Tim Rylands and Sarah Nield

Tim Rylands was a 'pied piper' of education who we all loved to follow and learn from. Jack Kenny marks his passing

I admired Tim Rylands without reservation; he was a completely remarkable man, a hero.

When I heard of Tim’s death this week, I thought about him in his classroom in Chew Magna, Somerset. I was there because I was working for Becta [the former Government education technology agency] and we were looking for great practitioners of ICT in education for its awards scheme (see also BESA tribute below).

Jamie Munro

Sally McKeown on Inclusive Technology's popular and highly respected SEN adviser Jamie Munro

My most enduring memory of Jamie Munro, who died suddenly and unexpectedly on Christmas Day 2016, will be of seeing his rear end disappearing under table cloths.

We never worked for the same company but for more than 20 years we worked in tandem and he became one of my favourite 'go to' people for articles. In fact, the last time I spoke to him was about 10 days before he died when I wanted to pick his brains about a feature I was writing for Special World.

Larry Cuban and Bob Harrison

Bob Harrison speaks to Larry Cuban about changes he is seeing in schools

US academic Larry Cuban is an important weather vane for those interested in using technology for learning and teaching. Published in 2003, his Oversold and Underused: Computers in the Classroom was a timely reminder to technophiles and technophobes alike, along with policymakers, of the realities of classroom and school life and the challenge of culture change.

Now he's tweaking his image as the bearer of bad tidings. He is researching, and finding, evidence of changing practices in technology use and this will be published in his new book next year. It considers whether the paths of reforms such as technology for learning "fly like a butterfly or a bullet".

Ian Fordham

He's spent the past few years sticking up for the little guys — now he's joined the big guy, Microsoft 

Edtech evangelist for UK startups Ian Fordham is joining one of the world's biggest software companies. The CEO of Edtech UK and co-founder of the Education Foundation is joining Microsoft as its UK director of education. He replaces Steve Beswick.

He retains his role as the Mayor of London's tech ambassador but steps down from the Education Foundation. His new position on the advisory board of Edtech UK gives startups a link to a powerful 'big brother' and the big brother gets an interesting view of emerging businesses.. 

Drew Buddie

Bob Harrison talks to the new chair of Naace, Dave Smith, about life in the ICT hot seat

The professional association for those working in learning with technology, Naace, has been around for many years. Long enough, in fact, to become a brand.

Its DNA would reveal mergers of organisations from bygone days when local authorities controlled school budgets and had their own strategic policies for ICT. It was seen as an outfit for local advisers wanting to work closely with government. But what is it now and who does it serve? (UPDATE: Dave Smith resigned as chair of Naace before the end of 2016.)