Why should you employ digital leaders?

‘Consider the rapid change in technology over the last 20 years; schools may just feel like they’re getting to grips with one aspect of technology when another emerges. The change from ICT to a new computing curriculum does not alter the fact that children need to experience and use a wide range of technology to support, extend and transform their learning. Schools that rely solely on the ICT coordinator are in danger of falling behind if that person leaves, therefore a more sustainable approach is necessary. Digital leaders are one solution.’

Rising Stars, Getting started with digital leaders: a practical guide

View the guide via the following link: https://docs.google.com/file/d/0Bw8rscVFZlaOMVdWWEtmZjl4WlE/edit

How to teach the new Programme of Study with confidence

Teachers and schools in England agonising how they are going to teach computing to their pupils from September 2014 now have the option to buy a complete curriculum package, thanks to Rising Stars Education, written by Miles Berry.

Launched at the Education Show in Birmingham, the managing director and founder of Rising Stars, Andrea Carr told an audience that she was delighted with the new scheme, thanking the efforts of her team and the author. Dave Smith, and curriculum advisor at London’s Havering Borough commented,
‘Technology continues to be a massive growth industry worldwide and it’s crucial that we make sure ’s existing familiarity with Computer is underpinned by a solid understanding of the practical applications of technology. Switched on Computing provides primary school teachers, who may not be entirely comfortable teaching many of the aspect of the new of Study, with a well-structured range of dynamic activities and a comprehensive list of topics with open source (free) or existing software. Switched on Computing enriches ICT education by the most affordable yet innovative means possible.’
The Key Stage 1 and 2 cover all the computing curriculum requirements, being split into activities and challenges for each year group within the primary setting. The teachers’ pack provides support for all levels of experience with software demos and detailed step-by-step planning. It also embeds e-safety to ensure safe and responsible use of .
For further details and to explore the contents for each year group please visit http://www.risingstars-uk.com/series/switched-on-computing/ 

Switched on Computing progression of skills and knowledge

This progression grid shows you how the 6 strands of the new computing curriculum are developed from Year 1 through to Year 6.  The ‘New’ and ‘Enhanced’ labels show you if units are brand new or enhanced versions of Switched on ICT units.

Narrowing the Achievement Gap using iPads

Dave Smith, Hsis Computing and ICT Adviser, and Steve Bonnick of Toucan Computing will be exploring practical ideas for using iPads to support pupils’ learning across the curriculum to help narrow the achievement gap on Thursday 3rd April, 4.15 - 5.45pm at CEME.

For further details please view the flyer.

For Havering School Improvement Services Package 1 and 3 buyers please book places through the new Havering Education Services booking system www.haveringeducationservices.co.uk  using the course code Hsis-0414-T004.

For Package 2 and non-package buyers, please email the CPD Administrator Lizzy Shrimpton at [email protected]  stating your name and school.

Using iOS and Android apps with Switched on Computing

Switched on Computing comes with a list of suggested software you can choose from for each unit, depending on your preference or the type of systems you have available in school.  There are also suggested apps to go with each unit for those of you using iPads or Android tablets, as listed in this grid.

5 steps for getting started with Switched on Computing

Getting started with Switched on Computing?

This 5-step guide, written by Havering Education Services, provides you with some hints and tips to help you to fully embed Switched On Computing within your school successfully.

Welcoming the updated Switched on Computing site

Visit the updated Switched on Computing community site, where schools can share ideas and stories of computing in schools.

Childnet launch the 5th Childnet Film Competition

Childnet have launched the 5th Childnet Film Competition to encourage young people aged 7-16 to create a short film to educate their peers about staying safe online.

Founded in 2010 as a way of asking young people to focus on the positive uses of the internet, the Childnet Film Competition is a great way to engage schools in using technology for creative and positive uses and equip young people with the skills they need to become confident digital creators. 

As a peer focused competition budding film makers from across the UK are invited to create a short film to educate their friends and fellow pupils about online safety.  As Becky Nancarrow, Childnet Film Competition organiser, states “we want to inspire young people to use their creative skills to produce fun, imaginative and educational films that they can use to educate others about staying safe online.  This peer to peer focus ensures that young people remain at the heart of the process to make the internet a safe and great place”.

This year’s Film Competition builds on the theme from Safer Internet Day 2014, ‘Let’s create a better internet together’.  Encouraging young people to focus on the positive and inspiring uses of the internet, this overall theme is the basis for the individual primary and secondary school category themes. 

For Primary, Childnet are challenging pupils to create a 60 second film that explores, how would you make the internet a better place for you and your friends?

For secondary, Childnet are challenging pupils to create a 2 minute film expressing, what does a perfect online world mean to you?

