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Ideas for the computing curriculum: #4 Fun and pointless? Why not?

ideaIn this series I’m going to be making some suggestions, putting out some ideas. These are based on presentations I’ve given. I can think of how these ideas, or their implications, might be applied in the classroom. However, I think it better if I stand back and let you do that part of the work!

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Coming soon

I’m working on the next edition of Digital Education, and it contains some really great articles. For example, Mel Thompson asks whether philosophy should influence educational policy-making, which may seem a bit outré but, surprisingly enough, there is much that advocates of “computational thinking” would agree with I think.

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Don’t say it with Tweets

Happy New YearNow that the Christmas card season is almost upon us, I thought this item from a few months ago might be appropriate. I received a press release back in May (I'm slightly behind with my emails) which states that people prefer receiving handwritten 'thank you' cards rather than a quick tweet or text message.

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The view from here... New Zealand, By Derek Wenmoth

Derek WenmothDerek Wemoth, the Director of CORE Education in New Zealand, tells us what's going on in his part of the world.

As the school year has not long started in the Northern Hemisphere, we’re looking ahead to the final term here in New Zealand, with summer on the horizon, along with exams and the usual end of year events.

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Why school is still relevant in the age of technology

I find myself becoming increasingly irritated by people who say that we no longer need schools. The “argument”, if I can so dignify their pronouncements, seem to consist of the “logic” (ditto) that kids have lots of access to technology, and they can teach themselves how to use it, and therefore schools, and by extension teachers, are redundant.

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26 + Tips for getting the most from your interactive whiteboards

IWB Guide Cover (tilted)To borrow from Mark Twain, reports of the death of the interactive whiteboard have been exaggerated. Despite often being used ineffectively or even badly, it still has much to offer.

I’ve written a brief guide to making the most of your interactive whiteboard which I’ve called, logically enough, Making the most of your interactive whiteboard. Originally, this was in response to a request I received while teaching on a teacher-training course recently.

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Why should new teachers use social media?

It seems to me that the sense of belonging to an intellectual  community is becoming less apparent in the staffroom, because of the need for schools to deliver on the latest half-baked, ill thought-out “initiative”

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Schools’ approach to assessment without Levels

Assessment InfographicWhen Michael Gove told everyone that Levels were not fit for purpose, so we don’t have to use them, we were given a great opportunity to rethink how we assess students and how to report our judgements. Unfortunately, I have had the distinct impression that many of us were finding it hard to do so. It seems that I was not imagining it.

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New ideas for a new Computing curriculum

RM MugI had the pleasure of attending one of the RM Technical seminars recently, and it was well worth the time. The event was divided into several strands. I chose the Curriculum and E-safety option rather than one of the more technical ones.

As well as a very entertaining keynote lecture by Sir Ranulph Fiennes, there were three sessions:

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The things you can do with data! Part 1

Victorian JokeI found it difficult to sleep last night. The reason is that I attended a symposium yesterday, and was exposed to so many new ideas that I’m having to do quite a bit of processing. Actually, that’s quite exciting. I often enjoy conferences, but rarely come away buzzing from them. Now, I normally wouldn’t write about a conference so soon after attending it, but I wanted to bring a few things to your attention straight away. I’m sure you’ll find them interesting in their own right (at least, I hope you do), and you may wish to discuss them with your students. It’s all part of my quest to show that computing and ICT can be interesting and enjoyable, and not just for geeks.

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Not about educational ICT…

Believe it or not, I write about other stuff too! In case you’re interested, I’ve just published articles about a conference and a couple of books for authors

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Money, Money, Money

This article is not about education technology or related matters as such; it's more about my experience of attitudes to paying for work. It's worth reading, I think, if any of the following applies to you:

  • you're thinking of asking a consultant to do some work
  • you have some students who are running a business of some kind
  • you are thinking of moving into consulting yourself.

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An alternative view: Changing Paradigms, by Crispin Weston

Crispin Weston, who describes himself as "a controversialist", suggests that our outlook is not progressive at all.

To quote:

"... when we look at education technology, we find that almost nothing has changed at all."

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11 criteria for evaluating a school’s education technology

bett09desktopWhether you are moving to a new school, or staying where you are, it’s good to stand back and try to gauge what the school’s education technology is like. Why you would want to do that if taking up a new post is obvious: you want to see how the land lies so that you can start to identify any improvements that could be made.

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5 key questions to ask when evaluating students' work in Computing

Danger: deep waterWhen it comes to judging students’ work in Computing and related subjects, there are five things that are crucial to take into account.

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