Apple and Highfield Humanities College, Blackpool
Highfield High School, later to become Highfield Humanities College following its £27.5 m “Building Schools of the Future” rebuild, completed in 2012, has radically changed for the better. I taught there for 5 years in the mid 1980’s and took up a seconded position with Lancashire County Council in 1989, after which I eventually joined the ICT industry.
It is a delight to have had the opportunity to work with the school, and to reacquaint myself with some of my old colleagues again. I ended up taking responsibility for the ICT element of the BSF programme in Blackpool in 2010 until 2011. The prospect of working again arose in 2011, when I was directly involved with planning a Work Experience Programme for Highfield (as part of what eventually became BlackpoolCIC). In late 2012 I was engaged to work with the Senior Learning Leadership Team in the introduction of iPads and new Learning models. It is an exciting time indeed.
Interestingly, as the Head of Faculty at the then Highfield High School, I was very active in seeking external relationships to benefit the students. We did some really innovative work with a number of organisations, and this led onto building a relationship with the then Business leader, Derek Woodman and his company.
The opportunity turned into a resoundingly successful link, and Derek Woodman asked me if he could help the school. Those students/pupils were a real credit, and their efforts and willingness to deliver brought about the offer. Derek wanted to provide the school with computers.
He put me to the test by asking me to research into what computer was going to be the best for the future, and what would bring maximised benefits to the students. Looking back on it, that was a pretty big ask, but Derek was determined that if he was to provide a legacy, it be the very best.
Below you will see the outcome.
In 1988, he formally opened the Derek Woodman Design and Technology Centre
So….when you read about Highfield Humanities College “Going Apple”, remember this. The Design and Technology Department were on the right track nearly 25 years ago.
Where you one of those pupils? Contact me: email@example.com
Other Links: http://www.johnarudkin.net/johnar/iWeb2work/My_Working_Life_pt1.html
Down with the old, up with the new ( Image by Les Pounder 7/10/2012 http://www.flickr.com/photos/45703688@N07/8064237703/in/photostream/)
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.
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If you want to join a Lancashire wide meeting to discuss Work Experience contact me at:
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Announcing ExcellentUK Enterprises
simply brainstorming ideas to assist the economy of Blackpool and the surrounding area. All of the contributors are specialists in their own fields, and the sum of those experiences and personalities has generated a not insubstantial list of opportunities and initiatives.
So was born EXCELLENT UK ENTERPRISES
So what is EXCELLENT UK ENTERPRISES? What does it offer?
Filming for Blackpool TV
Recent Princes Trust Meeting
The Team (October 2011)
Excellent UK (volunteer team)
‘“We are gonna clean up this town” in more ways than you can imagine’
Want to join in? Talk about the possibilities?
Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
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Announcing ExcellentUK Enterprises
On November 15th Excellent UK will launch it’s Entrepreneur Training and Mentoring Initiative
Supported by a team of experts in their fields Sam Smith and Excellent UK Enterprises will take the work that he has been engaged in to bring value to young people and turn his well known successes into a major local initiative to benefit Blackpool communities.
b) It is the Excellent UK Training Initiative's intention to specifically publicise and promote entrepreneurship among young people through “real world” business immersion. We will be working with the young people in employment (or who have benefited from the initial experiences at Excellent) as well as those who might specifically find the usual routes through academia do not suit them or which challenge their perceptions.
EXCELLENT UK will create REAL JOBS, and we can show how the organisation have done this for several years already, making us ideally suited to ensuring the initiative is a continued success.
c) We will be making an announcement on November 15th during “Global Entrepreneur Week.” (GEW from hereon) We hope to add "In association with Blackpool Council”, and other partnering organisations to the list of supporters
d) We are talking with the Prince's Trust about future support.
If you are from the Blackpool and Fylde Area, or further afield, and are interesting in supporting or following our work, be assured the details will be posted on the GEW site and other sites yet to be announced.
We look forward to you looking in……..and contact us anytime.
Excellent UK (volunteer team)
Contact me at email@example.com
Experience is king.
I’m not sure if any of you subscribe to Linked-In. If not this article is nothing to do with the merits of the professional networking tool (it is good), but it arises out of a discussion I saw on there that I simply had to join in with.
It started with David highlighting an article in Leader Magazine ( there is a clue there to the audience), and was followed by a response you will see below.
|“And this helps the teacher who has bottom set Y11 for Maths on Friday afternoon HOW exactly !”|
Well, good point: Let me address it my own way
Article for response:
If you are thinking about your school’s or college’s vision for learning for the next five years, what role do you anticipate ICT will play in it? You may be concerned about the ongoing costs of renewing PCs, laptops and...
