The video above is the keynote presentation by Michael Gove (Secretary of State for Education) at the BETT Show 2012 on ICT in the National Curriculum. Many interesting points came across including the vision for ICT in the English Curriculum when we in Scotland are now in the final stages of publishing assessment criteria for our Curriculum for Excellence.
Any teacher or professional involved with educational ICT should take half an hour out of their ‘CPD time’ and listen to his words. Some of the key points include,
1. A recognition of the role that games can play in education.
Games and interactive software can help pupils acquire complicated skills and rigorous knowledge in an engaging and enjoyable way. Adaptive software has the ability to recognise and respond to different abilities, personalising teaching for every pupil. With the expert help of a teacher, students can progress at different rates through lessons calibrated to stretch them just the right amount.Britain has an incredibly strong games industry, with vast potential to engage with education both in this country and all over the world.
At Do-Be, we have regularly championed the potential of games being incredibly engaging and effective tools for learning. This is apparent in our Teach-IT resources. PC, Console or Handheld games can be a powerful way of engaging, inspiring and enthusing learners of all ages. With numerous Games Design course’s available in our universities and the success of companies such as BAFTA Award winning Dynamo Games (Dundee - Championship Manager) and Codeplay (Edinburgh) there is a blossoming marketplace in Scotland and throughout the UK for games designers and coders – but where should the love of games begin? In University? In the bedroom at home? Or embedded as part of our curriculum.
2. The government will not be dictating the detail of the curriculum.
While things are changing so rapidly, while the technology is unpredictable and the future is unknowable, Government must not wade in from the centre to prescribe to schools exactly what they should be doing and how they should be doing it. We must work with these developments as they arise: supporting, facilitating and encouraging change, rather than dictating it. Technology in schools will no longer be micromanaged by Whitehall. By withdrawing the Programme of Study, we’re giving schools and teachers freedom over what and how to teach; revolutionising ICT as we know it. Let me stress - ICT will remain compulsory at all key stages, and will still be taught at every stage of the curriculum. The existing Programme of Study will remain on the web for reference. But no English school will be forced to follow it any more. From this September, all schools will be free to use the amazing resources that already exist on the web.
One of Do-Be’s many strengths is that we identify exciting open-source software that can be used by educators in schools at no cost to themselves. The refreshing comments by Gove identify this in no uncertain terms. For far to long propriety software has weighed down creativity and development in schools but now we see the rapid growth of Google Edu and other ‘platforms’ for supporting learning, teachers must be given the freedom to choose, pilot and share software and content that can be easily accessed by learners and teachers alike. This rings true to our own Michael Russell’s (Cabinet Secretary for Education) comments regarding the use of open-source programs in the development of our own Scottish online Learning Network.
3. A stronger emphasis on Computer Science.
The new Computer Science courses will reflect what you all know: that Computer Science is a rigorous, fascinating and intellectually challenging subject. After all, the founder of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, is one of the most innovative and successful proponents of Computer Science today. But his computing skills are just as rigorous as the rest of his talents – which include Maths, Science, French, Hebrew, Latin and Ancient Greek. Computer Science requires a thorough grounding in logic and set theory, and is merging with other scientific fields into new hybrid research subjects like computational biology.
So I am also announcing today that, if new Computer Science GCSEs are developed that meet high standards of intellectual depth and practical value, we will certainly consider including Computer Science as an option in the English Baccalaureate.
Computer Science is now recognised as an important discipline. One interesting thought, and it is just that, is that here in Scotland, the final touches are being put to our new CfE Computing Courses whilst Gove argues that CS ‘ requires a thorough grounding in logic and set theory’. I am personally interested to know just how much of the new computing curriculum is devoted to basic computer logic, coding and programming compared to the Standard Grade/Higher course(s) that exist just now. Perhaps, a draft stage, we still have the time to add/change the direction of the course to reflect developing and emerging technologies and industry.
Needless to say, Do-Be thoroughly enjoyed Mr Gove’s comments and will continue to pioneer the development of and use of ICT as and effective and engaging tool for education – across the whole curriculum.
