Posts Tagged ‘technology’

What a year

I am self-professed geek and huge sci-fi fan. My teaching allows me to use sci-fi examples and technological innovations to engage and educate students.

On January 11th I was quoted in the Guardian (front page article) in reference to Michael Gove’s announcement regarding the ICT programme of study:

Genevieve Smith Nunes, an IT and business studies teacher at Dorothy Stringer high school in Brighton, also welcomed the announcement. She said: “In my own school we have developed our own programme of study anyway, because of the constraints that ICT has – but still incorporating all of the elements that are there [in the existing curriculum].

“If they scrapped ICT, then a lot of teachers might feel that their jobs are at risk – depending on how Gove presents that. That wouldn’t be a worry at my school because we’re quite forward- thinking about what students need.

“By taking away what is prescriptive, it would allow the teacher and student to develop the [computer science] curriculum together and make it effective, creative and thoughtful … If universities are going to help us develop the curriculum content that can only be a benefit from the classroom teacher’s perspective.”

I was also a panellist on the Guardian live blog talking about technology and it’s benefits as a learning and support tool. It was a great experience if not a little scary. I was blogging in the staff room in my free period trying to make sure that I didn’t have any spelling or grammar errors. Thanks go out to the staff for helping me 🙂

With the recent announcement from Michael Gove in terms of scrapping the ict programme of study. No need to panic, it is in regards to what is taught in schools and not the removing ICT from the curriculum.

from Michael Gove’s speech Children COULD be using Scratch… we have been using Scratch for a few years and I am currently piloting a project teaching Scratch to a class of Year2 students. He talks about 11 year olds using Scratch and year 2s are 6 and 7years old. Then about yr11 developing apps: I developed a SoW (13 and 14years old) scheme of work where students plan and build apps using various tools including Appshed, Applicationcraft and the Apps for Good course.

At Sussex Downs College we have kept up with the times and modified our curriculm accordingly. We now develop skills in programming using multiple development environments and language. We have decided to use open source or freeware as this enables access from home without any financial impact on parents or guardians.

Outside of College: I am working on a scratch programming project with 3 local primary schools. Delivered over 6 weeks. I taught 1 hour a week and I will also be teaching 2/6 lessons with 3 yr9 students. Each school had a different focus: Animation, Gaming and Lego WeDo. It course was a resounding success. I am looking forward to delivering training to more teachers via the CAS Master Teacher Program and Teaching Schools. These sessions will be in South East at various venues.

Events: Speaking

    Google Guardian Junior HackEvent
    TeachMeet Brighton
    CAS Conference
    Stringer Hackday
    Brighton Digital Festival
    Raspberry Jam London
    Liberal Democrat Conference: fringe event
    Google TeachFirst Conference
    RaspberryJam Xmas London

What about 2013: Even MORE exciting than 2012.
DigiMaka is a social enterprise co-founded with Justin Kirby. Hack Events, Digital Maker Leadership program for GCSE & A Level students and workshops for community and teachers to support the DigiMaka leaders.

    BETT learn Live Lab Friday 1st Feb.
    #Hackshop Computer Science Education Hackevent for Brighton & Hove Schools: 15th Feb.
    EICE Education Innovation Exhibition & Conference.
    plus many more events that are still in the planning stage.

It is going to be a great year!



What a day!

This all day event took place at the Corn Exchange plus more of the Dome. A very beautiful building (if you haven’t seen it). The event was immense from tweeting with a BBC Micro & a raspberry Pi to hot air ballons! You had to be there Maker Faire Brighton. I think my favourite thing was the Dalek. 20120909-073202.jpg

Why am I writing about it, apart from being amazing, I was one of the makers! I even got to make my own badge! I was giving a beginners coding workshop using Greenfoot. Greenfoot is a 2D simulation and gaming environment to enable younger students to learn how to code Java.

This all sounds calm and relaxed, reality was quite the reverse 🙂 The night before I had gone to set up the room layout making sure that there were enough extension leads. As you can image the following morning we had one! This was compounded by the fact we had no laptops to give the workshop with…… Not getting stressed at all 😉 @DonnaComferford came with a three. We managed to borrow four more *sigh of relief*. As these weren’t the laptops we were looking for – the software wasn’t installed so an added delay but everyone was great about it. Phew the workshop can actually start.

Neil Brown from Kent University, Greenfoot Team delivered the workshop which was broadcast live via Google Air Hangouts. This was my first air hangout and thankfully we had a wired connection! The 90min workshop enabled the students to go from blank canvas to completed game. Or as we like to say Noobie to Ninja. The workshop started with a demo of Greenfoot’s capabilities, which are impressive. Even more so that it is free for everyone.

We have students from year 6 all the way through to year 13 plus a few parents. NO girls! Come on girls! Coding isn’t just for boys!

Using the Crabs and Worms scenario the students were able to create and code their own complete game which they were able to take away with them on USB sticks provided by us. A very kind donation from Neil ford from Rewired State.

As a teacher it was inspiring to see the engagement and concentration from all of the students. It was a very quiet workshop at times. The ideal lesson! After they had created their games Neil gave a demonstration of what other things are possible with Greenfoot. What do you get with four spoons, a pico board and four volunteers = Pong! Very entertaining. It was a great workshop and thank you to all the support from the Maker Faire