I'm an ex D&T teacher, and just for a moment I want to move the discussion away from technology to something I am sure we are all more familiar with in education.... that touchy, feel, textural, manipulable world of making-things. Now there is plenty of resource, videos, slides online that show experiments, how something is made, how things work etc, but nothing enables learning better that one-to-one learning. The discussions about teachers and ICT, cloud etc help make the point. If you have not experienced something, can you learn from, or appreciate its possibilities?
The UK is sadly lacking in people with real, employer friendly, practical skills emerging from schools. Its not that the exstudents know nothing, it is just that because the system in education is modelled on last century’s needs, it fails to reward students for what they can actually do. This is disenfranchising and demoralising. I learnt this morning that here in Blackpool ( I live in Lytham St Annes as well David....) 27% of students leave without base qualifications. Unfortunately it is in the pursuing those very qualifications that schools have turned them off the willingness to learn in many cases). WE seem to have all but abandoned the one thing that helps make sense out of the world as learners - REAL EXPERIENCES. Forget the virtual world for a moment ( although that IS THE REAL WORLD FOR YOUNGSTERS ), due to a combination of fear of risk and shear lack of enthusiasm kids no long see learning as relevant. It is so often all about theory, learning from someone else's perspective, modelled and unconnected facts and methods.
My great hope as a young teacher was to see students build on experience - Apple had a term that they used in their Educational Programmes, and it has resonated with me for nearly 20 years now. Learning should be "at the point of discovery".
What technology can bring is just such an experience, because it is less about the old view of technology, it is about having the ultimate resource "at the point of discovery" that ensures learning is cemented to the life experience.
So - the relevance of the piece? Its up to your ability to visualise the possibilities, and that isn't going to happen for that Yr11 Friday Maths class unless they are open to learn. Unless they are receptive and trusting to experiment.
You see, we are all learners..... we all need the same thing.
Want to know more? - look me up….
Blackpool’s My Place, a brand new building taking shape in the town to cater for the needs of youth. But did youth design it?
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Emergent Issues & Expert Recommendations from The Future of Technology in our Schools:
I am sure some, like myself have had opportunities to work at Government, even Ministerial level. These people are the ones who MUST get the most balanced picture. In order to ensure this from our point of view, we MUST be at the point of information, or talking to the right people, the people who make the decision.
I attempted to obtain a place on the following conference through my membership of NAACE - but was too late.
On the 8th September, in London - not far from Apple London HQ there was, what might be, a one of the most important meetings that could influence the future of Technology in the classroom for a number of years to come. An expert group (see list) were brought together for a day at Policy Exchange to discuss the very future of Technology in Schools, and under the heading: "What Next?"
The impact of ICT in Schools has come under greater scrutiny than ever as the financial pressures mount from political circles; while disruption and the evidence of problems on the street are observed; while results from examinations show marginal improvements and evidence points to varied outcomes between sexes. These and many factors have raised numerous questions, and politics is playing a bigger role in the fight to get back to the roots of traditional education. This is all very worrying...…however here we see an opportunity like no other to get our messages heard.
Greater access to technology than ever before, has helped raise concerns, and many are asking whether this capacity is being used to best effect, as well as what the future direction will be of the role of technology in education.
In the UK the Coalition Government appears to have lowered its perceived value of technology in Education and from the Department of Education there have been ministerial statements, policy announcements and budget cuts that point to ICT being seen as a simple commodity, not a valuable education tool.
Our Government focuses on structural school reform through the Academy and Free School programmes, and while this is understandable, it fuels speculation and fears that they a lack of clear policy direction, especially given the transformative effect great ICT in the hands of great teachers can have.
What follows is a Press Release from today (12th September 2011). Text (bullet pointed) and Recommendations (highlighted bold and large) are all directly from the text of the release. Text and links in blue are added by John Rudkin
12 September 2011: For Immediate Release
The discussion addressed a number of issues related to these points. Of particular note were a number of emergent issues that require a policy response:
- Research into neurology is showing that children and adult learning approaches, and how they interact with other people, are changing as the use of technology in our lives becomes ever more ubiquitous. There is even some research indicating the possibility that existing educational approaches may become less effective as a result. This implies that continuing with existing good teaching approaches is not sufficient and that schools need to explore how technology can maintain the excellence of teaching and extend it. Further to David Cameron’s speech warning of the dangers of ‘coasting’ schools, this is a matter which needs to be urgently addressed in order to continue to lead the world as an economically competitive workforce.