Do-Be are delighted to be working in partnership with a fantastic cluster of schools in Fife – BalmulloPS, KettlePS, FalklandPS, FreuchiePS and LadybankPS. Kirsten first met with SarahElse at BalmulloPrimary over a year and a half ago.
Sarah had been looking for a resource to encourage her staff to look at the possibilities of open source tools and use the tech she had deployed into school. Sarah was one of the first schools in Fife to purchase Teach-IT. Neighbouring schools heard about the resource and were keen to see what Do-Be offered. Now all five primaries have access to Teach-IT 1 and 2. The head teachers now see Teach-IT as an invaluable resource to unlock fresh thinking using ICT in their classrooms every day.
Last Friday we worked with every teacher in every school. The course was tailored to meet their needs. Teachers were wowed by Stephen and encouraged to try out tools such as Google Earth, Prezi and Audacity. We’ve had some great feedback ;
‘Thoroughly enjoyed Friday’s session – inspirational stuff. I am sure staff will be keen to try out some, if not all, of the ideas shared’.
Gillian Knox, HT Falkland Primary
‘My staff are all really enthused and all enjoyed the training and are keen to start using the material. Great morning despite the ICT gremlins that live in schools. Thanks for a super training please pass on thanks to Stephen’.
Jenny Adamson, HT Kettle Primary School
‘Stephen was very engaging and coped well with any of the technical glitches that occurred. It really stimulated staff interest in thinking more broadly about how we can use IT across the curriculum. It was a great morning and extremely useful. Looking forward to seeing the outdoors stuff’.
Sarah Else, HT Balmullo Primary School
As ever we are delighted to be working in a further five schools in Fife and see this as a lasting partnership. We look forward to introducing Teach-IT Outdoors to the cluster in January next year.
Are you keen to deliver a unique CPD programme in your school? Give us a call and we can arrange a meeting to discuss what exciting opportunities we can offer.
Hot on the heels of his recent ‘Future Glow’ announcement (see our last blog post), in the video below, the Education Secretary explains the new Scottish Curriculum for Excellence in ‘lay-mans’ terms and informs that he will be delivering his keynote. Mr Russell also makes a couple of interesting quotes about the new curriculum.
Amongst these are that the aim of ACfE is to “Make the education system fit for the 21st Century” and by holding SLF 2011 we will all be ”Making and important contribution to making the new curriculum a success“.
If you want to leave your mark, then why not drop on by our stand and see what Do-Be can do for you? We are right next to the Education Scotland stand where we will be making our contribution!
The Consumer Electronics Show (often called E3) was in the Las Vegas as few weeks ago. As with every year there were lots of interesting announcements many of which are likely to have an impact in the education sector.
One of the things we are the most excited about is the new console from Nintendo. The console is currently code named the Wii: U. It is pretty difficult to explain, so spend a couple of minutes watching this YouTube video instead as you really need to see the console in action to believe it!
The Wii: U is still very much in development stages and there is no release date as of yet. What we can be sure of though is that because the Wii: U is more powerful than the original Wii console and it has a band new control interface (although you can still use your old Wii remotes) we will sell all sorts of new types of games emerge for this platform.
I have been back at school for 3 full, shattering days this week and It was as eventful as ever.
The big difference for for me this year is starting the year off as Principal Teacher. Right from the off the demands of organising a whole school curriculum with a focus on ICT flew in the face of managing my departmental timetable responsibilities as a teacher. The key to this year will be effective planning, organisation and flexibility (all skills I have honed over the last 7 years in the education sector). This aside, it was great to see my colleagues taking a different approach to ICT as PART of learning not a bolt on to it. This will hopefully bare fruit for me over the coming months.
In the classroom I had 2 big obstacles to overcome this week. The first was a new S1 pupil who came in to my class with a ‘stookie’* on her wrist and declared “I can’t do any writing Sir”.
* (A Stookie is Scottish for a Plaster Cast).
You can imagine her surprise when I simply told her that it was ok, take a seat and placed my iPad 2 in front of her.
Rather than sitting observing the class, the pupil was instantly engaged when I asked her to have a bash at the first few levels on World of Goo. Next thing I knew, she was working away playing this physics based problem solving game and seemed content to be in the class.
