Monday, 29 September 2014

BarCampLondon X

So that was a pretty busy weekend! Thank you to all the organisers and the sponsors for yet another amazing BarCamp London.

If you don’t know what a BarCamp is, go read about how it works, and then come back to read my notes on some of the sessions I attended.

Here’s a picture of all the sessions that the attendees ran over the weekend (that’s a lot!) and it doesn’t list all the random conversations, games and general meeting people that happened outside of the posted schedule.


Dan Hardiker @dhardiker

  • one day workshop
  • aimed at age 8-16
    • 8-9 year olds treated a bit differently — they need a bit more guidance
  • with specific goals
    • make a robot
    • iOS game development
  • want to say “I made that”
  • one child been building iOS apps since age 6:
  • worldwide
  • dominican republic had > 1000 kids over 2 days
  • > 30% people who come are girls/women
  • generally 5 or 6 tracks selected from:
    • minecraft modding
    • scratch
    • python
    • lego mindstorms
    • raspberry pi
    • arduino
    • greenfoot
    • alice
    • kojo
    • iOS
    • mathbreakers
    • NAO robot
  • 4 sessions in a day
  • also go to big conferences and run devoxx4kids for the adults
  • first London event in June
    • got 95% attendance from people who signed up!!
    • 4 x 1hr sessions
    • 40 volunteers
    • had an 11 year-old fly over on his own (met his dad at airport) to run a group of 20 x 11-15 year-olds how to do minecraft modding
    • he also did a closing keynote
  • had the creator of greenfoot teaching how to build a minesweeper game
  • have a load of volunteers available to help children build stuff
  • have a show and tell at the end of the day
  • mindstorms:
    • build the main wheelbase
    • children add grab arms to grab a ball
    • get children to control by hand first
    • program the same steps (5 steps forward etc)
    • add touch & distance sensors
    • program to grab without hard-wiring distance

how to start a hackerspace

Matt Copperwaite @mattcopp

  • start a company - level of protection
    • limited company - need 3 people, can then state not for profit
    • community interest - lots of paperwork
  • business bank account
    • barclays have APIs, £50 cashback at the time…
  • insurance: paid £300/year
    • recommendation from London Hackspace
    • BIS will issue advice on this shortly
  • keep trustees involved
    • raise issues that split them: colour of the logo…!
  • system designed so you can cancel the membership at any point
  • get people signed up with open days
  • people really like laser cutters!

See current UK Hackspaces at:

kinect v2

Mike Taulty @mtaulty

  • v2 is £159 (cheaper than v1 at £199!)
  • HD video
  • infrared
  • depth sensor
  • can track up to 6 bodies (25 skeletal joints)
  • tracks depth from 0.5m to about 8m
  • infrared & depth is much lower res: 512 x 424 pixels
  • body index separates pixels of different bodies
    • lets you do green screen really easily
  • MS’s SDK is Windows only (doesn’t work with Windows VMs since it needs USB 3 & DirectX 11)
  • but libfreenect2 is an alternative open source driver for Mac/Linux