Recommendation: Research is required into how Teaching & Learning strategies, and thus workforce CPD and Standards, need to be shifted in order to address the current mismatch between human web-influenced behaviour, and educational practice.
Research may already exist from a number of sources, and should be explored before new research is commissioned. It is sometime amazing what is out there if you spend a little time looking around. Of course, remember to talk to others in your circle. A thought shared attracts value!
- Consumer use of technology is being increasingly used for semantic and behaviour analysis; for example consumer profiling by supermarket loyalty cards, in order to more effectively target advice, and influence future purchasing behaviours. Educational use of secure technology can benefit greatly from these 21st century automations, with benefits to be found in automated resource differentiation, confidential formative assessment analysis, and semantic recommendations for teaching materials, learning resources, and parental guidance materials.
Recommendation: Research is required into ways in which lessons can be learned from consumer profiling practice, in order to make education technology realise corresponding benefits with consideration for pupil data protection issues.
Research may already exist from a number of sources, and should be explored before new research is commissioned. Sometimes the accuracy of predictions made 10 years ago can provide a real sense of “correctness” in direction.
- Developments in technology mean that it is now common in schools for the majority of students to have their own smartphones. With internet capable phones now reaching the second hand market and phone companies giving unlimited bandwidth in phone packages, student ownership of such devices will rapidly extend. The impact of enabling students to use their own phones and personal technology devices in their learning has been shown to be high.
Recommendation: Facilitation and support is required for the sharing of practice between schools of how to effectively and safely use students (and other stakeholders) own devices as part of their everyday learning practices.
Some schools are making a great effort to share their knowledge about the smartphone technologies “out there”. Teachers took it in their own hands in Blackpool, where ICT didn’t want iPhones accessing the push email. The blocking went on for a while (for no really good reason), until teachers were suddenly found to be making use of it on mass. How? Was it poor security? Indeed, it was a god send, and now many teachers have the facility. Now we all need to share the best practice of how to make the best devices work for us.
- Parental engagement through technology is growing rapidly in the schools that are espousing the use of technology for this. This impacts very positively on students' engagement with school and on their behaviour and is much appreciated by parents. There now seems little excuse for schools not to use technology to keep parents much better informed about their children's work and achievements, or for parents to enquire about this when they are selecting a school for their children.
Recommendation: Facilitation and support is required for the sharing of practice between schools, of how to effectively engage parents in meaningful ways, through the use of technology, which directly support and impact student standards.
Parents might be unsure as to what they can actually do. The hurdle here may well be schools worries about opening up the communication channels so completely. Believe me, this is no issue - or if it is, the problems will be short lived if dealt with.
- The possibilities for schools to save considerable sums of money and make processes more effective through the use of technology, online platforms and cloud technology are now clearly proved through the actions of a substantial number of schools. The value for money of the investment in educational technology can therefore be enhanced further if schools share these successful strategies together.
Recommendation: Facilitation and support is required for the sharing of practice between schools of how to use technology effectively to reduce costs, emissions and workload.
The arrival of the “Cloud” technologies has heralded a wonderful opportunity for schools to rethink their strategies. Yes, the technology is young, but it is based on sound principles well founded in ICT. The important thing here is having trustworthy infrastructure. It you cannot trust yours, hold on a little longer. Get good advice (me…me….me) That is the most important thing. Reducing costs, while nice to do, should not be a priority either - and certainly not a reason to go “Cloud” for instance. This boils down to an attitude in your school. Buy “cheap” expect cheap. Look for great customer reviews, the ability to deliver the requirements you have, good quality, high value, long lasting, easy to manage, simple to support, minimal overhead and maximum usability.
- Since schools have been given greater autonomy, many have shown that they are committed to use of technology to support excellent teaching and learning and are acting accordingly. However others are not generating their own vision and appear to need some leadership in this from government. The issue of government leading in promoting the vision that some schools lack was seen as clearly distinct from government directing or regulating, but will require some action if the developing digital divide between technology-aware schools that are creating extended learning and those that are not is to be managed and minimised.
Recommendation: A single, clear, overarching Vision should be articulated by Government that positions the centrality of technology as a vehicle for achieving much broader educational success.