I then had the same pupil 2 days later, again she entered the class displaying a bravado of ‘Learned Helplesness‘. I immediately dismissed this by giving her the iPad and telling her that she could complete todays task using Pages on the iPad – Apple’s version of MS Word. (I had prepared a version of the worksheets on it in advance). The pupil then worked away for the remainder of the lesson and emailed me her completed worksheet. Job done!
The second obstacle came in the form of a pupil who did not speak a word of English. Buoyed by my success in using technology to overcome additional support for learning issues earlier I decided to use it in another way.
I logged onto Google Translate and spent the period communicating in the pupils’ native language (although he was in stitches at my pronunciation). At the end of the lesson he came up to me and uttered in broken english “Very good, very fun”.
So, that was my first 3 days at the cutting edge. I wasn’t even 2 hrs in school before I deployed technology to support pupils in my class. I have a feeling this could be a big year for technology in my school.
Why don’t you send me examples of how you have innovated in the classroom and we will post them on the blog?
Indian education scientist Sugata Mitra tackles one of the greatest problems of education — the best teachers and schools don’t exist where they’re needed most. In a series of real-life experiments from New Delhi to South Africa to Italy, he gave kids self-supervised access to the web and saw results that could revolutionize how we think about teaching.
Personally, I love the Arthur C Clarke quote, “A teacher who can be replaced by a machine – should!” (4m18s).
A cracking picture of Louise, the director of Do-Be at Stand 18 in the marquee at Naace showcasing the cracking Teach-It series.As well as demonstrating their products, Louise and Kirsten are giving away loads of freebies including MP3′s and pens.
Why not head over for a freebie – I bet once you see what Teach-It can do you might walk away with more than you expected.
Stephen is in the Borders training Teach-It 1.
Scott is presenting to Holy Name PS in Fife.
Lou and Kirsten begin ‘Do Be girls on tour’ to NAACE.
Stephen is running Teach-It 2 training in Melrose, Borders with 9 secondary schools and going to TeachMeet in Fife at night.
Scott is in the office all day and going to Fife’s first TeachMeet at night .
(We are sponsoring the drinks at this event and really looking forward to meeting some Fife educators.)
We are also giving away 2 Teach-It online and 2 paper packs to some very, very lucky schools!
Val Kennedy from Inverkeithing HS is doing a 7 min presentation on TIAA.
Scott will be available to meet/chat to anyone who fancies coming along and saying hi.
Kirsten and Lou will be working socks off at Naace by this stage – the girls will also be meeting Bradford and Woking Council in between.
Scott is presenting Teach-It 1 to Grammar PS in South Ayr.
Lou and Kirsten are still at Naace on stand 18 at the Conference
2011 – Brave New World: Changing Times in Education – 15 – 17 March
2011 – Wokefield Park Reading:http://www.naace.co.uk/conference2011.
We have pride of place and one of the biggest stands at the conference (!) stand 18 in the marquee – please come and say hi!
The Naace Strategic Conference and Exhibition is recognised as one of the key forums for exploring, debating and challenging current thinking about technology and learning. With top-flight keynote speakers, workshops on topical issues and an exhibition with the most innovative suppliers, Naace 2011 is gearing up to be another formative event.
Scott is training Teach-It 1 at Wellwood PS – school of Olivia Wexelstein.
(DoBe Do’er and fab teacher – also key organiser of TeachMeet).
Lou and Kirsten are back in a heap but trudging through the tons of contacts they’ve made at Naace and making sure they get in touch with each one.
Stephen is training probationers at Inverclyde on how to use and apply new technologies to the curriculum to meet aims of CfE.
Friday night – we are all going out for a DTS night in Glasgow (thank you to our lovely pal Jim Lawson at North Lanarkshire Council for the invite!)
Just when you thought the Final Fantasy series couldn’t possibly reach any higher (though it always has to be honest) the first and second games have been released on the iPhone and Touch.
It’s been many years since I was introduced to the Final Fantasy series with Final Fantasy VII on the PlayStation 1 – Quite possibly the most addictive and spell binding game I’ve ever played.
