Kilt in Action
When teachers are MADE to look at ICT, it can lead to somewhat of a culture shock.
One thing to stress - ICT has got easier (assuming you are not labouring with old, outdated, outmoded technology - in which case - yes you will struggle - but worse still, you are not preparing your students for the modern world.
About 11 years ago, I had the honour of leading a project in Scotland called the "Learning Interchange". Actually, the real star of this was a lady called Anne Forrest who made a bold decision in terms of what to do - but we took on a huge task to up skill ICT for over 10,000 teachers. It was a hybrid programme, part online, part face to face, but the reports were phenomenal, and the feedback stunning. If anyone wants to know more, information is not widely available, however it was part of the Scottish NOF Teacher Training Programme for ICT. It was funded and run by Apple UK and frankly it was a hidden gem of a programme using Apples US methodologies and Scottish spirit. Indeed, the US to Scottish conversion became known as "enkilting".
The formula was not a difficult one. Intervention was about creating early success and building on that with practical support both during, and importantly after face to face training.
If anyone is interested in reading more on the NOF programme (in general terms, not specifically relating to the Learning Interchange), please go to:
A copy is now also held at this site: CLICK HERE to download
This is the Interim Report by HM Inspectorate. It was called I.C.T. Into the Classroom of Tomorrow.
Its conclusions make interesting reading - and, while 10 years old, could hold a great deal of experience for newer considerations.
Whatever happened to Scotsys. Unfortunately, it fell into receivership some time ago.
The Learning Interchange?
The Resources created: Here is the archive. CLICK HERE.
Read this great article to see what we were really about: The Old Apple
Such a shame it is not still there:
24 Sep 2011 – Welcome to Chalktalk! Chalktalk is a web portal for Welcome to the new Chalktalk site for Scottish teachers. Related Pages: chalk, scotsys, talk, ...
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Is this the Disruption that will make a difference?
National Curriculum in England (Information and Communication Technology)
The Secretary of State for Education (Michael Gove): I am today announcing my intention to launch a public consultation on my proposal that the national curriculum programmes of study and associated attainment targets and assessment arrangements for information
11 Jan 2012 : Column 15WS
and communication technology (ICT) in maintained schools in England should not apply from September 2012.
There is a significant and growing base of evidence, not least from Ofsted inspections, that demonstrates that there are persistent problems with the quality and effectiveness of ICT education in schools. Evidence indicates that recent curriculum and qualifications reforms have not led to significant improvements in the teaching of ICT, and the number of students progressing to further study in ICT-related subjects is in decline. Furthermore, the ICT curriculum in its current form is viewed as dull and demotivating for pupils. Its teaching may not equip pupils adequately for further study and work, may leave them disenchanted or give rise to negative perceptions that turn them off the subject completely. At the same time we know that the demand for high-level technology skills is growing, and many employers in the IT industry are concerned that the way in which ICT is taught in schools is failing to inspire young people about the creative potential of ICT and the range of IT-related careers open to them.
However, we also know that ICT teaching in schools can be done well. There are numerous positive examples of schools that are leading the way in developing new and exciting visions for ICT, and of industry-led initiatives which are invigorating ICT teaching in schools. In order to facilitate more innovative ICT provision in schools, I am proposing to make provision under the 2002 Education Act to disapply the existing ICT programmes of study and attainment targets at all four key stages, and the associated statutory assessment arrangements at key stage 3, from September 2012.
Under this proposal ICT would remain a compulsory subject within the national curriculum, subject to the outcomes of the national curriculum review. However, schools would be freed of the requirement to adhere to the existing programmes of study, attainment targets and statutory assessment arrangements.
By disapplying the ICT programme of study from September this year schools will be able to offer a more creative and challenging curriculum, drawing on support and advice from those best positioned to judge what an ambitious and forward-looking curriculum should contain. I am encouraged by the work of subject organisations and others on how universities and business can develop high quality computer science qualifications. I am keen to explore how Government can continue to facilitate this.
If, having listened to the views expressed in the public consultation and subject to the will of the House, I decide to proceed with the proposed disapplication of
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the ICT programmes of study, attainment targets and assessment arrangements, it will represent an interim measure that will be effective from September 2012 until September 2014, when the outcomes of the national curriculum review will come into force. The status of ICT within the school curriculum is currently being considered by the national curriculum review alongside that of all other national curriculum subjects (aside from English, mathematics, science and PE), and I will bring forward proposals later this year.