mobile network in a field

Sam Machin @sammachin and Kevin Prince @kevinprince at EMF Camp 2014

  • EMF Camp was c.1200 people
  • runs every two years
  • “a very british burning man” or “glastonbury for nerds”
  • aiming for phone calls but not data
    • mainly because of there was already fast wifi
  • just three base stations, so could simply architecture a fair bit…
  • using OpenBTS, Asterisk + Twilio & Heroku
  • Asterisk server sat in the on-site hosting centre
    • a refrigerated shipping container with servers on pallets
  • recreated phone supply chain by using Amazon & a tent
    • bought some Amazon burner phones on 30 day return…
  • SIMs were the hardest things to sort
    • wanted to play nicely with other networks
    • didn’t want people on real networks to connect to camp network
    • SIMs are pretty expensive: 50p to £1 each
    • hard to order in low quantities
  • bought OpenBTS boxes from RangeNetworks
    • startup in SF
    • mostly selling to small Pacific islands
    • massively cheaper than normal kit (c.$5K)
    • also put one in a search & rescue helicopter in Iceland
    • connects to someone’s phone as it flies over
    • locates to area of a football field
    • allows helicopter to call phone!
  • need spectrum to run in the UK…
    • O2 had some they had forgotten about ;-)
    • concurrent spectrum license: shared by 15 companies
    • better in other countries:
      • Netherlands: just need landowner permission
      • Germany: just need 30 days notice
      • Burning Man: use DARPA military spectrum not in use in the middle of the Nevada desert
  • antennas make a big difference
    • need a proper site survey
  • EMF Camp provide about 40 routers around the site
    • set up in locked portaloos! Datenklos (term from CCC)
  • created everybody’s accounts ahead of time
    • needed to map phone numbers to IMSIs
    • got people to type in last 4 digits of SIM
  • set up voicemail using twilio to record and forward via email
  • SMSs are harder if you need to store & forward
  • dealt with inbound calls by having a single central public number
    • call it and then dial 5 digit account number
  • added outgoing calls as well (via Twilio)
    • limited to c.3 minutes
    • but even so fairly cheap
  • also set up a few group rooms to see if people used them
  • stats:
    • ~200 SIMs handed out
    • ~100 attached users at any time
    • close to 100% coverage
    • about 1800 minutes of twilio
  • ideas for next time:
    • phone boxes
    • POTS to tent: turn up and plug in a BT phone!

managing CSS

Ben Scott @BPScott

  • people keep on writing new CSS
  • not obvious how and where things are used
  • no confidence in what you can change and if it will break anything
  • build smaller isolated things
    • single responsibilities


  • components
    • domain-specific objects
    • text next to image in a particular way
  • macro layout
    • grid system
    • layout of components within a page
  • theming
    • colouring of components

resulting composition

  • this thing, here on the page, in this colour
  • mobile first & extend from core functionality
    • much easier to reason about adding in CSS
    • harder to take things out
  • use additional classes to toggle additional behaviour
  • Brad Frost: atomic design
    • pages are accidents — what happens when you put components in a particular order
  • create a styleguide page
    • component, layout variations
    • automatically generated from HTML partials in application
    • HTML partials are essentially custom tags


  • avoid using IDs in CSS selectors
  • try to keep selectors to max 3 levels
  • naming convention: BEM
    • double underscore = within
    • double hyphen = modifier

problems & breaking up

  • mobile first, but oldIE needs to be desktop first as it doesn’t understand media queries
  • could use respond.js but takes a lot longer to load
  • created Breakup
    • SASS/Compass plugin
    • generates different CSS files from the same SASS input
    • according to directives in top-level
    • lets you avoid wrapping specific elements in media queries

real life brain training


  • split activity into different frequency bands = EEG
  • delta < 4 KHz
    • babies have this all the time
  • theta 4 - 7 KHz
  • alpha 7 - 14 KHz
  • beta 15 - 30 KHz
    • focused
  • gamma 30 - 100 KHz
    • complex active stuff
  • other stuff:
    • Mu (8 - 12 KHz)
    • SMR (13 - 15 KHz)
  • neurofeedback
    • constant feedback, close to realtime (~200ms)
    • useful to use more than one sense to enable different people to relate to it better
  • current system has five measurement points
  • Chief Science Office is Leslie Sherlin


  • focus:
    • augment low beta
    • inhibit theta & alpha
  • can train stress response too
  • sports consistency
  • exam preparation


  • QA engineer was overusing focus training
  • had problems sleeping…

uses (not scientifically proven)

