Things change and, let’s be honest, if we’re in the world of technology, we have to accept that and, I’d suggest welcome it. Why I say this at the start of this post is that, quite clearly, Learning Without Frontiers was not the same as it had been in previous years. For me, as I could only attend the free festival, I missed the inspirational speakers, the challenging speakers, the examples of innovative or disruptive work that we had presented in the main hall of previous LWF events. I think Pete Yeomans, @ethinking, put it to me, most succinctly by saying there was no ‘heart’ in this year’s event. The inflatable pods at this year’s event were a nice idea; certainly much better than the metal frame stands so typical of events! I’m not sure they always worked, some speakers were drowned by the noise of passing people, popular speakers found their pods overcrowded and some pods seemed harder to walk around than others. Clouds and Coding seemed to be quite prevalent in the festival, this year. As also did the BBC micro. I’m not too sure about seeing the old beeb model B once more; it’s nice from a nostalgic point of view but all the ‘retro’ feel to computing has, to my mind, a bit of an unhealthy feel about it. Oh, if you do want to see a working BBC computer you can either go into my attic or visit the National Museum of Computing, www.tnmoc.org As I say, coding was much in evidence at this years festival, I have nothing against this initiative in education and support it in many ways, but let us not fool ourselves, it is not the answer to the problems of computing/ICT in schools and it is definitely not the answer to our economic problems! At the moment, it is as much hyped as anything else that is ‘new’ in education or technology; I only hope we can get over the hype and the bandwagon and create something with it that is both productive, beneficial and innovative for the education of our pupils. Good to see Radiowaves having a good presence at the festival, thanks to Catmose College. Some of the pupils from the college were going around snagging visitors for video interviews and then presenting their work to a seminar audience. I know as teachers, we sometimes have an equivocal view of commercial companies involved in education. Sometimes we feel uncomfortable with salesmen presenting their wares to us and inevitably trying to get us to part with money. There is always an element of commerce at such events and really it is important for schools to engage with companies, possibly more so since the move away from centralised buying of tech toward more independence in purchasing by schools. I do feel, though, that there needs to be a common change in attitude in education and commerce along the lines of making ‘education’ paramount over ‘making a quick sale’. It is only when a school feels a company accepts this and is supportive of education, that a school will feel comfortable in buying from that company. All this waffle, however, masks what might appear to be the biggest change seen in this year’s LWF event. In his opening speech, Graham Brown-Martin said that he was moving away from the technology and the disruption that had been advocated in previous events. These, he felt, had failed to bring about the transformation we have all been calling for or expecting. In his view, transformation would not come about until there is agreement as to what the transformation would look like. I was quite stunned when I heard Graham say this. Not stunned because I disagreed with his view, after all it was something I had been saying several years ago, stunned more because I had either not expected Graham to abandon the disruption approach or had thought he already understood the problems of ‘transformation’. As I say, all of this was a change. Change is good if you feel it is moving forward but perhaps sometimes we do need to take a little look back at where we’ve come from before continuing on our journey forward. Perhaps for me, that sums up this year’s LWF festival, a chance to look back before moving forward next time. I only hope that next year the new owners of LWF, if owners is the right word, can remember to bring back the ‘heart’ of LWF.