With all the shortlisted finalists invited to a private screening of their film at the BFI in London the Childnet Film Competition is a chance to celebrate young people’s creativity online. 

For further details please see Childnet Annual Competition Flyer.


Time for a new Computing curriculum in England… Time to source resources and advice at the Education Show

Dave Smith, Computing and ICT Adviser for Havering School Improvement Services in London explores how the Education Show can help support you in teaching the new Computing curriculum.

The advent of a new National Curriculum for computing in England with a strong focus on computer science has meant that teachers are currently having to upskill themselves in readiness for the rollout of the curriculum in September 2014. 

Previous incarnations of the National Curriculum in England would have been accompanied with government procured curriculum materials, training and advice.  The new computing curriculum for primary schools in England is no more than 2 sides of A4 paper and brief in its statements.  The devolving of previously ring-fenced technology and training budgets directly to schools, is allowing schools the autonomy to source their own training and resources, meaning they have got to act smart in choosing the right sources. 

BESA (stand F5-E6) reported that “The survey of 1,238 UK schools (731 primary, 507 secondary) which was conducted in July 2013 found that in the school year 2014/15 schools forecast their ICT expenditure will be higher in cash terms than at any other time on record. Investment in hardware replacement, peripherals, software and technical support will reach £14,220 per primary school and £65,570 in each secondary school.” 

The Education Show offers a great opportunity to support these areas of investment in educational technology, with a number of companies and advisory bodies providing resources and ideas to address the requirements of the Computing curriculum, as well as a string of seminars to help guide teachers in implementing it.  Here’s just a taste of what is on offer…

I always make for the TTS stand at the Education Show (stand C2). They have a great catalogue for Computing and ICT with all of the resources in one place.  Checkout the fantastic Makey Makey kits and rechargeable Beebots and their big brother the Probot – a must for any programming activities. The Lego Education (A73) stand has got to be a must too.  Linking Lego WeDo to Scratch is fun and very engaging.  

Nationally, various free and paid for teaching materials are being developed by teachers and organisations to help support the new curriculum.  In Havering, we decided to work with specialist educational publishers Rising Stars (D44) and Miles Berry of the University of Roehampton, London to develop Switched on Computing (building on the success of its predecessor Switched on ICT – now in approximately 4000 schools globally).  This partnership provides comprehensive curriculum materials for primary schools.

Education City (F49-E50) have just launched their ‘Computing’ module, where pupils can explore new ideas to help them use computational thinking and creativity to understand the world around them. ZuLogic have recently unveiled their new Zu3D Stopframe animation app for iPads, where pupils can create their own animation by taking pictures, importing and recording sounds then adding titles, credits and speech bubbles.

And of course, where would educational technology at the Education Show be without that bastion of excellence 2simple Software Ltd (H40). They have recently added 2code to the offering within the fantastic Purple Mash. 2code is very impressive in terms of its simplicity of use, progressive nature and all round teacher and pupil-friendly approach. Or as 2simple put it, 2Code “lets teachers with no prior knowledge of coding deliver engaging and challenging lessons for children in KS1 and KS2.”

Also, make sure that you visit the British Council (H41) and find out about how eTwinning can be used for communication and collaboration.  Blogging, emailing, videoconferencing – you name it, you can do it through eTwinning – and best of all, it is free, gratis, gratuit, kostenlos…

Finally, the Education Show is home to some world-class CPD opportunities.  Checkout the Technology in Education seminars for an array of speakers and content.  I will be interested in what the Computing at School Master Teachers say on the topic of the new curriculum for primary and secondary phases.

There is even more, but I have a word limit to keep to!  You will just have to visit the Education Show for yourself to find out everything else.  Therefore, if you have not already registered for the Education Show, now is the time to get online and get signed-up.  You won’t be disappointed.  

See you there! 

Dave Smith is a member of the Board of Management of Naace, is a Naace Fellow and a Bett Show and Education Resource Awards Judge. He also has over 10 years’ teaching and senior leadership experience in 3 schools and has been a governor of 4 schools.  Follow him on Twitter @davesmithict.

Teach the Hour of Code in your classroom 3rd – 9th March

The Hour of Code had almost 20 million participants in the US, with overwhelming feedback from students, teachers, and parents.

‘I have NEVER, EVER seen my students so excited about learning’ – Teacher

‘One of the two best things that happened in 2013’ – 2nd grader

‘My 3 kids came home from school yesterday yelling about the Hour of Code. My six-year-old instructing me on how to program Angry Birds, my 10-year-old boy proclaiming ‘I am going to be a software engineer. It is the job I was made for. It is my DESTINY!’ – Parent

From March 3rd – 9th every student and classroom can learn how fun coding is in just one hour.

No experience or computers needed.

See here for teaching tips.