The public consultation on this proposal will commence shortly and run for 12 weeks. A consultation document containing full details of this proposal and how interested parties can respond to the consultation will be published on the Department for Education website. Copies of that document will also be placed in the House Libraries.
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It seemed like an obvious question………..
A friend asked me a question yesterday. It was an obvious one, but one for which, if you think about it, there is an obvious question. As I’d been asked it before, I thought I’d add it here - for general reference.
Why are there lists of “Touch Screen” PCs around, but no “Touch Screen” Macs? I does seem strange as Apple has the iPod Touch, the iPhone and the iPad - and has done more to popularise the touch method of input via gestures then any other manufacturer.
There is a problem with “Touch Screens” on desktop screens Steve Jobs said that touchscreen was not a good technology for Desktop Computers. His point was that the way a screen is oriented makes a big difference. It is fine to have the capability for some control, but the distance a screen is from the user is a big factor.
It is very different if the screen is, like an iPad, almost horizontal, or slightly elevated.
As a result, it is very difficult to type on a desktop style touch screen - try it. You still need a keyboard.
Add to this the fact that the iMac is designed to be even further away, for viewing movies etc.....and you'd need a finger on a pole to operate it.
I still think desktop touch screens are - from a design standpoint, less valid. They are great for point of sale, kiosks etc, because they require little typing/simpler interaction.
That and the idea of smeary fingerprints all over my 27" iMac doesn't appeal at all.
In 2011 - could be 2010 I went to see a very senior (Director) who had a problem with her "keyboard" she said. No one could work out what was going on, so as it was next to the Chief Executive’s Office, as usual I was the one to go. I thought she was using a laptop, and was indeed right. Anyway, to cut a long story short she had a laptop on a stand which presented the computer to her almost completely opened up so that the screen was a eye level. Great. The Laptop keyboard also faced her at a steep angle:
Something like this.....
There was only one thing missing - an extra keyboard that was horizontal. She had been using this set-up for 6 months - a little like you would use a touch screen.... but ended up with severe arm pain.
It broke every rule on Health and Safety and comfort. can you imagine enduring the use of a keyboard like that?
Apple creates the Future of ePublishing
Today, at a prestigious gather at true Guggenheim Museum in New York, Apple did what Apple does well. It set about changing the world once again. Just as it did with the introduction of the Macintosh in 1984 (which set the standard for every WIMP device since); and it did with Desktop Publishing by making that art accessible to the world; similarly it changed the music industry and is now targeting television.
The Guggenheim Museum
This time Apple is changing publishing. Not since the days of the first laser printers, Pagemaker and the Mac has the control of the quality and look of the print industry been so threatened. The threat?
The problem with digital publishing (and this is not web publishing, but the creation of eBooks and truly digital publications that can be used and interacted with on any device) is that the standards have been somewhat complex, with publications sometimes being incompatible on different end-use devices. This made publishing difficult.
Apple has long had a relationship with Education, indeed it’s DNA, Steve Jobs once famously said, was embedded in Education. He always saw Apple as a company at a crossroads between the Arts and Technology, bring products of grace to life, that technologically make people’s lives richer. Apple has always created products that take complex concepts and package them in clever, well engineered and simple to use formats.
Welcome to iBooks Author………… This will change the way teachers can create resources, learning can be made more appropriate to the 20th Century - and yes, it can also be far, far lower in cost. How?
eBooks (digital texts) can now be made by anyone. What it will unleash in terms of teacher’ds creativity, we can only wonder, but if you look at what has happened to the growth of iTunes University (have you looked at iTunes University? - see later), its massive catalog of University and educational content, married to true 7 billion downloads says a lot. If you haven’t looked at iTunesU, where have you been?
So, here is the reason for all of the above: iBooks Author.
Guess what? It is FREE. That’s FREE with an ‘F’.
A bargain, I say.
Do you want to learn how to use iBooks Author? Want a course for your staff, school cluster, or just a chat about ICT strategies that work?Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org - asap.
Shut Down or Restart
Shut Down or Restart. Interesting decision that has to be made on many a digital device. I think something is missing. There is a lot of wonderful ICT work going on in schools, and that needs to be retained, so its a “Hard Reset” to me.
No commentary at this stage, but it would appear there are broad areas of agreement between Michael Gove and the RSC in this, its latest report on the state of ICT in British Schools.
The Computing in Schools project looked at the current provision of education in Computing in UK schools, informed by evidence gathered from individuals and organisations with an interest in computing.