  • worked with Felix Baumgartner
  • tennis players
  • reported to alleviate long term ADHD…
  • improved sleep patterns amongst developers…

available systems

  • medical
    • existing $10K for bare minimum
    • require expensive software, only run on Windows XP
  • kickstarter systems
    • cool, but not much neuroscientist input
    • not so accurate or useful
  • versus
    • looks like headphones
    • rebaseline every time you put it on
    • connects over bluetooth to iPad
    • uses dry spikes sensors that contact scalp
    • first consumer product $750, aiming for $500

toys & gadgets

  • thalmic myo
    • bluetooth armband picking up arm and hand actions
  • oculus rift
  • NFC ring
    • lower range than usual
    • internal and external tags (private & public?)
  • Google Glass
  • estimote beacons
    • use at least three to get indoor location fixes
    • google have set up mountain view…
  • chromecast
    • don’t bother with a digital picture frame — just get a cheap TV and one of these
    • great for broadcasting any media around the house
  • almond+ touchscreen router & home security
  • 3D printer
    • check out 3d printer subreddit
    • solidoodle
    • arduino will be launching one v. soon
  • MIOPS camera trigger
    • plugs in to flash hotshoe
    • light sensor
    • laser sensor

scaling agile

Matt Walton, Head of Product @ FutureLearn @matt_walton


  • have documented a lot of their processes
  • think it, build it, ship it, tweak it
  • now about 2000 people
  • squads consist of engineers, designers & agile coaches
  • autonomous teams with long running missions
  • spotify engineering culture
  • “agile at scale requires trust at scale”


  • lots of information radiators
  • product roadmap split into team “swimlanes”
  • have a scrum of scrums


  • similar teams
  • each team needs:
    • product management
    • design lead
    • tech lead
  • how to organise a roadmap
    • KIPs broken into themes
    • time box themes
    • agree measurements
    • form autonomous team
  • lean analytics (book)
    • ratio or rate, not a total number
  • business focussed aims:
    • if … then … because
    • based on lean analytics experiments
  • two backlogs: separate “hygiene”
    • then add 70% valid features, 30% bugs, tech support to each iteration


  • product strategy themed by vision areas
  • each sprint split by % of work for BAU, products, etc
  • standups and retrospectives still whole team to encourage community
  • though work done in smaller project teams


  • share vision, mission & values
  • give autonomy and create community
  • rhythm & reflection

MomoLondon: Demo Night 2014

Amazingly enough this demo night finished on time and even a little bit early. Thanks to Julia Shalet for keeping things running smoothly on the night and Jo Rabin too for the varied selection of demos — lots of great ideas.

Pictures and more commentary on the Mobile Monday Blog.

5 Tiles

Android keyboard app

Previous demo night success

  • Christian Lindholm now an advisor & investor
  • available on Android Wear (Samsung Gear)
  • soon available on iOS


Benjamin Bourdin,

  • realtime video sharing
  • get any IP feed, apply title, edit
  • save & share using twitter, facebook, ooyala, brightcove etc
  • monetize through in-stream ads
  • initial customers are broadcasters
  • done deals with ITV & Sky Sports
  • also did wimbledon & big brother
  • also have a consumer platform: if a broadcaster wants to get people involved in sharing content

Good Food Talks

Matt Wadsworth,

  • web app to let visually impaired people read restaurant menus
  • a very few menus offer braille but only 1% of visually impaired people can read braille
  • surveyed 5000 people — main complaint was difficult navigation
  • web app has simple navigation
    • search/near me > restaurant name > menu
  • free for users
  • various ways of getting data in
    • restaurants pay for input
    • API ingest, full service, etc
  • commercial for just over a year
  • 400 venues
  • biggest so far is Carluccio’s, then Pret


Chris Michael, CEO,

  • additional mobile numbers on your phone
  • just closing alpha tester list
  • free credits to alpha testers
  • only service that allows you to have multiple UK mobile numbers on your phone
  • aiming for worldwide too


Ian Masters & Albert Marshall,

  • mobile quiz games
  • opt-in adverts for rewards
  • all four versions are available on iOS, Google & Amazon
    • movies, pop, world football, video games
  • targeting around existing passions
  • also want to target venues with seats


