Monthly Archives: July 2016

Sharing teaching ideas, strategies and evolving pedagogies at Tech 4 Change

The programme of workshops at this year’s Tech 4 Change conference was guided by school and teacher priorities added to CPD plans over the year.

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What did teachers hope to gain from the event?

  • ‘New ideas regarding technology and updates regarding e-safety’
  • ‘Tips on implementing cloud technologies’
  • ‘Keep up-to-date with any new initiatives and learn some best practice techniques used in other settings’
  • ‘An insight as to what technology is doing to contribute to the learner experience’

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Feedback from the day

  • ‘Especially liked the now press play and the Tweendykes practical sessions showing how to incorporate a range of technology for cross curricular usage’
  • ‘Loved the Lego workshop!’
  • ‘The keynotes were brilliant!’
  • ‘Good chance to meet with other colleagues. Also identified some useful ideas and resources for use at my school’
  • ‘Like the variety of workshops’
  • ‘Really enjoyed the workshops’
  • ‘The online safety workshop was brilliant’

The theme for this year was inspiring, preparing and empowering students to be successful and responsible citizens in this technology-rich modern world.

Practical sessions gave opportunities to share ideas, strategies, available support and build on the schools’ network to explore how technology has positively impacted on learning.

Here’s an overview:

Innovative technologies to support the wider curriculum

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Kath Oliver, and a group of students from Tweendykes School, delivered a practical session with Russell looking at how technologies have extended the range of learning opportunities in school.

Examples of projects and resources explored by teachers included Google Cardboard, electric paint with Touchboard, physical computing devices, a barcode scanner and 3D printing.

Making the KS 1&2 computing curriculum clear: Unplugged with LEGO

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Tom Radge, an Assistant Head from Ganton School and CAS Master Teacher, joined us to share his ideas for teaching unplugged computing.

This hands on workshop gave teachers the chance to explore the use of LEGO and constructionism to deliver computing activities in school.

Constructionism starts with the belief that children learn best when they experience things first-hand and within a meaningful context. LEGO allows us to do this, and the session generated lots of practical ideas and reflections from the group.

Embedding a culture of literacy across the curriculum

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This session from Bron Duly explored how the use of ebooks has helped children to make significant progress with their reading and get the most reluctant readers to enjoy reading more, according to a study published by the National Literacy Trust in December 2015.

With a local focus, Bron also explored the findings from the reading intervention project with online libraries across a group of primary schools in Hull.

Making sense of sensors and programming possibilities: Hands-on with the BBC micro:bit

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David Ames, Associate Tutor in Computing/ICT at Edge Hill and CAS Master Teacher, joined us to share practical hints and resources with teachers.

Some of our schools have already received the devices and students have been given tinkering homework tasks since half-term.  Other teachers are planning to use micro:bit with Year 7 students in the forthcoming weeks and were keen to share ideas.

Organised learning and connected students with Apple’s iTunes U and Showbie

Neil’s practical session used iTunes U to model an environment for students to engage, collaborate and share.

Teachers were able to explore how iTunes U supports them to create structured assignments and single lesson materials for students and how learners submit their work for assessment.

Immersive storytelling: Engaging primary age children through emotion, imagination and movement

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Alice Lacey and Tom Owen, from now>press>play, took teachers on creative journeys to other worlds to explore immersive learning through sound, story and movement.

Earlier in the makerspace, the children had been taken back to Ancient Egypt as a catalyst for creativity to extend programming and writing possibilities.  This time the adults wore the infamous pink headphones 🙂

Collaborating within and beyond the classroom: A practical session learning as a learner through Google Classroom

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Google Classroom can significantly transform the way that teachers and students use technology in the classroom and beyond the school walls.

In this workshop Russell and Mark explored how real-time editing of documents by multiple people can support learning, along with the seamless delivery of homework.

Making Online Safety a Priority

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A fundamental part of our CPD programme has been to prioritise online safety and support schools to ensure that their knowledge, systems and protocols are in place to safeguard students and staff.