This is a wonderful time for schools, although many may be fearful of taking steps into the unknown. Autonomy brings with it some risk, and a great deal of responsibility also. Heads should look around them and seek out proven solid advice, while being aware that the fact they have money may attract some initial approaches of lass value. Get together, know you friends. Where are the consistent messages? Has the LEA listened to you in the past? Are they suddenly your “best friends”; does the company who were preaching one solutions suddenly seem to be doing the opposite? LEA Advisory staff were usually good, open and balanced in their approach - so think carefully and get what you need to feel you can emerge over the next year or two with solid, trustworthy advice (me…me&hellip
For example “Why should... where I live, which school I attend, where I work, who I know, where I am, or what I can afford, define the boundaries of my learning, and therefore my chances in life? This Government believes that the use of Technology, embedded in educational practice both within and beyond schools, removes those traditional boundaries and constraints from individuals, and facilitates every citizen to contribute to our globally competitive British workforce”.
Naace is the ICT in Education association and is open to all educators, technologists and policy makers who share a vision for the role of technology in advancing education. Naace members include teachers, school leaders, advisors and consultants working within and across all phases of UK education.
As a professional association, Naace represents the voice of the UK education technology community in the schools sector at a national and international level, as well as supporting professionals across the sector through conferences, courses and the dissemination of resources, research and reflection. Naace plays a key role in both members’ professional development, through the challenge and support of a community of practice, and the development of the profession as a whole, through the sharing of innovation and expertise.
Full Agenda + Film Coverage of Presentations & Discussions
All enquiries to Bernadette Brooks on 07753 911436 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Kevin Brennan MP Shadow Minister for Schools; James Groves, Head of Education at Policy Exchange; Lord Lucas of Crudwell and Dingwall, Conservative Peer; Vanessa Pittard, Head of Technology Policy Unit at Department for Education; Rt Hon Lord Knight of Weymouth, Former Minister for Schools; Ollie Bray, National Adviser Emerging Technologies for Learning at Education Scotland and Senior Technologies Policy Adviser to Scottish Government; Karine George, Headteacher of Westfields Junior School; Dr Peter Twining of Open University & Vital CPD; Fiona Aubrey-Smith of UniServity; Ray Barker of BESA; Miles Berry of University of Roehampton; Roger Broadie, Independent Education Consultant and Bernadette Brooks of Naace; Stephen Fahey of Pearson and Danny Arati of Intel.
- Allison Allen, Naace Board
- Richard Allen, Naace Board
- Danny Arati, INTEL
- Fiona Aubrey-Smith, Naace Fellow
- Duncan Baldwin, Association of School and College Leaders
- Ray Barker, BESA
- Miles Berry, Naace Board & Naace Fellow
- Ollie Bray, Teaching and Learning Scotland
- Kevin Brennan MP, Shadow Minister for Schools
- Roger Broadie, Naace Board & Naace Fellow
- David Brown AI, Ofsted
- Tim Bush, Microsoft
- Bernadette Brooks, Naace General Manager
- Leon Cych, Naace Fellow
- Len Daniels, Toshiba
- Dr Oggy East,The Inclusion Trust
- Keri Facer, MMU: Education and Social Research Institute
- Steve Gater, Walker Academy
- Karine George + 2 children from school, Westfields Junior School
- James Groves, Policy Exchange
- Ian Halpin, Microsoft
- Representative, Deloitte
- Bob Harrison, Independent Consultant, Commentator
- Bill How, The Schools Network (SSAT), Head of Learning Technologies
- Sion Humphreys, National Association of Headteachers
- Merlin John, Merlin John Online Ltd
- Rachel Jones, Steljes
- Aga Kelly, Naace
- Patrick Kirk, Naace Fellow
- Rt Hon Lord Knight of Weymouth
- Stephen Lea, The Hundred of Hoo School
- Lord Lucas of Crudwell & Dingwall
- Adam Mawson, Primary Technology Ltd
- Adam McEvoy, Primary Technology Ltd
- Niel McLean, Buywire, TSL
- Ruth Merrett, INTEL
- Bill Mitchell, BCS
- Phil Moore, CEO of Yorkshire Grid for Learning
- Steve Moss, Partnership for Schools
- Dale Peters, RM
- Vanessa Pittard, Department for Education
- Chris Poole, Lookred Ltd
- Christina Preston, MirandaNet
- Lord David Puttnam, Labour Peer
- DominicSavage, CEO of BESA
- Michelle Selinger, Cisco
- Representative, Edison Learning
- David Summers, Espresso Education
- Dr Peter Twining, Open University
- Dr Albin Wallace, United Church Schools
- Crispin Weston, SALTIS
- Richenda Wood, Livewire PR
- Dr Sarah Younie, ITTE