Martin Sandstrom & Mark Lee,

  • split your bill when you live in a house share
  • direct connection to various providers
    • energy, TV, phone, etc
  • push notifications to other housemates
  • settle bill with paypal (peer to peer is free)
  • no business model at moment
    • aiming for future paid features
  • aiming to attract lots of users first…
  • app available for iOS and Android


Douglas Robb,

  • location-enabled augmented reality
  • Android & iOS apps, CMS for template-based content
  • content discovery & engagement
  • can control timing of content as well
  • also support image-recognition-based AR
  • first commercial partner is Jockey Club
  • prototype app for Sandown Race Course
  • involving novice race-goers in the racing
  • planning to roll out to other Jockey Club venues


James Roy Poulter,

  • food to wherever you are
  • don’t need an address
  • only get a choice of four options (different each day)
  • authenticate through nexmo API by voice call
  • credit card payments only
  • launched 100 days ago in Trento, Italy
  • initially iOS only, then Android, + Windows coming next week
  • launching next week in London (now available in the City)
  • won an accelerator in Italy
  • worked with restaurants in Italy, but difficult for food in 10 minutes
  • aiming to get own centralized kitchen as margins are incredible
  • also get drivers — performance based pay
  • but made easier with centralized kitchen with limited delivery range


Frederick Tubiermont,

  • create mobile web apps on mobile for mobile
  • can now create apps on desktop too
  • web apps are square shaped
  • magic touch swipe to choose link destination
    • includes email, telephone
  • can embed videos, twitter feeds, etc
  • can embed adsy apps in web pages or just view on mobile
  • use case:
    • kids & teens making a web app about a concert during a concert
    • then sharing the evolving content
  • meant to create snackable content
  • will announce a product based on the platform in 2-3 weeks


Matthew Bridge,

  • business critical messages to smart watches
  • useful feature: view on device — opens up more detail on the phone through quick selection on watch
  • driven from enterprise resource planning
  • staff can subscribe to specific notifications


Mark Hill and Damon Hart-Davis,

  • 60% of your energy and 20% of UK emissions flow through TRVs
  • 50% of that energy is wasted
  • one thermostat usually controls whole house
  • target price £10 per radiator: save £300 in the first year
  • production samples coming mid-November
  • hotels losing £50 per room per year on heating bills

Thursday, 15 May 2014

Kidcrafters – a day of talks by parents for parents

This weekend I went to a different kind of conference — not a technology one, but a parenting one (though with some technology involved!).

The conference was Kidcrafters — a day of talks by parents for parents, held at the Royal Institution in London (the same place as the Christmas Lectures).

The whole conference was videoed and is available on YouTube here, but here’s my notes and impressions in the hope that someone finds them useful.

The first speaker ran an exercise that reminded me of a quote from Francis Bacon:

Read not to contradict and confute; nor to believe and take for granted; nor to find talk and discourse; but to weigh and consider. Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested: that is, some books are to be read only in parts, others to be read, but not curiously, and some few to be read wholly, and with diligence and attention

The conference felt like a day to weigh and consider — lots of different viewpoints, some contradictory, some provoking, mostly inspiring and all worthy of attention.

For the whole thing to have been organised from scratch in a couple of months is little short of astounding… Congratulations and many thanks to Nick Corston and his team of incredible hard-working volunteers.

Raising Braves: Education for a tricky world

Professor Guy Claxton, Centre for Real-World Learning at the University of Winchester

