Pupils logon to help shape the future of ICT teaching in schools
Surbiton school hosts “goto tech day” with leading hi-tech companies
London. May 31, 2012: Pupils at a Surbiton primary school experienced what the technology lessons of the future could look like when three top tech businesses joined teachers to run classes at the school.
With the government pressing for changes to make technology lessons more exciting and engaging in schools, Intellect, the trade body for the technology sector partnered with The goto Foundation, St Matthew's School and the three organisations to stage a “Goto Tech day.”
During the day pupils aged seven to nine took part in three lessons created by teaching staff and the tech businesses, to give them hands-on experience of computing skills. The final session of the day involved pupils showing their parents what they had learned.
The companies were: RS Components, who introduced the pupils to the Raspberry Pi computer; University of Roehampton, who ran lessons using Scratch, a programming language for young people, and Apps for Good, who showed the pupils how to design mobile apps.
Pam Dryden, head teacher at St. Matthew’s said: "In the past year we have replaced many of our old laptops and have been developing our creative themed curriculum, where technology is no longer a stand-alone subject but is integrated into all of the work that the pupils undertake. With these changes in mind, and in light of further changes to the Primary Curriculum which are in the not too distant future, we felt that the opportunity for our pupils to learn more about the digital world was one that was too good to miss. This was a day not just to use technology, but to find out more about how it works and how they can make it work best for them. We are delighted to have been able to work in collaboration with so many knowledgeable and inspiring people and thank them all for their time and energy in putting together this day, which I know the pupils will enjoy, learn from and remember for a long time to come."
Carrie Hartnell of Intellect said: “This event was about inspiring and encouraging children from an early age to get hands-on experience of using technology and to show them that computing is about more than just playing games. The pupils proved that you are never too young to start experimenting with programming and hardware. Intellect believes that using technology across the curriculum will help create better ways of learning, while a more computer science approach to technology lessons will inspire the next generation of technology leaders. Investing in an innovation culture in schools will not only open up great career opportunities across all sectors of the economy but play a vital role in the future growth of the economy.”
Dr. Sue Black, founder of the goto Foundation, a new organisation set up to change public perception of computer science said: “This is the first event in which goto is partnering and it’s a great example of exactly what we’re aiming to do with the foundation. We believe that children as young as five can get actively involved with computer science. Gototech has shown that not only are they interested, but they absolutely love it, there was such a buzz of excitement all day. Technology is such a massive part of our lives now and will become more so in the future. We need to make sure that our kids, and our adults, are tech savvy so that we can stake a claim in that future.”
Debbie Forster, COO of Apps for Good said: “This is a great opportunity to work with very young students and to help them understand what is “underneath” the technology they use every day. Apps for Good is about helping young people become creators rather than just consumers of technology. The children will have a chance to understand about what apps really are and how they can turn their ideas on how to create apps to solve them. Being creative problem-solvers is a key skill for students to learn and it is never too young to start.”
Glenn Jarrett, head of marketing – Electronics at RS Components, one of the two worldwide distributors of the Raspberry Pi board, commented: “We’re delighted to have supported this initiative. Raspberry Pi was developed to become a catalyst for change in ICT education, creating a new generation of programming and development enthusiasts in schools, so it’s great to participate in events like this, showcasing what ICT lessons could look like in the future.”
Miles Berry, senior lecturer in ICT education at University of Roehampton, who ran the Scratch session said: “We took inspiration from the class topic of 'Animal Antics'. The children collected together a few computer controlled characters and then wrote simple programs to animate these. They then explored how to get their characters to track what where the mouse was pointing and interact with one another to make a simple game. By using Scratch children learn mathematical and computational ideas, while also learning to think creatively, reason systematically, and work collaboratively.”
Intellect is the trade association for the UK’s technology sector which includes the IT, telecoms and electronics industries. Intellect has 864 member companies ranging from major multinationals to SMEs which account for approximately 10per cent of UK GDP. For more information about Intellect please visit: www.intellectuk.org.
The goto Foundation is a new organisation set up to change public perception of computer science, from "Computer says No" to Computer says YES!". Whether by better understanding design, software or hardware goto believes that the more computing technology is opened up to everyone, the greater the benefit to society. Founded by respected computer scientist Dr Sue Black, goto will be working on a number of specific initiatives when it launches later this year. www.gotofdn.org
Apps for Good helps students ready themselves for employment, self-employment and entrepreneurship in the real world. Giving students a launchpad in social enterprise and the exciting world of technology, design and innovation. Students use cutting-edge technology they are familiar with and enthusiastic about in an engaging, creative and constructive way. In this workshop students will find out what apps are and what they can do then letting them work in teams to on a problem that an app might solve. To find out more about the course and download our students apps visit www.appsforgood.org .
Scratch is a programming language that makes it easy to create your own interactive stories, animations, games, music, and art -- and share your creations on the web. As young people create and share Scratch projects, they learn important mathematical and computational ideas, while also learning to think creatively, reason systematically, and work collaboratively." - http://info.scratch.mit.edu/About_Scratch
The University of Roehampton Department of Education has a long established international reputation for high-quality teaching and research and it is positioned as one of the principal providers of Initial Teacher Education nationally and houses highly successful provision in the areas of Education Studies and Early Childhood Studies. It is one of the largest education departments in London and the South East, a large and vibrant 'community of practice' with staff and students working with colleagues from schools, colleges and local authorities to improve education provision.
RS Components and Allied Electronics are the trading brands of Electrocomponents plc, the world’s leading high service distributor of electronics and maintenance products. With operations in 32 countries, we offer more than 550,000 products through the internet, catalogues and at trade counters to over one million customers, shipping more than 46,000 parcels on the same day the orders are received. Our products, sourced from 2,500 leading suppliers, include electronics, automation and control, test and measurement, electrical and mechanical components. Electrocomponents is listed on the London Stock Exchange and in the last financial year ended 31 March 2012 had revenues of £1.27bn. For more information, please visit the website at www.rs-components.com.
European e-Skills Week: An initiative of the European Commission’s DG Enterprise and Industry, is driven by the Commission’s Communication on "e-Skills for the 21st Century", and complements other Commission initiatives including the EUROPE 2020 Strategy, the Digital Agenda for Europe, and ‘An agenda for new skills and jobs,’ which are addressing the critical unemployment and skills gaps in Europe. http://eskills-week.ec.europa.eu/web/guest/home
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