Monthly Archives: April 2016

Notes from Naace Conference 2016

Impact Awards Winner LogoIt is really only a year since the last Naace conference?

This year’s started the evening before, with a NaaceMeet – quite a lot like a TeachMeet, but for Naace Members who are not necessarily teachers, although deeply passionate about Ed Tech. For TCSC, the most alarming tip to come from the NaaceMeet was a warning that Facebook profile pictures cannot be made private. Think it through. It’s serious.

Life Beyond Levels – Mick Walker

Slides from this presentation are available here.

The average age of teachers in UK now is 46. This means that most serving teachers have only ever taught to a NC and its associated assessment regimes. Although we still have a National Curriculum (well, those schools not yet within the academy or free systems still have a NC) there is no longer a universally understood assessment system. Schools are required to generate their own assessment regimes and criteria, and they will be judged against them. Even so, current “Floor standards” are that >65% meet or exceed national expectations…but no one seems to know what these are.

Schools are advised to ‘own’ their assessment systems – if you can’t explain it, don’t use it. Further, understand that it is not necessary to assess absolutely everything taught; pick out a few fundamental KPIs per subject, and assess those. Standardisation should be in place before subject assessments can be moderated, but it is unclear whether this should be within the remit of subject leaders.

Schools are obliged to post their curricula online. Make it meaningful! A science topic called “Gurgles and Burps” (yes, really) does not give many clues as to what will actually be covered. Ensure progression. Avoid both gaps and repetition.

CPD is of course essential in order to ensure the success of this process.

The Rise of the Global Teacher – Mina Patel

A dream is a dream, except when it’s a plan – John spears, adapted by Mina Patel

Mina spoke passionately about her belief in – and her direct experience of the success of – video conferencing to bring in expertise from all around the globe. These days, so long as you have reliable and robust broadband and wifi, she assured us that video conferencing works “at the flick of a switch”.

Misconceptions –

  • Fixed, wired, expensive, hard to use unfamiliar interface – not true
  • Could use Skype, google hangouts etc instead – for free – but not as good an experience
  • Skype not interoperable, does not give a true VC experience, broadband dependent

JISC content providers include Jorvik, the British Museum, U.K. Space Agency, the Geography Association and many others.

Creative Coding

Genevieve Smith-Nunes of Ready Salted Code describes herself as a cyborg as she relies on a medical implant for constant pain relief. She spends her time working with girls to learn about computer science, algorithmic thinking, programming and coding through the medium of classical dance. And it’s no joke. It really works. You can see some of her incredible success stories here.

Zoe Philpot from “Ada, Ada, Ada” also enjoys putting the “A” in steAm. She is a storyteller, often to be seen portraying Ada Lovelace, in a dress containing 4400 interactive LEDs controlled by a programmable glove. Her outfit was made in collaboration with technologist Charles Yarnold and National Theatre AV designers Helen Atkinson and Matt Haskins. Zoe can be booked to visit your school or cluster to tell the story of Ada Lovelace and the computer she invented in 1843 in an engaging and unexpected way

Technology Leadership in a National Context

Naace and BESA representatives, Dave Smith and Dave Whyley, presented some enlightening research about the uses of Ed Tech in UK schools. Their slides are here, and the full report can be downloaded here.

The Future of Online Safety – Changing the Message

Ken Corish of SWGfL gave an engaging workshop on eSafety. Are you familiar with their BOOST set of digital tools?  Discounts have been agreed for BPLC schools.

Let’s Get Physical with the BBC Microbit

And finally, a word about the BBC Microbit from Yvonne Walker  than primary, but worth knowing about nonetheless.

And finally…

Did we mention..? TCSC is thrilled and delighted to have been presented with the Naace Curriculum Support Impact Award 2016. We have it displayed here in our training room!