Character, plot, music, sound fx and of course, graphics were sewn together to make an absolute work of art.
Final Fantasy III is available on the Nintendo DS and can be sourced easily and at a relatively small expense now. Games VII and VIII are still exclusive to the Playstation 1 which is a shame but may change with time.
Now…where does Final Fantasy come into the classroom on iPhone/Touch, PlayStation or DS? I hear you ask…To me, the answer is in every element of the game. There’s the reading of text (both conversational and directing), problem solving (map reading, in game puzzles), memory skills, numeracy (based on character health during battle and the in game currency), character creation, story telling, creative writing, podcasting reviews, recording character voices (which are not available in the game – it’s text speech only), fan art, game creation and language learning (the game can be played in a number of different languages).
As with all games the key to effective learning is not in the act of playing but in the use of the game as a tool for engagement. In my experience the Final Fantasy games will have pupils glued to your whiteboard (if you can project your iPhone), or to their Touch’s (if you are lucky enough to have them in class) with fresh and exciting learning as a result (not to mention the enjoyment you will have playing an old favourite, or a new addiction)
My only reservation would be the cost of the game on the iPhone/Touch…currently this hasn’t been set but I imagine it will be at the higher end.
As you all know Do Be have been selected to take part in ‘Innovation Alley’ at this years Education Show in Birmingham.
There’s only 21 days left until Do Be hit Birmingham. It’s all very exciting at Do Be HQ. We are just about to unveil our new logo and launch into England at the same time.
You can find us at stand Q7OJ. If you are attending please come along to visit us. We would love to see you.
We are also running a competition involving the Nintendo DS games consoles. This is your chance to play with one of these systems and use your gaming skills to win a Teach-It by achieving the fastest times, highest scores and youngest brain age! Each day we will be giving away a Teach-It to one lucky winner for use within the school of your choice. In the words of Dale Winton ‘You have to be in it to win it’ so get over to Q7O7 and take up this years Do Be DS challenge.
It’s confirmed…Louise will be speaking at the Learning@School conference in Rotorua, New Zealand on 24th and 25th February!
We have been invited to speak about 21st Century Learning and how we approach the use of technology in the classrooms of Britain.
There are a great many people who have been involved in professional development programmes throughout New Zealand in the past few years. The Learning@School conference provides a wonderful opportunity for practitioners to share what has been happening for them as well as an opportunity for the international education community to take part too.
The Ministry of Education sponsors this annual Information and Communication Technologies Professional Development (ICTPD) conference at the Energy Events Centre in Rotorua, to be held from 23-26 February 2010. There will be a powhiri and a special reception for all of our conference presenters on 23rd February.
Aptly named ‘Embedding New Technologies across the National Curriculum‘ Louise’s presentation will promote what we call ‘Eduvation‘, combining Education with Innovation, Inspiration and Application.
Course Aims Include:
- Explore a variety of ICT technologies and apply them in a classroom context
- To develop lesson ideas using ICT to engage learners
- Experience ‘Eduvation’ through the eyes of the learner
- Practice and apply Games-Based-Learning, Social Media and ICT to the curriculum
- Google Earth
- Digital Media
- Games Platforms – Guitar Hero/Nintendo DS/Nintendo Wii
I recently had the pleasure of working with teachers in the Borough of Havering, London. The 7 schools that attended were given Teach-It packs and virtual access by their very kind LEA www.haveringict.edublogs.org.
HUGE thanks and many hugs to Dave Smith@haveringict who is leading the project and Naree Salee who organised practically everything to help the day run smoothly :0)
I was delighted at how enthusiastic and motivated staff were and I’m really excited about working with them to link Teach-It to the National Curriculum. Here is what I covered over the half day that we worked together: Teach IT Havering (PDF)
Dave Smith sent us an email afterwards simply saying ‘Great product, great delivery, great company’.
