Pupils in Essex have been using 3D printers to explore the world of STEM and its place in modern careers. The Essex County Council-led programme has seen the likes of Plume School and William de Ferrers Academy experiment with machines sponsored by local business Lodge Information Services in their classes, and is an example of how schools can work with the private sector to explore such technology.
Following a successful pilot in over 40 schools during 2014/2015, Apps for Good’s Mini Course is now open to all schools across the UK for 2015/2016. The edtech movement, working to transform the way technology is taught in schools, has developed a free, flexible course framework during which students find a problem they want to solve and apply new skills to making a real life app. This allows them to explore the full product development cycle, from concept to coding to launch in a way that brings the classroom to life.
The integration of edtech into the everyday school environment has resulted in a diverse range of technologies being present in any one classroom – never mind across an entire school. More recently we’ve seen a steady move away from IWBs towards a variety of technology that encompasses personal devices such as tablets and smartphones, through to front-of-classroom teaching technologies, with a strong shift towards interactive flat panels.
Education suppliers HUE have been bringing schools to life with the HUE HD Pro, a classroom camera and visualiser that is the latest addition to their range of USB cameras. The gadget can view a full A4 page and project it onto the whiteboard via PCs and projectors, and is priced at £44.95 + VAT. HUE’s terrifically-received new device even won a Best in Show award at the prestigious ISTE 2015 conference in Philadelphia.
Duolingo is one of the most popular language learning app out there, It is completely free and is part of an ambitious project to translate the web. It’s certainly is a great app, but it is also highly underutilised. In this article, we will go over a few useful tips teachers can use to help their students learn and practice Spanish using Duolingo.
There is so much that is really urgent in schools that there is a real danger we may lose or sideline the things that are really important. The education system itself is under pressure from recruitment, retention, school places and budget cuts whilst teachers dread ever-changing goal posts – and don’t even mention Ofsted!
When I began teaching in the early 1990s, schools were approaching the Millennium with great anticipation for a futuristic world of gadgets and technologies. The best we had at that time was a BBC B Computer, hooked up to a dot matrix printer with that awful neverending sheet of paper with the holes in the sides. In some classrooms they were seen as glorified typewriters so that kids could type up a good piece of writing. More adventurous uses included simple programming and filling the screen with scrolling text from a few lines of code.
Project based learning (PBL) is perhaps the greatest resource hardly being used in UK schools. Teachers are increasingly being asked to do more with less, and there’s never been a better time to reinvent classroom learning than now. Despite the mounting pressures on schools, a huge advantage all still hold is in the freedom to deliver the National Curriculum by how they see fit. There’s also a wealth of research to support PBLs uptake in the classroom:
[Original published on 30th June 2015]
When I first started teaching ICT most people said that it is one the easiest subjects to teach because students like playing on the computer. This is totally not the case; there is a big difference between playing on a computer for leisure purposes compared to passing an exam or coursework. The boundaries and guidelines teachers and students need to go through is strenuous and cause lots of teachers to spoon feed students through the learning process.