented on Data Retention and Records Management.   Given the impending introduction of the GDPR rules in May of next year this presentation was very well timed.     It was useful to hear the process which Chris and his team went through as they looked to move towards a paperless record system with a clear policy and processes around data retention and destruction.   This will be key area on which I will need to work over the coming months.

Overall the day was a worthwhile event, and it was even sunny for the drive home.   I left with plenty of ideas and areas to work on between now and next years event.     I am sure time will fly, and before I know it I will be preparing to attend next years event.   I look forward to it.


Author: garyhenderson2014

Gary Henderson is currently the Director of IT in an Independent school in the UK. Prior to this he worked as the Head of Learning Technologies working with public and private schools across the Middle East. This includes leading the planning and development of IT within a number of new schools opening in the UAE. As a trained teacher with over 15 years working in education his experience includes UK state secondary schools, further education and higher education, as well as experience of various international schools teaching various curricula. This has led him to present at a number of educational conferences in the UK and Middle East.

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