  • thinking on your feet - flounder intelligently
  • important both for university & google interviews…
  • how to prepare for this?
  • learn how to flourish when in difficulty
  • John Holt: love learning so well, that they will be able to learn whatever comes up
  • Jean Piaget: intelligence = knowing what to do when you don’t know what to do
  • one of the best ways to happiness: being engaged productively with something challenging and making progress with it
    • being in flow
  • - short presentations on how people found what was interesting for them
  • being venturesome: being willing to try something that you’ll be crap at for a while
  • when you talk to your 4 year old, do you encourage her skepticism? her inquisitiveness?
  • education is everything that we do to help our children to become happiness prone adults
  • school is a cultural norm that is a particular expression of that (and may have been twisted)
  • praise children for their talent, not for their results
  • don’t over-rescue children, especially girls
    • let them struggle and deal with frustration & confusion
  • allow them to be bored — boredom is the engine of imagination
  • have a wonder wall: peppered with their questions and your questions
  • rediscover the conversation about going back to the basics of education

Designing a school around questions and more questions

A question-led curriculum

Paul Phillips, Principal Designate Gladstone School

  • setting up a new school
  • how long is a lesson?
    • aiming to have one lesson a day - or maybe one lesson a week
  • “finishing-off homework” is never worth it
    • the children who’ll end up doing the work by themselves are those that most need help
  • each half term will take a big philosophical question and aim to get the children to ask it
  • aiming to use London as a base: get the children to go out into London and bring London into the school
  • “hinge questions” — getting to the point

Design thinking for new learning

Graham Brown-Martin, Ed Labs @GrahamBM

  • industrial revolution: took crafts and scaled them to mass-production
  • got rid of craftsmen and replaced with factory workers
  • industrialisation of education having same effect
  • if you designed a classroom, would it be a room?
  • lots of lenses through which to consider schools

Why I home educated my son for two years

Sarah Eaton @llamacroft

  • we treat children differently from adults
  • adults have options and support
  • took son out of school when he got seriously bullied
    • took about six months to get him to feel better
  • radical unschooling
    • total freedom in whatever he wanted to do
  • Alfie Cohn: Unconditional Parenting
  • he made a web site when he was 8
  • eventually he wanted to go back to school
  • children are more important than the system itself

A digital native’s view of games and gadgets

Dan Tomlinson @dantoml

  • aged 17
  • writes for the Observer
  • was bullied for about 9 years at school
  • found a great set of friends through the internet at aged 8 or 9
  • discovered programming properly about a year after the bullying started
  • we’re undergoing a fundamental shift in the way we interact with the world
  • minecraft gives children a level of freedom and creativity that they don’t get anywhere else

Minecraft – creative or crack?

Simon De Deny, Dad

  • has shameful memories of playing games all night when younger
    • Ed.: why shameful…?
  • so when had kids and said they wouldn’t have a console
  • then neighbours got a playstation with an EyeToy
  • they enjoyed the physical games, but other games came along with it
  • watched with horror as 6 yo got bored with physical games and really into the non-physical games (Sonic, etc)
  • tried one out himself and got a similar adrenaline hit as taking drugs
  • and this was for a six year old…
  • so got rid of the playstation…
  • much later, son now has an xbox
  • now playing minecraft
  • younger son, 10, also joining in
  • felt more relaxed
  • less of an adrenaline hit
  • engaging socially, creating, problem-solving
  • mods - going beyond the game
  • would like to ask the games industry for “other things” that are more like minecraft
  • creative & problem solving rather than just running around shooting things

Teach your kids to code not just consume games

Stef Lewandowski, Makeshift @stef

  • give them a laptop and let them break it…
  • have a hackable computer
  • use the recycling box as construction kit
  • Eden: low-scale of minecraft for younger kids
  • robots: e.g.
  • start with making web sites first, before coding…?
    • use as a creative & sharing exercise
  • in Scratch look at drawing with the pen while following the mouse

Should you manage your screen time?

I was looking forward to this part of the day, but the presentations didn’t really get into the issue at hand.

The first presenter, who didn’t set limits to screen time at all, seemed to have children who didn’t get zoned out by the screen — and he himself hated computer games…

The second presenter had children under 5 who weren’t getting any social pressure to play on the computer and were probably too young to do so anyway.