Some teachers have been in touch since with information on how they are using the Teach-It so far:
Ann Penn has used Wordle in class to create a simple but effective display using the children’s suggestions for connectives which they thought was ‘cool’ while Jenny has used PicNik – linking it to her literacy lessons with work on creative writing – landscapes. ‘It was very effective‘ she said ‘and very simple‘, ‘but most importantly the children loved it’.
Since our training some teachers have asked for advice on helping pupils to use the internet responsibly as some sites in Teach-It require teachers to lead lessons more than others. We have decided to produce this information and put it on the virtual version of the pack. So Havering staff please bear with us and we’ll have this to you asap.We look forward to working with Havering in the future and watching the legacy of the Teach-It unfold.
Here is some video footage of one of the teachers rockin’ with Guitar Hero!:
Lately I’ve been playing Touch Physics again…I blogged a while back about this great app and only recently rediscovered it’s childish yet scientific fascination.
A great little game for the scientist in you!
Touch Physics is a fantastic little game that allows the player to manipulate a given environment using the basic laws of Physics:
Motion Gravity Mass Force Energy
Combining Science with the most basic Art skills the aim of the game is to get your Ball to the Star and complete the level.
Throughout the full fifty levels your ball starts in any and every kind of scenario. It may be static, at the top or bottom of a hill, trapped in a box, on top of a triangle, inside another shape, on a see-saw and so many more. From here your job is to create shapes and actions that will allow your ball to travel around the screen and reach the star.
Solutions include building walls to protect the ball from falling off screen, constructing a see-saw on which a larger shape can be dropped sending your ball towards the star (if you’re lucky!), creating shapes that will push your ball out of a hole or off a ledge and creating slides and /or hills to navigate varying heights.
Using very attractive artwork that emulates crude chalk marks on backgrounds of crumpled paper, polystyrene and wood this will appeal immediately to your pupil’s as well as your own inner child while challenging the natural scientist in all of us.
You can download a Lite version of TouchPhysics for free in the App store for the first 5 levels. The full version has 50 levels with the promise of more to come.
Ideas for use:
• (Individual) Pupils tackle levels, working their way through the levels to the end.
• (Group) Pupils work in groups to tackle each level, taking shots in turn.
• (Group) Pupils complete each level then discuss each element of Physics involved.
• (Group) Pupils recreate levels using physical objects in class/school.
• (Class) Pupils tackle levels on paper first, planning their solution then attempting each in turn.
• (Class) Teacher tackles each level following Pupils instructions.
We’re almost there………our latest product, the Teach-It is days away from completion…..yeah!
The Teach-It is designed to help teachers and pupils develop the confidence and skills required to take full advantage of new technologies and to encourage innovation and creativity in the 21st Century classroom.
Teach-It is a brand new classroom resource filled with innovative lesson ideas for using a wide range of the latest technologies. These lesson ideas are designed to stimulate creativity and encourage an integrated approach to technology for both learning and teaching.
Simple ideas can be very powerful and Teach-It brings the most up-to-date technologies into the classroom with a minimum of fuss and without the need for extensive technical knowledge.
Most importantly Teach-It supports teachers by engaging young people with technologies/applications that are already a big part of their lives beyond school such as:
• Google Earth
• Digital Imaging
• Audio (MP3, Audacity, Downloading/converting files)
• Games (Wii, Guitar Hero, Nintendo DS)
• Web (Animoto, Comic Brush, Go Animate, Best of GLOW games)
Each lesson idea is designed to be followed step by step either directly by a learner or used as pupil/teacher led classroom resource.
Teach-It has been designed to support interdisciplinary learning and to encourage the application of ICT skills in different learning contexts across the curriculum.
Teach-It is available as a hard copy pack and is supported by a dynamic online website which will inspire both teachers and learners.
Hi my name is 'Doobs' and this is my Blog. As you get to know me I would like to get you thinking.
How do you Engage, Enthuse and Inspire the 21st Century Learner?
Do you Innovate as you Educate?
Do you see ’social’ schools as the norm?
Can you offer your experiences to this new network that will allow us to truly ’share good practice’ for the benefit of our Learners?
Are you, like me a teacher or educational specialist who wants to make use of Web 2.0 technologies?
Can you answer these questions or are you that person? Then you are in the right place!