What is more exciting than returning to school…? The return of Strictly, of course! In excess of 12.5 million viewers tuned in to see the final in Dec 2015. After the Bake Off, this made it the most popular TV show in Britain adding sparkle and sequins to dark Saturday evenings. I know there are many open and closeted fans in schools across the country, and here I’ll outline how teachers could take some steps in the direction of the glitter-ball providing a “magnificent” SEVEN to keep you “en pointe!”
Today The Edtech Podcast announced a strategic partnership with Innovate My School. Launched in May by Sophie Bailey, the programme includes edtech interviews, trends and news, and is downloaded in 69 countries, including the UK and US, Brazil, China and Saudi Arabia. This strategic partnership will see the podcast published and shared via Innovate My School.
As a teacher of Computing at Sandymoor School, a Microsoft globally recognised Showcase School in Runcorn, Cheshire, promoting digital literacy is a curriculum area I have been developing during the last academic year with my classes. The three main strands within Computing are mapped against Computer Science, Information Technology and Digital Literacy. Each component is essential in preparing pupils to thrive in an increasingly digital world. Digital literacy is about pupils building their technical knowledge and skills to ensure they become confident and competent users of technology.
Throughout the UK, outdoor learning is gaining a lot of popularity but there is still work to do before it becomes widespread across the country. At the moment Scotland seems to be leading the way when it comes to learning beyond the four walls of the classroom, with England, Northern Ireland and Wales currently quite far behind.
Forget Facebook, for which all your students probably already have accounts. In the social stratosphere there’s a new kid in town that has stolen the show from the likes of Facebook and Twitter, and that’s Instagram. Launched in 2010, this photo-sharing app lets users publish their own exclusively square snaps for their followers to ‘like’ and ‘share’, and it’s safe to say it’s been a big hit with the younger generation — with 53% of teens using Instagram on a daily basis.
Innovation to teachers is usually something that arrives via INSET or a day jolly out to a course. If it is well done, there is nothing wrong with being introduced to new ideas in this way - but if it is done badly it can cement pedagogical inertia and make real change in schools very difficult to effect. A top down approach of ‘you must always’ very rarely sits well with a profession that can be highly (and rightly) critical of change for its own sake. Real innovation, the grass roots stuff, is much more powerful, and can have much more meaning to the children in the classrooms of the innovative teachers.
Edu-software experts Busy Things have been bringing the curriculum to life in Primary schools for the last 10 years, and now their award-winning online resource is even bigger and better. With an ambitious redesign and introduction of hundreds of new resources stretching from the Early Years into Key Stage 2, the new resource aims to delight teachers and pupils alike.
Code Club, a not-for-profit organisation and part of the Raspberry Pi Foundation, has launched its teacher-volunteer recruitment campaign. This initiative aims to increase the number of teachers involved with leading after school Code Clubs in Primary schools across the UK, and will be will be held across both social channels and a comprehensive email marketing campaign.
Friday 17th June will see educators from across the country converge upon Roehampton University’s Froebel College for Festival of Computing 2016, a day of inspirational talks, workshops and research presentations. The event, taking place in south-west London, will be a place for educators to meet, create, share and inspire one another. Practical workshops will be enriched with talks and presentations about pedagogical approaches to learning and teaching with technology. Tickets cost £60 for an adult and £40 for a student.