Matthew Karas — no limits

  • daughter likes bikes & guitar
  • son’s favourite activity is writing books with pencil
  • they will jump off the computer if given an offer to go and play in the park
  • personally hate computer games
  • information overload is everywhere: even in a forest
  • “taking children seriously foundation”

Kate Jangra — no screen time at all

  • home educate two boys, one four, one two
  • personally believe that children under five don’t need computing
  • need to learn about moving, mud, etc — the real world — before understanding the virtual world
  • played first ever game (sonic the hedgehog) when 17 and didn’t do anything until finished
  • instant gratification isn’t great for development
  • sets up unrealistic expectations
  • indoor vs outdoor debate
  • children need to fall in love with our world first
  • ration yourself too — children are mimics

My situation — where’s the edge?

I have two boys: a four year-old and an eleven year-old — both of whom are like me and can really focus on what they’re doing, but lose the sense of their body when do so. This could be on a movie, a game or even a book (for the older one — the younger one’s not reading yet…)

I work with computers for a living. I really enjoy the creativity and sense of possibilities computers provide, but I also know that I can get lost and lose whole evenings to trawling around on wikipedia…

Through experimenting with different amounts of time on the computer, we have found that our older boy finds it harder to stop and feels more anger when he plays for much longer than an hour at a time. The issue seems to be how separated he becomes from how he’s actually feeling — it doesn’t seem to matter if the game is a high adrenaline adventure or being creative in Minecraft.

What does make a difference is relating to another person or being physically active while he’s playing. We have a Xbox Kinect and he is much more able to talk about stopping and doing something else if he has been jumping around the room while playing. Similarly, if I have been playing the game with him — and actually talking to him while doing so, rather than us playing separately in the same game — then it’s much easier for him to relate to me about non-game activities.

Has anyone else had a similar experience? I know my son is quite frustrated that we limit his time on the computer so much compared to some of his friends, but we haven’t found an alternative that works better for us.

Screentime – a healthy diet?

Dr Omer Moghraby Child Psychiatrist @moghraby

  • very little research on causality
  • sleep is very important
  • different ages need specific amounts
  • more at younger ages
  • sleep latency is also really important — how quickly you get to sleep
  • increased amount of screen time has an effect on sleep latency
  • increased console use does not link to obesity
  • violence leading to action — mostly debunked, but needs to be contextualized
  • what about kids developmental level?
  • arguments and fights around screen time may cause more problems than the screen time itself…


  • video game writer:
    • not much research on active screen usage
    • active engagement is better than passive engagement
    • Kate has a list of articles will make available later
  • dominic — code club & code club pro trainer:
    • Tom: how did you stop bully following you online?
    • Answer: easier to filter out online
    • still hurts, but can skip past it
  • parent & doctor:
    • perhaps a gender difference in bullying getting into personal space
    • have to give girls extra support
    • skeletal development & bone health is important
    • already a vitamin D deficiency in the population — children need to get outside in the summer
    • Omer: supervision & balance
    • not much evidence that this generation are that much different
    • Matthew: children have never declined going to the park…
    • it will always get them off the computer
    • Simon: been using geocaching with 10yo as a fun outdoor activity
  • active & passive screen:
    • concerned about losing non-digital creativity
    • children always drawn to screens
    • digital as constrained… (really?)
    • vs constraints being good
    • vs digital not always screens

Understanding and inspiring creativity in kids

Steve Vranakis Google’s Creative Director for the UK @stevevran

  • grew up in Vancouver, Canada
  • spent most of his time outside
  • immigrant parents: wanted him to be a doctor or something else professional, but he was good at drawing
  • lives in Brighton
  • have a 6 yo & 3 yo + another on the way
  • “65% of today’s primary chidren will end up at jobs that haven’t been invented yet”
  • works for Google Creative Lab
  • Science Museum: Web Lab
    • sketchbots - takes a picture of you, then draws it, and shares the video of it drawing you on youtube
    • universal orchestra - playing instruments with people around the world
    • data tracer
    • teleporters - live 360 degree video & audio feed from somewhere, including inside a shark tank…
  • world’s biggest band over the internet
  • Jam with Chrome
    • choose an instrument
    • could invite up to three other people to join you
  • his group launches everything with a video
  • DevArt
    • coding as a new creative discipline
    • three artists curated
    • competition to have fourth person
    • devart young creators: schools invited to visit before public opening in morning
    • get talks & interaction from artists
  • google science fair
    • what you love
    • what you’re good at
    • what you want to change

