Conference Speakers - Stephen Howell, IT Tallaght.

Stephen Howell – Kinect2Scratch

We're really delighted to have Stephen presenting at our conference.  I've been meeting with Stephen on and off for the past 5 or 6 years through the Connect School Project and other mutual interests. One of the highlights along the way was the time when Stehen contacted me to say he had something I might be interested in - a way of controlling the Scratch sprite using the xbox kinect. What followed simply blew me away and it was also great fun! Myself and my colleague Gary Warren spent some "quality" time playing at being the missile launcher in Space Invaders! I remember Gary was particularly good at composing music by poncing about in front of the kinect controller. What particularly strikes me about Stephen is the way that he brings fun and learning together - I'm really looking forward to his presentation. Below is the official line on Stephen.

Stephen Howell, @saorog, is a Computing lecturer with the Institute of Technology Tallaght where he lectures on Interactive Media & Software Development. Prior to joining IT Tallaght, Stephen was a lecturer in Dublin City University and a software engineer at IBM Ireland. Stephen is a proponent of teaching children the 3Ds of software: Design, Develop & Debug in schools from an early age. To encourage this model, he developed free educational software (Kinect2Scratch) that allows children to program the Microsoft Kinect motion capture controller in the Scratch Language from MIT. This software is used in schools & universities internationally and has been presented at the Art & Code Conf. in Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Scratch@MIT 2012 Conference and nationally on many occasions.

Conference Speakers - Lord David Puttnam

Lord David Puttnam – Educationalist and Film-maker.

We're delighted to have Lord David Puttnam as our headline speaker at the Connect Education Conference. Here's a short biography of Lord Puttnam. This material is from wikipedia.

David Terence Puttnam, Baron Puttnam, CBE, FRSA (born 25 February 1941) is a British film producer and Educationalist. He sits on the Labour benches in the House of Lords, although he is not principally a politician. His successes as a film producer include Bugsy Malone, Midnight Express, The Duellists, Chariots of Fire (which won the Academy Award for Best Picture), Local Hero, Memphis Belle, Meeting Venus and The Killing Fields and The Mission, which won the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival in 1986.

He was for 10 years chairman of the National Film and Television School and taught people such as Nick Park. He founded Skillset, which trains young people to become members of the film and television industries. In 2002 he was elected UK president of Unicef. Lord Puttnam was the first chancellor of the University of Sunderland from 1997 until 13 July 2007. He was appointed an Honorary Doctor of Education during the School of Education and Lifelong Learning's Academic Awards Ceremonies in his final week as Chancellor. In 1998 he founded the National Teaching Awards and became its first chairman. 

He was the founding chairman of the General Teaching Council 2000-2002. He was appointed as chancellor of the Open University in 2006. He was also the Chairman of NESTA (The National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts) from 1998 until 2003. He is also chairman of Futurelab at NFER, which is committed to developing creative and innovative approaches to education, teaching and learning.