Kat Howard’s thought provoking workshop looked at the journey to outstanding, and sustaining it, amidst new and continually changing challenges and requirements.

The introduction of Ofsted’s latest safeguarding measures and the DfE’s Prevent Duty on schools as part of the Counter Terrorism and Security Act 2015 were topical discussion points.

Turning a digital vision into reality through change management

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How do you move an entire school to new ways of working using Google Apps for Education?

After over 25 years of at the chalkface, Mark House is not perhaps the most obvious flag bearer for technology in education.

Through a few twists and turns, Mark became the unlikely strategic lead in his school’s desire to move to new ways of working. He joined us in Hull to reveal the bumps, bruises and near misses that took place along the way, and to share the real impact that whole institution change can make.

 

Engage. Inspire. Collaborate. Share.

‘Increasing diversity and inclusion in tech to inspire our next generation of innovators’

Our second Tech 4 Change conference was hosted in Hull again on Thursday 23rd June.

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Supporting teachers, school leaders and educators working in schools, colleges and community learning projects, the event blended together inspirational keynotes, practitioner-led workshops, and opportunities to build on local and national networks.

We were excited to be joined by Laura Higgins and Kate Bellingham, who both delivered keynotes during the event.

Laura, Online Safety Operations Manager at South West Grid for Learning, is the lead partner of the UK Safer Internet Centre, where she manages two specialist Helpline services.

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The Professionals Online Safety Helpline has established itself as a lifeline for professionals who work with children and young people, experiencing issues with digital technology and online safety.   In 2015, SWGfL launched a brand new service specifically to support victims of revenge porn, which was once again ground-breaking and a first for the UK. 

Online safety is an area of support and CPD offered to all of our schools and one which has been prioritised this year. Laura’s keynote included recent trends and emerging issues, along with invaluable strategies to help teachers and young people.

Kate joined us with a wealth of experiences and approaches to share around the subject of participation of young people in STEM subjects.

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With a degree in physics, MSc in Electronics and Qualified Teacher Status, she has worked as a computer programmer, broadcast engineer, TV presenter (including ‘Museum of Life’ and ‘Tomorrow’s World’), and secondary school maths teacher.  In 2014 Kate was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Science from the University of Hull.

Her work and roles as Patron of WISE and champion for girls in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) are closely aligned to projects across schools encouraging greater participation; most recently with girls in computing.

Makerspace at Tech4Change: Young digital makers and teachers collaborate

Teachers asked us to include another project space at this year’s conference, so we expanded the range of activities and age range of children joining us.

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A group of Learning Innovators from Spring Cottage Primary and Malet Lambert schools came along with their experiences of mixed aged collaborations this year, through wearable technology challenges, alongside their own school based activities.

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Challenges to inspire this next generation of Y5, 7 & 8 innovators included using the Faraday Project resources from the IET (Institute of Engineering and Technology). Children worked in pairs and teams to plan their own projects and determine levels of complexity.

None of the students had seen a BBC micro:bit before, let alone coded one. They quickly transferred what they’d learnt from previous projects to tackle ambitious group challenges under guidance from Dave Ames.

Using the micro:bit with these resources was a perfect match to engage and excite the group on National Women in Engineering Day  (#NWED2016).

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The theme for activities in the makerspace centred around a book by Julia Jarman.  The Time Travelling Cat and The Egyptian Goddess became a catalyst for creativity and to extend programming, digital fabrication and writing opportunities.

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Linking digital storytelling and literacy resources, the team from now>press>play took the children back to Ancient Eqypt to explore creativity through sound, story and movement.

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That led to animations and game-making with Scratch, either using resources from Code Club or remixing shared code.

Some children got hands-on, learning by doing, with digital fabrication tools.

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Working with Paul, and using Egyptian themed artefacts with the Sprout, they developed 3D creative imagination to explore the design-thinking process.

They started to show the connection between planning and 3d modelling with a computer to reach a prototype stage, and then make further iterations. And said they enjoyed working on those design changes 🙂