Imagination is Priceless

Tom Morley, Eco Toy Box & Instant Teamwork

  • here to represent the godparents, mad uncles and artistic aunties
  • adolescence can fail
  • make sure you stay creative
  • the world’s most popular toy is a stick, the second most popular toy is a cardboard box
  • eco toy box has pictures to make cardboard boxes come alive
  • doors, windows, castles, speakers, masks, portholes
  • stick them on boxes to give your imagination a boost
  • black tie, white lie
    • meet on waterloo bridge and pretend we’ve been up all night
    • a way of getting permission and having fun with our children
  • be as creative, as mad, as flamboyant as you can
  • Tom runs drumming & singing sessions in schools
    • link up with a school in Africa to sing the same song

How a community can inspire kids with creativity

Nick Corston, STEAM Dad

  • little house of fairy tales at camp bestival
    • the science of music
  • watch caine’s arcade
  • offer lots of activities
  • children choose what they want to do
  • most popular prize in school auction:
    • 10 yo son offered to run a stop-motion animation workshop for a family
  • Ford contributed half a Goblin electric car kit
  • S.S. Great Britain in Bristol
    • Brunel should be on the curriculum!
  • community, collaboration, co-creation
  • announcing STEAM Co.
  • want other schools to get involved
  • one school thinking of converting the whole top floor of school into a STEAM attic

The value of drawing with your children

Tony De Saulles, Illustrator of Horrible Science

  • creativity at home is an investment in our children’s futures
  • was only boy in 6th form doing art
  • children all over the world laugh at the same things
    • especially poo and wee…
  • How to Draw Horrible Science
  • workshops: get the children to copy me
  • follow simple instructions
  • there’s no right or wrong
  • copying is a good thing
  • drawing with 150 children: they all drew the same thing but all were different

Getting kids making things and doing stuff

Amy Solder, funding creative things at NESTA

  • Mark Hatch: The Maker Movement Manifesto
  • Look out for Fab Lab / Hackspace / Maker Space
  • Make: magazine — mainly for adults, some kids projects too
  • Make Things Do Stuff: projects for kids
    • written by kids for kids
  • printcraft — minecraft server with 3D printing
  • little bits: magnetic electronic circuits

Get your kids animated through animation

Gavin Molloy, Get Smart


  • getting artists/authors into schools who are focussing on literacy:
    • Authors Aloud, Speaking of Books
  • revision mind maps
    • make a mess for revising
    • draw it and label it yourself
    • sticks in your mind

Working smart time not part time

Amelia Torode

I just caught the end of this talk…

Amelia is going to be writing a book — and is looking for input on part-time working

Getting inspired by ideas, innovation & ambitino

Nico Macdonald

  • London Transport Museum Depot — in Acton, where all the things that don’t fit in the museum are stored
    • opens once a month
  • Selfridges Festival of Imagination
  • Big Bang Fair at ExCel
  • Technopop London at QE Park
  • finding out:

Bringing stories to life as experiences

Valerie Coward

  • inspired by Philip Pullman’s Grimm Tales for Young and Old
  • Grimm Tales for young and old at Shoreditch Town Hall basement
  • first 6 week season just finished in April
  • did storytelling as parents tell children
  • were originally concerned that younger children would find stories scary
  • but they didn’t mind — as long as the baddies got dealt with in the end, they were happy
  • actors played multiple parts
  • clearness about the story: the characters can be fluid
  • at the end of the guided session, they let the audience wander through the set
  • coming back in bigger venue in November with new stories