Archive for June, 2012

Welcome to Westminster briefing

Where do I start. Twitter! I was contacted via twitter by The House to see if I was interested in speaking at a policy and practice briefing relating to the “new” ICT curriculum. Well, one can’t say no to that.

There were four main speakers Prof Steve Furber, Royal Society report. An excellent talk on the current state of ICT in schools and ideas about the [insert slide image] future. It was an honour to be able to speak to him after the event. This is THE Steve Furber who was instrumental in the creation of the BBC Micro. My inner geek was extremely happy. I was too nervous to ask for a photo. Incredibly intelligent and very humble. As you can read I was a very happy bunny.

rachel ager NAACE, Karen price E-SKILLS: they both offered information regarding where they see the curriculum developing and the reasons for them. Though I was a little concerned by the term digital wisdom that is at the Heart of the Naace curriculum- what does that mean. To me it didn’t mean a lot- how could I explain that to a student or parent when I don’t really know what digital wisdom is. They were both interesting talks. [ insert slide image ]

steve milner Facebook: interesting to hear what fb has to say about the IT curriculum. He gave a very detailed talk, without a presentation, about FB being a platform and not a content provider. You, us are the content providers. The fact that there are only 300 staff.

At the end of the keynote talks there was a Q&A. This is when some of the questions seemed a little hostile regarding the representation of certain data and how people felt about that. The fact that only 35% of ICT teachers have a subject related degree seems to upset a lot of people. I am in the other 75%. As my friend put it, if they do have a computer science degree it is unlikely that they willbe wanting to be a teacher it is more likely that they want to work for google or face book. I totally agree.

I was speaking alongside another TeacherMark Dorling from the Digital schoolhouse project (insert link) Mark spoke about the changes that are happening because of gove’s speech at BETT. He does a lot work enabling computer science to be embedded in the curriculum.

I am self taught and continue to learn new skills and languages. We IT (ICT) teachers have a fantastic subject area to continue our own learning as well as (hopefully) inspire the young. It is hardwork and we are rewriting schemes of work every term, or it feels like that sometimes. But that is why I enjoy the subject so much.

I digress. My turn. I was the last speaker of the day. For those of you who have the unfortunate experience of me at teach meet Brighton, my timings were better. I was very good and didn’t speak for more that my allotted 15mins. Mainly because everyone looked exhausted and wanted to get home.

The theme of my talk was about sharing, yes I know I go on about sharing but it is the best way to succeed. The creative global classroom was the title of my talk. I spoke about the successful use of google hangouts in teaching and sharing practice with schools around the UK. Tools like socrative for recording assessment and adding a bit of competition into the classroom. Finally, about the projects I am working on why I do them. I didn’t even list allthe extra work that I do… It looked too much on one slide.