Key points of the report include:
1 ) The current delivery of Computing education in many UK schools is highly unsatisfactory. Although existing curricula for Information and Communication Technology (ICT) are broad and allow scope for teachers to inspire pupils and help them develop interests in Computing, many pupils are not inspired by what they are taught and gain nothing beyond basic digital literacy skills such as how to use a word-processor or a database.
This is mainly because:
a) the current national curriculum in ICT can be very broadly interpreted and may be reduced to the lowest level where non specialist teachers have to deliver it
b) there is a shortage of teachers who are able to teach beyond basic digital literacy
c) there is a lack of continuing professional development for teachers of Computing
d) features of school infrastructure inhibit effective teaching of Computing
2 ) There is a need to improve understanding in schools of the nature and scope of Computing. In particular there needs to be recognition that Computer Science is a rigorous academic discipline of great importance to the future careers of many pupils. The status of Computing in schools needs to be recognised and raised by government and senior management in schools.
3) Every child should have the opportunity to learn Computing at school, including exposure to Computer Science as a rigorous academic discipline.
4) There is a need for qualifications in aspects of Computing that are accessible at school level but are not currently taught. There is also a need for existing inappropriate assessment methods to be updated.
5) There is a need for augmentation and coordination of current Enhancement and Enrichment activities to support the study of Computing.
6 ) Uptake of Computing A-level is hindered by lack of demand from higher education institutions.
The text of this report is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike.
AppleTV in the Classroom/Boardroom
You know all those problems about getting the computer to work with a projector?
The embarrassment factor (especially when you are an ICT person) when you just can’t get things to work together seamlessly?
You have to go and seek the technician because the right cable doesn’t seem to be there - and then when you get it there simply seems to be no rhyme or reason it doesn’t work?
Come on folks, this is MODERN TECHNOLOGY. It should just work!
Well, it can, and it will, and Apple TV could be a great blessing and a massive time/money/embarrassment saver. Here’s why:
AppleTV. It doesn’t tell you a lot. It’s made by Apple (whoops, if you are in Blackpool ICT - that was the wrong thing to say for a start). Its TV? What TV?
Lets get one thing straight from the start. Yes, AppleTV receives TV, you can rent media, movies, listen to streamed radio, YouTube, Flicker and Apple’s own iCloud over the internet. It connects by wire or WiFi, or both..... but there is more. It was HD 720p, it now delivers full HD, full HD sound and surround sound (via optical).
But there is more. More is ‘AirPlay’. What is AirPlay? Well, you could already stream movies and content from a Mac (or PC) on your network. That is a given, but AirPlay is something else. Using a Mac, an iPod, iPhone, iPad you can now stream content from that to the AppleTV in realtime, watching your HD content, or listening to music fully in control of the source. It seems like magic, but it is not. Its just plain, simple Apple design. AirPlay enabled apps are now all over the internet, and each allows you to magically share your device with others in the room (or in other rooms for that matter).
I cannot say enough about AirPlay, so read more here:
So? So you can send content to the AppleTV - hence to the screen. But the same is true of any suitably equipped TV or Projector!
Now for boardrooms this means no more getting up and going to “the front” to present. No more fiddling with cables and wires, switching over, calling ICT (because you will not need them!).
In the Classroom, students have the ultimate access to “show and tell”. There are controls of all kinds now available, but imagine students presenting materials they have researched, collected, presented and edited, shared with the class, the group, the school. the college, the parents.....and all in an intuitive, simple to manage way.
If you want to know more contact me.
The revolution in the way we deliver education, and the way students can deliver creative ideas can change forever..... TOMORROW.
Adjunct: I was approached by the daughter of a well-known Educational Guru who wanted to better connect up her learners in a Primary School. She wanted the pupils to be able to present at any time, on one of three or four HD screens. This was in early 2010 (I think).
My assessment, and the research done suggested HDMI distribution boxes, cables etc. It was a solution, but the cost was to be in thousands. Overnight AppleTV at approx. £100, saved a £1000.
You see, when a solution can do that, there are no requirements to go back to first principles. Even the most ‘challenged’ ICT person can understand that.
So ACCESSIBILITY. Like all of Apple’s iOS5 devices, AppleTV has the capabilities to provide its full accessible feature set to users. It can read out aloud what is on the screen, it can be programmed in a ’Speech’ mode. All in all it must be the most open and accessible tool available.
This is a dream come true, and is why Apple TV should be at the heart of any new learning space.
...and that is just the start.
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